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29 October 2023 Venue The Rock Attendance

Kick off 14:00 (UK)

Wrexham AFC
3 - 1
The New Saints
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Match Previews

PREVIEW | Wrexham AFC Women vs The New Saints

Steve Dale’s side return to The Rock to take on local rivals

29 October 2023

Wrexham AFC Women are back at home, as they face The New Saints in derby action at The Rock this Sunday in the Genero Adran Premier (2pm kick-off).

For everything you need to know ahead of the match, read our preview, below.

The opposition

The New Saints broke into the top four last season, having beaten Pontypridd United to the final spot before the league split on goal difference.

They’ve started strongly again this season and find themselves in fifth place but are only one point off fourth-placed Aberystwyth Town and two points away from Wrexham and Swansea City as well.

In fact, if it wasn’t for a last-minute Swansea winner – then Sunday’s opponents would be sat third in the league on goal difference.

Caitlin Chapman has been at the heart of everything that TNS do going forwards this season and is their top goal scorer on three goals, but has also recorded the joint most assists in the league so far this season.

In the hot seat: Greg Draper

Greg Draper is a name closely linked with The New Saints, having scored 163 goals for the men’s first-team between 2011-2021.

The 34-year-old left Park Hall in the summer of 2021, stepping down a division to play for Guilsfield, before re-joining TNS as a coach.

A one-time New Zealand international, Draper was one of the most prolific forwards in the Welsh top-flight during the 2010s and stepped up to become TNS Women’s head coach in November 2022.

Since moving across to management, he has guided Sunday’s opponents to a top four finish and overseen a relatively successful start to the 2023/24 campaign.

What our manager said: Steve Dale

Ahead of the match, Dale said: “We’d like to put our home form right after the Cardiff match.

“We’ve had a draw and a defeat (at home), we’ve had some good results away from home, but we’d like to repay all the fans who come to watch us at home.

“They’ve strengthened over the summer, and they’re well established in this division, so it is important that we are ready for the challenge. We are looking forward to it and confidence within the group is high in training.

“The New Saints clearly want to build on what they did last year. They’re trying to make statements and trying to crack that top four - they want to establish themselves by getting decent results against the top teams.

“Of course, they’ll be disappointed to lose in the last minute against Swansea so they will have that burning desire to put it right this weekend.

“Anything can happen in a derby game. They will be a tough test – they’re a good attacking team and we’re mindful of what they can produce on Sunday,” concluded Dale.

Last time we met: TNS 2-1 Wrexham AFC Women

Rebecca Pritchard and Rosie Hughes were on target before Wrexham held off a TNS comeback to cause a cup upset and book their place in the FAW Women’s Cup quarter-finals.

Wrexham – who went into the game having lost both matches against Adran Premier opposition last season, without scoring in either game – showed the improvements in their squad since to pull off a famous win.

Pritchard – an FAW Women’s Cup semi-finalist with the original Wrexham Ladies – opened the scoring before Hughes rifled home a penalty; her 12th goal of the season.

TNS responded well after the break, but a combination of post, bar, goalkeeper Del Morgan and a resolute back four, kept the Saints at bay.

Ticket news

How to purchase tickets

Tickets cost just £3 for adults and £1 for under-16s. Please note, all under-14s must be accompanied by a paying adult.

There will be tickets on sale at the ground today, with tickets available to purchase from 12:30pm at the Rock.

Online ticket sales have now closed, meaning that the only way to purchase a ticket is in-person at the Rock from 12:30pm. 

Ticket checks for concessions will take place at the ground and ID may be required at the gate.

All sales on the day will be cash-only, there are no provisions for card payments.

How to watch

Following the announcement that all non-televised Women’s matches, not selected for TV coverage will 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.

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Match Reports

REPORT | Wrexham AFC Women 3-1 The New Saints

Rosie Hughes nets 100th Wrexham goal in derby triumph

29 October 2023

Wrexham AFC Women claimed a derby day victory over The New Saints at The Rock, as Steve Dale’s side recorded an impressive 3-1 victory which saw Rosie Hughes score her 100th goal in a Wrexham shirt.

Carra Jones also recorded a brace, putting in an impressive performance on the right-flank to secure victory with her goalscoring threat.

TNS did score late on from a free kick, but it was only to be a consolation with Wrexham largely in control of the match throughout.

Steve Dale made one change to the side that started in their 2-1 win over Aberystwyth Town last weekend, as Amber Lightfoot returned to the starting eleven in place of Erin Lovett.

It meant a switch around in personnel at the back, requiring Rebecca Pritchard to take on a more defensive-minded role.

The New Saints got the match underway at The Rock and both sides played out a tense opening period with neither team able to gain control of the fixture.

Pritchard did well to deny Emily Ridge from getting a shot off in the 16th minute, after a ball from the right bypassed the head of Louisha Doran.

It fell at the feet of TNS’ number 35, but she couldn’t get a strike away before Pritchard was back in time to put in a crucial challenge.

Lili Jones then fired a warning to the visitors, striking on her right foot from the edge of the box, but Mackenzie Haydn-Jones did well to catch the effort on 19 minutes.

Just three minutes later, Wrexham were ahead as Carra Jones broke the deadlock from close-range in the derby.

Lightfoot, who was straight back into the starting line-up this weekend, had an immediate impact at The Rock. It was her work on the edge of the box that created space for a through ball into Jones, who made no mistake from close range on her left foot.  

Del Morgan then proceeded to catch a strike from Ridge in the 26th minute, as The New Saints looked for an instant response in North Wales.

Carra Jones and Lightfoot then continued to cause havoc in the final third, and this time it was Jones who provided the ball for Wrexham’s number 11 who struck on the half-volley to force Haydn-Jones into action yet again.

Wrexham continued to grow into the match in the second half, and it was Rosie Hughes who doubled the advantage with a goal that will go down in the record books.

Having received the ball on the bounce from distance, Hughes produced a truly impressive volley from range which looped over Haydn-Jones in the 53rd minute to extend the lead.

It wasn’t just any goal though. It was the goal that lifted Hughes on to 100 career goals for Wrexham AFC – a tally which no other current player at the Club (male or female) has been able to replicate.

Wrexham were handed a blow as Captain Keren Allen was forced off in the 63rd minute to be replaced by Katie Sharp, after the Red Dragons’ number 22 picked up a knock.

They responded to that setback fantastically as Carra Jones netted her second goal of the match, all but securing three points for Wrexham with 20 minutes left to play.

TJ Dickens put the TNS backline under pressure, forcing the visitors into giving the ball away to Mari Gibbard from 30-yards out. The Wrexham midfielder then produced a fine through ball to release Jones, who struck an emphatic right-footed shot past Haydn-Jones.

The visitors scored a consolation late on with three minutes remaining, as Helen Evans scored an incredible free kick from distance which rose past Del Morgan with the Wrexham keeper unfortunate not to keep a clean sheet.

Despite that, it didn’t spoil the party as the Red Dragons held on for an important victory at The Rock on derby day against TNS.

Wrexham AFC Women: Morgan (GK), Pritchard, Doran, Allen (C) (Sharp 63’), Davies, Dickens, L. Jones, C. Jones (Whitefoot 89’), Gibbard (MacKenzie 77’), Lightfoot (Spearing 89’), Hughes.

Subs not used: Bolland (GK).

The New Saints: Haydn-Jones, B. Lewis (C), Samson (Staley 62’), Teare (Edge 76’), Lockley, Chapman, Evans, Redding, L. Lewis, Ridge (Hill 83’), Williams.

Subs not used: Suckley, Hartley.

Match attendance: 626

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