Town Women Battle To First Win Of The Season At Hull
Laura Elford’s brace saw Huddersfield Town Women overcome a stubborn Hull City Ladies side as they came from behind to win 2-1 at Haworth Park on Wednesday night.
The victory was Town’s first of the season and, having only picked up one point from their previous two matches, assistant manager Marcus Wilkinson knows just how important those three points are.
“It’s a massive win. We thought we should have had three points in another game already this season, but to come here and battle for the win like we did means we’ve got to give full credit to the players.”
The Terriers started strongly, playing on the front foot, and almost took the lead when Kate Mallin’s free kick from wide whipped towards the far post in the swirling wind, but Hull’s ‘keeper managed to turn the ball away.
It was an even first half in terms of chances with neither side carving the other open but the hosts took the lead on the half hour mark.
Having made a great save with her feet moments earlier, goalkeeper Bethan Davies faced a penalty when a Hull player was brought down inside the area, but the Terriers’ no.1 couldn’t stop the well-placed spot kick as Hull struck first.
That, however, was as good as it got for the Tigresses. From then on, Town had the bit between their teeth and it wasn’t long before they equalised.
Another Mallin cross just evaded bodies in the six-yard box, but fell to Sarah Danby just beyond the far post. The ex-Sunderland player fainted to go inside before dragging the ball onto her right foot at the by-line and delivering a brilliant cross which was met by the head of Laura Elford. The striker’s looping header dropped into the netting inside the left-hand post and Town had a well-deserved equaliser.
Despite conceding first for a third successive game this season, the Terriers were the dominant force in the opening forty-five minutes and could have been ahead at the break, so it was no surprise to see them control the second half, too.
Katie Nutter replaced Brittany Sanderson during the interval as manager Jordan Wimpenny looked to add a bit more creativity in midfield, leaving more space out wide, and boy did it pay off.
Less than ten minutes into the half, we had the lead.
A brilliant through ball found Mallin’s run down the left flank and the player who scored our first goal of the season against Fylde raced to the by-line, drew the ‘keeper out of her goal and laid the ball on a plate for Elford to turn it home for her second of the evening – marking her first start of the campaign in style.
From then on, the home side had no answer to the Terriers’ controlled passing play and the introductions of Serena Fletcher and Ella Harris as the clock ticked to eighty added pace and fresh legs in a big to wrap up the win
By this point, it was one-way traffic and Town thought they’d sealed the three points when the ball dropped over the goal line but the officials failed to spot it, the ball was cleared for a corner and the goal wasn’t given.
This, though, inflicted no long-lasting harm to the result as the Terriers saw out what was an invaluable three points in their bid to catch those at the top of the table – which was helped by Fylde’s victory over Burnley by the same scoreline.
Wilkinson, however, isn’t concerned of other teams’ results so early on in the season.
“We’ve got to stay concentrated on ourselves and keep ticking over, make sure our own performances are good enough to win games and get three points like we did tonight.”
Town host last 2019/20’s runaway leaders Sunderland Ladies on Sunday in a titanic clash on Sunday. Having fallen to a 3-2 defeat in the fixture last season, Wilkinson knows the players will be chomping at the bit to put another three points to their name.
“It’s going to be another great game. We were flat after Burnley, but we picked ourselves up to go again and we’re determined to do the same against Sunderland at the Stafflex on Sunday.”
Match Report by: Jack Walker
HIGHLIGHTS | 24 Hours Ago we kicked off against @HullCityLFC and got our first win of the season!