Laura Elford was the hat-trick hero as Huddersfield Town Women FC beat near neighbours Brighouse Town 4-1 on Wednesday night to reach the semi-finals of the FA Women’s National League Cup.
The Terriers had to come from behind, however, conceding the opening goal in the 14th minute as Drew Green finished into the bottom corner.
Town were not fazed and continued to try to work hard, play their brand of football and push Brighouse back with their high press. In the 23rd minute came a moment of controversy. The ball hit the referee and, despite protests from Brighouse, she gave the restart to Huddersfield.
Town immediately played the ball forward through the channels and it arrived at Elford on the edge of the Brighouse area. Without taking a breath she smashed a right footed shot into the top left hand corner of the goal to make it 1-1.
On the half hour mark Elford got her second of the game, this time finishing into the top right hand corner and giving the Brighouse keeper no chance.
The Terriers came out in the second half and totally dominated possession, pressing Brighouse back into their own half and not allowing them out. Elford and Mia Parry both had shots which missed their target but Town continued their press.
Town grabbed their third goal on the hour mark, a cross came back out to the right wing and Kate Mallin recycled the ball and played in a low cross which Brittany Sanderson glanced home with a fine diving header, making 3-1 to Huddersfield.
Six minutes later and both teams were reduced to 10 players, as Georgia Marshall and Annabelle Cass came together. Cass slid into the pitch railings, she then grabbed Marshall by the throat and Marshall retaliated.
Elford completed her hat-trick in the 90th minute with another well taken goal, this time low into the bottom corner.
It was a dominant display from Town and they now travel to Liverpool Feds for the semi-final on March 6.
image by Jessica Hornby