Women’s football Match of the Day: NFA 3 Llanberis 2

NFA’s Chloe Evans focuses on the ball, while Charley Davies of Llanberis (No 4) and Libby McClelland of NFA (6) get into position. Pic: Dave Jones

NFA 3 (Emily Jones 21 & 69, Amy Chesters 37)
Llanberis 2 (Ffion Roberts 49, Charley Davies 55)
North Wales Women’s Football League Division Two

Emily Jones fired in a fantastic winning goal for an NFA side which showed great character to bounce back from squandering a 2-0 lead early in the second half and take the three points.

The initiative looked to be with Llanberis as they struck twice in the first 10 minutes after the break to level at 2-2 and appeared the likelier winners at that stage.

But Andy Lloyd’s side knuckled down and clinched the spoils thanks to a 69th minute left-foot wonder strike from former Rhyl front player Jones, who scored twice in the match.

Llanberis got off to a flying start, almost taking a second-minute lead when Ffion Roberts was put clear, but stand-in keeper Amy Webster raced off her line and managed to avert the danger.

Charley Davies of Llanberis (left) looks to keep possession. Pic: Dave Jones

Emily Jones’ firm strike was kept out by Darans stopper Jamie Boyd, before George Spibey cleared the bar from close range.

The deadlock was broken in the 21st minute when the visitors failed to clear a ball into the six-yard box from the right and Emily Jones applied the finish.

Rachel Lloyd almost added a second from a free kick but a leaping Boyd managed to tip the ball onto the crossbar.

The Darans then threatened, Awel Ellis dispossessing keeper Webster but just unable to find Sioned Phillips at the back post.

Soon after Ffion Roberts was gifted the ball, but Webster saved well from point blank range.

Ffion Bee of Llanberis on the ball. Pic: Dave Jones

In the 37th minute NFA went two-up, Amy Chesters showing amazing determination on the left before finishing brilliantly from close to the byline.

Unfortunately, the half ended on a bad note for the hosts. Pivotal defender Llinos Hughes had to leave the action with a suspected broken nose, then skipper Lloyd was helped off with a knee problem.

Lloyd was able to return for the second half and did a splendid job at the back in place of the injured Hughes.

Half-time: NFA 2 Llanberis 0

The start of the second half saw a total change in the complexion of the game as Beris came out all guns blazing and NFA appeared a little disjointed, perhaps affected by the injuries and reshuffling.

In the 49th minute Ffion Roberts drilled home a fine shot from the edge of the box to halve the arrears.

Then in the 54th minute the hosts conceded a needless free kick 30 yards out.

Charley Davies could not have struck her effort better, finding the left-corner of the net with Glenn Hoddle like precision.

Llinos Hughes of NFA suffered an unfortunate injury. We wish her well. Picture: Dave Jones

Fired-up Llanberis pushed for another, but NFA firmed up at the back and gradually began to mount some attacks of their own.

Then on 69 minutes Jones produced a brilliant effort that was to prove the winner.

Jess Mills almost made it 4-2 when she went on a remarkable mazy run from her own half into the opposing box, but Boyd kept out her eventual shot.

Still there was work to do for the home side.

Chloe Evans of NFA on the ball. Picture: Dave Jones

Webster pulled off the save of the match to push away an Ellis strike.

And it was the hard-working Ellis who almost grabbed a last-gasp equaliser only to be denied by Webster yet again.

Overview

Both teams can take massive positives from this game.

NFA only had 12 players due to numerous injuries in the camp, but proved they are very much a squad with each member giving it everything.

A bad injury to key defender Llinos Hughes just before half time, and then pegged back to 2-2 within the first 10 minutes of the second half, many teams would have crumbled.

But the home side really showed their mettle to end up victorious to stay second in Division Two, seven points behind leaders Amlwch Town.

Amy Webster did really well as replacement keeper, while Rachel Lloyd was magnificent as a converted defender in the second half.

The home defence worked extremely hard, with Jess Mills and Chloe Evans inspirational and Libby McClelland very industrious in midfield. Great goals too from Amy Chesters and Emily Jones.

Llanberis were not quite at the races in the first half, but after the break really came on strong and I thought they might go on and win it at 2-2.

Ffion Roberts and Awel Ellis were excellent up front, Elin Arwen brilliant in defence, while Charley Davies’ free kick was a work of art, but all through the team the determination and togetherness was strong.

Both these teams are on the up.

NFA: Amy Webster, Jess Mills, Abi Bradley, Llinos Hughes (Stephanie Hewitt 46), Chloe Evans, Libby McClelland, Rachel Lloyd, Georgie Owen, George Spibey, Emily Jones, Amy Chesters.

Llanberis: Jamie Boyd, Elin Arwen, Ffion Bee, Charley Davies, Cara Aston, Sioned Phillips, Alaw Jones (Chloe Small), Sophie Baker (Kelly Williams), Indie Hassall, Ffion Roberts, Awel Fflur Ellis.

Players of the Match
NFA: Rachel Lloyd
Llanberis: Ffion Roberts

Referee: Gary Hayes (not an easy game to referee, but excellent again).

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