Huddersfield Town Women’s Development Team kicked off 2022 with a bang by going top of the league in the FA Women’s National League Reserve Northern Division.
Town got their year underway in impressive style with a 4-1 win away from home against Liverpool Feds Reserves at Jericho Lane Sports Hub.
With four goals, three points and one happy manager, Alan Eastwood’s side started the year in the same way they ended the last, taking the win.
After an unsettled start by both sides, the game came to life in the 32nd minute after Sian Gibrill-Keating beat a number of defenders before finding Macy Ellis in the box to pass the ball into the back of the net to score the opener.
After some pressure from the hosts, in which Laura Carter pulled off a great save, Gibrill-Keating continued putting her mark on the game and in the 44th minute she was brought down in the box resulting in a penalty to Town. As was the case in the reverse game at the start of the season, captain Kayley Hird stepped up to convert from the spot. The Terriers headed into the break two-up in Merseyside.
In the second half, Town came out of the blocks straight away with Gibrill-Keating continuing to stamp her authority on the game by getting herself on the scoresheet this time to make it three-nil. Then our U18’s player, Laura, made it four-nil, after a corner from Tara Duce was hit over the line by the youngster who had only been on the pitch herself for four minutes.
After the fourth goal, Liverpool Feds started to create chances and take risks, with Carter being forced into another great save to deny the hosts their goal. However, as the clock ticked, the hosts pulled a goal back after a free kick inside the box.
Carter picked the ball up and after a few moments, the referee made the decision that it was a back pass. The hosts had the opportunity to find their way back into the game and took it as an unlucky deflection saw the ball deflected into the back of the net. However, it was nothing more than a consolation as they failed to build on that.
After the game, Town manager Eastwood said: “I thought we rode our luck today. We were probably a bit rusty after the Christmas period but we have come away from home and not performed at our best and we have still got away with a 4-1 win, I think that is all positives to take from today.
“We are away against Brighouse next week which we know will be another tough game. It’s about training Tuesday and Thursday extremely hard and maybe just getting a bit more momentum. We put three or four wins together before Christmas where it started coming together quite well, I think we just need that run of games to get back up to scratch.”
Town Devs travel to the other side of Huddersfield next Sunday to play Brighouse Town at the Yorkshire Payments Stadium, with match build-up on our social media channels throughout the week at @htafcwomendevs.
Report by Johnathan Stack and Khya Gott.