Huddersfield Town Women FC boss Glen Preston hailed “unplayable” Laura Elford, Kate Mallin and Brittany Sanderson as his side beat newly-promoted Boldmere St Michaels 7-1.
The Terriers made a winning start to the new season away in Sutton Coldfield with Mallin and Elford both scoring hat-tricks.
Though they were reduced to 10 players in the second half when Beth Ibbotson was sent off, Town still bagged four goals, such was their dominance.
Preston said: “First and foremost it’s important to get the three points and get our season up and running. It’s never easy to come away to a side that’s just got promoted. They’ve come up with real momentum so for us to silence that with goals is great.”
Preston gave particular praise to attacking trio Mallin, Elford and Sanderson and said: “They were unplayable in and around the opponent’s box. They just give defences an absolute nightmare.
“The workrate from all three was just phenomenal. To run 70 yards back once you have scored a goal and we are down to 10 players to help defend just gives you real heart as a manager.”
Ibbotson was sent off for a second yellow card and Preston thought she was unfortunate.
“I didn’t think the first yellow was a yellow card but I can see why the second has been given,” he said. “She has just caught the back of their player in a clumsy way.
“I think the sending off helped settle us as a team. I feel we started the second half a bit carelessly at times. Overall, though, I thought we managed the game well when we went down to 10 players.”
Town took the lead just three minutes into the game. Mallin’s whipped in corner somehow ended up in the opponent’s net to give Town a 1-0 lead.
Town didn’t have to wait long for their second goal. It came in the 22nd minute as Elford was put through on goal and struck a cool left foot finish beyond the keeper to grab her first of the afternoon.
In the 38th minute Ibbotson was booked for what seemed like an innocuous challenge in the first of her two yellow cards. On the stroke of half-time Town made it 3-0 as Mallin got her second of the afternoon to give the Terriers a commanding lead.
Boldmere started the second half with more bite and got their reward for that gutsy attitude, their goal came in the 51st minute when they caused confusion in Town’s defence following a free-kick to make it 3-1.
Four minutes later Ibbotson received her second yellow leaving Town to play out the remaining 35 minutes with only 10 players.
Town upped their game once more and Mallin got her hat-trick on the hour mark with a nicely struck shot into the bottom corner of the net. Elford made it 5-1 in the 68th minute with a powerful finish.
Sanderson got herself onto the score sheet in the 83rd minute with her usual calmness in front of goal and Elford sealed her hat-trick and completed the rout in the 88th minute.
Town’s first home game of the season is on Sunday August 28 (2.00) against title favourites Wolves at the Stafflex Arena. Tickets are £5 for adults, £3 for concessions and kids go free.