Huddersfield Town 1-1 Brighouse Town (Huddersfield Town win 5-3 on penalties)
by Jack Walker
Katie Nutter scored the winning spot kick Huddersfield Town Women came from behind to beat Brighouse Town Women 5-3 on penalties and progress to the Fourth round of the Vitality Women’s FA Cup.
With the teams level at 1-1 after normal time, the extra thirty minutes produced few chances, with strikes from Serena Fletcher and Sarah Danby the closest Huddersfield came to a winner.
Having beaten Newcastle United 3-0 after extra time in the previous round just seven days earlier, Brighouse started the better of the two sides and took the lead through Amy Woodruff’s penalty when ex-Terrier Ellie White was fouled in the area after a contest for the rebound of Drew Greene’s effort which came back off the bar.
The Terriers, though, had also played a full two hours in the second round against Liverpool Feds, triumphing 3-2, and the FA WNL table-toppers equalised against their West Yorkshire rivals early in the second half.
Kate Mallin was forced off through injury at half time, so was replaced by Lucy Sowerby and the Terriers’ top scorer in the 2019/20 season had an immediate impact as she brought fresh energy and enthusiasm off the bench and created the leveler, whipping in a fizzed, left-footed cross and Brittany Sanderson was on hand to smash the ball home at the far post – sending her first-time effort back across the ‘keeper and into the far corner of the net.
From then on, the tie was very tight with neither group of players able to fashion further clear-cut chances. Despite not being at the races, assistant manager Marcus Wilkinson praised Huddersfield’s resilience and determination.
“It was a difficult game and we had a few players get injured after such a long break, but our team spirit was brilliant and we can now get ready to face Derby in the next round.
“We weren’t at our best, but we kept at it and I was always confident that we would win the shootout.”
Bethan Davies saved Brighouse’s fourth spot kick and memories of the historic Cup run of 2018/19 entered the mind when Huddersfield scored all five of their penalties and, just like in that famous win against Charlton Athletic in 2018/19, Nutter dispatched the winning penalty to send her teammates into raptures.
Due to the league season being cancelled, Town haven’t played round four Derby in 2020/21, but know it will be another tough match up. Wilkinson stated that they cannot afford to look beyond the fourth round.
“We have to take each game as it comes. Derby beat West Brom 4-1 and we beat them 3-2, so we know it will be tough. Derby were third in the league and we will prepare and be ready for them. We want to go as far as we can in the competition and end the season well.”
Teams: HUDDERSFIELD TOWN: Davies, Ibbotson, Mallin, Abbott, Griffiths, Nutter, Evans, Danby, Elford, Sanderson, Marshall. Substitutes: Carter, Fletcher, Sowerby, Samways, Dobby, Crossman.
BRIGHOUSE TOWN: Simpson, Bamforth, Gompertz, Legge, Dobson, Lee, Greene, Cass, White, Woodruff, Dobson. Substitutes: Freibach, Whitman, Parnham, Connolly, Brazier, May.