Cardiff City FC Women travel to face Abergavenny Women at Pen-Y-Pound Stadium in their return to Welsh Premier Women’s League action on Sunday, November 25th – 2pm kick-off.
The match is the first of back-to-back games between the sides and the second fixture will be in the League Cup Quarter-Final at the same venue just one week later. The Pennies currently sit second in the WPWL standings on 15 points from six matches, five points ahead of City - who have one game in hand.
Three points for the Bluebirds on Sunday could see them rise to third and they will look to carry their terrific form of five victories and one draw from seven competitive encounters into the clash. Cardiff City’s most recent fixture was a 3-1 win at home to Port Talbot Town in Round Two of the FAW Women’s Cup on Sunday, November 18th.
Manager Joel Hutton spoke prior to the Abergavenny challenge, discussing the opposition, preparation, what’s been learnt from previous encounters with the Pennies and how Sunday’s fixture will benefit City in the League Cup Quarter-Final.
“It’s another tough one,” began Joel. “They’ve had some good results against big teams, since their season kicked off. Ultimately, if we want to compete and finish high up in the league, we’ve got to be beating teams like Abergavenny, Swansea City, Cardiff Met, Port Talbot Town and Cyncoed.
“As always, the game will be taken very seriously and we’ll prepare the girls for a tough encounter on probably the biggest pitch in Wales. Abergavenny are used to playing on a big pitch, they keep the ball well and take their chances, so we’ll be aware of that.
“Their striker Lynsey Davies took the golden boot at the end of last season for scoring the WPWL’s most goals, so we’ve got to be careful. They’ve had the better of us over recent games and we’ll get the girls up for it. We know what they’re about; they work very hard and their coaching staff won’t allow them to slack.”
He concluded: “We’ll look at the league fixture first and get that out of the way, but then we can turn our attention to the League Cup game after. This weekend’s match will give us a decent insight into the second one and no offence to Abergavenny - we don’t want to be playing anybody back-to-back, two weeks in a row.”
Bluebirds coach Iain Darbyshire added: “When we played them last year, we got an idea of how they play, so we know that it’s a big pitch, they’re used to the size and they keep the ball very well. We’re more concerned about how we play, rather than how they play and we’re going to set-up in training this week, so hopefully it comes off at the weekend.
“We don’t take anything for granted and can’t think too far ahead, so we take each game as it comes and hopefully, we can collect the points at the weekend. It’d be great to be up there towards the end of the season, but to do that we’ve got to beat teams like Abergavenny.”
Alana Murphy, who previously played for Abergavenny, revealed her excitement ahead of the fixture and how facing her former teammates will impact on her, before discussing her knowledge of the opposition, City’s squad confidence and winning as her main focus.
“I’m looking forward to it and it’s against my old team, so that gives me some extra motivation to play well, because when they’re your old team - you want to prove a point. They’re going to be very challenging and they’re quite similar to us in that they have more technically ability than physical. I think it’s going to be a very close game to say at the least.
“We’ve got a lot of confidence at the moment, considering the way we last played against Port Talbot compared to the first time - we made major progress and should take that positively into the next game against Aber. I hope that I can continue my scoring form, but it’s not really a big thing for me – I only care about winning.”
Catch-Up: Extended highlights of the match will be available to subscribers of Cardiff City TV.
Social: Live updates will come via our official Women’s Twitter account, @CardiffCityFCW!