Aberystwyth Town Ladies have booked a semi-final place in the Welsh Women’s League Cup, as well as tightening their grip on the South Wales Women’s League title, writes Steven Brookes.
The Seasiders, who will also face Aberystwyth University in the final of Central Wales Senior Cup at Park Avenue on Friday, 3 May, are still on track to complete the treble this season.
Second half strikes from Cat Davies, Naomi Evans and Caroline Cooper had seen them beat Penybont 3-1 in their Welsh League Cup quarter-final on a cold and windy day in South Wales.
With the tricky conditions having a big effect, the visitors struggled to match their usual high standards, but always looked most likely to score.
Naomi Evans came close to opening the scoring at the back post, but was denied by a good save, and Caroline Cooper and Tania Wylde also saw long-range efforts comfortably saved.
Kelly Thomas then saw her strike go over the bar, and Cat Davies saw her powerful header go wide of the post after a pin-point cross from Nia Witts.
They broke the deadlock just two minutes into the second half when an excellent cross from Naomi Evans fell to the feet of Cat Davies, who found the bottom corner of the home net.
With the wind still causing problems, keeper Ffion Ashman had to react well as the ball nearly bounced over her, but Penybont didn’t have to wait long to find the equaliser as Shorna Davies poked the ball under the Aber keeper.
Four minutes later, however, Aber regained the lead as Naomi Evans’ first time cross-shot looped over the home keeper, before hitting the net.
Aber were in full control as time ticked on, and Wylde was desperate to score for a seventh consecutive match.
It was Cooper, however, who increased the lead when the midfielder’s excellent left-footed strike curled into the top corner with 16 minutes to go.
The Seasiders were already though to final of the Central Wales Women’s Cup after they beat holders Llanfair United 2-0, with second half goals from Kelly Thomas and Tania Wylde, before then being handed a bye to the final when Felinfach Ladies failed to raise a side for their semi-final tie.
• ABERYSTWYTH Town Ladies are on the verge of securing the South Wales Women’s League title after wins over Caldicot Town and Splott Albion.
Despite a second half scare, the Seasiders edged closer to securing promotion with a hard-fought 3-2 victory over a last season’s Women’s Welsh Premier League side Caldicot Town.
For most of the season Caldicot were one of Aber’s main rivals for promotion, along with Barry Town United, but their title challenge ended when they were recently deducted 29 points for playing an ineligible player.
Three minutes in, Caldicot fell behind when Kelly Thomas capitalised on a defensive mistake to slot home.
Caroline Cooper saw a shot saved and Naomi Evans came close at the back post as Aber pressed forward.
At the other end, however, the away side missed a good opportunity when they fired wide of Ffion Ashman’s post, following a one-on-one chance.
The next goal was always going to be crucial, and on 36 minutes Cat Davies was fouled in the box and Tania Wylde stepped up to convert the penalty kick straight into the corner of the net.
Three minutes later it was 3-0, as Caroline Cooper cut in and her outstanding effort beat the keeper.
In the second half, Tania Wylde’s strike hit the post, but the visitors hit back when Kelly Cutler got in behind the defence and her calm finish ended Ffion Ashman’s run of clean sheets.
With 20 minutes to go, the visitors made it 3-2 when a free kick was turned in from close range by Hazel Lockwood to set up a nervy finish.
Aber, however, kept composure and Kelly Thomas had a goal disallowed after an excellent Wylde strike bounced ofd the post, before falling to the feet of the Seasiders’ midfielder.
Stevie Cook was also denied a goal of the season contender when the ball hit the post, and Aber remained strong to take the points at the final whistle.
Last weekend, Aberystwyth maintained momentum as they registered a good 2-0 away win at third-placed Splott Albion, courtesy of goals from Catherine Davies and Naomi Evans.
This result, alongside a 6-2 win for Caldicot Town at second-placed Barry Town United last Sunday, has seen Aberystwyth open up an eight point lead at the top of the league standings, with five league matches remaining.
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