Adran Premier Report | Cardiff Met 0-2 Cardiff City
City Women continued their unbeaten record in this season’s Adran Premier with a 2-0 victory over Cardiff Metropolitan University at Cyncoed Campus on Sunday afternoon.
A second-half brace from striker Eliza Collie saw the Bluebirds claim all three points.
Head coach Iain Darbyshire’s starting XI included a notable appearance for Catherine Walsh, who made her first start since returning from a long-term injury. There were also places on the bench for five U19s players in Alysha Hawkins, Megan Waite, Lauren Payne, Olivia Basham and Summer Bowen-Quirk, who were part of the side that won the Adran South U19 title.
City started brightly and went close to taking an early lead, as Ffion Price’s dangerous corner was headed narrowly over by the captain Siobhan Walsh. Wing-back Lisa Owen posed a threat on the right for the Bluebirds, driving forward and finding Collie in space on the right, whose effort was wide of the post.
As Darbyshire’s side continued to push forward, City hit the bar twice in quick succession, as Danielle Green’s dangerous effort was saved, with Zoe Atkins heading onto the post. As Owen re-delivered into the area, Rhianne Oakley’s close-range strike hit the bar. In another attack, some great work from defender Walsh saw Collie beat the offside trap and race through, only to have her effort saved.
Before the interval, the ball came out to midfielder Danielle Broadhurst on the edge of the box, who stuck over the bar. Striker Collie was a threat all afternoon, cutting inside from the left and forcing goalkeeper Za’Khari Turner into another save, who ensured the score was goalless at the break.
The Bluebirds made the perfect start to the second period, taking the lead in the 47th minute. Wing-back Green found Oakley in the box, whose effort at goal was saved into the path of Collie, who was on-hand to break the deadlock.
City doubled the advantage on the hour-mark, with Collie netting her second. The attacker raced through, before finishing clinically into the bottom corner. As the Archers looked to get back into the contest, striker Robyn Pinder found space in the box, but Hannah Power and Green combined to defend the danger excellently.
There were chances for the Bluebirds to add a third goal, as Oakley showed great pace on the left to drive forward and force a save from Turner. With Oakley again involved, the attacker was found by a fantastic pass from Zoe Atkins, but was again denied by the Met goalkeeper.
In the second-half, boss Darbyshire turned to his bench to give invaluable first-team opportunities to U19s players Bowen-Quirk, Basham, Waite and Payne, who all played a part in seeing out the three points.
City’s final league game of the season will be played at Cardiff City Stadium against Swansea City on Saturday, where the Bluebirds will lift the Adran Premier.
FINAL SCORE: CARDIFF METROPOLITAN UNIVERSITY 0–2 CARDIFF CITY
Cardiff Metropolitan University: Turner, Davidson, Webb, Corne, Turner © (Nanette 77’), Hancocks, Long (Batsford 46’), Pearson (Griffiths 60’), Pinder, Allen, Preece. Subs not used: Colleton, Kemp.
Cardiff City: Chamberlain, Owen (Bowen-Quirk 77’), Price, Power, S Walsh ©, Green, Broadhurst, Atkins (Waite 82’), C Walsh (Basham 72’), Oakley (Payne 82’), Collie. Subs not used: Hawkins.
After a professional performance, head coach Darbyshire expressed his delight, stating: “We played a few players in different positions and we experimented a little bit, but I thought we dominated the game from minute. I’m proud to get four of our U19s players on, three debuts, so it’s a good day all round.
“You’ve got to find what motivates you and we could take our foot off the gas a little bit, but we’re not that type of club. We want to go the league season unbeaten, we want to go into the cup final in the best form possible. The motivation is there and you can see from the performance today that the focus is there.”
Striker Collie, who netted a brilliant brace for the Bluebirds, added: “I’m buzzing to score to be honest. Iain and Scott [Davies] have put a lot of faith in me to start the last few games and I think I’ve done well.
“Even though we’ve won the league, we’re still trying to go unbeaten and we’ve taken another step towards that. The U19s players came in as well today and played very well, so credit to the whole squad.”