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Match Reports

REPORT | Aberystwyth Town Women 1-2 Wrexham AFC Women

Hughes and Pritchard on target in comeback win

22 October 2023

Match Reports

REPORT | Aberystwyth Town Women 1-2 Wrexham AFC Women

Hughes and Pritchard on target in comeback win

22 October 2023

Rosie Hughes and Rebecca Pritchard scored Wrexham's goals as the Red Dragons came from behind to beat Aberystwyth Town in West Wales.

Amy Jenkins fired the hosts in front with the first real chance of the game, but Hughes bundled in an equaliser and Pritchard pounced on a goalkeeping error to turn the game around.

And Steve Dale's side stood firm after the break to become the first team to beat Aberystwyth this season.

After the big cup win at Pwllheli last weekend, Steve Dale reverted to a more experienced line-up for this league match, with Del Morgan, Rebecca Pritchard and Louisha Doran all back in the starting XI.

There was nothing Morgan could do to prevent the hosts’ early opener, however, as Wrexham were caught trying to play the ball out from the back in the sixth minute.

Amy Jenkins was the player to pounce, thumping high into the net from a tight angle outside the area to give Aberystwyth the lead.

Wrexham responded well to the early blow, however, playing good passing football and pressing high up the pitch as they sought an equaliser.

Mari Gibbard did well to work space less than a minute after the opener, but Hughes’ lofted shot from distance dropped wide.

Two minutes later, Hughes turned and shot from the edge of the area, but Margot Farnes saved and held the effort.

Pritchard was next to go close, after Lili Jones’ inch-perfect through ball in the 11th minute, but Farnes saved from the winger at the near post.

Jones then tried her luck herself in the 21st minute, but she shot well over from distance.

The pressure finally told just moments later, however. Gibbard headed the ball on for Pritchard in the area, and after the winger had battled well, Hughes pounced on the loose ball to bundle it over the line.

Hughes, Pritchard and captain Keren Allen celebrated with a shirt bearing Gareth Owen’s name, as the Wrexham AFC legend and Women’s Under-19s manager continues to recover at home from a stroke.

From the restart, Wrexham were straight back onto the front foot, and Jones played namesake Carra Jones in over the top on 24 minutes, but after cutting inside her shot was saved at the near post.

Aberystwyth began to grow back into the game, however, and Jenkins released Lleucu Mathias on 26 minutes, but she shot wide off balance when one-on-one with Morgan.

Lily Moralee-Hughes then tried her luck from distance in the 31st minute, but Morgan dived low to her right to save.

Moralee-Hughes went close again on 41 minutes, finding space on the right, but her shot drifted just wide at the near post.

Wrexham were in front in first-half stoppage time, however, as Pritchard pounced on Farnes’ slip to score from close range from what had been no more than a hopeful ball forward.

There was still time for Carra Jones to cut inside off the left and sting Farnes’ palms with a fierce shot too, but the keeper this time held on at the second attempt.

Chances were at a premium after the break, but both Louisha Doran and Keren Allen did well on the edge of the Wrexham area on 53 minutes to block two Aberystwyth shots.

Both sides responded with changes, as Libby Mackenzie replaced Gibbard for the visitors, but Wrexham were restricted to long-range efforts from which neither Dickens nor Hughes really troubled Farnes.

Hughes then released Mackenzie on 76 minutes, after spinning her defender in the middle, but the substitute shot straight at Farnes.

Hughes was in herself in the 89th minute, but shot straight at Farnes on her right foot.

There was still time for Hughes to have what would have been her 100th Wrexham goal ruled out for offside in the final seconds of stoppage time, but the Red Dragons held on for a big away win.

Wrexham: Morgan, Davies, Doran, Allen, Lovett, Dickens, L.Jones, Pritchard, Gibbard (Mackenzie 63), C.Jones, Hughes

Subs: Bolland, Spearing, Whitefoot, Sharp

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