Huddersfield Town Women 0-4 Everton Women: Women's FA Cup
HUDDERSFIELD, ENGLAND - JANUARY 30: Valerie Gauvin of Everton celebrates scoring her teams third goal with team mates during the Vitality Women's FA Cup match between Huddersfield Town and Everton on January 30, 2022 in Huddersfield, England. (Photo by Emma Simpson - Everton FC/Everton FC via Getty Images)

Valérie Gauvin's brace helped Everton Women to a deserved yet difficult victory over a determined Huddersfield Town Women side.

  • Story of the match

The Barclays Women's Super League side controlled the game from start to finish and got off to the perfect start when a dangerous cross was turned in by Anna Anvegård at the near post with less than four minutes played.

From that moment on, there only looked like one winner and it would've have been a cricket score had the Terriers not put in a valiant defensive display.

Last-ditch blocks were a feature of the game, with Everton's frontline becoming increasingly frustrated until Gauvin's brilliant header made it two-nil from a wicked corner.

The home side, who play in the third tier, put in a sterling effort in front a new record crowd of 1,168 at the John Smith's Stadium, but Gauvin's second of the match killed the game as a contest just five minutes into the second half.

Huddersfield goalkeeper Becky Flaherty made a number of top-quality saves to keep the scoreline respectable, but there was nothing at all she could do about Claire Emslie's sensational icing on the cake moment.

Substitute Toni Duggan, who missed a one-on-one just moments earlier, floated a delightful ball across the box to the back post and Emslie watched it all the way onto her boot and finished with a stupendous acrobatic bicycle kick in the last minute of the game.

There was time for Flaherty to pull off another stunning save with the last action of the game, showing why she represents Northern Ireland, but Everton progressed safely into Round Five of the Cup.

Given that the likes of Arsenal and other WSL sides only scraped through against lower-league opposition by one-goal margins, it was a performance to be proud of for the Toffees.

 

  • Player of the match

 

Becky Flaherty - Huddersfield Town

Gauvin's two goals put her in contention, but Flaherty kept her side in the game for much longer than expected. For an amateur side to only lose 4-0 against well-established Super League opposition is quite remarkable, and Town's 'keeper was the main reason for that. There might be a few Women's Championship clubs circling if they see the highlights reel.

 

  • What we learned

 

Everton contenders again?

Yes, it was 'only' Huddersfield, but you still have to win the game. Everton did that at a canter. It could have been double figures on another day, so they will need to be more clinical in the Last 16, but their build-up play, composure and all-round intensity was a joy to behold. They could go all the way to final again.

 

Is the gap to the WSL closing?

A team who train twice a week, two hours at a time, have just given a tremendous performance against a side flooded with full internationals. Manchester City may have beaten Nottingham Forest 8-0 on Saturday, but Huddersfield's display here shows that teams in the National Leagues rally can hold their own against WSL opposition. If this can become a regular occurrence, it will be great for women's football in England.

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