Report | Swansea City Ladies 1 Aberystwyth Town Women 1
Swansea City Ladies were left frustrated as they were held to a draw by a resolute Aberystwyth Town Women side, and missed the chance to seal the Genero Adran Premier title.
After a fairly even opening quarter of an hour, the home side dominated proceedings with chance after chance narrowly missing the target or being blocked by a player in green.
Despite creating all the chances, it was the visitors who took the lead just before the hour mark when Gwenllian Jones’ effort from the edge of the box looped into the net.
Karmyn Carter drew the scores level when she headed in from Stacey John-Davies corner to set up a frantic final 15 minutes, but Swansea were unable to find the all-important winner that would have sealed another league title.
The match got off to a cagey start and there was plenty of early pressure from the visitors in the opening quarter of an hour.
However, Ellie Lake’s misplaced floated ball into the box, which required intervention from visiting keeper Ffion Ashman to keep it out, was the only moment which really resembled a shot for either side.
As the match reached the 15th minute, and having dealt with the attacking threats of Aberystwyth, Swans crafted their first real chance. Skipper Alicia Powe drove confidently out from defence and played a wonderfully weighted through ball into the path of Chloe Chivers. The number 10’s cross to the back post was poked inches wide by Carter.
This sparked a really strong period of pressure for the hosts who crafted a flurry of chances in quick succession. Katy Hosford had a shot blocked, Chivers nearly found the back of the net direct from a corner and Carter’s first time volley from a John-Davies cross was saved.
Carter was soon denied again when Siani Evans appeared from nowhere to make a fantastic last-ditch challenge while Lake – who was marauding up and down the right channel unchallenged – saw a number of crosses find a green shirt.
The best chance from a Lake cross came when the clearance was miscued to John-Davies, but she couldn’t sort her feet out and a defender was there to block.
A rare foray into the Swans’ half by Aberystwyth around the 25 minute mark saw them register their first shot on target of the afternoon. Rebecca Mathias sent the ball into the box from a free kick and it was turned goalward by Jones but it was a straightforward stop for Claire Skinner.
It was only a short respite for the Town defence however. Swans were back to piling the pressure on, while Aberystwyth were showing the resolute determination which had helped them hold the Swans to a goalless draw in the reverse fixture.
John-Davies looked the most likely for the Swans in this period and her trickery and pace was causing the visitors particular problems down the right.
Chivers blasted over from a John-Davies cross while Carter was denied by another excellent defensive block, before John-Davies went on a sensational solo run which started in her own half and ended with her being denied by yet another piece of resolute defending.
Ten minutes later, the Swans’ number 12 attempted to repeat the run but could only poke wide of the near post. Chivers went close with two efforts from distance: a dipping effort landing on top of the net, while a thunderbolt from inside the box was well saved by Ashman to ensure the score was goalless at the break.
The second half began as the first half had ended.
Within five minutes of the restart, Chivers had forced an early save from distance and hit the woodwork direct from a corner.
Swans then passed up a golden opportunity to take the lead just before the hour mark. Aberystwyth were left unusually short at the back after the hosts broke from the visitors corner.
John-Davies’ pace took her around a sliding challenge to set up a two-on-one but the forward went for glory - when the better option looked to be a squared ball to Carter who was unmarked at the edge of the six-yard box – and blasted wide.
As chances came and went, the home side were becoming increasingly frustrated and things got worse when the visitors took the lead on the 63rd minute.
Caroline Cooper came out on top when an under-hit pass from the back teed up a 50-50 with Nieve Jenkins. She scrambled to win the loose ball and picked out Jones, who was unmarked at the edge of the Swans box. Her effort looped high over Skinner and dropped just under the cross bar to give the visitors the lead against the run of play.
The game turned a bit scrappy after the goal as Swans looked to rediscover the control they had had for so much of the game.
With 15 minutes still remaining, Swans finally found a way past Ashman with Carter’s glancing header from John-Davies’ corner finding the far corner to draw the score level.
Swans thought they had a penalty minutes later, but the referee opted to award a free-kick inches outside the box. Chivers’ attempt was into the arms of Ashford.
It was a frantic final few minutes as the Swans went in search of a winner.
Carter headed wide of the near post, Powe’s right-footed effort from the edge of the box drifted narrowly the wrong side of the post, before Ashman made a stop from Lake, and a sea of green bodies somehow cleared the ball off the line in a goalmouth scramble.
The Swans now await the result from next weekend’s match between Cardiff Met and Cardiff City Women where three points for the former will set up a title decider when Swans travel to Met for the final game of the season.