women’s football match of the day
North Wales Women’s League Division Two
Amlwch Town 9 (C Evans 34 & 41, F Owen 37, 79 & 90, L Crawley 62, 66 & 71, C Gadd 58)
September 8, 2019
Hat-tricks apiece from Ynys Môn stars Ffion Owen and Lexi Crawley helped Amlwch get their season off to a stunning start at Rhyl High School on Sunday.
New side NFA held their Anglesey opponents to 0-0 for 34 minutes before three quick goals put the visitors in command at the break.
The second half saw Town run riot, with 2019 Inter-Island Games top-scorer Crawley banging in three goals in a nine-minute spell.
NFA will come on for today’s test. They have some quality, experienced players in the camp and once their influence starts rubbing off more on their new team-mates they should improve considerably.
The home side should have taken the lead on 11 minutes when Alesha Wells-Brierley had a clear sight of goal, but rushed her shot and the ball went harmlessly wide.
Ceri Slaney, who was very effective down the right in the first half, clipped the post with a low effort, then at the other end keeper Ceri Pritchard sliced an attempted clearance, but again Wells-Brierley was unable to capitalise.
Crawley missed a golden chance from close range, NFA’s Emily Jones hit a firm shot that Pritchard dealt with comfortably, then Owen raced through the home defence but her strike was brilliantly kept out by keeper Dominique Marshall.
A goal did appear inevitable for Amlwch and it arrived on 34 minutes.
Slaney crossed deep from the right and Catrin Evans controlled smartly before lashing home a left-foot shot from an angle.
Owen volleyed over from point blank before the former Caernarfon Town midfielder showed strength and persistence to force the ball home for 2-0.
Evans rattled the bar, but the 16-year-old made no mistake in the 41st minute after Owen set her up.
Half time: NFA 0 Amlwch 3 (Evans 2, Owen)
Slaney was denied by Marshall soon after the restart before NFA’s best effort saw a Rachel Lloyd free kick superbly tipped away by Pritchard.
The contest was well and truly over when Cerys Gadd made it four in the 58th minute, robbing the ball off Lily Hughes and finishing clinically.
Crawley had been unusually wayward in her finishing before turning the tables with a rapid hat-trick.
Replacement keeper Yasmin Mills got a hand to her first effort, but could not prevent the ball finding the net.
Four minutes later came the goal of the match, Crawley blasting a 30-yard missile in off the bar.
And in the 71st minute more fine work from Catrin Evans set up Crawley for her third and Amlwch’s seventh.
Evans was at it again in the assisting stakes when she enabled Owen to finish from close range.
To their credit, NFA kept pressing for a consolation, two Rebecca Bannister attempts not too far away.
But Amlwch had the final word deep into injury time when Owen bagged her third of the afternoon.
A heavy defeat to start with for NFA, but there were even bigger losses happening elsewhere on this opening day goal feast for the league.
NFA: Dominique Marshall (Yasmin Mills 61), Sammie Jo Hyland, Chloe Evans, Abbie Bradley, Lily Hughes, Alesha Wells Brierley, Rachel Lloyd, Rebecca Bannister, Amy Webster, Libby McClelland, Emily Jones. Subs used: Heather Griffiths, Jess Mills, Steph Hewitt.
Amlwch Town: Ceri Pritchard, Paige Williams, Beth Pritchard, Beth Jones, Carol Lewis, Cerys Gadd, Gail Manning, Ffion Owen, Lexi Crawley, Ceri Slaney, Catrin Evans. Subs used: Meinir Thomas, Shannon Thomas, Catrin Thomas, Ashleigh Jones).