Barry Town Utd Ladies went into their South Wales FA Women’s Cup Semi-Final against
Cascade YC looking to continue their strong defence of the trophy from last season knowing this was going to be a tough encounter.
The vale based club were also looking to bounce back from a disappointing League Cup extra-time defeat from the previous weekend against Splott Albion.
This fixture, played at Cardiff University in Llanrumney, was to be the third meeting between the two teams this season with Barry running out 5-2 and 2-1 winners in the previous encounters and knew that Cascade were always going to battle hard with a final place at stake.
The opening stages of the game saw both teams attempting to exert some early pressure with the game played at a fast pace. Both teams failed to create a clear goal scoring opportunity in the opening 15 minutes, only being restricted to long range efforts.
Barry were looking particularly dangerous in wide areas and looking to break the offside trap set by the Cascade defence and forward Sian Rees almost gave Barry the lead when put through on goal but her effort from a difficult angle across goal went inches wide.
An injury to midfield player Tracey White saw Barry make a tactical switch with Courtney Martin-Luce coming on and Emily Bayliss making her debut, switching to play up front alongside Rees with Ellen Phillips moving into midfield.
Cascade went close on 20 minutes with an effort at the near post which was well saved by the feet of Barry goalkeeper Erin Brennan. However the switch in player roles was to pay dividends for Barry with the Bayliss and Rees combination causing Cascade real problems defensively. Bayliss looked to have broken free but for a well-timed tackle resulting in a corner from which Barry would take the lead on 25 minutes.
Charlotte Preen’s excellent delivery found substitute Martin-Luce who powered a super header into the net to make it 1-0 to Barry and mark her second goal in a week.
The goal was to be a big confidence boost to Barry who went on to control the rest of the first half and rack up another 3 goals in a 5 minute spell before half time. Bayliss once again broke free down the left and her pass to Rees was deflected into the net off a Cascade defender on 40 minutes. Rees was not to be denied 3 minutes later as she converted from close range to make it 3-0 before another corner from Preen went direct into the goal at the near post to make it 4-0 on the stroke of half time.
With Barry in a commanding position and playing with confidence, the second half saw them control the majority of possession but credit must go to Cascade who never gave up and kept attempting to put Barry under some pressure. Abbie Davies went close on 2 occasions but couldn’t hit the target when put through on goal and Brennan made a good save to keep Barry’s clean sheet intact.
Bayliss had two good opportunities herself to mark he debut with a goal but Williams saved well on both occasions to deny the recent signing. However Barry’s fifth and final goal came from another set piece. Preen with another fine delivery found defender Holly Vowles at the back post who converted to score her third goal of the season.
The result will be a big confidence booster for Barry who now progress to the final where they will take on Merthyr Town who defeated Rhos 4-2 in the other semi-final match. The final will take place on Saturday 4th May at Penybont FC with the kick time to be confirmed.
Barry will now return to league action on Sunday 24th February with a home fixture against Rhos to be played at Jenner Park Stadium with a 2pm Kick Off.
Barry Town Utd Line-up
Team: Brennan, Clarke, Vowles, Hurrell, Allen, White, Townsend, Bayliss, Preen, Rees, Phillips
Subs: Thompson, Cannon (65), Martin-Luce (20), Page
Updated 11:39 - 18 Feb 2019 by Barry Town Utd Ladies FC