Sunday 13th December.
Swansea City Ladies 4-0 Aberystwyth Town Ladies.
Welsh Women’s Premier League Cup, Quarter Final.
Evan Bevans Playing Field, Baglan.
Attendance: Circa 60.
One of the great things about my year spent watching Welsh football has been my eventual enlightenment into the world of Welsh Women’s football.
As I’ve touched on in previous blogs, I was a little bit embarrassed to say the least that until Spring of this year I’d never watched a game of women’s football live in person. My first experience of women’s football was a little fraught to say the least but since this one-off experience I’ve really enjoyed myself at women’s games.
My wife volunteered to dog-sit in Swansea at her mother’s house while she visited London for the weekend, which opened up the pretty convenient option of taking in a Swansea City Ladies match against Aberystwyth Town Ladies in Baglan on the way back.
I’ve got previous form with Swansea City Ladies, I took in their Welsh Women’s Premier League Cup Final against PILCS at the Genquip Stadium back at the tail end of last season where they were narrowly beaten by a dogged and determined PILCS side.
Swansea City Ladies indeed used to play at Port Talbot Town’s Genquip Stadium but they appear to have now made the Evan Bevans Playing Field in Baglan their home ground.
The Bevans Field is a fairly large complex attached on the back of a Baglan Boy’s Club building, made up of a full sized football field, a couple of five/six-a-side pitches, a 3G football court, an indoor cricket field and a small restaurant/refreshments area.
The ground is conveniently located between the nearby A48 and the Swansea to London train line and is a mere stone’s throw away from the adjacent M4 motorway that flies past overhead through Baglan, Briton Ferry and nearby Port Talbot.
I’ve got to admit beforehand, I have a bit of a soft spot for Aberystwyth Town – as regular readers of the blog will no doubt be more than aware of. This of course transfers over to the club’s female counterparts and so I must admit that despite trying my hardest to remain impartial, I did come into this game hoping for an Aberystwyth victory.
Any hopes of an Aber victory were quickly dashed as Swansea City took an almost immediate lead when a defence splitting pass straight from kick off by their No.7 put the ball right into the path of their No.5 who slotted home from 12 yards after what must have been just 15 seconds or so to give her side a 1-0 lead.
Swansea City had a lot of joy down the left wing, particularly from creative winger Katy Hosford who showed for the whole 90 minutes why she is so highly thought of within Welsh Women’s football and for large parts of the game simply looked a class above.
The Jacks doubled their lead midway through the first half when Hosford beat two markers and dispatched a lovely cross into the box that was met by Swansea’s No.6 deep in the box who slotted the ball home calmly from twelve yards out.
Five minutes before the interval, Swansea took a commanding 3-0 lead into the interval as they scored an almost identical goal to their 2nd when Hosford and their No.6 teamed up again to seal all three points for their side.
The second half started as the first half ended with Swansea City dominating proceedings. Katy Hosford was unlucky not to get on the score sheet in the 50th minute when she hit a stupendous effort at goal from outside of the penalty area that managed to hit both the cross bar and the post before agonisingly rolling across the goal line and being booted out into safety by an Aber defender.
Aberystwyth Town put up a spirited fight but were ultimately stifled by a very effective and disciplined Swansea City side who for most of the game played the game out in Aber’s half.
One chance of note for Aberystwyth came in the 70th minute when their No.26 who tested the Swansea City goalkeeper with a volleyed effort from just outside of the penalty area.
Swansea City wrapped up the game in the 80th minute with a superb goal from their No.7 who latched onto a beautiful cross from their No.5 and headed a looping effort into the top right corner to give the Swans a commanding 4-0 lead.
Katy Hosford, who had performed brilliantly for the whole 90 minutes was again frustratingly kept off the score sheet in injury time as she beat two markers and hit a cross/shot into the box only to be denied again by the upright.
This afternoon’s performance was all about the skilful but disciplined performance of the Swansea City side but all credit must go to the Aberystwyth Town Ladies who did well to limit the Swans’ chances in front of goal where some sides would have come away bruised and battered from a 10-0 hammering.
Their determination to keep fighting on and even carve out chances having spent large periods of the game pinned back on their 18 yard box was admirable.