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Harrogate Town News
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Ladies 7 Lower Hopton 0

Despite a closer than expected first half, Town Ladies cruised into the third round of the West Riding County Cup courtesy of six second half strikes against Lower Hopton.

Goals from Beth Jennings, Rachel MacDonald, Grace Adams (x2), Lindsey Whitton (x2) and Holly Smith booked Town’s place in the third round and meant that in the last five games, Jon Maloney’s side have scored an impressive 29 goals.

In the opening exchanges the game would’ve been a tighter affair then Manager Maloney would’ve liked, with Lower Hopton looking comfortable on the ball and not being afraid to attack the Town defence. The visiting sides number 11 looked a real threat throughout the tie.

Just after the half hour mark, Town managed to break the deadlock through Jennings. Having scored with her second touch last time out, Jennings made it two from two for the first team and continued to look impressive in the yellow and black.

Jennings goal would be the only meaningful moment of the first half, Lower Hopton were really making a game of the second-round tie meaning Town had to concentrate in order to not cause any defensive slip ups before half time.

The second half started off like the first with the game being a very tight affair. In the 52nd minute Town went close through Rosie Gill after she was played through by Georgia Marsden, but unfortunately her shot was straight at the keeper.

Town wouldn’t rue that missed chance for too long as less than a minute after Gill’s effort, Captain for the day MacDonald grabbed the second of the afternoon from a corner to double Town’s lead.

This led to a busy few minutes for Harrogate, as in 53rd minute Beth Davies played a perfectly weighted ball through to Adams who lifted her effort into the right top hand corner to extend the home side’s lead.

Adams wasn’t done just yet, almost immediately after kicking off, the pacey forward found herself in another goal scoring position and slotted home to grab Town’s fourth and her second in the space of a minute.

After the Adams quick-fire brace the goal scoring floodgates well and truly opened for Town. 

Substitutes Whitton (x2) and Smith added to the score line in the closing 25 minutes of the fixture with well worked goals. The centre back turned striker Whitton grabbing her 11th and 12th goals in five games.

Lower Hopton left The CNG stadium having put in a performance to be proud of, with several players raising up to the occasion.

Especially in the first half, they didn’t look out-of-place against higher league opposition and despite the score line the visiting keeper pulled off several impressive saves throughout the fixture.

The result means that Town will now play away to Ossett United in the third round of the West Riding County Cup, with Harrogate keen to put to bed any memories of last season’s semi-final defeat. The tie will be played on 15th December.

Town - Kelly Jackson-Powell, Georgia Marsden, Becky Davies, Beth Jennings, Rachel Mcdonald, Elisha James, Rosie Gill, Beth Davies, Sophie Tinson, Grace Adams, Em Crispin

Subs - Becky Wilson, Hollie Smith, Grace Foyer, Lindsey Whitton

By Isaac Martin