Barry Town Utd Ladies kicked of their first Welsh Women’s League match of the season at the weekend with a home fixture against Penybont FC.
The ladies, who finished as runners up last season to eventual champions Aberystwyth Town, were looking to make a positive start to the new season as they look to build on a promising pre season and put together another strong league campaign.
The home side fielded a strong line-up with a number of new additions from the summer as well as some familiar faces for the last season.
Barry got off to blockbuster start registering the opening goal after 8 minutes when Shannon Evans burst through on goal and finished in style to give the hosts the lead. It was 2-0 just two minutes later when a great passage of play found Ffion James at the back post and she converted at the second attempt to double Barry’s lead.
The hosts were looking confident in possession with the visitors remaining compact in a deep defensive block allowing Barry to probe away to create goal scoring opportunities. It was 3-0 on 19 minutes when a fine move from back to front saw Barry attacking down the right hand side and a cut back cross from Chelsea Deacon was converted by Evans to notch her second of the game.
Evans was to mark a fine debut netting a first half hat-trick finishing off another good move soon after to make it 4-0 before James scored her second at the back post to put Barry in a commanding 5-0 lead at the half hour mark. Penybont did go close with an effort from an indirect free kick which struck a post but there was time for one more goal before the half time whistle, Evans once again breaking through the visitors defence and slotting home to make it 6-0.
With Barry in the driving seat the hosts made three changes after the break with Emma Thompson, Erin Murray and Laura Saliba joining the action and the home side continued their dominance of the ball and notched up a further five goals before the game finished.
Charlotte Preen struck a free kick from the edge of the penalty area into the roof of the net and soon after doubled her tally finishing off a good move down the right with a striker from 12 yards. There was to be another hat-trick with Preen scoring another effort from distance that went over the goalkeeper. Substitute Murray also got in on the goal scoring act latching onto a through ball before slotting home.
To their credit, Penybont never gave up and grabbed a consolation goal with a quick break which saw Sarah Stokes get in behind the Barry defence and she struck a fine shot into the near post past Jess Bullock in the Barry goal.
There was time for one last goal as substitute Saliba got on the end of an excellent through ball from Preen before scoring at the near post to round off a convincing win for Barry.
Following the game, manager Luke Williams commented, "The ladies put in an excellent display for large periods of the game today and its a great way to start the season. I was particularly pleased to see some passages of play come out that we have been spending a lot of time on during the summer. There is a long way to go and bigger tests to come but it's a great start."
Next up for Barry will be a short trip to Cardiff next Sunday where they will take on Willows Ladies in a 2pm kick off at Willows High School.