Background
Harrogate Town News
News

Sheffield Wednesday Ladies 2 HTAFC Ladies 4

Goals from Sophie Tinson and a brace from Becky Wilson sent Town on their way to a second victory of preseason, although conceding two avoidable goals the in the second half of the tie highlighted there's still work to be done before the season proper begins on Sunday September 1st. 

Harrogate Town Ladies hit the road for the first team in their third and penultimate preseason fixture, as they faced Sheffield Wednesday Ladies at the Sheffield Hallam University Sports Complex.

Jon Maloney took charge for his first game in preseason, stating before kick-off that although Wednesday represented lower league opposition, they were expected to offer a proper test for his side - they didn't disappoint.

Looking to avenge the heavy defeat last weekend, Town were straight out of the traps in this fixture, playing some incisive football and creating chances in abundance down both flanks.

There was an inevitability about the first goal, and sure enough it duly arrived in the eighth minute, courtesy of a sweet strike from Wilson, returning to an up-front position for the first time since her days at Blackburn Rovers where she was a regular on the score sheet.

The visiting team continued to cause problems for Wednesday, with Rosie Gill and Hollie Smith continuing to receive great service from Beth Clayton and Beth Davies.

A slightly better end product and the game could have been over after 25 minutes, with the Wednesday keeper pulling off a number of important saves.

However, the pressure finally told, Wilson opening up the Wednesday defence with another accurate pass for Tinson, the striker making no mistake and showcasing her clinical finishing to double Town’s lead 23 minutes into the game.

Then three minutes later Town’s lead would go to 3-0 as Wilson pulled off a lovely strike to beat the home keeper, easily the pick of the afternoon’s goals.

The teams went in at half time with Town well in control, but the second half was to be a different story. 

In the second half, Town’s intensity and pressing game began to fade, handing the initiative to the opposition, though chances were at a premium. 

However, in the 75th minute, Wednesday managed to claw themselves back into the game scoring direct from a corner kick - one would suspect that there will be a defender stationed on the front post in future fixtures. 

This only served to spur Town into action and the reintroduction of Smith saw her finish with aplomb from outside the area - an outstanding performance from Hollie who caused problems for the Wednesday defence all afternoon. 

Town would concede again before the fulltime whistle as in the 82nd minute the Harrogate Ladies defence seemed to switch off and were slow getting onto a loose second ball, something which Wednesday exploited, doubling their lead for the afternoon.

Despite an impressive performance in front of goal, Harrogate will be disappointed with the goals conceded, but this fixture will serve as useful pre-season learning from the team - clinical finishing and defensive concentration the areas for improvement. 

Next Sunday sees Town head over to Brighouse for their final pre-season fixture before the build up to the FA Cup fixture against Wetherby Athletic on the 1st September.

Harrogate Town: Jackson-Powell, Marsden, Becky Davies, Clayton, James, Mcdonald, Gill, Beth Davies, Tinson, Wilson, Smith 
 
Substitutes: Crispin, Perez, Kendell

Report by Isaac Martin