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Ladies 2-2 Ossett United

Next Sunday all roads lead to the CNG as Town entertain Chorley Ladies in the 2nd Preliminary Round of the Womens FA Cup, but first up it was back to league business as Town welcomed Ossett United to the CNG stadium, the 3G surface coping well with the monsoon like conditions.

And despite goals from Rosie Gill and Sophie Tinson, Harrogate Town Ladies had to settle for a share of the points as they returned to league action against a well organised and solid Ossett United outfit.

Despite the miserable weather, Town started off the livelier of the two sides with Tinson having her first sight of goal in the eighth minute,unfortunately placing her effort just wide of the keeper’s post, a very rare sight for the prolific striker.

Moments later it would be Ossett’s turn to break through, they played some lovely flowing football throughout the afternoon but on this occasion it would be a last ditch challenge from captain Lindsey Whitton that stopped the Ossett attack , with shouts for a penalty being waved away quickly by the referee.

Little time to catch ones breath and It was straight back up to the other end and a fine move which ended with a clearance falling at the feet of Davies on the edge of the area, but this week her shot just flashed over the cross bar - small margins!  

This would be Town’s best spell of the first half and the continued pressure soon paid off. Beth Clayton, dominating the midfield, won possession just inside the Ossett half, played a defence splitting pass through to Gill who used her explosive pace and finished with aplomb, driving the ball into the bottom corner. 

The goal seemed to wake up Ossett United and Kelly Jackson-Powell was called into action just after the half hour mark, making a number of fine saves and the game moved towards half time with Ossett on the front foot. 

The Ossett pressure would eventually pay dividends when an attack led to a corner - the Town defence failed to deal with the resulting corner and after a goalmouth scramble the ball was volleyed into the back of the net from close range.

With both teams now on the scoresheet the game really opened up in the second half and became an end to end affair, Ossett hit the bar twice from two counter attacking moves before Tinson, who had been hunting for a goal all afternoon also hit the woodwork with a fierce strike.

It was encouraging to see Grace Foyer back in the action after injury, as she replaced Beth Davies, and Rebecca Hale was introduced to support Tinson up front, tactics that were to pay dividends.  

Tinson’s persistent harrying of the Ossett back four paid off in the 80th minute, following great pressure from the striker which forced a mistake from the opposition defence, allowing Tinson to latch onto a loose ball and drive it fiercely into the bottom corner of the net.

The Town players were ecstatic but there was one more roll of the dice and this time it would favour Ossett Ladies. A good spell of midfield dominance from Ossett was helped by Town failing to clear there lines, and Sidebottom popped up to equalise with minutes to go.

Unfortunately, Town had to settle for a point, a fair result, and an entertaining game given the conditions. 

Although disappointing to concede late in the game, particularly after holding the lead, Town will be happy with a first point of the season and another solid performance.

HTAFC Ladies: Kelly Jackson-Powell, Rebecca Wilson, Rachel McDonald, Lindsey Whitton, Rebecca Davies, Rosie Gill, Sophie Tinson, Grace Adams, Holly Smith

Subs: Rebecca Hale, Grace Foyer, Emily Cripsin, Megan Perez

By Isaac Martin