Hull City Ladies relishing chance to beat Leeds United and secure promotion


Players celebrate after Ellie Tanser of Hull City Ladies scored during the Adobe Women's FA Cup Third Round match between Hull City Ladies and Wolverhampton Wanderers Women at East Buy Stadium on December 17, 2023 in Barton upon Humber, England.

Three points in tonight's Yorkshire derby for Hull City Ladies would seal promotion back to the Northern Premier Division ahead of the final weekend of action, and they could do it against rivals Leeds United.

The Tigresses sit atop Division One North with a point advantage over rivals Middlesbrough but know victory against the Whites would see them establish a four-point lead with just Sunday's home clash with FC United of Manchester to come.

City should have played Leeds on Sunday but the game was rescheduled after Garforth Town's pitch was deemed unplayable owing to a waterlogged pitch in West Yorkshire, and skipper Ellie Tanser says it's an occasion the players are relishing, particularly with so much on the line.

"It's massive," the skipper told Hull Live. "I feel like I've been waiting for weeks and weeks for this game, I just want to get it out of the way.

"That's been a bit of a theme of this season. From Christmas, I don't know how many games we've had called off and moved around, so it's been a bit frustrating, really. It was a massively quick turnaround to just get it in on Tuesday. It is quite draining because, in your head, you're prepping for it all week, building up to it on Saturday night and then Sunday morning, you're ready for it. It's then a big drain because you're not going to play, and then you've got to hype yourself up again for it.

"I don't think there are any issues with people getting hyped up for it. I think everyone's well up for it today. I spoke to a few of the girls this morning and there's a real good vibe, and everyone's excited and looking forward to it."

Given the players all have jobs, it can be quite challenging to get time off for games, particularly at short notice, as Ellie, who works for the Tigers Trust, explains. "It is quite difficult. I was meant to be working tonight till eight o'clock, luckily, because I work in football my bosses in my team are quite good about it, they understand. 

They're all dead keen for me to play and to do well, so that's really good for me, but some of the other girls, it's a bit more difficult. We have some that work in the police and things like that where you can't just swap and change last minute, it doesn't work like that. 

A few people have had to pull a few strings, I think, and sweet talk the bosses and stuff like that because it's a massive game. Everyone wants to be a part of it, everyone's doing everything they can to be there.

"I think these sorts of local derby games are definitely up there with one of the ones you want to be involved in, regardless of where you are in a table. We could be bottom and they could be top and it's a massive game or it could be a mid-table clash.

"It's still massive because you want to do one on your rivals, it's the same in any sport. It is massive, but especially with the context of it. They're not going to want us to go there and win that tonight. They'll do absolutely anything they can to stop us. We've just got to be better than them on the night, and I'm sure that we will be."

City will be going all out tonight to try and get the job done, but if it doesn't happen, the visit to FC United of Manchester (2pm) on Sunday will provide one final opportunity.

"I think it's really nice that it's in our hands," she said. "We've got two bites of the cherry. We've got tonight and we've got Sunday, which is nice. We've only just been top of the league in the last couple of weeks, we've been just like chasing people all season.

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"So to actually be at the top is really nice. I think we've been nervous in the last few weeks because we know how much it means to everyone. I think we've had a bit of a change in that sort of mentality in the last couple of weeks.

"We've all sat down and had a chat and talked about different things, and rather than it being nervous sort of energy, it's more of an excitement now.

"We've had those nerves, we've done it for the last three weeks, let's just play our football and don't worry about what the other team is going to do, if we play our football, we know we're good enough to beat anybody in this league. We've done it for 80/95 per cent of the season so far, so just play our football and be aggressive in everything that we do and we know that we can beat both of these two teams."

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