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From the Terraces: Royally entertained at the CNG by Ladies' tidy brand of football

Action from Harrogate Town Ladies clash with Farsley Celtic. Picture: Matt Kirkham
Action from Harrogate Town Ladies clash with Farsley Celtic. Picture: Matt Kirkham

Harrogate Town supporter Dave Worton’s weekly column.

With Town winning away down south for the second Saturday running, and me not being able to go, I’m dependent on Radio York again.

Nonetheless, Barry Parker paints a marvellous picture of a chaotic match played out in driving wind and rain, as he and his co-commentator are forced to seek shelter at the back of the stand with the home crowd to save their computer equipment from drowning in a ferocious downpour.

The Premier League it certainly isn’t.

Starved of action, and wishing to live up to the title of this column, I saunter down to Wetherby Road on Sunday afternoon to watch Harrogate Town Ladies in action against Farsley Celtic, together with 60 or so other hardy souls.

Like their male counterparts, Town Ladies play a tidy brand of possession football, pressing to win the ball and then playing out from the back and through midfield.

The left-sided pair of Becky Davies and Katie Rowlands remind me of Ryan Fallowfield and Jack Emmett, linking up and getting in behind, and the first two goals of Sophie Tinson’s latest hat-trick come via this route.

It’s total one way traffic and 3-0 at half time, spoiled only by the constant shouts of “man on!” from two Farsley fans stood next to me. Someone really needs to tell them.

Strolling casually over to the queueless refreshment kiosk, I spot ‘Chip Butty 200p’.

Resisting the childish urge to go home and raid my daughter’s penny jar to pay for it, I venture to the toilet first, safe in the knowledge that my chip butty awaits.

On emerging, a queue of at least 10 girls has appeared from absolutely nowhere in front of me.

It turns out that they’ve all come with one of our near neighbours to watch their dance teacher play.

“What number is she?” I asked innocently.

“Number 11,” comes the reply.

“Oh, she’s really good, she’s helped set up two of the goals,’ I said.

“She plays for Farsley,” I’m told.

We all agree, however, that it’s really refreshing to see two teams of players just getting on with it.

There’s no histrionics when fouled, no haranguing the referee and no blame culture if someone makes a mistake.

In a quieter second half, Farsley pull one back and I contemplate leaving early as I have a date with a dog and Otley Chevin. I’m glad I don’t.

With almost the last kick, Elisha James runs on to a loose ball and smashes a shot from the edge of the centre circle into the roof of the Farsley net past a startled keeper. It’s an utterly fantastic goal.

I exit the ground with a beaming smile, having being royally entertained for free.