Town Women Thump Stoke City To Return To Action In Style
Huddersfield Town Women made the best possible restart to the FA WNL campaign as they ruthlessly beat Stoke City 8-1 at the Stafflex Arena on Sunday afternoon.
Hattricks from Laura Elford and Sarah Danby were added to by strikes from Brittany Sanderson and Kate Mallin’s as Town made it seven wins in a row to stay top of the table.
The Terriers’ big win was just as well because second-placed Fylde beat Sheffield FC by the same scoreline as the gap at the top stayed at three points.
Town started on the front foot, with Sarah Danby testing the keeper in the early stages from her dangerous left foot after firing the ball into the box from the left hand side.
The much improved winger was at it again in the 15th minute with good link up play with Sanderson, only to blaze the ball over the bar.
The Terriers continued to push through Elford, who was on the end of a corner but headed the ball straight at the keeper.
However, in the 21st minute, the prolific goalscorer opened the scoring – striking the ball across the goal and in off the right hand post. The ball was in the back in the net again moments later but was disallowed for an offside.
Town weren’t to be discouraged though and continued to find a way to break down the Stoke defence and struck blood again a minute later after breaking furiously on the counter attack with Elford this time finding herself one on one with the keeper before slotting the ball home comfortably.
Sanderson poked in Town’s third with Mallin making it four in the 36nd minute after cutting open the Stoke defence and finding herself clean through. Danby couldn’t believe her luck as claimed Town’s fifth and then sixth courtesy of a deflection five minutes before half time with the visitors’ defence all at sea.
The 6-1 scoreline was the biggest half time winning margin in the Club’s league history and manager Jordan Wimpenny was delighted with the way his team performed.
“Stoke are always tough to beat but today we were able to show our quality on the pitch with fluid attacking football. Credit to the team, they were excellent today.
We’ve come back from lockdown and everyone’s attitude and fitness has been amazing. They’ve come back and kept that winning mentality which means we’re still in a great position in the league.”
Stoke did hit back with a consolation in the first half, but it only got worse for the Potters when Elford bagged her hattrick in the 50th minute after Mallin’s square pass was put on a plate for the striker to finish from close range.
Bethan Davies had a very good game, solid at the back with some comfortable saves of her own and Sarah Dobby make her homecoming at the Stafflex Arena after signing on as a player-coach on Friday – her first appearance since the 2018/19 season.
“It was a bit surreal and to be back out there was amazing”, said Dobby in her post-match interview.
The girls were sharp, clinical and have quality all over the pitch so it was quite an honour to play in this team.”
With her old teammate back on the pitch, Danby then put the icing on the to claim her hattrick in stoppage time to sink the visitors with a 5-star performance – the game being a great advert for attacking football.
Wimpenny was very happy at the full time whistle.
“I’ll be honest, it’s a great group to work with. They play for each other, they have a great desire to win and individually they are quality players, they gel together and are fluid in their work.
We want to be consistent, we want to keep momentum and we won’t let our standards drop. We want to maintain this throughout the season and we know that, if we do, we’ll get the points to keep us at the top of the table.”
Report by: Raheil Mehboob and Jack Walker