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MATCH REPORT: Town Blast Through Boldmere St Michaels in League Cup

Report by Cameron Felton

Seventh heaven for Town as they turn on the style against Boldmere St Michaels in the Women’s National League Cup Determining Round.

PHOTO: JESS HORNBY

Huddersfield Town Women turned on the style as they dispatched National League Division 1 Midlands side Boldmere St Michaels, looking to right the wrongs of last week after the disappointing 4-0 defeat away at Burnley last weekend.
Brooke Marsden and Britt Sanderson grabbing braces, with Ria Montgomery, Kate Mallin and Lucy Sowerby also finding the back of the net for Steve Appleton’s side.

Town started the first period strong with Marsden coming closest in the opening five with her shot being blocked by the Boldmere defence, but the deadlock was soon broken in the sixth as Montgomery’s amazing run wasn’t dealt with and she put the ball past Daisy Jenkins in the Boldmere goal.

PHOTO: JESS HORNBY

11 minutes later Boldmere were on terms after Macy Fox found enough space in Town’s box to finish past Becky Flaherty in the town goal, from then on Town really started piling the pressure on, Sanderson firing just wide from outside the box not long after.

Town retook the lead after 18 minutes, Marsden getting the first of her double after tapping in from close range.
The division one side nearly hit back straight away but their shot fizzed over Flaherty’s goal and Boldmere were made to pay. Five minutes later, Town stretched further in front after a deflected ball forward fell at the feet of Sanderson and she fired into the back of the net for her first of the game.

The half-way mark of the period passed, and Town could’ve extended their lead, Marsden getting on the end of a fantastic cross and forced Boldmere keeper Jenkins into a save, moments later Sowerby nearly snuck one into the far-right top corner, her venomous shot hitting the back of a Boldmere defender and cannoning back off the underside of the bar.

PHOTO: JESS HORNBY

Two minutes later it was Boldmere’s turn to hit the bar, after some brilliant interception play, the ball is played forward and luckily for town bounces off the bar and they’re able to clear any danger.

Still more drama in the 1st period as Town so nearly had a fourth as a bouncing ball wasn’t dealt with by the Boldmere defence and bounces over the ‘keeper but a defender manages to get back and clear off the line.

The second period started just as dramatic as the first finished, Town hitting the bar again after getting round the keeper and getting a shot away and moments later Georgia Marshall comes close with her header.

Sanderson got her second of the game two minutes later as Boldmere hesitated on the ball and a wayward pass fell straight at Sanderson’s feet and she placed it past Jenkins in the visitor’s goal.

PHOTO: JESS HORNBY

Mallin was straight into the action after coming off the bench as she gets down the line to deliver a brilliant ball into Sowerby, the latter unable to convert from close range. Moments later Mallin extended town’s lead after a brilliant ball over the top is matched with a brilliantly timed run and kept her composure whilst bearing down goal and coolly stroked the ball into the far-left corner, well out the reach of Jenkins outstretched arms.

The action didn’t stop there as town were running rampant and three minutes later made it six as Sowerby’s effort hits the post but rebounds to an acceptant Marsden, who tapped home for Towns sixth and her second.

10 minutes before the end Annie Highway got a goal back for the visitors but Sowerby finally found the net for Town after an afternoon of frustration for the forward. Boldmere giving a freekick away just over 18 yards out, slightly left of centre and the Town forward did no more than smash the ball towards goal and watching her shot cannon off the inside of the post and nestle in the opposite corner without bouncing. An impressive goal to finish and impressive performance off the Terriers and booking their place in the next round of the league cup.

PHOTO: JESS HORNBY

Manager Steve Appleton speaking after the game:

I think on occasions we looked comfortable in the game, but you can’t switch off, Boldmere scored two goals, second ones a really good finish probably not much we could’ve done about that one but the first goals a bit sloppy on our point of view

After last weekend’s disappointing defeat at Burnley, Appleton said his team have been a bit inconsistent but was much happier after this afternoon’s emphatic win in front of the terriers fans at the Stafflex,

“You’ve got to be happy, were in the next round of the cup, we’ve scored seven goals and some of our football was superb and Boldmere came here to cause an upset so we had to be professional with what we did and we know the players reacted in the right way”

Town are next in action against Wolverhampton Wanderers on Sunday 26th September with a 2pm kick-off time here at the Stafflex Arena

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MATCH PREVIEW: Town kick off Cup at Home

The Women’s National League cup returns for another season as Huddersfield Town Women welcome, Division One Midlands table toppers, Boldmere St Michaels to the Stafflex Arena on Sunday afternoon.

Town will be looking to make a winning start in this year’s competition, which returns to the fixture calendar for the first time since 2019 due to the pandemic. Huddersfield will also want to redeem themselves following their disappointing 4-0 loss away to Burnley last week. Manager Steve Appleton says inconsistency has cost his team so far this season.

“We’ve been inconsistent so far this season but as with any period of transition, we won’t be perfect overnight, although there has been lots of positives so far.”

Sunday’s visitors have made a fantastic start to the season taking 13 points from an available 15. They started the season with an impressive 8-1 victory against Bedworth United and have stayed unbeaten. Despite their lower league status, Appleton has warned his side about being complacent with the lower league opposition:

“Our opponents are in the league below, but they have made a good start to their season, so we need to avoid complacency and treat them with the respect they deserve.”

This will be Town’s first Sunday fixture at home this season with their only other home fixture ending as a draw against local rivals Brighouse Town several Wednesdays ago. Appleton has called out for Terriers fans to back the team this weekend.

“It’ll be good to get back in front of our supporters, I hope we get a good following, and the fans are behind the team after a tough week.”

Kick-off is from 2pm Sunday at the Stafflex Arena, with match updates via Twitter @HTAFCWomen.

Tickets are available on the gate and are priced as follows.
Adults: £5
Concessions: £3
Kids: Free

Please note that it is Cash Only at the Stafflex Arena.

Preview by Cameron Felton.

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MATCH REPORT: Town Lose to Burnley 4-0

Huddersfield Town Women suffered their first loss of the season following a 4-0 thrashing away to Burnley.

It was a day to forget for the Terriers as they went behind within the first minutes of the game, setting the tone for the rest of the match. Goals from Burnley’s Courtney Willis, Nic Worthington, Millie Ravening and Lizzy Hamer made sure Steve Appleton’s side suffered their first league defeat since they played Burnley away last season (2020/21). This result means that Huddersfield stays on 8 points following the first 5 games of the season.

Despite a quick attack following the opening whistle by Lucy Sowerby, it was Burnley who struck the back of the net just a minute and a half into the game. Willis managed to take advantage of a rebound following a good stop by Bethan Davies in goal. The next half hour would see both sides trying to control the game with notable chances including goal-mouth scrambles and shots flying over the bar. Both goalkeepers were kept busy through making confident saves when required. However, Burnley would gain a penalty kick towards the end of the first half – converted by Worthington. 

The second half start mirrored the first with the Terriers finding themselves three goals behind within the opening minutes. Ravening’s shot being fired towards the right post and having a lucky bounce into the back of the net. Just 10 minutes later Burnley officially finished-off the game when they found the net for the fourth time when Hamer beat the offside trap to score against Davies in a 1-on-1. The rest of the half featured Burnley hitting the bar and Town enjoying their first good spells of the game. The full time whistle couldn’t come soon enough.

Following the match, Huddersfield manager Steve Appleton said his side needed to improve:

“Burnley got what they deserved and we got what we deserved – it’s as simple as that. We didn’t play well and Burnley took advantage of every mistake we made. Burnley got three points and they deserved it.”

“I have the mindset that defeats in games happen and although the score line suggests it’s a bad defeat – it would only be a really bad defeat if we don’t learn our lessons from it and move forward. We need to take the lessons we learnt into the next game and put it right. We lost three points but if we learn from it and recover well then maybe this is a blessing in disguise.”

Huddersfield Town Women take a break from league action as they face Boldmere St Michael’s in the league cup next Sunday.

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MATCH PREVIEW: Burnley Away

Huddersfield Town Women travel away to Burnley for their fifth league game in the FAWNL.

This will be Town’s fourth away game in five as they look to maintain their unbeaten start to the season. However Burnley were the only team to take all three points from Town last season in a 2-1 win. This is something manager Steve Appleton is aware of:

“Whether you win, lose or draw against Burnley, it’s always a tough game, so that’s exactly what we’re preparing for on Sunday.

Burnley are a strong side defensively and can break quickly in possession and we’ll have to play well to get a result, but these are the challenges you look forward to every week at this level and we have to be ready for the best version of Burnley at the weekend.”

The Lancashire side sit 9th in the league on just three points. They opened the season with a 4-0 win against Sheffield FC before a 4-1 loss to Nottingham, a 2-0 loss to Fylde and last week a 2-1 loss to Derby County.

Meanwhile Huddersfield are 5th in the table following two wins and two draws. Manager, Steve commented on this run:

“I think our performances have improved with each game, so we are gaining momentum every week, so the key thing now is to continue to build it.

We’re still settling in to our style of play and the team has changed each week, so it’s still a period of transition really, but that said, there’s no reason why we shouldn’t look for consistency as the season progresses.”

Kick off is from 2pm Sunday, with match updates via Twitter @HTAFCWomen.

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MATCH REPORT: Town Score Five Past Loughborough

Success for Huddersfield Town Women on Sunday afternoon as they score five away at Loughborough Lightning.

PHOTO CREDIT: JESS HORNBY

Huddersfield Town kicked off their second game of the week away at Loughborough on Sunday and for the second weekend running, secured the three points. 

The Terriers got off to the livelier start of the two sides, opening the scoring in the first five minutes. Lucy Sowerby found space up front and put the ball in the back of the net after a lovely run.

But the fiery start did not stop there! Town doubled their lead just 10 minutes later, with Brittany Sanderson unmarked in the box following a lovely cross from Paige Crossman. The midfielder had plenty of time to control her feet and find the back of the net, with Loughborough struggling to settle. 

As the first half continued, Loughborough started to get into the game and string a few passes together and before long Abbie Benstead scored for the hosts just four minutes before the break.

The first half saw plenty of chances for both sides, with Bethan Davies and Loughborough goalkeeper Holly Mayfield producing a number of exceptional saves for their respective sides.

With the second half getting underway, Town had a one-goal lead and the Terriers knew they had a tough 45 minutes ahead of them as they looked to extend their unbeaten start to the season.

PHOTO: JESS HORNBY

However, just six minutes into the restart, Town restored their lead back to a two-goal margin. A good piece of play from Kate Mallin found Loughborough ‘keeper Mayfield in no mans land, and with Laura Elford in the middle of the box, a simple tap in started the second half in the same way the first half did. 

After the third goal, both sides saw plenty of the ball, with the Terriers aiming to maintain their lead, whilst their opponents pushed for another goal. However, Town found the back of the net with just five minutes to go. 

Loughborough tried to play the ball across their back line, and a misplaced pass to Mayfield was miss-hit by the shotstopper, who played Mallin in for a simple pass in over the goal line. With just five minutes to go, Town had all but secured the three points.

The Terriers did not stop with their four goals however, and with less than one minute left on the clock, Sowerby struck a dangerous free kick into the box and Elford was on hand to add to her tally.

Steve Appleton was delighted with his sides performance at full-time, he said:

“You can never expect to score five goals, but I think I said on Wednesday, we have created chances in our other games and I just thought it was a matter of time before they started to go in. Five goals is a nice way to finish the weekend.

“The goalkeepers have been outstanding this season and we have been sloppy on occasion, but that’s football, at this level you switch off and opponents are going to capitalise and that’s what Loughborough did today and fair play to them, it was a great cross and a good goal, but we responded in the right way and we have gone on to win the game by a decent score line.”

A successful afternoon for Town who stretch their unbeaten run to four games at the start of the new season. The Terriers will continue their preparations during the week and travel to Burnley for their first game of September on Sunday. 

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MATCH PREVIEW: Loughborough Away

Huddersfield head to Loughborough this Sunday in their fourth league game of the season. The Terriers have been on an unbeaten start in the league following two draws and the win last Sunday.

The university team merged with Loughborough Foxes to become Loughborough Lightning and play their home games at the Loughborough University Stadium. This was one team Huddersfield didn’t face last season due to COVID disrupting the fixture calender, however the season before saw the Terriers victorious against the Midlands side including a competitive game in the Women’s FA Cup.

Jess Hornby

Loughborough come into this game unbeaten too following a 2-2 draw at home to Hull and a dominant 3-0 win against Sheffield FC. Town manager, Steve Appleton says his team are prepared:

I expect every game to be tough and Loughborough will be no exception, it’s another away game for us, but the squad will arrive on Sunday ready for the battle.

I expect them to be well prepared, focused and ready to produce a performance worthy of taking the three points.

Jess Hornby

This game also brings an end to the August fixture list with the season starting on the 15th. Steve reflected on the start to his time as Huddersfield manager:

It’s been quite hectic, with four games coming within the first two weeks of the season, but saying that, I’ve loved every second, the players and staff have made it easy for me to settle into the job and we’re working well together.

Kick off is from 2pm Sunday, with match updates via Twitter @HTAFCWomen.

By Oliver Eaton

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MATCH REPORT: Town Women Held at Home Against Brighouse Town on Wednesday Night at the Stafflex Arena

Huddersfield Town Women played out a thrilling game of football against local rivals Brighouse Town with early chances, both teams having the fair share of possession during the 90 minutes. The first half was intriguing to say the least as both teams enjoyed attacking, free flowing football under the lights with a packed house watching on.

In the 14th minute mark the visitors were to create their first real chance in the opening period out of both teams, the ball delivered into the box but snatched at, as it slowly crept into the goalkeepers gloves.

As the contest took its cause under the lights, a good tackle by Paige Crossman was aplauded by the fans with groans following the referees verdict of a thrown in for the visitors. Brighouse themselves continued to threaten piling on their own pressure, up for the fight as they used the wings numerous times to try and exploit the Terriers. A real battle was on our hands from attack to defence as both managers looked on from the touchline.

There were some mistakes made by the Terriers backline but these went unpunished, the Terriers would then go into the break finishing the first half the strongest after winning two corners in quick succession.

Moments later there were cries of a back pass as the Brighouse keeper was adjudged to have breached the ball back into her gloves. Becky Flaherty was highly reponsible in making the biggest impact in the first period making a game defining save just on the brink of half time, saving from the spot wonderfully after Georgia Marshall fouled in the penalty area. This meant both teams went into the break all square with all to do in the second half.

Town put together their first opportunity of the second period straight away fired up from the dressing room, Kate Mallin weaving in and out trying to find the corner, just after Becky Flaherty made another great save this time in a one on one situation. The goalkeeper consistent as ever as she continued to cover nicely running out and getting to the ball first after a Brighouse counter attack in the 57th minute.

Something was to give and this became a reality with 18 minutes to go on the clock. Britt Sanderson converting from close range after the corner kick was delivered in. She was there to poke home. With Steve Appleton going to reinforcements to try and keep hold of the lead or even double it. The visitors looked for a late goal and got their wish as Town were left heartbroken in the last stages the contest ending 1-1.

Steve Appleton, Town manager was left disappointed after his team conceded late on. “It is disappointing it was a very good performance by the girls, I thought we were the better team throughout the game. A bit of a soft penalty which Becky saved again and then the late goal and it’s the only few occasions where I feel they have laid a glove on us. But at this level of football you switch off and teams will take advantage and unfortunately that’s what happened there.”

Appleton is aware his team has a great deal of quality. “I can’t argue with the effort and commitment of the players, they have absolutely everything tonight including a really good performance all round and in the heat of a Derby game to sort of play with the intelligence, the attitude was superb.”

On the goalkeeping option with Bethan Davies available and Becky Flaherty performing well once again. Appleton said, “The goalkeeping situation is a huge part but is isn’t a problem for me personally, it’s fantastic to have such quality in both keepers, the situation is good one.”

With the game out the way at home the Terriers will face Loughborough away this Sunday. Steve Appleton will need to gather his troops ahead of another big game in the league campaign.

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MATCH PREVIEW: Town Women take on Brighouse Town in the FAWNL at the Stafflex Arena on Wednesday evening

Town Women host local rivals Brighouse Town in their third game of the season at home in front of fans on Wednesday evening. The fixture is a late 7.45pm kick off with many fans from both sides expected through the gates to witness the action. 

Jessica Hornby

Despite being in separate leagues last season, both teams met in a thrilling 1-1 draw that saw the Terriers victorious during the penalty shootout. If this Women’s FA Cup match was anything to go by, then Wednesday is set to be another tight contest. Brighouse have also shown that they have an attacking threat with 7 goals scored in 2 games.

Previously Huddersfield made it their first win of the season as they beat Middlesbrough 3-1 at Billingham Town Football Club on Sunday. Ria Montgomery opened the scoring, a long range strike chopped over the keeper, her first official goal for Town in the 14th minute. Laura Elford made it two 4 minutes later with Katie Stanley finishing the game off in style 5 minutes before half time smashing the ball into the back of the net from close range.

Jessica Hornby

Interim Manager Steve Appleton gave his take on the feeling around the club at this stage.

“I feel very fortunate to be able to work with such a talented group of players and be part of a club with great staff with the ambition to be successful.”

On his knowledge of the opposition having been involved in the Women’s Football pyramid for some time, Appleton said: 

“I’ve been previously involved at Stoke Women and Liverpool Feds over a number of seasons and have continually followed the league wherever I’ve been coaching. I’ve come up against a lot of teams and players in our league, so I can prepare for games with some knowledge of our opponents as well as putting together a game plan for ourselves.”

The Town Manager admits the occasion is massive with a homecoming for his side. Appleton is committed in keeping momentum going from the successful season last year. 

“You can’t get better than a home debut, under the lights against a local rival, I’m really looking forward to it and hopefully we’ll get a good crowd behind us, support good the team.”

“It’s about maintaining a degree of continuity, the club was in a great position when I took over, so the plan is to build on that, we’ve made some great additions to our squad, we’ll try to make some small adjustments to our playing style, but we’re trying to make the transition from pre pandemic to now, as seamless as possible.”

He is relieved to see fans back in the football world and understands what the nature of the game means to so many around the world.

“It’s been so long since anyone has been able to watch football, so just having our supporters there will be a massive boost to everyone and from a personal standpoint, I’m looking forward to meeting with as many as I can.”

“I’ve learnt very quickly how much this game means to the players and from my experience of being involved in local derby’s, I’m expecting nothing less than a full blooded affair, with both teams giving their all for the 3 points. Last seasons FA Cup game won’t count for anything on the day, it’s all about Wednesday night and I couldn’t be happier to be a part of it.”

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MATCH REPORT: First win secured: Town Win 3-1 in Middlesbrough

Huddersfield Town Women were in pursuit of their first win of the season, as they faced a daring Middlesbrough Women team. Several chances fell for both teams during the 90 minutes, with defences being tested to the max.

During the early minutes of the game, Katie Stanley rose above the Boro’ defence as she took the ball from a defender and tried a shot, which was caught by the keeper near her right post.

Whilst bringing the ball forward, a brilliantly executed run by Mallin reached the opposition box but her shot was deflected out for a corner. The Terriers worked the ball out from the corner, eventually reaching Ria Montgomery, who disguised a cross into a perfect chip that lobbed the keeper and gave Ria her first goal for Town.

Plenty of chances fell in quick succession for Town, as Stanley received the ball on the left wing and dribbled magnificently from the half-way line up into the box before aiming a low cross to Elford who struck the ball into the back of the net, giving Town a two goal advantage at Middlesbrough.

After conceding, Boro responded quickly and managed to pull back a goal from a neat finish by Jess Foster, taking advantage of Town’s defence. Middlesbrough started to ease into the match and became a threat on the attack, testing Flaherty between the sticks. Another chance came for Boro, but once again Flaherty denied an equaliser with a fantastic save from close range.

Just before half-time, Stanley received the ball and converted from close range, giving Town their third goal in the first half, an excellent performance so far in the game.

Town continued to attack fiercely during the second half. Mallin took the defender on and beat her to have a slight chance at chipping the keeper, but sadly, the ball fell out of play before she could capitalise. Both sides made changes whilst entering the final 30 minutes.

Becky Flaherty was immense in goal, showing off her excellent reflexes with a close range save. Another effort was denied by her, keeping Town with a two-goal advantage late on in the game. Both sides tested each other in the second half, but only a few chances were big in comparison to the first half.

The full time whistle blew marking Huddersfield’s first win of the season. But now focus has to be adjusted onto their next game against Brighouse, which will be an exciting local rivalry in which The Terriers are looking to claim the bragging rights.

Manager, Steve Appleton post-match said:  

“[I’m] really happy with the win, a good three points. We’ve had two tricky away games and have come away with four points. So I am happy about that.”

“We showed three good parts to our game. We showed quality at times which created the opportunities and goals. We dug in and worked hard when we didn’t have the ball when Middlesbrough were on top. It’s a good three points and we’re happy.

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MATCH PREVIEW: Town Women Travel to Middlesbrough in FAWNL

Town Women continue their FAWNL campaign away at Middlesbrough after they took a point from their first game of the season.  A late penalty save by goalkeeper Bethan Davies secured the draw for the Terriers in their opening weekend.

Town look to build on last weekends draw as they travel to Middlesbrough on Sunday. Last season, Boro was the only team the Terriers played both at home and away, and were victorious in both games. 

With seven goals for Town between the two fixtures, Brittany Sanderson scored three, Kate Mallin bagged two and Laura Elford and former player Sarah Danby got a goal each. 

This Sunday is expected to be as fiery as the two previous ties, with both teams looking for their first win of the season.

Last weekend, Town travelled to Nottingham Forest where they drew, compared to Boro who lost to Wolves away from home. 

Manager Steve Appleton spoke ahead of the away game:

“It was really important to get something from the first game, although it wasn’t the performance we wanted, we’re off the mark and we can look ahead to Middlesbrough now. 

“We’ve trained really well this week, everyone has looked sharp and focused, we’ll be expecting an improved performance on Sunday. 

“Boro obviously didn’t get the result they would’ve wanted against Wolves last weekend, so I expect them to be fired up for their first home game, but the only pressure we have, is our own expectations really. 

“I’d expect similar challenges to the Forest game, a team, playing their first home game and looking to get a positive result, they’ll be at us from the first whistle, but we’re prepared and we’ll be ready.”

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