The future's bright!The first signs of Autumn greeted Harrogate Town Development Girls (Devs) as they hosted last years' Premier League Champions, Poppleton Ladies, in the opening fixture of this seasons campaign, live at The CNG Stadium.
With the exception of two senior players, the Town team was an amalgam of 16/17 year olds, all of who had progressed from the Town Player Development Centre and Nidd United over the last two seasons.
Under the careful eye of new manager Charlie Lloyd, it was Town who dominated early proceedings with Vayro and Lane combining well down the right flank and creating a number of opportunities.
Back in midfield, Flynn and Wilson were at their creative best and a four girl move including Wilson, Vayro and Lane led to a superb finish from Lyons.
Poppleton made the occasional sortie into Town territory but Stewart, Naylor, Ryan and Knowles were in no mood to concede.
Town's second was not long in coming with Topham on hand to complete a great passing move from front to back, and minutes later it was Knowles who popped up at the back post to lob the keeper and put Town into an unassailable 3-0 lead.
Topham was a permanent menace to the Poppleton defence and was denied twice by the Poppleton keeper before scoring her second just before half time.
The second half saw a number of substitutions with Elmes, Mitchell, McEvoy and Richards all given the opportunity to show what they had to offer.
They were to be astute substitutions, with Elmes and Lane now causing mayhem down both wings - pace to burn from both players and a joy to watch, but it was Mitchell who would create the biggest impact with a fine volley from well outside the area.
At 5-0 this might have been the time take the foot of the gas, but this group of girls have a ruthless streak and there would be no rest for the Poppleton defence as both Lane and Elmes both registered on the scoresheet and ensured a stunning start to this seasons campaign.
Poppleton competed right through to the final whistle but this was to be Town's day. The management team will be keen to build on this performance with their next visitors, York University, who visit The CNG Stadium next Sunday for a 4.15pm kick off.
Town Girls Development: Naylor, Vayro, Ryan, Stewart, Knowles, Flynn, Wilson, Hague, Lane, Topham, Lyons, Elmes, McEvoy, Mitchell, Richards
By Ged Maloney