Women’s football – Cup and league action brings joy for NFA, 1876, Rhyl 1879 and Northop Hall

All hail the NFA heroes for a superb win in the North Wales Coast Challenge Cup at Pwllheli

NORTH WALES COAST WOMEN’S CHALLENGE CUP QUARTER-FINALS – NOVEMBER 21

Pwllheli 3 (S Jones 70, L Thomas 86, Gray 92)
NFA 4 (E Jones 41, Lloyd 84 & 95; Benjamin 119)

A long journey to take on a team from a level above them with just 12 players in the squad certainly made things tough for NFA, but the Rhyl-based heroes ended up winners of a thrilling tie thanks to a 119th minute decider.

NFA coach Andy Lloyd takes up the story….

“We had the long trip to Pwllheli in the quarter-final of the NWCFA Challenge Cup against a quality team playing their league football a tier above us.

“We only had 12 players available due to injuries and family commitments so every player had to work hard and from the first whistle our girls looked up for the game.

“It was difficult to play our normal passing game due to a difficult pitch but it’s the same for both sides. Pwllheli started the stronger but couldn’t break through our solid defence.

“On 19 minutes Emily Jones latched on to a through ball and calmly slotted the ball into the far corner. NFA created more chances but couldn’t convert them. 1-0 half time.

“Both teams came out determinedly in the second half and it was Pwllheli that eventually got their reward, Sioned Jones scoring on 70 minutes to make it 1-1.

“On 84 minutes we created a chance on the right-hand side where Rachel Lloyd converted with a long range shot that cleared the keeper. 2-1 NFA.

“Pwllheli weren’t done and came forward to force an equaliser on 86 minutes through Lois Thomas to force extra time.”

EXTRA TIME

“Both teams were feeling the pace but continued to create chances. Pwllheli were first to score in the 92nd minute, Sarah Gray putting them 3-2 up.

“NFA were not done and were awarded a free kick 25 yards out. Rachel Lloyd stepped back and placed the ball in the right hand corner to make the score 3-3 at half time in extra time.

“Our girls dug deep and put their bodies on the line. This was rewarded in the 119th minute when Sade Benjamin latched onto a through ball and slotted past the keeper to make the score 4-3 to NFA.

“Shortly after the referee blew the final whistle and we advanced to the semi finals.

“Thanks to Pwllheli for hosting us and good luck for the rest of their season. “Really couldn’t nominate a player of the match today as every single player gave 110%. Proud management team.”

Pwllheli
Sioned Bohana, Charley Davies, Siona Hughes (Amy Roberts 54), Sioned Jones, Erica Jones, Magi Hughes, Lois Thomas, Stacey Sansome (Sarah Gray 53), Sian Moore, Leanne Rees-Williams, Hayley Rees-Williams. Unused subs: Natalie Williams, Marsli Owen.

NFA
Courtney Ingram, Libby McClelland (Sophie Clews 81), Rachel Lloyd, Georgia Spibey, Stella Windsor, Jessica Mills, Amy Webster, Molly Brown, Megan Pursell, Emily Jones, Sade Benjamin.

Llanystumdwy 0
Bangor 1876 1 (Williams 72)

CPDM Bangor 1876 manager Jonny Batten

Chelsea Williams’ 72nd minute goal was all that separated the sides in this Challenge Cup clash where once again Llanystumdwy proved what an improved team they have become in a very short space of time.

Both sides had numerous regular players missing, but that did not stop them producing a cracking tie which could have gone either way.

The first half was end-to-end, Ffion Mair Roberts and Jordan Roberts going close for 1876, while a great free kick from the hosts forced a fine stop from 16-year-old visiting keeper Lucy Richardson.

Bangor 1876 started the second half the brighter, putting on a lot of pressure and taking some ascendancy in the match, Ffion Bee controlling the middle of the park.

Llanystumdwy were still creating chances though, Grace Mpuku and Hana Wellings unlucky not to be rewarded for efforts on goal.

The visitors made a change on 71 minutes, bringing Jema Owen on, who seemed to give 1876 an extra gear through her enthusiasm and endeavour.

1876 then won a free kick on the edge of the box, Elin Jones hitting the crossbar.

Soon after 1876 earned a corner and Llanstumdwy failed to clear their lines, allowing Chelsea Williams to score a poacher’s goal.

Jonny Batten’s side should have scored a couple more from chances for Gwen Roberts, Ffion Mair and Jordan Roberts, but Tash Matthews was producing some heroic defending for the hosts.

Llan did have one last opportunity from a corner, but sent the chance wide.

1876 manager Batten said: “This was a fantastic game, played with the correct spirit, passion and effort from all. Both teams left everything on the pitch and it could have gone either way.

“1876 grabbed a win and probably being fair edged it on the day, but never take anything from these Llanystumdwy girls… the effort they put in was super to watch.

“As manager, I would like to thank Llanystumdwy for the hospitality. It was great to see two teams leave it all on the pitch and then have a laugh in the pub afterwards.

“I’d like to congratulate Llan on their development and wish them all the luck in the world moving forward.”

NORTH WALES WOMEN’S FOOTBALL LEAGUE

Holywell 0
CPD Y Rhyl 1879 6 (Nellist 7, 49 & 81; Williams 8, Taylor 61, Nattrass 83)

Niomi Taylor (white) on the attack for Rhyl 1879. Niomi got on the scoresheet in a 6-0 win. Picture: CPD Y RHYL 1879 – WITH THANKS

Some truly quality players appeared on the scoresheet for Rhyl 1879 at Pen-y-Gelli today.

Candice Nellist completed back-to-back hat-tricks to move up to nine goals for the season, while Laura Williams, Niomi Taylor and Rachael Nattrass were also on the mark.

Rhyl manager Darren Wardle was happy with the result, which lifted his team up to second in the table, two points behind leaders Bangor 1876 with a game in hand.

“Not our best performance of the season, but we dug in on a very tight pitch and played some great football in patches,” he said.

“Holywell certainly played their part, but overall our superiority showed over the 90 minutes with six goals scored and a clean sheet.

“We picked up a few knocks today with girls playing through the pain which is credit to them, and I wish them a speedy recovery along with the opposition goalkeeper (who was also injured).

“Most important thing was another three points which the squad delivered and we move forward together.”

Northop Hall 3 (E Thomas 5, Chambers 57 & 77)
Welshpool Town 1 (Adams 15)

The Hall strengthened their top five status with a hard-earned win over Welshpool.

Eleanor Thomas opened the scoring on five minutes, but Jasmine Adams levelled for the visitors, who celebrated their first victory of the season the weekend before, on the quarter-hour.

Hall were much improved in the second half and Lauren Chambers delivered a double to seal three welcome points.

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