Wrexham AFC Women travel west to kick-off their Bute Energy Welsh Cup campaign against CPD Pwllheli as Steve Dale’s side attempt to progress into the second round of the competition.
It provides the perfect opportunity for the Red Dragons to bounce back from defeat against Cardiff City last weekend and to kickstart their aspirations of a cup run this season, having reached the quarter-finals of the competition last season.
CPD Pwllheli currently sit third in the North Wales Women’s league, having won both of their matches so far this season.
They progressed through to first round of the Welsh Cup after a 4-1 win over Kimmel Bay, with both Magi Hughes and Lois Thomas registering two goals each in the fixture.
Pwllheli have had an extended break, with their last match against Caernarfon Town having been postponed, meaning that Llangefni Town and Amlwch Town jumped up the league table.
Last season, Sunday’s opponents finished second in the North Wales Women’s league, having won 18 matches out of 21 to finish on 55 points for the season with Bangor Women beating them to the title.
What our manager said: Steve Dale
“The exposure we’ve had from of the documentary and the social media is fantastic, but it puts a target on our back,” Dale said. “It’s important that the girls are grounded and that they’re not getting ahead of themselves, it is going to be a tough game.
"It’s important we stick to our standards, and that we keep doing what we do best which will help us continue to put in good performances.
"They (Pwllheli) are going to be hard working, hard to beat and they will make it difficult for us. We know that when you go there it is tough – we must work harder than the opposition and make sure we don’t underestimate them."
Last time the sides met: CPD Pwllheli 1-3 Wrexham AFC (13/03/22)
Wrexham AFC Women earned a tenth consecutive league win to ensure the title race went to a final-day decider.
In a hard-fought game at Pwllheli, Rosie Hughes’ early penalty was cancelled out by Lois Thomas, but Hughes added a second with 12 minutes remaining and Natasha Spearing’s first senior goal sealed victory.
Amber Lightfoot’s lofted pass then played Rosie Hughes in behind the defence on nine minutes, and she was brought down by goalkeeper Hayley Rees-Williams in the area.
The Pwllheli keeper was booked for the challenge, and Hughes picked herself up to bury the penalty to Rees-Williams’ right-hand side.
With just over 20 minutes, Pwllheli were level. Thomas ran onto a through ball and, though Del Morgan charged out to initially deny her, the rebound spun kindly for the striker to tap in.
Just as it was starting to look as though it could be a frustrating, and costly, afternoon, however, the Red Dragons regained the lead.
Mia Roberts came on in the 73rd minute, and four minutes later she played an inch-perfect ball through to Hughes, who finished low to spark wild celebrations.
Lightfoot thought she had sealed victory in the 85th minute, but the offside flag was raised, and she then threaded a ball through to Hughes who stabbed the ball just wide a minute later.
Spearing sealed victory in the 90th minute, however, with her first senior goal. Lili Jones’ corner was not dealt with, and the midfielder smashed the ball high into the middle of the net.
How to watch
Following the announcement that all non-televised Women’s matches would be live streamed, you can tune into today’s match wherever you are in the world.
In order to access the four-camera stream of Sunday’s match, you must have a registered account on iFollow Wrexham.
If you already have set up an account on iFollow Wrexham, all you need to do is log in and you will have access to the stream.
Live social media updates will be provided on the Club’s official X account, @WrexhamAFCWomen.