Farsley Celtic Women kicked off their league season on a scorching Sunday afternoon at The Citadel expecting big things after a productive preseason.
Having experienced a mixed bag in terms of preseason results but increased familiarity with the new tactics that coaches Matt Jackson and Izzy Roads have been implementing, it was a great chance to showcase their development in the 25 degree heat.
The opposition for the first game after stepping up two divisions were a Huddersfield Amateur side that had undergone a Summer of change themselves with a lot of new players coming into their team.
From kick off, we quickly found our stride and took control of the early goings with a narrow offside preventing a great chance from Lauren Rigby, who had stepped into the front line after a preseason of controlling the front line, and Kathryn Raw played a tempting through ball that was put out for an early corner.
Running things from the centre of the park was Vicky Robinson who attempted to beat the Huddersfield goalkeeper who performed fantastically all day in a player of the match worthy display.
Unfortunately only 13 minutes into her open age debut, Amyleigh Pearce went down under a rough tackle and was replaced by Olivia Wheatley who put in a commited display full of running and pressing.
However despite plenty of the ball in the first half an hour, we were not able to fashion any clear-cut chances and only tested the goalkeeper with speculative efforts from outside the box which she was able to deal with comfortably.
However, the break through was not far away and who else would it be but Lauren Rigby opening her tally for the season with a close range finish that was set up ablely by Georgia Bull.
It was no less than we deserved at this point and we were starting to really dominate possession as Huddersfield struggled to keep the ball and we were able to recycle and launch new attacks.
It didn’t take long for the second goal to come and this time it was Shirley Murphy taking advantage with Rigby this time playing creator that put us in a commanding position at the end of the first half.
The heat was definitely taking its toll and both teams made changes at half time. We started brightly but Huddersfield were able to work their way into the game and try and cause a few problems for Leigh Bamford in goal but she was more than equal to them.
The second half definitly lost a bit of the quality of the first half which was understandable given the conditions but we were still creating chances that on another day could have seen us score 2 or 3 more goals.
Leigh kept herself alert and active after a brilliant, defence splitting past left her one on one with the striker but she smothered the chance well to prevent the loss of an opening day clean sheet.
After a few more late chances, the referee’s whistle went and it was a 2-0 home victory to start the season off with a bang.
Goalscorers – Lauren Rigby, Shirley Murphy
Player of the Match – Vicky Robinson
Up next for Farsley Celtic Women – Hall Green United (a)