GENERO ADRAN NORTH – NOVEMBER 19
CPD Y RHYL 1879 3 (L Williams 12, Bannister 27, Benjamin 65)
AIRBUS UK BROUGHTON 1 (Pratt 84)
A hard-fought second league win of the season for Rhyl 1879 edged them up to third in Genero Adran North.
Both sides gave it everything in heavy conditions, playing some very neat football at times and the respective defences put in great shifts.
Airbus could have taken a first-minute lead when the impressive Laura Pratt delivered a lovely low ball from the right into the six-yard box, but no-one could apply the finish.
At the other end, Becca Bannister struck a firm shot which keeper Heidi Scammell found hot to handle, but the danger was cleared.
The deadlock was broken in the 12th minute from a familiar source.
The hosts won a free kick on the right and from 25 yards, Laura Williams struck a left-foot rocket which Scammell was unable to keep out.
Bannister had a 26th minute shot bundled behind for a corner which produced 1879’s second goal.
Skipper Rachael Nattrass lifted a tantalising flag-kick into the six-yard area and Bannister headed home.
Airbus refused to be discouraged and pushed to reduce the deficit.
India Howarth delivered a superb cross from the left, but Pratt could not quite get enough power in her header to trouble home stopper Bethan Thomas.
The final seconds of the first half saw Rosie O’Brien go on a lung-busting run down the left before sending in the perfect cross, but Eleanor Thomas could only shin the ball at keeper Scammell.
HALF-TIME: Rhyl 1879 2-0 Airbus
Airbus started the second half well, Anna Owen instantly testing Thomas with a lob which the keeper needed two attempts to hold.
The hosts were picking their passes well, Bannister releasing Llio Davies into the box, but her powerful shot was well blocked by Scammell. The keeper then needed a timely foot to deflect Bannister’s 20-yard hit behind.
Rhyl went three-up in the 65th minute.
A high free kick was hoisted into the box by Rachael Thomas, Scammell was unable to hold and Sade Benjamin pounced to knock in her 14th goal of the season.
Despite the game now being all but beyond them, Airbus never stopped trying to attack.
In the 84th minute, Pratt made a dynamic run at the Rhyl defence, and when she was able to work the ball onto her right foot lashed a beauty into the net.
Moments later, Ruby Ellis was in on goal down the right, but Thomas got down well to block superbly.
Had Airbus scored then to make it 3-2, it would have set up a very interesting climax.
Rhyl dug deep, kept their composure and saw out the game with six added minutes played.
This was a good quality encounter with some slick football played by both sides.
Cassie Thomas was outstanding at the back for Rhyl in the first half. Airbus attacked whenever they could and on another day it might have been a closer final score.
Becca Bannister and Rachael Thomas were majestic in the midfield for the hosts, while Laura Williams, who scored an absolute beauty, mixed skill with steel throughout. Saskia Wynne Thomas was a constant good outlet as a right wing-back.
Goalkeeper Bethan Thomas used her experience often to calm things down and was very assured in all she did.
Airbus’ pacy duo, Laura Pratt and Ruby Ellis, were both dynamic – always giving the 1879 defence something to think about. Catrin Ellis was strong and dependable at the back.
Referee Jason Jenkins was excellent, always letting the game flow when he could.
Rachael Thomas (c)
AIRBUS UK BROUGHTON