Late Harris goal puts Barry into the FAW Cup Semi-Final
Going into this fixture both teams went into the game looking to maintain their 100% record for the season having won all league and cup matches to date but something had to give in this FAW Cup Quarter-Final.
Barry playing in their green away strip started the game on the front foot and were soon put the Rhos defence under pressure. Sian Rees went close with a dipping shot from outside the area that went inches past the far post.
Barry’s patient passing game and high pressing out of possession was evident and Town’s early pressure finally told when they took the lead after 8 minutes. The ball was broken up in midfield and found Rees who played a sublime through ball for striker Lauren Harris who confidently placed a left foot shot into the bottom corner.
A great start for the Vale based team and soon after they doubled their lead. A set piece into the penalty area saw a goal mouth scramble that fell to midfielder Grace Corne who smashed the ball into the net to make it 2-0 to Barry after 16 minutes.
The turning point in the match came 2 minutes before half time. Barry went on the attack and Emma Cannon looked odds on to make it 3-0 but was denied by a fantastic diving save by the Rhos goalkeeper Celyn Davies. From the resulting counter attack, Rhos pulled a goal back when Barry failed to deal with a through ball they duly took their chance slotting the ball into the net to make it 2-1 going into half time.
Goals change matches, and this was certainly the case as Rhos started the second half in the ascendancy with the game becoming more physical as the game progressed with both teams showing total commitment to the cause.
Barry still looked the more confident team in possession but Rhos were causing problems on the counter attack playing in a direct style. Harris and Rees went close again for Barry but the match took another twist when Rhos grabbed an equaliser. Barry failed to deal with a cross into the penalty area and the West Wales club tapped the ball home to make it 2-2.
With Barry down to just the 11 players on the pitch due to injuries this was to be a real test of character and as shown on previous occasions they can mix it up when necessary. In search of a winner Rhos started to throw more players forward but this helped Barry who were now given more space to play their high tempo game and they looked the more likely to score. Substitute, Sophie Hawkins and Olivia Townsend were often given free rein to attack in wide areas and the Rees, Harris, Cannon front 3 partnership were looking a real threat and with 5 minutes Harris produced a moment of magic befit of a thrilling cup tie.
She picked up the ball on the left of midfield before cutting inside and unleashing a thundering shot from 25 yards that flew into the top corner to make it 3-2 Barry. The remaining minutes were dealt with confidently by Barry and they had further chances to finish off the game but they held out to record a deserved victory in the end against a good Rhos outfit.
Barry now progress to the semi-finals of the FAW Cup and are one match away from a possible final appearance.
Team: Ruth Stanley, Bethan O’Donnell, Amelia Davidson, Daisy Connolly, Holly Jenkins, Olivia Townsend, Grace Corne, Jasmine Rowely, Sian Rees, Lauren Harris, Emma Cannon, Sophie Hawkins