Ladies First Team vs. Huddersfield Town (2 : 3)
FA WNL Northern Division
Sheffield FC suffered their third loss on the bounce, writes Oli Coultas, after a closely contested 3-2 loss to Huddersfield Town at the Home of Football stadium.
In spite of going ahead early on, goals from Brittany Sanderson, Katie Nutter and an unfortunate Sheffield own goal saw the Terriers run out eventual winners.
The scoring started off early on, in the eighth minute. A ball was crossed into the box from the right, flicked on, and bounced through to Milly Wortley who reacted first, hitting it on the half-volley past Huddersfield 'keeper, Laura Carter.
Minutes later at the other end, a shot was spilled into the path of Town's Laura Elford by 'keeper Lauren Santoro who made one of a handful of fantastic saves to deny the attacker a goal.
Both sides had good chances in the first half, with Sanderson and Lisa Giampalma going closest for Huddersfield and Sheffield respectively.
It looked like Sheffield were to take the lead into the break, but a very late injury-time goal from Sanderson sent the sides in as equals as she tapped home a ball from captain Kate Mallin who had been left free at the far post to square a ball back across the face of goal.
Huddersfield took the lead early on in the second half after a fortunate own-goal. The ball was cleared, but only as far as a nearby defender whom it ricocheted off and into the back of the net.
Santoro kept Huddersfield waiting for a third, her fantastic save at full-stretch denying the visitors, before Giampalma’s effort went narrowly over the bar on the counter-attack.
Town did make it three when Nutter found the back of the net just after the hour mark with a header just out of the reach of Santoro after a cross from Mallin.
Undeterred, Sheffield kept plugging away and reduced the arrears when Molly Havard was brought down by Kerry Hope in the box to win a penalty for Sheffield. Captain Holly Housley stepped up to dispatch the spot kick into the bottom right corner, leaving Carter stranded.
A late foul eight minutes into injury time saw Shauna Legge receive a red card after a high tackle on Megan Tinsley, forcing Town to see the game out with ten players.
Ellie Hawcroft had the chance to level things up late on, but her left-footed shot lacked the power to beat Carter, who was able to save comfortably.
Photos courtesy of Paula Johnson.