Match Report: Aber Women 0-4 Swansea 1s

TEAM Aber’s women’s footballers suffered their first defeat of the season in the BUCS Western 2B league, going down 4-0 at home to Swansea’s first team and ending the game with ten players.

Photo - Chris Howells

Photo – Chris Howells

After winning their opening match this term against University of South Wales Pontypridd and Cardiff Women’s 2nd team 9-0 hopes were high, but unfortunately the home side, missing influential star Niamh Murphy due to a wrist injury, weren’t up to scratch this week.

From the first whistle the visitors took a strangle hold on the game, and it was Aber goalkeeper Chelsea Maiklem who was in the thick of it early on. The stopper, who also plays for Aberystwyth Town’s women’s team, was busy all day and was forced into action in the third minute with a strong block from the onrushing Swansea forward.

The next half an hour continued in much the same fashion, with Swansea camped in Aber territory, enjoying an abundance of opportunities. Maiklem was again called into action with a superb double save from Swansea’s towering right winger before the post helped keep the game goalless. The deadlock was broken before the break though, as despite the best efforts of Sarah Rowden and Natalie Scott in the Aber defence, a curled effort found its way to the back of the net.

It wasn’t all Swansea though, and Aber had a chance of their own prior to half time. Sharifa ‘Shaffy’ Clarke rounded two defenders and squared the ball to Keeley Shorthouse, but under pressure the midfielder could only manage to shoot wide.

Half time 0-1

Early in the second half, it looked as though the combined team talk by Alex Stafford and Niamh Murphy had a positive impact, as the girls started in a much more determined manner. Holly Marshall and Rhian Thomas made made some good progress into the Swansea half, but Team Aber didn’t quite get the rub of the green when it came to the final ball.

Just as everything seemed to be coming together, Aber were caught off guard. With Rowden receiving treatment for an injury on the sidelines Aber were one short at the back, and the visitors made them pay as ‘keeper Maiklem made one save but was stranded as the rebound was converted for 2-0.

Two substitutions were made on the hour mark to spur the home side into action, as Amber Sinclair and Zoe Gregory replaced Thomas and Jordan Cleaver. Unfortunately it wasn’t to be, as the organised and experienced Swans made three sub’s of their own and continued the barrage of shots which they’d started in the first period.

Soon after it was 3-0 and it was one of the substitutes’ first touch for Swansea. A corner delivered from the right was headed clear by Clarke, but bounced out to the sub who drilled a shot into the box, which was deflected into the corner of the net.

It could have been four almost immediately afterwards. On the next attack Scott cleared off the line before another remarkable double stop by Maiklem saved Aber’s blushes. But not for long. A corner for Swansea was expertly headed towards the top corner, only for Maiklem to produce yet another acrobatic save to concede another corner. This one wasn’t so successful as Swansea picked up a fourth goal in the melee.

There was time for one last push for a consolation goal, as Marshall and Scott were moved up front. Sadly for Aber, in the excitement Marshall made a horror challenge on the Swansea centre-back and was sent for an early bath.

Player of the Match: CHELSEA MAIKLEM was undoubtedly the star of the show for Team Aber. If it wasn’t for her, the side could have been totally destroyed, but the ‘keeper kept the home side in the game for long periods before it became damage limitation. A string of superb saves including the one pictured above ensured she picked up the award.

Club President Niamh Murphy added “I thought Chelsea had a great game and the scoreline could have been more had she not been in goal! The work rate from the team was good but we were beaten by the better team on the day. Plenty to take from the game that we can improve on in time for our next fixture on Sunday.”

The side take on Tregaron Turfs this Sunday in the Ceredigion Ladies League, kick off is 2pm at Blaendolau.

Squad: Chelsea Maiklem (gk), Emily Owens, Sarah Rowden, Natalie Scott, Alex Stafford (c), Holly Marshall, Keeley Shorthouse, Jordan Cleaver, Sharifa Clarke, Rhian Thomas, Silje Terland.

Subs: Zoe Gregory, Alisha Jay, Amber Sinclair.