Second half goals from Chloe Lloyd and Ria Hughes, proved to be sufficient for Swansea City to open up a four point gap between themselves and Port Talbot, after consistent goalscorer Jodie Passmore had made the breakthrough during the first half, in the “Shared Access” Welsh Premier Women’s League match at the GenQuip Stadium. (reports Robert Clement).
It was an additional opportunity for Port Talbot to maintain their recent goalscoring form, following the 6-3 victory against Caernarfon Town. Meanwhile, Swansea were anxious to cast aside their 7-0 League Cup semi-final exit at Cardiff Metropolitan seven days ago.
Swansea were the first to show enthusiasm and creativity, threatening to make an impact after only four minutes, with Sarah Adams narrowly off target from ten yards, following a Hughes cross into the congested Port Talbot penalty box.
Five minutes later Swansea were once more applying pressure, but on this occasion it was Port Talbot’s Gemma Evans who relieved tension, with a timely clearance from an Adams free kick.
Swansea continued to move forward, with Lloyd seeking out the support of Katy Hosford, with her injecting good attacking pace to advance swiftly forward, but it was the alertness of Hayley Williams the Port Talbot captain, who produced an important challenge just outside the eighteen yard area, to halt the threat of an opening goal.
In the absorbing contest, it was Swansea who moved ahead after thirty one minutes, when Passmore stretched to head home from five yards, following a perfectly delivered cross by Emma Beynon.
Having suffered that setback, Port Talbot were close to cancelling out that lead with Johannesburg born Sian Scannell accelerating into Swansea territory three minutes later, but it was Swansea goalkeeper Ffion Ashman who made a timely clearance on the edge of the penalty area.
Regrettably, there was major concern for Port Talbot’s Jesci Hare, with the established centre half in agony with a suspect broken fibula, which forced a twelve minute delay.
Swansea however resumed the second half continuing to seek a second goal, and within two minutes of the restart, Natalie Ashford was inches away from gaining a reward, heading wide from ten yards, following an Adams corner.
Despite having absorbed a period of pressure, Rachael Ball linked up with Lucy Edwards, but the former University of Glamorgan student saw her goal bound shot punched away by the strong wrists of Ashman, as Port Talbot attempted to find a route back into the game.
Swansea maintained a route one approach, and after having the reward of an additional corner they added a second goal, with Lloyd timing her advance to perfection to apply a pin-point header, which flew into the roof of the net from another Adams corner.
There was further expectation with Passmore swiftly moving forward, with her finding Lloyd in space, but she was a shade unfortunate from hitting the target for a second time, drilling a low shot a foot wide of the upright.
Port Talbot continued to have their defensive qualities stretched as Swansea maintained the attacking momentum, and there was further reward of a third goal; a neat build-up saw Kelly Newcombe the former Landore Colts midfielder displaying the ability to pick out Hughes, for her to powerfully despatch a first class angled shot into the net.
With four minutes remaining, Sophie Hancocks was close to adding a fourth goal, but it was the alertness of Ball, who managed the halt the threat with a goal-line headed clearance.
Port Talbot Town: Bethan Ellis, Sophie Gidley, Jesci Hare (Fontaine Franklin-Queeley 42nd min), Hayley Williams (capt), Emma Jeffreys (Clare Daley 65th min), Lucy Olde, Sian Scannell (Jessica Curran 65th min), Rachael Ball, Courteney Thomas, Gemma Evans, Lucy Edwards.
Unused substitutes: Lauren Smith, Lauren Amor.
Swansea City: Ffion Ashman, Natalie Ashford, Lowri Ridings, Emma Beynon, Ria Hughes, Jodie Passmore (Lisa Owen 74th min), Kelly Newcombe, Sarah Adams (Sara Llewelyn 74th min), Chloe Lloyd, Katy Hosford (Sophie Hancocks 61st min), (Alicia Powe (capt).
Referee: Neil Stephens (Penarth).
Score summary: Swansea City: Jodie Passmore 31st min, Chloe Lloyd 53rd min, Ria Hughes 70th min.