Back in business after Storm Eunice, the Pennies were in determined mood to collect three more league points on Sunday at winless Merthyr, reports ANDREW KENNEDY.
And they hit the hosts with an avalanche of goals as hotshot top scorer Lyndsey Davies fired a double hat-trick.
With Aber looking for their 100th goal of the season, and after a couple of matches where early opposition fire stifled the unbeaten league leaders, the contrast at Penydarren Park was stark from the whistle, with immediate attacks and the milestone century figure claimed after just six minutes.
By 10 minutes the lead was 3-0 – Caitlin Davies claimed the first, while a Lyndsey Davies shot bounced back off the woodwork and was met by the incoming Maxine Mudge to finish, before Lyndsey claimed her own.
Time after time the visitors carved routes through the Merthyr pack, and it was the sheer attacking force and the willingness to chase each opportunity that resulted in a huge tally of goals, not least for top scorer Lyndsey .
Lauren Boyd provided an assist for her in the 16th minute, and then claimed her own goal two minutes later, while the latter had her hat-trick after just 35 minutes of play for a 6-0 lead.
Lyndsey then provided Maxine Mudge with her second goal two minutes later for a 7-0 half-time lead.
Warming up soon after the restart, Meg Jones was on the pitch from 51 minutes and went on to provide three assists as the first-half tally was more than doubled in a relentless push forward again and again.
Despite playing a role in five of the initial seven goals, Lyndsey Davies was still hunting, and from the 52nd minute began a 17-minute onslaught that brought her another three goals, respectively fed by Lauren Boyd, Ceri Hudson and Meg Jones for a 10-0 lead and a double hat-trick.
The ninth goal started with short distance distribution from keeper Charlotte Hastings to Hudson, her driving run and long ball down the middle finding Davies, who endeavoured to chip it over the Merthyr keeper, her attempt to stop it on the edge of the area only lifting it higher, and allowing Lyndsey to rush beyond and get under the ball for the header equivalent of a ‘tap in’.
Ellie Bidhendy made her third appearance for the 1st XI after impressive performances with Abergavenny Women’s U19s, alongside age-group goalie Marnie Gingell, who joined U19 skipper Ffion Simmonds at left back who was on from the start, working in tandem with Boyd to collectively rule the roost down that side.
Surprisingly, Ffion’s chance of glory came from a throw-in on the right, by Meg Jones to Caitlin Davies, the speedy pass back to Meg and then a lengthy chip from there to the six-yard box that met Simmonds’ run in, ready for the perfect volley that eluded the keeper, for 11-0 on 80 minutes.
Another goal was added by Boyd within a minute, and then almost immediately, Ellie Bidhendy showed great timing and composure when receiving the ball from playmaker Jones, sweeping into the box to take a single touch, and slotting the ball to the right of the goalie for her first senior goal.
Two more goals concluded proceedings, Lyndsey Davies firstly setting up Caitlin Davies for her second, a drag back before chipping to just inside the far post.
And then an aerial interception by Bidhendy on the edge of the Abergavenny box saw Boyd feed Lyndsey mid-pitch before receiving the ball back to slot the ball bottom right for her hat-trick and a 15-0 final score.
Team boss Craig Morgan-Hill said: “It was a fantastic result and performance today. People will look at the League Table and say it was a given but the girls worked so hard and played some eye-catching football.
“There were lots of positives today and Ceri and Liv in the middle were outstanding.
“It was good to see Meg come on and put in a solid performance but the highlight for me was when Ffion and Ellie Bidhendy both scored, adding to that, Marnie coming on in goal and looking confident – it was a great day for the U19s.
“We are now in pole position with today’s results and we have to go out next week and do exactly the same.”
There’s no let up for Merthyr either, as the return fixture is back at Pen-Y-Pound this Sunday (March 12), kick-off 2pm.
Entry is free, although donations are welcome, and the club would love to see plenty of support in their penultimate home fixture of the season as the team press towards the goal of winning the league.
After that, the Pennies face Briton Ferry Llansawel Ladies away on Thursday, March 17, which means the season will conclude at home against Cascade Ladies on Sunday, March 23.