Adran Premier Report | Cardiff City 3-2 The New Saints
Cardiff City FC Women made it six consecutive league victories with a hard-fought 3-2 win over The New Saints at Cardiff International Sports Campus.
Head coach Iain Darbyshire made four changes to the side that defeated Aberystwyth Town last time out, with Hollie Smith, Evie Hughes, Phoebie Poole and Eliza Collie coming into the starting XI.
The Bluebirds started on the front foot and got their reward, taking the lead in the 13th minute. Ffion Price’s initial effort hit the woodwork, with Zoe Atkins on-hand to bundle home for her second goal of the season. City immediately pushed for a second goal, with wing-back Hughes driving down the left, before having her effort saved by goalkeeper Sarah Parkes.
Darbyshire’s side continued to create chances, as a great ball into the box by Smith was met by Price at the back post, who struck over the woodwork. The visitors posed a threat on the counter-attack and found an equaliser in the 28th minute through striker Chantelle Teare, who finished into the bottom corner, after being played in by Caitlin Chapman.
City reacted well to the Saints’ equaliser, regaining the lead just six minutes later, as Collie finished well after being played through by captain Siobhan Walsh. Shortly before the break, the attacker went close to netting her second, racing through and firing a great effort towards goal, which hit the woodwork.
The Bluebirds made the perfect start to the second period, adding a third through Poole, who beat the offside trap and fired past Parkes for her fifth goal of the campaign. However, the visitors continued to battle and pulled a goal back in the 66th minute, with Beth Lewis converting from the penalty spot.
In a tight second-half, the Saints went close to an equaliser through Lexie Harrison, who fired over the woodwork from close-range. As City looked to ensure the victory, Price went close to adding a fourth, firing a dangerous free-kick towards goal, which was tipped over the bar. In added time, the visitors were reduced to ten, as Lucie Platt was given a straight red card for a foul on Megan Saunders.
Next up for City - Pontypridd United in the FAW Women's Cup at Cardiff International Sports Campus on Sunday, 30 October, 2pm KO.
FINAL SCORE: CARDIFF CITY 3-2 THE NEW SAINTS
Cardiff City: Chamberlain, Price, Bowen (Saunders 78'), S Walsh ©, Smith, Hughes, Power, Atkins, Watkins, Collie (Oakley 67’), Poole. Subs not used: Roberts, Bowen-Quirk, Norman.
The New Saints: Parkes, B Lewis ©, Harrison, Staley, Teare, Platt, Lockley, Chapman, Evans, Redding, L Lewis. Subs not used: Rubin, Jarvie, Samson, Whitefoot, Rathe.
After the final whistle, head coach Iain Darbyshire spoke to cardiffcityfc.co.uk.
“I’m over the moon to get over the line.” Iain began. “That was a different game to what we’ve had all year. We had to battle, show fight, show character, take our chances when they came. It was really good to see how much the girls battled and wanted the three points. That’s what we’ve got to keep doing every week now, you can’t always be pretty and have 75% of possession and 20 shots in a game, sometimes you have to battle for the three points and everyone did that. I’m really proud of the team.
“We’ve got a very good squad and today, we had to make a few changes, but you saw players really step up. The character of the team was incredible. Credit to TNS, I thought they were really good. They made the game difficult for us. There were many reasons why it was a difficult game for us, but to see the character and fight from the team shows that they’re up for it and really do care about getting the three points.”
Wing-back Ffion Price, who played her part in the victory, added: “We’re delighted. The main thing was to get the three points and get the job done. They made it hard for us, but that just shows how much our league is coming on and progressing, so we’re really happy to take all three points. It was a good test for us to show that we can bounce back from conceding a goal. We went down the other end and scored goals.
"We’re all buzzing with how the season’s gone so far, but we’re taking it one game at a time and our focus now is on Pontypridd in the cup next week.”