Barnsley Women’s Football Club kicked off their Women’s FA Cup season with a 0-5 away victory over Blyth Town Ladies Football Club.
By Josh Allen
The Reds were aiming to recreate last season’s rollercoaster ride in the competition, which saw them knocked out to Women’s Super League side Tottenham Hotspur Women in the fourth round.
The Yorkshire side were also looking to bounce back from last weekend’s league defeat at Stockport County Women Football Club.
Manager Andy Glossop went with a 4-2-3-1 formation, allowing full-backs Taviah Myles and Louisa Barraclough to push on forward.
It was a bright start for the away side and their domination of possession led to an opener, when Darcie Greene cut inside and fed Lindsey Tugby, who had time to dink the ball over the Blyth defence to Kath Smith, who unselfishly laid it into Emily Pierrepont’s path.
The game resumed but within the minute Captain Smith was at it again as she played a delicate one-two with winger Courteney Csomor, who gave her side a 0-2 lead after eight minutes.
Glossop and his side were left frustrated as dictation of the ball and some good attempts on goal resulted in no goals, but this changed in the 37th minute as Tugby showed her quick feet before wrapping a left-footed shot past the Blyth goalkeeper.
Smith caught the majority of spectators out with a 30-yard rocket on the brink of half time. One of her fellow midfielders, Maddie Foye, tried to emulate from a similar range but the ‘keeper stood tall.
Amy Nowell came on for her debut during the interval, slotting into the backline in place of Betty Cheetham. The University of Sheffield student showed she was not afraid to put in a challenge as she went to ground to intercept, then set off an attack with a 20-yard pass to Pierrepont.
The Reds blazed over a few times, but Nowell made sure that changed as she met Pierrepont’s corner with her head, to give the side a 0-5 lead.
There were concerns as Tugby was forced off through injury, but that paved the way for another debutant in Eden Schofield.
The home side had a good chance after 74 minutes as a free kick found one of their players in the Barnsley box, but it came off her shin and sprayed wide.
It was almost 0-6 in the 89th minute as Pierrepont found Smith this time. Her header looked to be hitting the back of the net, but the Blyth goalkeeper pulled off a world class, reactionary save as she palmed over the bar.
After the game, Manager Andy Glossop said: “We dominated the game from start to finish, but what stood out was how professional a performance it was.
“When we got the early goals, it was essential that we didn’t let slip at the back – so I’m delighted that we kept the clean sheet, as well as having five different goal scorers of course.”
Barnsley now turn their attention back to the league, as they face table toppers Chester Le Street Town at home next Sunday.