Devs narrowly edged in thriller
Huddersfield Town Women’s Development Squad played Ossett United Women’s first team on Sunday afternoon at the Stafflex Arena.
Town went into the game on the back of two straight wins, but the last time Town faced Ossett was in a friendly last year, which they lost 5-0. Since then, however, Town have made giant steps in their performances and this game was testament to that.
Two minutes in, Town immediately set the ball rolling when Tara Duce headed a ball onto Sian Gibril-Keating who made a run into the box and slid the ball to the far post where young player Abbygale fired it in to the goal to give Town the lead
Little opportunities came the way for Town in the minutes that followed quickly after, only a few shots off target were amassed. Ossett United hardly broke into Town’s half but near the half-hour mark, a melee of chances came and went for Ossett.
The first shot looked like an easy tap into the goal if it wasn’t for Lois Scholefield making and crucial block and Laura Carter made a superb save in goal on the rebound to keep Ossett at bay before the ball was eventually hit over the bar.
The chances then started to open up for both teams and it wasn’t long before Duce attempted a shot from outside the box, curling towards the far corner. The ball hit the under-side of the crossbar and bounced suggestively, before the ‘keeper caught it. The referee had to wait a few seconds before he finally decided the ball had crossed the line and Town extended their lead.
Then, within a matter of minutes, Ossett pulled one back from a short corner which was headed in at the near post. And no sooner had Ossett pulled one back, they equalised through a free kick that was tipped onto the bar by Carter, but the rebound was knocked in.
However, Town were determined to go in at half time in the lead and responded magnificently through Duce again, this time from a lovely though ball from Gibril-Keating. Duce who slotted it passed the keeper one on one and Town went into half-time 3-2 up.
The second half started fast paced and Ossett looked to equalise with a one on one with Carter, but the veteran shot-stopper tipped the ball out for a corner.
Town nearly extend their lead to two again. Another ball through from Gibril-Keating was put over the bar by Leoni Price and Scholefield had another chance to extend, but her curling shot from a wide angle didn’t bend enough and went just wide.
On the hour mark, Ossett equalised with a good finish in the box. The striker cut inside, made space for herself and shot the ball passed Carter into the far corner to make it 3-3.
The game then went into a rare lull, with neither team making any opportunities until an outrageous hat-trick effort from Duce. Out wide and from 35 yards out, Duce took a looping effort that dipped at the last moment to beat the ‘keeper. Had it not been for the bar, Town would have retaken the lead.
But it wasn’t to be and ten minutes from time, Ossett fired a shot in the box passed Town defenders, which made its way beyond Carter in goal to give Ossett the lead for the first time – and also the win.A disappointing defeat for Town, but a much improved team from a year ago.
Report by: Oliver Holmes