MATCH PREVIEW: HUDDERSFIELD TOWN DEVS VS CHORLEY WOMEN

Huddersfield Town Women Devs face an important top of the table clash against title rivals Chorley Women.

PHOTO: Jess Hornby

Town’s Devs are unbeaten in the FA Women’s National League Reserves Northern Division. Having won 14 of their 16 matches and are riding high in the table. Their opponents this weekend are Chorley Women. The Lancastrian side have played three more games than Town, and until the Terriers defeated Leeds United were top of the league. 

If the Terriers beat or draw against Chorley, the title will be heading to West Yorkshire and Huddersfield Town.

The teams have already met twice this season. Once in the reverse fixture at Chorley, and the other was in the quarter final of the League Cup.

The away fixture saw both sides share the points as they split four goals between them. However, last time out in the League Cup was a more thrilling match. Town Devs took the lead in the first quarter of the first half when Sian Gibrill-Keating netted from a super cross from Lois Mattock. 

Chorley kept pressing for the equaliser, and levelled the score on the half hour mark. The second half proved vital, and both sides were looking to score to avoid extra time and penalties.

PHOTO: JESS HORNBY

Fresh legs were brought on by both sides as Town Devs and Chorley Women looked for the killer blow, and it was Chorley that struck what they thought was the winning goal to move through in the Cup. However, Town Women Devs were awarded a free kick on the edge of the area in the dying minutes of the game. Tara Duce stepped up and the ball flew into the back of the net to level up the match.

Photo: Jess Hornby

With everything on the line, and Huddersfield Town Women Devs now level, stoppage time arrived. Less than a minute after the restart Alice Linsell scored a screamer of a goal from a Town free kick on the half way line. The free kick was cleared by a defender, but only as far as Linsell, who didn’t hesitate and sent Town Women Devs through to the semi final of the cup.

Players to watch

Midfielder Tara Duce works her socks off for the team, and this weekend will be no different. Duce loves set pieces, and will be ready to step up should the Terriers be awarded any in this top of the table clash.

Top goal scorer Sian Gibrill-Keating has to be mentioned again, her record speaks for itself this season. Scoring in practically every game she has played the striker will certainly want to end the season on a high with more goals.

If Chorley beat Town Devs on Sunday, goal difference still comes into the equation. The Devs have the better goal difference, so unless Chorley put over 30 goals into the back of the Town net, it’s unlikely to change the league positions.

Speaking about league position, Manager Alan Eastwood said

“We certainly won’t be taking our foot off the gas until the very last whistle of the season has been blown. We’ll be playing with intent, the same way we have all season and look to carry on our positive momentum.

On this weeks opposition:

We know that Chorley are a very good side, with dangerous players who can hurt us, if we are not on our game. It’s all about being solid as a defensive unit and clinical up top when the chances come. This is what has got us into this position in the league. Hopefully we can get over the line on Sunday and I know the players are up for it, and extremely keen to get on the pitch

Huddersfield Town Devs welcome Chorley Women Reserves to the Stafflex Arena for a 14:00 kick off on Sunday, and fans are more than welcome to come down and cheer the team on. Can’t make it to the game? Updates will be on our socials throughout the afternoon, including live match updates, at @htafcwomendevs on Instagram and Twitter.

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