CHORLEY Ladies were left thinking of what might have been as they suffered a 1-0 defeat to Leeds United.

Meghan Pope started in goal with Janet Mitchell, Kerry Nickson, Megan Searson and Lisa Topping making the back four. Just in front was the midfield quartet of Rachel Wood, Kathy Bonner, Laura Walker and Vicky Coope. Whilst Scarlett Smith and Melissa Ball completed the attack.

The game was played at Victory Park welcoming new supporters of all ages to come and watch a brilliant advert for women’s football.

Leeds United took the lead after three minutes against the run of play when a free kick was awarded to the visitors and from 30 yards out, the Leeds defender Bridie Hannon took a shot on goal.

The ball thumped against the crossbar before hitting Pope and deflecting into the goal.

Smith was causing problems for the Leeds defence and she felt that she should have had a penalty when she was bundled over in the area after breaking through their defensive line. Smith was again in the thick of the action when she peeled onto the left hand side before whipping in a cross which Ball was just inches away from in the six yard area. Coope then came close but the keeper made a fine save.

On the half-hour,Coope delivered a corner from the right hand side and after it wasn’t cleared properly, Smith reacted to get a powerful header onto the ball. The whole of the ball clearly crossed the line as it dropped from the crossbar which was confirmed by photographic evidence however, the officials didn’t spot this and allowed play to resume.

The game was a bit scrappy after this with neither side creating many chances but Chorley were the better side despite going into the break 0-1 down. After the restart, it was Chorley who maintained their dominance in the game. Mitchell was linking well with Coope on the right hand side whilst Walker and Bonner were pushing forward to try and force an equaliser.

Ball was replaced by Jodie Pilling in attack to add some pace and Pilling almost made an immediate impact when she rounded the goalkeeper and squared for Smith but she couldn’t keep her shot down with only the defender on the line to beat. Demi Devereaux came on for her debut replacing Mitchell and Maddy Cullin replaced the injured Wood in the second half. All substitutes added pace to the attack and Chorley were dominating. However, they were nearly caught out when a long ball was latched onto by the winger who threaded it into the box for an unmarked Leeds player. Pope came out brilliantly to deny her space and to save a shot from point blank range. Unfortunately, despite a flurry of late chances, Chorley lost the game which was completely undeserved given they were the better side.