North Wales Women’s Football League
CPD Y Rhyl 1879 12 (Nellist 8, 48 & 52; Bentley 12 & 49; Taylor 18 & 27; Bannister 32 & 70; Nattrass 72; Crockett 75 & 84)
Trearddur Bay 0
It was non-stop entertainment at Bellevue this afternoon with Rhyl 1879 getting the win which put them top of the league.
From start to finish, the attack-minded hosts did just that – attack. They scored 12, could have had a lot more.
But there were two sides on the pitch and league newcomers Trearddur Bay, still gaining experience of competitive football, gave it everything they had.
Chris Davies’ side never stopped trying. This was reflected in the fact they were still chasing a goal in the closing stages and would have got it but for a magnificent save from keeper Megan Robinson.
And the visiting keeper Georgia Magee produced some excellent stops on a very difficult afternoon for her.
Emily Bentley fired inches wide for the home team before Rhyl broke the deadlock in the eighth minute.
Candice Nellist was found in space in the box and although Magee got two firm hands to her shot, the ball still carried enough purchase to find the net.
Four minutes later Rebecca Bannister slid a lovely pass to Bentley, whose low effort from an angle should have been cleared off the line, but the defender failed to connect and the ball found the net.
No blaming or sulking from the Bay keeper and defenders – just hugs and encouragement.
In the 18th minute the ball broke off Laura Williams to Niomi Taylor, who whipped a fine finish past Magee.
Rhyl were buzzing now and on 27 minutes Nellist was in on goal but unselfishly squared to Taylor, who slotted in her second from close to the goal-line.
Magee could perhaps have done better when Bannister’s free kick fired straight at her was allowed to squirm into the net. Again, the unselfish Nellist watched the ball over the line when she could easily have nudged it in herself.
Was the Trearddur keeper losing heart? Not a bit of it, she produced a great stop from Nellist and showed one or two more pieces of good work before the interval.
Three goals in seven minutes at the start of the second half put Rhyl well and truly out of sight.
Nellist finished off a Tegan Crockett cross, then Bentley’s beautiful strike from a corner carried too much power for the keeper – 7-0.
The outstanding Nellist then lashed home an absolute cracker to complete her hat-trick.
On the hour came the cue for Nellist to take her bow and be replaced by the very popular Amy Woodbridge.
Virtually everyone in the ground was willing Woodbridge to score and she went really close when rattling the post after a Williams shot from a Rachael Nattrass corner was blocked.
Woodbridge was a girl on a mission. She kept getting into great positions, but despite having a handful of chances could not quite find the finish.
Bannister produced the shot of the day on 70 minutes – an absolute missile free kick from outside the box which made it 9-0.
Bentley then ran into the area but was denied by a brilliant point-blank stop from Magee.
The 72nd minute saw the hosts make it double figures.
Skipper Nattrass worked the ball nicely onto her right foot and drilled home a beauty from about 18 yards.
The industrious Crockett then got in on the act, converting a Nattrass cross before Tegan then ran clear on goal and finished well to complete the scoring.
Surely no-one in the stadium would have begrudged Trearddur a goal, but keeper Robinson, who replaced Lauren Jones at half time, refused to let it happen.
Chloe Taylor did everything right, firing a firm left-footed shot from 10 yards, but Robinson dived full-length to her left to make a stupendous save. Credit to the keeper, who had little to do, yet was on alert enough to make a stop like that.
Great entertainment and a word for referee Cory Wellbeloved, who had an excellent game.
CPD Y Rhyl 1879
Lauren Jones (Megan Robinson 46), Saskia Wynne-Thomas, Sophie Haywood, Rosie O’Brien, Emily Bentley, Laura Williams, Rachael Nattrass, Candice Nellist (Amy Woodbridge 60), Tegan Crockett, Rebecca Bannister (Trisha Harley 74) Niomi Taylor.
Georgia Magee, Chloe Taylor, Shelley McMullan, Stacey Evans, Catrin Ellen Jones, Ashleigh Jones, Caitlin Howell-Williams, Freya Davies, Lara Jones, Saffron Williams, Lia Huws. Subs used: Amy Burrows, Toni Williams.
Grassroots North Wales Players of the Match
Rhyl 1879: Tegan Crockett – really busy performance rewarded with two goals.
Trearddur Bay: Catrin Ellen Jones – put in a great shift at left-back, never stopped trying from first whistle to last.