Tash Baptiste struck twice as Stoke City Women won 3-1 at the Stafflex Arena as Huddersfield Town Women crashed out of a second Cup competition in a week.
Having lost 4-1 to Ipswich at the John Smith’s Stadium last time out, Town were determined to get back to winnings ways – the Terriers had won their seven previous games – but Lucy Sowerby’s equaliser was the only moment of quality that they produced in the ninety minutes.
The away side took the lead early on when a long ball split the Huddersfield defence and Baptiste’s shot was too powerful for Olivia Clark in the Town net who could only palm the ball into the side netting
Ellie White and Kate Mallin did strike the woodwork as the Terriers searched tirelessly for a route back into the match after Amy Hughes and Baptiste’s second gave the Potters a two-goal advantage, but it wasn’t to be.
Manager Ashley Vickers criticised his side’s poor start against Ipswich in the previous match and thus made defensive and tactical changes for this game – bringing Georgia Marshall into central defence, pushing captain Charley Evans into midfield and swapping to a 4-3-3 formation.
The changes, however, did not faze the away side who came with a game plan and executed it to perfection.
Stoke were never comfortable in the game, but avenged the two defeats against Town earlier in the season.
The Terriers won 2-1 in only the third weekend of the league campaign before winning a penalty shootout in the second round of the FA Cup in the Potteries.
And they return to Staffordshire to face Stoke again next weekend as fixture pile ups and rotations see the two clubs clash two weeks in a row.
After such a positive start, 2019/20 is threatening to be a season to forget for Huddersfield who find themselves sixth in the league and out of both major Cup competitions just a month into the near year.
However, before the league hiatus, Town had won their last two matches in the division so will still travel to Staffordshire in confident mood.
And there is still the County Cup to play for. The Terriers lost to Barnsley in the final last season and, after the semi-final draw pitted the blue and whites against Sheffield FC on Friday, the two old rivals could be on course for another classic showdown as Town look to regain their crown.
Next week the first team travel to Stoke for a league game, 2pm ko