MATCH REPORT: Huddersfield Town Devs 3-2 Chorley Reserves

Town come from behind to put their name in the hat for the semi-finals of the League Cup.

Photo: Jess Hornby

Huddersfield Town Women’s Development Team sensationally scored two goals in stoppage time to come from behind to beat Chorley and continue their run in the League Cup.

With Town and Chorley in first and second in the league respectively, this quarter-final tie at the Stafflex Arena promised to be entertaining from the get-go, and it is safe to say, it lived up to the hype.

It took a while for the hosts to get into the game, somewhat struggling to string a few passes together and yet, somehow, we managed to find the back of the net just a quarter way through the first half. A great piece of play lead to Lois Mattock being able to cross the ball into the box, and as it flew towards the back post, Sian Gibrill-Keating was on hand to pass the ball into the back of the net.

However, Chorley continued to press and push for their equaliser as the game continued and on the half an hour mark, they were rewarded. A wonderful strike flew into the top corner and Town’s number one Laura Carter had no chance in saving the effort. It proved vital because it drew the game level heading into the break despite the chances both sides created in the final 10 minutes of the half.

Photo: ‪John Shirras‬

Into the second half and both sides had a tough 45 minutes on their hands if they wanted to avoid extra time and penalties in the quarter-finals and just seven minutes after the restart, Chorley found a breakthrough. The visitors had a corner that was hit into the back of the net, and now Town chased the game looking for their equaliser.

As the game continued, both sides created chances, but for different reasons. With Town’s chances falling to Gibrill-Keating, Macy Ellis, Tara Duce and Lois Scholefield, the Terriers were hunting their equaliser but just failed on the finishing touches half a dozen times.

Both sides began making changes in the second half to bring on fresh legs, and it was Town’s substitution Laura who was closest to the target in an attempt to get her side back in the game. However, time was running out for the hosts.

Photo: Jess Hornby

In the dying moments of the game, Gibrill-Keating won a free kick on the edge of the box and it only seemed fitting that set-piece maestro Duce stepped up to take what could have been the last chance of the game. After complaints from the Chorley players, Duce stepped up under pressure and, well, she was never going to miss in that situation. The ball flew into the top corner and Town were level. A huge pile on happened and with what should have been the last kick of the game, the Terriers were level.

But, that was not the end of the game. Could Town find a winner? Was we about to come back from behind to win in stoppage time? You best believe we did just that. 57 seconds after the restart following Duce’s equaliser, we found our winner.

Town had a free kick near the half way line that was cleared by the defender, but only as far as Alice Linsell who sensationally hit the ball and it flew into the back of the net. It raised the question did she mean to do that? but did it matter, not at all, it was a winning goal that sent us into the next round of the cup and it was a quality goal at that.

Photo: ‪John Shirras‬

At full-time, manager Alan Eastwood was speechless, but proud of his players. He said: “That second half, i’ve just said to the girls, we’ve stuck together as a team. I said to Steve (Winterburn) with five minutes to go, ‘if it doesn’t come off today, we’ve given absolutely everything that we possibly can’ and I think that’s probably deserved in the end just for effort alone, but fair play to Chorley, they were fantastic.

“What a feeling. Sometimes you need to create your own luck and I think, at the end of the day, we probably deserved that today. There is no way at the start of the season we would have won that game.”

Town now have a semi-final League Cup tie to look forward to with Wolverhampton Wanderers, Enfield Town and Southampton joining them in the hat for the next round. Competitively, the Terriers now prepare for a league game against Leeds United whilst they await the outcome of the draw.

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