Huddersfield Town Women win Second Round Vitality Women's FA Cup match
- Town Women beat Liverpool Feds 3-2 after extra-time
- Women progress into the Third Round of the Vitality Women's FA Cup
- A brace from Kate Mallin and an own goal see Town through
Huddersfield Town Women progressed to the Third Round of this season's Vitality Women's FA Cup with a 3-2 win over Liverpool Feds.
Two impressive Kate Mallin finishes either side of an own-goal gave Town the win after extra-time and Assistant Manager Marcus Wilkinson was thrilled with the determination on show.
"It wasn’t our best performance, but fair play to Liverpool Feds, they were top class today and caused us a lot of problems. We show resilience in every game and that’s what we’ve instilled this season.
"We had to change our shape a few times to get through them, but we stuck at it and got two goals in extra time which we’re pleased with."
The Terriers went into their first match of 2021 on the back of an eight-game winning streak in the league - which sees them top the FA WNL table - and showed their quality on countless occasions as the run stretched to nine.
As usual, Town started the brighter side and went close early on when Laura Elford smashed the crossbar shortly after Mallin - who almost had a hat-trick - hit her 25-yard free kick against the post.
The hosts were also threating, however, and it took a brilliant save from Lauren Joyce to deny Jodie Mortimer one-on-one to keep the game goalless before half time - this coming not long after a brilliant last-ditch goal line clearance from skipper Charley Evans midway through the first forty-five minutes.
Soon enough, though, the visitors took the lead.
Just after the break, brilliant work from Katie Nutter down the left flank saw her battle with and beat three defenders in the area before pulling the ball back on the angle of the six-yard box.
The no.7's delivery was perfect for Mallin who didn't need to break stride as she powerfully placed the ball beyond the despairing 'keeper from 10 yards out at the far post.
The game was the only FA Cup fixture of the weekend as all other ties were postponed due to Tier 4 restrictions and the 150 fans were treated to a brilliant contest on Merseyside as the home side drew level with fifteen minutes remaining when Paige Cole cut through the Terriers' defence and fired over Joyce to level the scores.
Feds goalkeeper Rachel Darbyshire made a massive close-range stop force Town into extra-time, but quality showed in the added thirty minutes.
Town won their umpteenth corner and Elford's deft flick sent the wicked delivery onto the knee of Liverpool's centre half who diverted the ball into her own net as the lead was reinstated.
That huge stroke of luck was no more than Town deserved and they could have been out of sight before the initial equaliser.
Missing chances is not something that Mallin does often and, when she was sent through on goal by Elford's lofted pass, Town's clinical winger dispatched the ball into the bottom corner in clinical style to seal passage to the third round.
The hosts did claw another goal back through Chantelle Thompson's looped finish with six minutes to go, but it was too late in the day. Wilkinson knows the team deserved the win.
"We haven’t had a training session since our last game and to come to a place like this against underdogs who were in our faces straight away is always tough.
"We changed our shape after the first 30 minutes to allow ourselves to play more and were physical enough to battle through, too.
"All season, we’ve showed how good we are at coming from behind and never giving up. That’s why we are where we are [in the league]. We’ve fought for each other and got the job done again today and we couldn’t be happier.”
The Terriers' next two games against Loughborough Foxes and Derby County have been called off, with Tier 4 restrictions causing most teams in the FA WNL to postpone matches, but one thing is for sure. When Hull City visit the Stafflex Arena on the 27th, Town will be ready.