Brighouse Town aiming to fly the flag in Women’s FA Cup against Huddersfield Town

It is not often Brighouse Town and Huddersfield Town are mentioned in the same breath, but the neighbours meet in Sunday’s Women’s FA Cup third round at Shelley FC.

Rob Mitchell: Manager of Brighouse Ladies football team.

Visitors Brighouse knocked Newcastle United out 3-0 after extra-time last week, whilst Huddersfield also needed an additional 30 minutes to win 3-2 at Liverpool Feds.

In men’s football, the gap between the West Yorkshire clubs is huge, with Huddersfield in the Championship and Brighouse the eighth-tier Northern Premier League North West Division. Although the Terriers are higher in the women’s game, too, it is much closer. Huddersfield were top of the third-tier National League Northern Premier Division when Covid-19 ended the season, Brighouse second in the division below, above Leeds United, Newcastle, Barnsley and Bradford City.

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“We want to be the last West Yorkshire team standing because Bradford City and Leeds United have gone out,” says chairman James Howard. “Hopefully we can light the sky up in orange, not blue and white, on Sunday!

“We’re the West Riding champions, although we’ve been unable to defend our title this season. We’re about 160 places below Leeds in the men’s pyramid but higher-ranked in the women’s. It’s down to the real passion and enthusiasm we show for women’s football.

“Lots of clubs invest significantly more into men’s football but our attitude is that all our sides – men’s, women’s, junior, disabled – are important. Men’s will always attract more revenues but it was my plan from day one to integrate the women’s team fully into the club.”

Sunday’s winners host West Bromwich or Derby County in round four, seven days later. Middlesbrough play Wem Town in a bid to host Sheffield United.