Huddersfield Town Women 2-1 Nottingham Forest Women (FA Women’s National League North) 16.01.22
Reds Head Coach, Andy Cook, would see his fiftieth game in charge of the club end in a narrow defeat when on the road at Huddersfield Town on Sunday afternoon, the same result from when they last travelled there, in October 2020.
At the Stafflex Arena, Cook would make two changes to his starting eleven for the game, Mai Moncaster and Rosie Axten coming into the game, one which would see the Reds fall behind early on, and go in at the break two goals behind.
Despite that, it would be Forest, the visitors, making a lot of the early running, and came close to opening the scoring in the opening minutes when a free-kick from Becky Anderson is met my the head of Moncaster, only for the home ‘keeper, Bethan Jones, to push it away for a corner.
A similar occurrence happened minutes later, an Anderson free-kick, after a foul on Rachel Brown, was delivered into the home box only for Brown to this time see her headed effort saved; shortly after that, the hosts led.
Just nine minutes had elapsed when the opening goal was registered, a break down the right and good link-up play between Ria Montgomery and Paige Crossman, is crossed well by the latter for Laura Elford who rifled home the opener.
A number of set-pieces then followed as the hosts applied pressure to Lyndsey Harkin’s back-line, she, and ‘keeper Emily Batty, holding firm and repelling the danger, before Amy West would attempt a lofted effort on the home goal, it to no avail.
The hosts though, they kept coming and, after a cross from Moncaster ended in an offside decision, the hosts would be seen to double their lead, the goal coming from a tight angle as Serena Fletcher would fire home from range.
But it would be the Reds who’d go in at the break with more the upper-hand, even if those efforts were from distance, coming in the closing moments of the half.
Both sides came out strongly on the restart, and both had several attempts on goal, Anderson’s set-pieces proving a threat, one of which led to shouts for a penalty, the official however seeing otherwise.
Heading into the final ten minutes and Brown would have a close chance, one of several herself during the game, after a corner is headed wide by the Forest player; a succession of quick corner would come to nothing from the visitors but, at the games’ close came about, Cook’s charges would finally get their just reward.
Of all people, it would have to be dead-ball specialist, Anderson, and one of her customised free-kicks that would pay off; this one finally did, deep into stoppage time, rifling into the back of the Huddersfield net.
Although it was to be a first defeat in nine for Cook’s Reds, attention quickly turns to their next outing, and the start of the next fifty for the gaffer – Saturday 23 January sees Nottingham Forest Women make the trip to Stoke City Women, in another league outing.
Forest: Emily Batty, Lyndsey Harkin, Georgia Hewitt (Grace Walters 72), Rachel Brown, Charlotte Steggles, Mai Moncaster (Katie Middleton 72), Rosie Axten (Naomi Powell 72), Amy West, Niamh Reynolds (Alice Higginbottom 72), Becky Anderson, Hayley James.
*Article provided by Peter Mann (Senior Correspondent).
*Main image @HTAFCWomen the chase is on as Huddersfield edge Forest in West Yorkshire.