Our Women’s team put in a great performance on Sunday against Premier League opposition, but just came up short in their League Cup fixture against an experienced Oughtibridge WMWFC.
Rebecca Taylor and Beth Wharton returned to the starting eleven with the absence of Darcie Proud & prolific goalscorer, Ellie Wilson.
Throughout the entire game, Town showed their capability of competing strongly against the Tier 5 opposition and capitalised in the early exchanges in the 6th minute, when they opened the scoring through Danielle Brighton. The exceptional goal came as a result of some excellent combination play between Beth Wharton and Danielle Brighton on the right-hand side of the pitch. They played a number of superb passes around the visiting defenders before Brighton then hit a well-struck shot over the oncoming goalkeeper.
Oughtibridge started to apply attacking pressure on the Mariners, who stood up very well to the attacks. Millie Kenyon and Laura Watton looked particularly impressive for the visitors, but Town were able to frustrate Oughtibridge for the majority of the first half and looked to be going in ahead at half-time. Mariners goalkeeper Danielle Richardson did well to tip two well-worked free-kicks over the bar and another around the post.
Sadly, Town conceded a goal before the break on 44 minutes, when a counter-attack from the visitors saw Oughtibridge get through on goal to level the scoreline at half-time. It was an evenly contested first half with everything there to play for after the break.
Town came out very strong in the second half and continued to apply pressure. It looked like it would only be a matter of time before Town took the lead again, but the visitors worked well to keep the score level. However, it was Oughtibridge that then took the lead for the first time in the game on 52 minutes, as the ball eventually dropped to an Oughtibridge attacker in the box, who finished well to make the score 1-2.
Despite falling behind, Town continued to pile on the pressure. Rebecca Taylor was unfortunate not to level the score when she met a well-struck corner kick from Olivia Kershaw, but her header went frustratingly over the bar. That was followed by another well-struck header from Amber Sharp from a further corner, but the frustration continue as the ball struck the crossbar.
Eventually, time ran out for the Mariners and despite their valiant efforts and constant pressure, the game ended in a 2-1 defeat, with Oughtibridge progressing into the next round, with Town now moving into the Plate competition.
After the game, manager Dale Houlston told us, “I think we have been incredibly unlucky not to get something out of the game today for all of our efforts.
“Our players have been immense today, and it’s just one of those occasions when perhaps we haven’t got the win that our performance deserved. Oughtibridge are a very good Premier League team with quite a bit of experience, so for our players, they can reflect positively on the game, a game in which we were on top for large parts.
“They need to use that as a benchmark for just how far they have come as a group in a short period of time, and that is a real positive. The management team from the visitors have been very complimentary about our football and after the game, they told me that apart from Northampton Town in the Premier League, we have been the best team they have come up against so far this season. So whilst it’s disappointing not to go through, that’s a real compliment that I have been able to share with the players, so they can all take pride in that”.
The Mariners return to league action on Sunday, when they host Grimsby Borough in a local derby which also coincides with The FA’s Women’s Football Weekend. A weekend when the national spotlight will be on the Women’s game once again at all levels. The fixture on Sunday 14th November takes place at Bradley Stadium in Grimsby, and the kick-off time is 2pm. We would be delighted to see as many supporters as possible getting behind the team on Women’s Football Weekend.