Season in review 2019-20 | Swansea City Ladies
As a successful season has now drawn to a close for Swansea City Ladies, we look back on how it panned out for Ian Owen’s title winners.
Swansea City Ladies went one step further than last season as they put their 2019 disappointment behind them and added a fourth league title to the club’s name courtesy of an impressive unbeaten record.
It was a title awarded in unusual circumstances - with the Welsh Premier Women’s League being concluded early as the FAW curtailed all domestic football in Wales due to the Coronavirus pandemic - however, but there was no denying the Swans were worthy champions.
Ian Owen’s side managed to avoid defeat for the whole campaign winning 10 of their 11 league matches, with the only draw of the campaign coming against their South Wales rivals Cardiff City.
Coming into the season, the squad was strengthened by the likes of goalkeeper Deanna Lewis, Chloe Chivers, Pheobe Ware, Emily Haywood, Brooke Llewelyn, while Owen was also able to welcome back Tija Richardson from Cardiff Met.
There would be no easing into the new campaign as the Swans opened up by facing defending champions Cardiff Met away from home.
But they came through the test with a 1-0 victory thanks to a 66th minute strike from the Swans’ eventual top goal scorer in the league Stacey John-Davis, who netted 11 times over the course of the campaign.
The first team to pay a visit to Llandarcy were newly-promoted outfit of Aberystwyth Town, but the Swans were clinical in their attack and claimed their first home win of the season.
Those first two victories were just the beginning of an extremely pleasing campaign.
Following the triumph over Met, the Swans made another statement and saw off expected title contenders Cardiff City with Katy Hosford and John-Davis scoring the crucial goals on home soil.
In the run up to Christmas, Owen’s side were finding the back of the net with ease and scored on 12 occasions against Abergavenny, Port Talbot and Cyncoed; putting the latter to the sword with a 7-0 success at USW Sport Park.
Coming into the new year they made a huge step towards lifting the title, as Lauren Smith’s shot on the turn was enough to narrowly secure the double over Cardiff Met and create a healthy lead at the top of the pile.
Midway through the campaign the Ladies had to say goodbye to integral figures Smith and Shaunna Jenkins, but they showed no signs of slowing up.
The Swans fate was firmly in their own hands, and they showed no signs of feeling any pressure as they increased their impressive goal tally by convincingly defeating local rivals Briton Ferry at Old Road 4-0, with Hosford (who scored seven goals in total) and John-Davis further enhancing their prolific form of the season.
It took until the beginning of February for Swansea’s perfect defensive record to be broken in keeper Lewis’ debut season, as defensive solidity proved a fine foundation for a potent attacking unit.
Aberystwyth were the only team to score a goal against the Swans in the league and it was a wake-up call as Libby Isaac broke the deadlock in the 22nd minute for the Seasiders.
But Swansea’s professional attitude was crucial as they wasted no time in levelling the score at a cold, wet and windy Park Avenue, going on to run away with it in the final 15 minutes to eventually win 5-1.
Owen’s side looked to be in a strong position to go the whole season with a perfect record, and were still on course for cup success to.
However, they were held to a goalless draw at Cardiff City, who still had glimmer of hope of winning the title themselves.
Unbeknownst to Owen and his players, their last match of the season would soon follow with a solid performance and victory away to Abergavenny.
A solid performance in Monmouthshire was rewarded with a 2-0 win to move to the brink of the title, four points ahead of Cardiff Met.
Matches were due to be played against Cyncoed and Briton Ferry, however, the season was cut short as the Swans claimed the title and a place in next season’s Champions League.