A CLINICAL hat-trick from Huddersfield Town Women’s Laura Elford was enough to dump Brighouse Town out of the FA Women's National League Cup on a wet and wild night for football.

The visitors were worthy winners of a hard-fought Yorkshire derby, which avenged their 1-0 league defeat against the same opposition last month.

The two previous attempts to the play the game had been thwarted by the weather and Wednesday night’s game was played against a backdrop of driving rain and a gale force wind.

Playing with the wind behind their backs in the first half, Brighouse opened the scoring after 14 minutes when Drew Greene sprang the offside trap to slot beyond the advancing goalkeeper Bethan Davies.

Huddersfield drew level on 23 minutes in controversial circumstances.

Brighouse were attacking when the ball hit the referee. From the resulting drop-ball, Huddersfield knocked a long pass forward to Elford, who hit an unstoppable shot into the top corner.

Seven minutes later, the striker turned the tie on its head with a shot from the edge of the box to make it 2-1.

Huddersfield started the second half on the front foot and made it 3-1 after an hour when Brittany Sanderson flicked in Kate Mallin’s cross at the near post.

Brighouse manager Rob Mitchell threw captain Annabelle Cass forward in pursuit of a goal but she was sent off after 66 minutes.

As the rain turned the playing surface into a skating rink she went for a challenge near the corner flag with Georgia Marshall and ended up in the advertising boards.

The two came together, but though the altercation seemingly barely merited a booking, the referee saw fit to send both players off.

Huddersfield were denied a fourth goal by a one-handed save from goalkeeper Imogen Maguire and had claims for a penalty turned down when Paige Crossman went down under a hefty challenge after 70 minutes.

However they weren’t to be denied, and Elford grabbed her third and her team’s fourth with a low shot in injury-time to secure a semi-final against Liverpool Feds.

After the game, Mitchell said that Huddersfield deserved the win but that he was disappointed by some of the decisions.

“The best team won but their equaliser turned the tide in their favour,” he said. “We were attacking when the ball hit the ref but she gave the drop-ball to them and they scored.

“After that Huddersfield looked really dangerous and Laura Elford scored an excellent hat-trick.

“I’m really disappointed by the double sending off because I don’t think the ref has taken into account the horrendous weather conditions. Both players will miss three games now.

“However our focus now switches to the league and a trip to Middlesbrough on Sunday.”