Brighouse Town Ladies entertained one of their title rivals in the shape of Barnsley, and both sides have started the season well and were looking to take advantage in the early stages of the campaign.
Barnsley started the better of the two teams and put Town under some early pressure with a couple of corners and long-range efforts. Town struggled to settle as Barnsley upped the tempo and looked to take an early lead. Town soaked up the early advances of the visitors and slowly grew into the game. A more settled Town Ladies were involved in a bit of an end-to-end encounter with neither side wanting to make a mistake as the sides went in goalless at the break.
The second half started with much of the same, both sides exchanging blows without really causing each other any problems. Town should have taken the lead when Rachael White got through beyond her marker, but her tame shot was easily saved and from the resulting kick Town failed to deal with the clearance and before they knew it a cross-field pass was delivered in to the box leaving Holly Findley free to head home
Town looked devoid of ideas, and a lack of composure almost cost the home side.
In response, the hosts began to crank up the pressure and went for the equaliser.
The impressive Claire Needham worked tirelessly all afternoon and got on the end of pass only to be brought down inside the box. The referee pointed to the spot and with just five minutes to go White stepped up and made no mistake to level the scores for Brighouse.
The game wasn’t finished there, with both sides looking for the win. Barnsley had a couple of chances followed by what looked like another stonewall penalty for Town, however the officials where unimpressed and waved it away to the bemusement of everyone inside the ground.
On reflection a 1-1 draw that was probably a fair result between two very evenly-matched sides.
It was also a great advert for women’s football and the NERWFL.