The month opened with two WPWL Cup games and Llandudno v Aberystwyth in league action after a change of fixture due to a postponed FAW cup game the week before. In a game that was full of action, Aberystwyth were the first to score, with a goal from young Welsh international Emily Thomas (17). Llandudno however pulled one back in the second half through Fflur Williams (58) and the teams shared the spoils.
There was late drama in Abergavenny for their Group One game against Swansea, with the visitors 1-0 up after a goal from Katy Hosford in the 58th minute. Abergavenny thought they had rescued a point in the 88th minute, as captain Ceri Hudson grabbed an equaliser, but substitute Chloe Chivers scored for Swansea two minutes later to see the Swans take all the points and top spot.
Over in Group Two Port Talbot made the short journey to Briton Ferry Llansawel, hoping to retain their cup form; Bethan McGowen was the first to strike on the 28th minute and the win was secured with two second half goals for Lauren Amor (64) and Courtney Thomas (77), with the hosts unable to find a reply. Port Talbot took top in the group, with Cyncoed the only team who can stop them progressing to the semi-finals.
The end of the week saw big news off the pitch as defender Tija Richardson moved from Cardiff Met to current table toppers Swansea City. Richardson captained Met through last season’s treble success and their record breaking Champions League campaign in August, but playing time since then has been limited to just one match. Formerly a Swans player, having initially joined in 2012, Richardson described the move as ‘coming home’ and all in white are hoping that she will cement their claim on silverware at the end of the season.
Back on the pitch, Swansea and Abergavenny once again went head to head in on League Matchday Five; this time Swansea were in control, Lauren Smith getting two and Chloe Chivers (45,75) again coming on as a sub to claim a third (80). Cardiff City Women had an early shock as visitors Briton Ferry Llansawel scored in the first minute (Lowri Ridings), but Alana Murphy’s double in the 35th and 52nd minutes gave the Bluebirds the win. Cardiff Met boosted their goal difference with a 17-0 win over Llandudno (Amy Long 30, 37; Sophie Hancocks 78, 87; Erin Murray 25; Maddy Schupbach 8, 20, 53, 90; Robyn Pinder 2, 44, 47, 51, 55,61, 88; Jodie Passmore 71). In the final game of the day, fourth placed Port Talbot hosted Aberystwyth, getting four goals to ensure they stayed in touching distance of the top three (Laura May Walkley 20; Jessie Taylor 36, Courtney Thomas 37; Carys Davies 63).
The following weekend the clubs were back in FAW Cup action, Swansea, Cardiff Met, Llandudno, Abergavenny and Port Talbot all beating Tier Two opposition to reach the next round, while in the all WPWL game it was Cardiff City Women who progressed at the expense of Aberystwyth. The Quarterfinals, to be played in February, will see Swansea face Bethel, Port Talbot travel to Connah’s Quay Nomads, Llandudno host Abergavenny and the two Cardiff’s will play at the home of the Bluebirds.
The last games of the month were again Orchard WPWL fixtures; Abergavenny v Briton Ferry Llansawel was lost to a waterlogged pitch, but the remaining three ties saw some important results. It was a close encounter between Port Talbot and Swansea, the Swans going ahead early in the game through Sarah Adams (2) and doubling their lead on 51 with a goal from Katy Hosford to keep their clean sheet and 100% record to stay top of the pile. Cardiff Met were able to capitalise on Cardiff City’s week off to claim the tree points in hand to jump them in the table, beating Aberystwyth 4-0 away (Erin Murray 2, 10; Jodie Passmore 37; Alexis Rienks 54). Cyncoed were after their first win of the season and found themselves 3-0 up at half time through goals from Athina Varnava (15), Alison Witts (17) and Lauryn Lyons (23). Lyons scored again at the start of the second half (47) before Stacey Tradewell pulled one back for visiting Llandudno (52), this however seemed to spur Cyncoed on as Varnava hit back immediately (53) and Lyons (58) and Witts (60, 90) both ended the game on hat-tricks.
It’s League Cup action again this weekend, which could see the first semi finalists confirmed. We’re also celebrating our LGBT players, supporting the Rainbow Laces campaign.