Adran Premier Report | Cardiff City 2-1 Pontypridd United
A resilient performance saw Cardiff City Women claim a 2-1 victory over Pontypridd United at Cardiff International Sports Campus on Sunday afternoon.
Despite Siobhan Walsh’s opener being cancelled out by Efa Preece Jones’ equaliser, the key moment came from striker Eliza Collie, who headed home the winner.
Head coach Iain Darbyshire made three changes to the side that defeated Wrexham at Cardiff City Stadium last time out, with January recruits Anna Phelps and Kerry Walklett making their first starts for the Club, along with a return to the starting XI for wing-back Mikayla Cook.
City started well and created early chances, as Collie’s low delivery across the area just evaded fellow attacker Molly Kehoe. In another attack, the ball dropped to Emma Beynon in the box, who fired just wide of the post. The Bluebirds midfielder went close once more, striking dangerously towards goal from distance, with her effort landing on the roof of the net.
Darbyshire’s side were rewarded for their persistence in attack, taking the lead with 30 minutes on the clock. With Cook brought down in the box, captain Walsh stepped up and converted with a calm penalty. The visitors reacted well and equalised in the 39th minute, with Preece Jones firing in from distance, meaning the two sides were level at the break.
City had a chance to go back ahead early in the second period, as Beynon slid through Kehoe. The Bluebirds’ no. 15 struck towards goal, only for goalkeeper Klaudia Wojtyczka to save. From the rebound, Collie showed composure to cut inside before firing at goal, but Wojtyczka was again on-hand to keep the ball out of the net.
Despite the visitors’ resistance, City kept patient and found a breakthrough in the 71st minute, as Kelly Adams delivered into the area for Collie, who headed home from close-range for her 11th league goal of the season.
Late in proceedings, the Bluebirds went close to a third goal, as Hollie Smith and Olivia Basham had dangerous efforts towards goal, but both were denied by Wojtyczka. After a battling performance, City claimed an important three points.
The Bluebirds return to action next Sunday (04/02) with a trip to Barry Town United’s Jenner Park, 2pm KO.
FINAL SCORE: CARDIFF CITY 2-1 PONTYPRIDD UNITED
Cardiff City: Phelps, Price, Power, S Walsh, Smith, Cook, Adams (Bowen 82’), Beynon, Walklett (Basham 66’), Collie, Kehoe (Lloyd 82’). Subs not used: Chamberlain, Evans.
Pontypridd United: Wojtyczka, Hindmash, Daley ©, M Williams, Turner, Gunney, K Williams, Preece Jones, Fenton (Payne 46’), Attwood (Seaborne 85’), Jones. Subs not used: Brook, Wood, Sherrard.
After the full-time whistle, head coach Darbyshire said: "We knew that they were going to make it very difficult for us. I thought they defended well, but we left a lot of goals out there I think. Over the past few weeks, we've scored a lot of goals, but I feel that we can score more, so that's something that we'll work on and putting the game to bed earlier.
"Credit to the players, we had to grind and graft, but we had a lot of control, so I'm really pleased. We allowed the game to go a bit deeper than it should have done, but we won and that's the most important thing."