Barry Town Utd Ladies returned to league action at the weekend for the first time since mid-January for their latest Welsh Women’s League fixture taking on Rhos Ladies at Jenner Park Stadium.
The home side were looking to make up ground on current league leaders Aberystwyth Town who going into the fixture were 8 points clear having played 2 games more at this stage in the season. The opponents, Rhos, a newly promoted side this season that are currently sitting at the bottom of the table following a number of tight defeats to date.
Barry were forced to make several changes to the team for this fixture with numerous players unavailable. Emma Cannon, Laura Saliba, Emma Thompson came back into the side with Chelsea Deacon also returning after representing her college in a tournament held in Italy last week.
Both teams tried to impose themselves early on with Barry looking the more comfortable in possession, however it was the visitors that took a shock lead after 12 minutes when a lofted through ball found the on rushing striker whose first time effort found the corner at the far post.
Not the start Barry anticipated but they soon got into gear and just five minutes later it was 1-1. Deacon supplied a great through ball into the path of Emily Bayliss who calmly rounded the goalkeeper and found the net to score her first goal for the club and on her home debut.
Barry were starting to control the game and took the lead on 23 minutes when a fine cross from Saliba into the danger area found Bayliss who finished to grab her and Barry’s second goal of the game.
Just as it seemed the home side would push on, Rhos to their credit kept pressing Barry out of possession and got an equaliser when Barry failed to play out from defence gifting an opportunity to the striker to win the ball back and slot home to make it 2-2 on 31 minutes.
The home side looked to bounce back from another setback and a third goal duly came after 40 minutes and this was a potential team goal of the season contender as the ball went from back to front.
Goalkeeper Erin Brennan found Alex Allen who played the ball into Vowles whose first time pass released Deacon. A driving run from the midfield player and a perfectly weighted through ball found Bayliss who ran through on goal and converted to net her har-trick and make it 3-2 at the break.
Barry scored some excellent goals with good link up play but would have been frustrated with their defensive errors allowing Rhos to be in the game at the mid-way point.
The second half started with Barry again looking to get their passing game going and it took 12 minutes into the second period to see the home side open up a two goal margin. It was Bayliss again who got on the end of another Deacon through ball following a quick free kick to slot home Barry’s fourth goal.
Rhos again refused to lie down and got themselves a lifeline on 65 minutes when a diagonal ball down Barry’s right found a Rhos forward who cut inside and shot past Brennan to reduce the deficit to 4-3.
Barry, frustrated by their inability to cut out defensive errors continued to keep searching for more goals and their creativity and threat were always present throughout the game. A fifth goal came for the home side on 71 minutes when a lofted through ball by substitute Brooke Howell found Sian Rees and she finished with confidence to once again put Barry into a two goal lead at 5-3.
This time however, Barry did not let their opponents back into the game and finished strongly with two further goals.
Defender Chloe Clarke played a first time ball down the right which found Bayliss who beat the offside trap and beat the goalkeeper to score her fifth goal of the game and Barry’s sixth. An impressive home debut for the recent new signing.
The final goal came in the 90th minute when Bayliss flicked on a long ball which found Rees who raced through and slotted home to net her 18th goal of the season and to make the final score 7-3 to the home side.
Barry will be pleased to record another home win making it 10 wins from 12 league games this season and reducing the gap at the top of the table to 5 points with one game in hand.
Next Sunday will see Barry return to Jenner Park with a home league game against another West Wales side in Llangyfelach, 4pm kick off.
Team: Brennan, Clarke, Thompson, Vowles, Hurrell, Saliba, Allen, Deacon, Rees, Cannon, Bayliss
Updated 09:02 - 26 Feb 2019 by Barry Town Utd Ladies FC
Subs: Page, Howell.