by Jack Walker
Huddersfield Town travel to AFC Fylde in a highly-anticipated friendly as they build up to the mouthwatering FA Cup fifth round tie against FA Women’s Super League side Brighton & Hove Albion on May 16th.
The 2pm kick off will take place at Kellamergh Park Stadium behind closed doors and sees the top two sides in the FA Women’s National League Northern Premier meet for the first time since the opening day of the season.
Last time the Terriers met Fylde, the two sides played out a thrilling 3-3 draw in the 2020/21 campaign’s curtain-raiser, during which Town struck the woodwork three times.
After fans were robbed of the opportunity of seeing the clubs lock horns in what was already a fierce title race when the league was curtailed, manager Jordan Wimpenny expects another tough test in the North West.
“It’s going to be another tough game. The 3-3 draw (on the opening day of the season) came at a tough time when we were still adapting to new approaches, but look how far we’ve come.
“They’re a good side who were fighting with us at the top of the league so we know what they’re about and know that they will be up for it. They’re very good defensively so we’ll have to try and break them down.
“We’re all in this together and if you look at what the players have gone through these last two years, it’s not surprising to see their determination and togetherness on the pitch. We never give up.”
In Hudderfield Town’s most recent game, played last Sunday, the Terriers made it to the fifth round of the Women’s FA Cup by beating Derby County 3-2 at the Stafflex Arena last weekend.
Town took the lead in the 15th minute before Derby County equalising a minute later, but star striker Laura Elford scored twice more to register her hat-trick and put the game out of sight. A late consolation by Derby County was the only scare before the full time whistle was blown.
Jordan Wimpenny was pleased with the way his team handled Derby County’s challenges.
“I feel that the team deserved that after that performance. I feel that it was a tough game against Derby and they threw all sorts at us. The team had to weather a lot and you know fight together and for each other.”
Having drawn an FAWSL team in the fifth round, Wimpenny knows the team can’t get complacent and must go out with a winning mentality, but also knows the challenges Brighton will pose will be a completely different experience.
“I’ll always try and prepare for games to try and win and we know what oppositions coming next and it will be an unbelievable challenge and occasion for the players to go and experience and one that I think they deserve after this season.
“To keep progressing and go and experience that and have something as a reward for all their efforts and their performances, I look forward to accepting that challenge and see what lies ahead in the next round.”