Stoke 1 – 1 Huddersfield (after Extra Time)
Penalties: 3-4 – Town progress to 3rd round
Teenage goalkeeper wins shootout at Stoke to send Town Women to FA Cup third round.
Town Women won a second dramatic FA Cup shootout in as many seasons to book their place in the third round of the competition.
Last season saw the most remarkable result as they came from 3-0 down away at Charlton to win 5-4 on penalties, and they were up to old tricks in Staffordshire.18-year-old goalkeeper Olivia Clark saved the decisive penalty as Town beat Stoke City 4-3 on spot kicks after the two sides played out a 1-1 draw in normal time, followed by extra time..
Laura Elford – after missing a guilt-edged chance moments earlier – gave the travelling Terriers a dream start, flicking the ball up before firing a powerful volley across the Stoke ‘keeper into the far corner of the net.
Town dominated large parts of the game and should have been further ahead before Stoke worked their way back in.
First, the hosts rattled the crossbar with a long-range effort before missing a great chance as their number 9 blazed over from 10 yards after Huddersfield failed to clear a corner.
The away side, who made the fifth round of the competition last season, led until the 82nd minute when more poor set-piece defending gifted Stoke a deserved equaliser to take the game to extra time.
Both sides missed chances in the extra thirty minutes, most notably when Emma Samways was unable beat the Stoke ‘keeper when clean through with Lucy Sowerby in support, and so penalties were to decide a very close contest
The Terriers beat Charlton 5-4 in a shootout last season but then lost to Barnsley in the County Cup Final in the same manner, so there nerves were jangling in the stands.
The same can’t be said for the players, however, as Kate Mallin and Sarah Danby – who missed from twelve yards against Barnsley – fired Town to a 2-1 lead.
Beth Stanfield missed Town’s fourth penalty, but Clark was, quite literally, on hand to push the away from her left-hand post to send the Terriers into the third round.