Barnsley FC Women saw their inaugural campaign in the Women’s FA Cup draw to a close at the first hurdle, as they lost 3-1 to Ossett United in front of a raucous crowd on the Oakwell astroturf.
The Reds had started the game brightly, producing a number of early attacking chances. In the 5th minute, left wing-back Louisa Barraclough launched a curving cross into the box, only for it to whistle just short of the post.
Minutes later, a speculative Victoria Chincharo shot found itself at the feet of Jodie Gregory, but was agonisingly gathered by the 'keeper before a second shot could be delivered. From this chance, Ossett had their first attacking opportunity of the game, with winger Madison Hall presenting a real attacking threat down the left-hand side on more than one occasion, with the Reds’ number 10, Madison Foye, reacting brilliantly several times to track back and deal with the threat.
A similar run down the right-hand side was matched by Macy Lunn, with the resulting corner kick being gathered comfortably by Reds 'keeper Ashleigh Ridsdel-Harrison.
Soon after, an excellent team passing move saw the ball once again find its way to Gregory in the penalty area, with the resulting shot being hit over the bar. Another passing masterclass from the Reds would see a Barraclough cross reach the head of Gregory again, with the teenager promptly nodding the chance over the bar.
Following this dominant spell from the Reds, Ossett seized their own opportunity to take advantage of the game. In the 20th minute, Ossett number 9 Debbie Hastings responded to a defensive clearance from Stephanie Rigby, noticing Ridsdel-Harrison off her line, before lobbing a shot over her head for Ossett’s first of the afternoon.
Hastings then had a chance to make it two for the visitors, although her shot was saved successfully by Ridsdel-Harrison. Similarly, a cross by Ossett's right winger was dealt with by Rigby, and Hall failed to convert when the ball fell into her path.
The Reds then had a number of opportunities to produce an equaliser. Midfielder Kim Brown drilled a cross into the box in the 33rd minute, with no one managing to get onto the end of it. And two minutes later, a speculative effort from Madison Foye trickled just wide of the post.
We were left to once again rue these missed opportunities in the 43rd minute, when miscommunication between captain, Charley Evans and Rigby allowed Hall to pick up the ball in the 18 yard box, weave her way around both defenders, before slotting home from close range, leaving the Reds two goals down as we headed into the half time interval.
HALF TIME: Barnsley 0-2 Ossett United
As we moved into the second half, the Reds shifted solidly into first gear. An attacking melee in the 48th minute caused a defensive flurry in the Ossett box, allowing Victoria Chincharo to nod home the resulting rebound to make it two in two for her, and to pull one back for Barnsley.
Following this goal, the Reds took control. Two minutes afterwards, a long range shot from Foye was aimed just wide of the Ossett goalkeeper, and Barraclough picked up where she had left off, aiming a multitude of crossing opportunities into the box, testing the Ossett goalkeeper on several occasions, but not resulting in that pivotal equaliser.
Goalscorer, Chincharo had perhaps her best chance to claim a double in the 56th minute, when she managed to get on the end of a curling free kick cross from the busy Barraclough, only for her shot to fall straight into the goalkeeper’s hands. Similarly, after 61 minutes, Nic Shaw fired a cross into the box, with it missing the first forward and once again being collected by the Ossett goalkeeper.
Following this, the away side hit back. In the 66th minute, the Barnsley defence failed to clear their lines, with the resulting shot from the heart of midfield managing to again lob Ridsdel-Harrison, and make its way into the back of the net, for Ossett’s third.
Barnsley struggled to match the tempo of the game, until Shannon Durkin was brought off the bench in the 76th minute. Shortly after coming on, Durkin sprung into action with a long range effort narrowly missing the target. Six minutes later, a long range weighted pass from Rebecca Wilson also found its way to Durkin, who was unable to convert from close range.
Durkin was also involved in the Reds’ last opportunity to claw it back, in the 90th minute, when she responded to being closed down in the box by an Ossett defender by laying it off to Gregory, although the chance was collected calmly by the Ossett 'keeper, and the scoreline remained intact.
FULL TIME: Barnsley 1-3 Ossett United
Ridsdel-Harrison, Wilson, Rigby, Lunn (Durkin, 75), Barraclough, Foye, Evans, Chincharo (Kelly, 65), Brown, Shaw (Hooper, 87), Gregory
Unused subs: Horsley, Lowery, Turner, Marsh