Loughborough Foxes 0 – 6 Huddersfield Town
Laura Elford (2), Ella Harris, Katie Nutter, Lucy Sowerby, Leah Embley
Huddersfield Town Women claimed their first league win of the 2019/20 season with a brilliant 6-0 win over Loughborough Foxes at the Dovecote Stadium.
The game started at a frantic pace, with Laura Elford sending a shot into the side netting at the near post and, despite Loughborough’s best efforts, Town always looked the more likely team to open the scoring.
And just past the ten-minute mark, the away side took the lead.
Town’s high pressure enabled Ella Harris to venture forward from left-back. The defender then collected the ball, knocked it out of her feet and fired a rocket past Amy Burke in the Loughborough goal. Not long after, Elford was after a goal herself. In fact, she got two in as many minutes.
First, a pinpoint cross found her unmarked in the area and Town’s no.10 fired a beautiful half-volley into the top corner, before scoring a brilliant solo goal too.
Collecting the ball just outside the area, she burst into it – beating her marker with ease – before burying a crisp, low striker into the bottom corner to put the Terriers in cruise control midway through the first half.
In their two previous games this season – against Fylde and Nottingham Forest – Town had long spells where they were second-best, but the travelling Terriers never looked like letting their lead slip in this one and strengthened their grip even further when Katie Nutter scored her first goal of the season five minutes before the break.
Kate Mallin’s darting runs in behind the Foxes’ backline was a source of danger all afternoon and her cross fell to Nutter who threw herself at the ball bravely to steer it into the back of the net four number four.
And Town’s dominance continued in the second half as Leah Embley, who replaced Elford on the hour mark, slid the ball to Lucy Sowerby who left her marker on the floor before slotting the ball home for her fifth of the season – and her side’s fifth of the day.
Loughborough’s goalkeeper had little help from the women in front of her all afternoon, but she was solely responsible for Town’s sixth of the game.
The ‘keeper barked orders at her full back, without realising that the Terriers were on the attack and Embley, a summer signing from Burnley, took full advantage of her poor positioning with a beautiful lob to open her Huddersfield account in style.
Loughborough, who went into the game top of the league after beating Hull City 7-3 on the opening day, then almost had the same number inflicted on them, but were saved by the woodwork as Nutter saw her effort crash back off the crossbar.
There was, however, a bitter pill to swallow for Town as Charley Evans was sent off late on for a bad challenge. But this shouldn’t detract from the best performance so far this season – both offensively and defensively. The Terriers only kept two clean sheets in the league last term, so to get one on the board so early on in 2019/20 is another reason for optimism.
Four points from their opening two games is the least that Town will have wanted, but manner in which they beat Loughborough is a statement to the rest of the league and with the visits of Hull and Stoke City next week, they have a real chance to lay down a marker to the other teams in the division.
Match report by Jack Walker