SSE Women’s FA Cup campaign ends against National League Division One South East side
Huddersfield Town Women’s SSE FA Cup run was ended by a 4-1 defeat to Ipswich Town at the John Smith’s Stadium.
Ipswich teenager Maddie Biggs scored a first half hat-trick to punish poor Town defending and send the Terriers crashing out of the SSE Women’s FA Cup to lower-league opposition Ipswich.
With little over a minute played, a long ball in behind the Terriers’ defence caused indecision between Olivia Clark and Charley Evans and Biggs stole in to tap into the empty net.
Moments later Biggs broke the offside trap and was unmarked on the penalty spot to freely head home a second, before the 16-year-old slotted her third and Ipswich’s fourth just minutes from the break after Natasha Thomas made it three.
Before the away side’s third, Town had a huge penalty shout waved away when Katie Nutter ran into the box, nodded the ball beyond her marker and went down – the officials, however, waved play on.
But it wasn’t all one-way traffic as Ellie White forced Nikita Runnacles into a stunning diving save to preserve the away side’s big lead heading into half time and the second 45 saw the hosts bombard the visitors’ goal.
Lucy Sowerby smashed in her 18th goal of the season from inside the six-yard box to give the home side hope just five minutes into the second half, but Runnacles was in no mood to concede again.
The Tractor Girls’ shot-stopper somehow produced a miraculous one-handed save back across her body after Sarah Danby’s shot took a wicked deflection before denying Sowerby a second on the day with a brilliant reaction save from close range.
Laura Elford and Kate Mallin, who never truly found their groove in the match, both missed good chances as the home side pushed right until the final whistle and Elford’s header over the bar proved to be the last action as referee Lucy-Anne Briggs blew the full-time whistle to send the travelling support into raptures.
Despite the heavy defeat, though, it was a momentous day for Town Women as the game marked their first ever appearance at the John Smith’s Stadium in front of a club-record 1,115 spectators and their second half showing will surely entice many first-time supporters to watch the FA WNL Cup Quarter Final against Stoke City on Sunday.
Manager Ashley Vickers certainly hopes to see a large crowed at the Stafflex Arena on Sunday 2 February 2020.
“We didn’t get going early enough and we were punished by a clinical Ipswich side, so fair play to them.
“Their ‘keeper was brilliant and we had enough chances for it to be a better scoreline but hopefully the second half performance has shown the record crowd of 1,115 that we are a side well worth watching.
“Of course it is disappointing to exit the cup but we have to put this behind us now, move on and react in the right way by beating Stoke in our League Cup Quarter Final.”
You can watch highlights from the game below on #HTTV!