A massive clash for Huddersfield Town Women’s Development Team on Sunday as they look to book a spot in the final of the Reserves League Cup.
Southampton make the 500-mile round trip on Sunday to Huddersfield as they come up against our Development Team in the semi-final of the League Cup.
Town have had a great run to the semi-final beating Stockport County, Durham and Chorley on their way. Most recently, the 3-2 win against Chorley in the quarter-final. The Terriers were losing 2-1 as the 90th minute rang, however, two goals in 57 seconds in added time sent Town into the semi-final. Alice Linsell’s well executed winner, and well-deservedly, won January’s goal of the month.
The Saints however booked their place in the semi-final after beating AFC Wimbledon Reserves 5-0 at their home ground, Totton and Eling Football Club. In the previous round, they beat Bridgewater United, also at home, in an eight-goal thriller that ended 6-2. In the determining round, they put nine past Keynsham Town Reserves. Sunday will be the first time in this year’s competition that the visitors will be away from home and what a journey that will be!
Last Sunday, for the first time this season, Saints dropped points in the league. After going on a nine-game win streak in the Reserves Division South West, their run was ended in a draw away from home at Bridgwater. Their goal at the start of the second half, scored by Megan Collett, was not enough with the points being shared. However, prior to that, Southampton were on a 14-game winning run in all competitions, with 15 players in their squad scoring atleast one goal.
In comparison to the Terriers, who are also in great form themselves. Despite two draws at the start of the season, Town are currently on a winning run of nine games in a row from their 12 games in all competitions and remain the only undefeated side in their respective league. In their last league game, Town travelled across West Yorkshire to Brighouse Town, and won 4-1 at the Yorkshire Payments Stadium.
Town’s biggest win of the season saw them score nine and the Saints beat Chichester & Selsey 11-0 at the start of the year in their highest scoring game. Sunday is expected to be a big game for both sides, with a high chance of the ball flying into the back of the net atleast once in the 90 minutes.
Development Team manager Alan Eastwood has been speaking ahead of the semi-final: “It’s a great opportunity to show what we’re made of against a very good side. The occasion has to be at the back of our minds and play our game instead of getting swamped down in this being a ‘big game.’ The more relaxed we are the better.
“Having a never say die attitude is something that is hard to get across an entire team. Usually you get that in individuals but the quarter final showed we have it across the entire squad. The last 30 minutes of the game proved that and the celebrations were fully justified. If we can bring that togetherness onto the pitch on Sunday it can help us massively.”
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Sian Gibrill-Keating and Tara Duce are on fire, with the former scoring in her last three games, she will be looking to extend that run this weekend. However, our defensive line have been solid this season with Sharone Buckle and Kayley Hird proving just how well they work as a team.
Saints are not short of players finding the back of the net with Kaylee Buckingham and Sky Bedwell scoring 20 and 15 goals respectively in their 13 games. Town’s centre-halves will need to be wary of their oppositions fire power in front of goal as they try to keep them out.
HOW TO WATCH
Town fans will be able to watch the semi-final and get behind the next generation of players in person at the Stafflex Arena, HD8 0WA. With tickets priced at £5 for adults and £3 for concessions, this game is not to be missed.
Kick-off is at 2:00 PM on Sunday 13th February, with match updates on Twitter and Instagram at @htafcwomendevs all day.