“This is a great day not just for the ladies but the club as a whole. We are making excellent progress and I believe the best is yet to come and this is just the start of what we are developing for the next few years”
Luke Williams (1st Team Ladies Manager)
Saturday 4th May saw the women and girls South Wales FA Cup Finals take place at Penybont FC, Bridgend with Barry Town Utd Ladies represented in all three age groups for the first time in their history.
First up the Under 14’s took on Pencoed Boys & Girls Club in what proved to be a thriller of a cup final. Barry had recently secured the U14 league title however they missed out on a cup competition last season with an extra-time defeat to the same opposition in the League Cup so there was plenty riding on this fixture.
Barry took an early first half lead when Emilie John finished off a good move before calmly slotting past the goalkeeper but the lead lasted just 10 minutes as Pencoed equaliser with a shot from the edge of the area going in off the post.
The score remained 1-1 at the break which was a fair reflection of the first period. However Barry came racing out of the blocks in the second half and were putting Pencoed under some severe pressure which finally told when John once again found space following a great passage of play to put Barry back in front. John was to have a memorable day sealing her hat-trick just minutes later rounding the keeper to put Barry into a commanding 3-1 lead.
Just as it looked Barry had moved out of sight, Pencoed rallied and stunned Barry with two quick fire goals to make it 3-3 with the equaliser a fabulous effort from outside of the penalty area. It was very much match on with 5 minutes to go but there was to be one last twist. A Barry corner was only partially cleared to the edge of the area where Faith Mulenga swivelled and stuck a looping shot over the goalkeeper to give Barry a 4-3 win in the last minute of the game.
A fantastic final where both teams should be extremely proud of their performance.
In the Under 16 final Barry would take on Cardiff City Ladies for the second year in succession.
The vale based club took control of this final early on providing some excellent passages of play and the breakthrough came after 7 minutes when Ella Hilliard struck a measured left foot shot into the corner of the net to give Barry the perfect start.
Barry doubled their lead 12 minutes later when an in-swinging corner from Hilliard deflected off a Cardiff defender and into the net to make it 2-0 after 19 minutes. The Dragons were looking composed but credit to their opponents who refused to lie down and defended bravely throughout the contest and had moments of joy on the counter attack without create clear cut opportunities.
Captain Caitlin Meadows made it 3-0 before half time with a well-timed header from another Hilliard corner to give Barry a commanding lead at half time.
The second half followed a similar pattern with Barry controlling the majority of possession with their opponents working hard to stay in the game. Taite Trivett was to get in on the act to make it 4-0 to Barry with a calm finish.
Hilliard was involved yet again for Barry’s 5th goal striking home a well place shot to make it 5-0 and there was time for one more as substitute Elen Matthews netted late on to round off a 6-0 win for Barry and complete and excellent overall team performance.
Barry Town Ladies went into their cup final against Merthyr Town looking to retain the trophy that they won for the first time the previous season following an extra-time victory over Penybont in 2018.
This was also to be a highly entertaining final with Barry going into the game as favourites against a Merthyr side who possess a strong attacking line-up.
The opening stages saw Barry retain the ball more effectively but it was the Martyrs who forced the first noticeable effort when a shot from the edge of the area was saved by Barry goalkeeper Erin Brennan.
Chelsea Deacon went close moments later with a shot from a narrow angle which was well saved but Barry did make the first breakthrough soon after. Charlotte Preen won possession and laid the ball into Ellen Phillips whose perfectly waited through ball found Sian Rees who raced through on goal before slotting past the goalkeeper to make it 1-0.
A great start for Barry who at this stage of the game were justifying their favourites tag. The score remained 1-0 at break.
The second half proved to be a rollercoaster as the game came to life just two minutes into the second period. A misplaced pass from the Barry midfield found Isabelle Kaler who intercepted the ball and raced through to score a well taken goal to get Merthyr on level terms.
Not long after, Barry restored their lead, this time a fabulous free kick from Preen which went over the goalkeeper. Once more, Barry’s lead was short lived as Merthyr responded for a second time when Barry failed to deal with a long ball and Kaler once more raced through and scored with a well taken finish to make it 2-2.
The game was in the balance with 15 minutes to go but a tactical switch proved dividends for Barry with Deacon moving into a striker role alongside Rees which turned the game back in Barry’s favour. Firstly a great through ball from Rees found Deacon who rounded the keeper and laid the ball off to Preen to finish off a great move to make it 3-2.
With little time remaining Barry secured the win as another through ball from Rees found Deacon one on one with the goalkeeper and she placed the ball into the net to make it 4-2 and give Barry a deserved win in what proved to be an excellent final.
Credit to the Merthyr players who never gave up and made Barry work extremely hard for their victory.
After the game, manager Luke Williams commented “This is a great day not just for the ladies but the club as a whole. We are making excellent progress and I believe the best is yet to come and this is just the start of what we are developing for the next few years.
Updated 10:50 - 8 May 2019 by Barry Town Utd Ladies FC