Harrogate Town Ladies welcomed in the new decade with an impressive 2-0 away victory against league rivals Ossett United in the West Riding County Cup.
On a difficult surface, goals from the two ever presents on the score sheet this season, Rosie Gill and Lindsey Whitton sealed Town’s place in the quarter finals of the competition.
As kick off arrived, the first fixture of 2020 for both sides had the potential to be a sluggish affair, considering neither team had seen competitive action for over a month due to the Christmas break.
The game itself defied this logic with both sides producing an end to end affair with Town on the scoresheet within the first five minutes of play.
In a lovely piece of play, Sophie Tinson played Whitton through into the Ossett box, Whitton unleashed a powerful strike at goal, only for her effort to deflect off Gill and into the back of the net.
Despite missing out on the first goal, Whitton continued to create massive problems for the Ossett defence. The link up play between Tinson and Whitton has developed into a ruthless partnership with each passing game and augurs well for the rest of the season.
In the 21st minute Whitton again managed to break through the Ossett defence but unfortunately could only find the side netting.
Town continued to create chances with Beth Davies and player of the match Beth Jennings controlling the midfield and providing a constant threat with incisive passing to both Gill and Grace Adams.
One such move would sooner or later enable Whitton to extend her outstanding goal scoring run. It would arrive in the 37th minute, a sublime team goal from Town which doubled their lead.
A lovely cross field pass from Davies picked out Adams on the left-hand side who beat her marker and squared a pass to Whitton in the middle, who fired her effort into the back of the net.
The second half of play would be much like the first, Town were controlling most of the possession, with Ossett not causing much of a threat due to the impressive performances of Kelly Jackson, Grace Foyer, Em Crispin, Racheal McDonald and Georgia Marsden in defence who all seemed determined to leave the Ingfield Stadium with a clean sheet - the defensive performance in the first half would be as good as we have seen all season.
In the closing 20 minutes of the tie, Jennings saw a freekick from just outside the edge of the box fly over the bar, while Gill who had been lively all game, continued to create all sorts of problems for the Ossett defence but just couldn’t get that clinical touch to grab her second and Town’s third of the afternoon.
Despite not having a lot to do throughout the tie, in the last closing exchanges Ossett struck a great effort at Jackson-Powell who pulled off a fantastic save to keep her clean sheet intact as the game entered its final moments.
The impressive win means Town will now play Farsley Celtic Juniors FC in the quarter finals of the County Cup, with the fixture to played on Sunday 19th January.
Town: Jackson-Powell, Marsden, Crispin, Jennings, Foyer, Mcdonald, Gill, Davies, Whitton, Tinson, Adams