Table-topping Wrexham AFC Women return to Genero Adran North action today (Sunday January 22), with the long trip to North West Wales to take on CPDM Y Felinheli.
The match, which sees Wrexham joining their fellow Genero Adran Leagues clubs in supporting Shelter Cymru’s #NoHomeKit campaign in their blue away kit.
The match marks Wrexham’s return to league action, after back-to-back cup quarter-finals either side of Christmas against Adran Premier side Aberystwyth Town.
After defeats to their top-flight opposition in the FAW Women’s Cup and Adran Trophy, Steve Dale’s side now turn their focus back to the league – where they sit top of the table with five wins from five so far.
Wrexham return to league action for the first time since December 4, when two late goals were enough to see off Airbus UK Broughton and maintain their winning start to the campaign.
The Red Dragons currently sit two points clear of Connah’s Quay Nomads, with the two rivals still yet to meet each other this season.
Felinheli, who finished third in their previous guise as Bethel last season, sit fifth this time out, with four points from their opening four games.
The departure of key players such as Mari Gibbard and Shona Roberts in the summer has hampered their bid to challenge Wrexham, Llandudno and Connah’s Quay so far.
However, they go into this game on the back of a win – they faced Llangefni Town in the NWCFA Women’s Challenge Cup in mid-week, and claimed a big 8-1 win. The result ended a streak of five games without victory.
Kim Dutton, Lili Jones and Ella Clifton-Stringer all returned to the starting line-up last weekend, having missed the cup match against Aberystwyth Town before Christmas.
With no Under-19s fixture on Friday, due to frozen conditions at Ysgol y Grango, Jones and Clifton-Stringer are available for the full 90 minutes in Felinheli.
Fellow Under-19s star Lily Whitefoot, who signed from TNS earlier this month and scored a hat-trick on her Under-19s’ debut, is also pushing for senior inclusion.
Felinheli started the season with heavy defeats to Connah’s Quay Nomads and Llandudno in the league and cup, as they counted the cost of key players leaving in the summer.
Their sole win in Adran Leagues’ competition this season was at home to Rhyl in early October when Jordan Roberts produced a late winner in a seven-goal epic.
That was followed by a heavy defeat to Wrexham, and a subsequent five-game winless streak, but Felinheli put eight past Llangefni Town in mid-week to get back to winning ways in the NWCFA Women’s Challenge Cup.
Alaw Huws scored a hat-trick in that win, and Fflur Williams and Iona Sloan-Lewis each scored twice.
Wrexham beat CPDM Y Felinheli 5-1 in the FAW Women’s Cup earlier this season, with five different players on the scoresheet.
Amber Lightfoot, Rebecca Pritchard, Sophie Hodson, Rosie Hughes and Ava Suckley were all on target in big win.
It marked a stark contrast to Wrexham’s previous trip to Felinheli – then Bethel Ladies – early last season. With Mari Edwards still in charge, Lili Jones scored twice on her Wrexham debut but the visitors – still finding their feet in the Adran North – had little else to celebrate. A crushing 8-3 defeat typified a difficult start to the season.
By the time they next met, however, new manager Steve Dale had already helped to inspire the winning streak that ultimately fired Wrexham into title contention.
Fflur Williams scored first in Brymbo, and Del Morgan made a crucial save to keep the score at 1-0 shortly afterwards.
But Wrexham then turned the screw – Rosie Hughes and Amber Lightfoot both hit hat-tricks as Wrexham claimed a big 6-2 win.
This is the first league meeting between the two teams this season.
Wrexham AFC Women are joining their fellow Genero Adran Leagues’ teams in wearing their away kit this weekend.
The Red Dragons will line up in the sky blue away kit to support Shelter Cymru’s #NoHomeKit campaign, raising awareness of homelessness in Wales.
The cost of living crisis is hitting hard. In the last year Wales has seen the highest rent rises in the UK outside London, while housing benefits have flatlined. 1 in 4 people in Wales fear they will become homeless within a year.
Rent has skyrocketed, people are unable to pay their energy bills, are cutting back on grocery essentials and are relying on food banks. Employment is no safety net; those in work are also becoming poorer, fighting to keep a roof over their families’ heads.
Whether you are watching at the ground or following along from home, join the movement fighting to defend the right to a safe, secure and affordable home for everyone. Get involved by swapping your home colours for an away or third kit and text ‘HOME’ to 70480 to donate £10. You can also follow this link to donate.