Devs cling on to well-fought victory.
Huddersfield Town Women’s Development Squad beat FC United of Manchester Women 2-1 at the Stafflex Arena on Sunday afternoon.
The match was a tale of two halves, and the first started in a quite attacking manner from Town. Within the first six minutes, two big chances arose. First, Macy Ellis drove into the box and dribbled passed two defenders, but the shot was just dragged wide past the post. Then, a few minutes later, Sian Gibril-Keating held off a defender and found another pass to Ellis who got in a shot from a tight angle, but the keeper covered her near post well and put the ball behind for a corner.
FC United had very few chances, but a long range effort was tipped behind for a corner by ‘keeper Lauren Joyce. The subsequent corner was thumped clear by Kayley Hird, where Ellis was waiting. The ball dropped to her feet and she was one on one with the keeper, but took far too many touches and lost the ball.
The standout feature from Town in the first half an hour was the high press on FC United’s defence and this tactic almost resulted in a goal. The ‘keeper’s clearance was poor and hit the back of Ellis and the ball just travelled wide of the post – sparing FC United’s blushes.
After that, there weren’t many chances for Town, Gibril-Keating was denied by a defender one on one, who made a great tackle. And headers from Tara Duce didn’t really produce much of a threat.
Shortly after, though, the breakthrough came from FC United. A corner, which was whipped into the box and squarely met, beat Joyce and the defenders and ended up nestling in the bottom corner to make it 1-0 to the away side. But Town were determined to get the equaliser after dominating the majority of the half and it came five minutes later when Ellis linked up with Cassidy Clift, playing a nice one-two. Clift took a touch to set herself up for the shot which sailed into the bottom left corner to equalise for Town
FC United looked riled up for another goal towards the end of the half when a low ball from out wide was met square from two yards out but, to the delight of Joyce, it hit the top of the crossbar, bounced out and was cleared away. FC United went one-on-one with Joyce again who quite brilliantly stopped the striker from scoring a tap-in to keep the scores level at half time.
Five minutes after the restart, Town were in again once more as Clift slipped a ball through to Ellis who then skipped passed the goalkeeper and finished into an empty net to give herself a well-deserved goal after so many opportunities in the first half.
But for much of the second half, FC United were searching for and equaliser and Town were very much on the defensive – with their defensive unit working overtime to keep out the attackers of FC United. The goal nearly came after the hour when Joyce was caught in no man’s land but, thankfully, the ball ended up in the side netting and Town were still ahead. The game went into a lull after that, with FC United being denied at every opportunity by Town’s excellent defensive work which was rewarded at full time when they held on to win by two goals to one.
Match report by: Oliver Holmes