The Reds have booked themselves a place in the first round of the Vitality Women’s FA Cup after beating Leeds United’s women’s side 4-1
By Josh Allen
Looking to replicate last year’s fortunes in the competition, Barnsley Women’s Football Club knew that Leeds would be a physical side, but that they had technical quality on their side.
Manager Andy Glossop stuck with the 4-2-3-1 system that shone in the side’s narrow 2-3 defeat in the league a week prior, but made two changes as Elisha James replaced Niamh Ryalls at centre back, plus talisman Lissa Woodhouse came in for Courteney Csomor.
It was the best possible start for the home side – Barnsley – as captain Kath Smith’s long shot beat the Leeds goalkeeper within 10 seconds of kick off.
Glossop’s side had a gameplan from the start which appeared to stick – get hold of the ball, be tidy in possession and know when to press and when to drop off.
The high press forced Leeds into an error which gave the home side a two-goal cushion, after just 12 minutes.
Central midfielder Lindsey Tugby found herself the furthest forward when the away side tried to pass round the back and she anticipated an error from her opponent, before nabbing the ball from her and slotting in calmly.
Barnsley looked a tighter unit defensively, but Manager Glossop was forced into a change as Betty Cheetham jolted her knee and was unable to continue after 30 minutes.
Becky Troake, after recent injury issues of her own, came on in her place and formed an excellent partnership with Elisha James at the back.
It was going smoothly for the Reds, but they looked a little too relaxed eight minutes later as they knocked the ball around the back casually and Leeds’s switch to a press resulted in a goal, through former Barnsley forward Laura Bartup.
At half time Glossop and his coaching staff placed emphasis on taking control of the game and staying switched on with just the one-goal lead, and they kept things simple and looked to play their own game.
The midfield of Smith, Tugby and Nat Watson got on the ball more and were winning their battles, and winger Darcie Greene drifted inside to support the energetic Woodhouse.
Greene bagged herself a second goal of the season in the 75th minute when the away side failed to clear their lines from a set piece.
The victory was sealed when substitute Csomor drilled in her effort, who showed a determination to get her place back in this competitive squad with a goal and assist.
This result takes Barnsley Women into the first round of the Vitality Women’s FA Cup, where they will be hoping to take on one of the game’s top sides, like when they played Tottenham Hotspur FC Women in last year’s fourth round of the competition.