Town Women looking to stage FA Cup upset at the John Smith’s Stadium
- Town Women face Women’s Super League side Everton
- Sunday 30 January, kick-off 1pm
- Supporters encouraged to attend match at John Smith’s Stadium
Huddersfield Town Women face Women’s Super League side Everton in the Fourth Round of the Vitality Women’s FA Cup on Sunday 30 January at the John Smith’s Stadium.
For the first time since January 2020, Town supporters will be able to attend a Town Women fixture at the John Smith’s Stadium as they welcome a well-established Everton side.
Town Women have been in fine form since manager Glen Preston returned to the Club, having enjoyed a run of eight consecutive wins against the likes of Fylde Women, Nottingham Forest and Middlesbrough before losing out to Brighouse Town in their last fixture.
After that fantastic run of victories, Town Women were defeated by local rivals Brighouse Town at the Yorkshire Payment Stadium after an unfortunate own goal in the first half. It became evident from the beginning of the game that the flow of play would be limited by a hardened pitch and strong winds, with both teams struggling to materialise any attacking plays.
Speaking after the match, Manager Glen Preston also touched on the conditions:
“It was a tough one to take today, the conditions really made it impossible. It was an awful game of football – there was no football played by either side. It was tough to get down and play.”
With attentions now turning back to knockout football, Town’s journey through the Vitality Women’s FA Cup started at home to sixth tier side Sir Tom Finney Ladies, winning by 20 goals to nil. The next two rounds saw Town face Women’s National League rivals Sheffield FC and Loughborough, winning 3-0 and 3-1 respectively, setting up the dream tie at the John Smith’s Stadium against Jean-Luc Vasseur’s team from the WSL.
Everton currently find themselves in 10th place in the FA Women’s Super League, registering three wins in the league. With a team full of internationally capped players and the club operating full-time, this will be one of the toughest challenges any Town Women player has faced.
Speaking ahead of the Everton tie, Manager Glen Preston looks towards the long-term impact this game will achieve:
“Our collective expectation is that we represent the Club with pride and passion, we place no expectations on the players to get a result, we know how much of a challenge it will be and how big a gulf there is between the two sides.
“It’s more about doing right by the Club, its fanbase, and the wider community of Huddersfield. We have a fantastic opportunity to play at the John Smith’s stadium and we need to embrace this and use it as a platform to help grow the Women’s team as best we can and show what we stand for.”
Everton were formed in 1983, becoming Everton Ladies in 1995. After reaching several cup finals in various competitions, Everton won the FA Women's Premier League National Division (top tier) in 1998. They would later see relegation into the second tier in 2014 before finding their way back into the Women’s Super League in 2017 following the folding of Notts County.
Everton are two-time winners of the Vitality Women’s FA Cup, winning the competition in 1989 (as Leasowe Pacific) and then again in 2010. They have been runners-up four times, most recently missing out on the trophy in 2020. As for Huddersfield, their furthest progress into the tournament is the Fifth Round – achieved twice, in 2019 and 2021.
Glen Preston has shed some light on how his side have been preparing for Everton:
“Our preparations for this game haven’t been ideal on account of having to play a mid-week game against our local rivals, which was a game we had to prioritise to stay in the title race. As a result, we haven’t been able to have a full run at just Everton this week.”
“But on the other hand, our preparations have been different to normal because we’ve been able to analyse our opposition in great dept. This doesn’t mean it will be any easier, but hopefully it will enable us to approach the game differently, and for us to find ways to try and make life difficult for Everton.”
WHAT TO EXPECT
This will be a tough game for Huddersfield with Everton boasting some of the best talent across Europe. Names such as Toni Duggan (76 England caps), Leonie Maier (79 Germany caps), Simone Magill (57 Northern Ireland caps) and Aurora Galli (38 Italy caps) could feature against the Terriers.
That said, Huddersfield come into this game with great momentum, and with a potentially record-breaking crowd supporting the team, that will be a great motivating factor for the side.
This is a great opportunity for football fans in Huddersfield to watch great quality football from some of the biggest names in the Women’s game, and to get an introduction to Huddersfield Town Women. Regardless of the result, this will be a historic match for Town Women, and one we’re encouraging as many supporters as possible to be part of.
Manager Glen Preston echoed those sentiments:
“For us as a Club, our fans will always be at the centre of everything we do. They are the most important people, they are who we represent every week and so for us to be involved in such a special occasion where we get to play at the John Smith’s Stadium against a team of world class internationals and have a strong crowd behind us is huge!
“I just hope as many Town fans as possible get behind us, be our twelfth player, make as much noise as you can, and in return we will do all we can to represent you with pride and show the kind of fight and determination that are synonymous with the Club.
“At the end of the day, it’s the FA Cup! Anything can happen, but my biggest hopes are that we can represent the club well, narrow the gap between ourselves and the Women’s Super League side and hopefully gain a few new fans along the way.”
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Brittany Sanderson and Laura Elford have proven to be reliable goal scorers for Town, with top-scorer Sanderson converting 13 times and Elford 12. Other notable players who could threaten the Everton goal are wingers Ria Montgomery and Kate Mallin, who have both scored nine goals this season.
Elsewhere - having kept four clean sheets since the new manager was installed - the defence will look to try and build on momentum gained throughout Preston’s tenure. Limiting Everton chances on goal will only add to the positives built during Town’s good form in recent months.
HOW TO WATCH HTWFC
The game will be taking place at the John Smith’s Stadium on Sunday 30th January 2022 at 1pm. Cash turnstiles will be open from 12pm with access only to the Core Stand Lower.
Pay On The Gate (Cash Only):
Under-16s accompanied with Adult: Free
Can’t make the game? As always, online coverage of the match will be available across all HTWFC channels, including minute-by-minute updates on our Twitter - @HTAFCWomen - plus match build-up on Instagram. Highlights will also be released following the game for supporters to catch up on the action.