8th March 2020
Huddersfield Town Women 1 – 1 Nottingham Forest
Town started the better side and immediately got their reward as Hannah Smith battled well to force Georgia Marshall’s long throw into the path of Lucy Sowerby who fired a rocket over the ‘keeper and into the roof of the net – marking her 50thstart for the club with her 20thgoal of the season.
But Forest have a prolific striker of their own. Precious Hamilton is the league’s top scorer so far in 2019/20 and midway through the first half she showed why. The Forest no.11 showed her marker a clean pair of heels before fizzing a crisp strike just wide of the far post.
The Terriers lost the reverse fixture 2-1 in Nottingham back in the Autumn and showed far more belief and endeavour in this one. Their high pressing and quick transitions proving too much for the away side through to the break.
Having won all seven of their previous three matches, Town haven’t won since the 4-1 defeat to Ipswich Town in the FA Cup and so the half-time lead served as a much-needed confidence booster for a side whose season now rests on a faltering title challenge and success in the County Cup.
But Huddersfield’s inconsistent form has been prevalent all season and reared its head again in the second half when the away side won the ball back straight from the kick off and were desperately unlucky not to equalise on not one, but two occasions.
First, they saw an effort take a deflection and come back off the upright, before a shot flashed just wide of the left-hand post with Town’s ‘keeper beaten.
And Town kept living dangerously when goalkeeper Lauren Joyce rolled the ball straight to the opposition, only to be saved by an over-hit cross and a late flag.
The away side were by far the better side and it took a superb last-ditch challenge from centre back Marshall to deny a certain equaliser as the visitors took the game to the hosts.
Hannah Smith and Georgia Stevens were then replaced by Sarah Danby and Laura Elford as manager Ashley Vickers looked to sure things up in midfield whilst also adding firepower up front.
By this point, Town had rediscovered a foothold in proceedings and it was Danby who almost sealed the three points when her corner was palmed onto the underside of the Forest crossbar.
But then, the sucker punch. The away side went straight down the other end and, after Joyce repeated her opposite number’s feat, Hamilton was on hand to nod home unchallenged from six yards out to draw the visitors level.
Huddersfield weren’t deterred by the setback, however. The home side dominated large parts of what remained and almost won it in injury time when Laura Elford sent a header wide in injury time.
Despite their best efforts, though, both sides had to settle for point which serves neither well as they both slip further behind Sunderland at the top of the table meaning that it is do or die for Town’s title challenge when they travel to West Brom next weekend.
Match report by : Jack Walker