Adran Premier Report | The New Saints 0-6 Cardiff City
Cardiff City Women continued their unbeaten Adran Premier campaign with an impressive 6-0 win over The New Saints at Park Hall.
After Megan Bowen gave City a first-half lead, Eliza Collie, Seren Watkins, Molly Kehoe, Madison Lloyd and Tija Richardson all netted in the second period.
Head coach Iain Darbyshire made two changes to the side that defeated Wrexham in the Adran Trophy last weekend, with Hollie Smith and Kelly Adams coming into the starting XI.
In a competitive start, City playmaker Kehoe drove into the box with a positive run, but her low cross couldn’t quite find Emma Beynon. With 25 minutes on the clock, the Bluebirds took the lead, as a Watkins corner dropped to centre-back Bowen, who struck powerfully into the net.
Just minutes later, the Bluebirds almost doubled the lead through wing-back Ffion Price, who fired a fierce effort just wide of the post. Bowen continued to pose a threat as she met a ball at the back post, with her effort going inches wide. In another chance, Kehoe was played in on the right, but her strike at goal was saved by goalkeeper Mackenzie Haydn-Jones.
The Saints shot-stopper was again called into action, this time by midfielder Beynon, whose effort from inside the area was brilliantly tipped behind. Just before the break, Price crossed from the right for Kehoe, who headed just wide. In added-time, striker Collie raced in-behind the hosts’ defence, only for Haydn-Jones to produce another fine stop.
After a spell of no chances at the start of the second period, the Bluebirds were clinical when the opportunity arose, doubling the lead in the 63rd minute. Collie latched onto the ball in the box and calmly finished to net her eighth league goal of the campaign.
As City continued to have a control of possession and pushed forward, Beynon was fouled in the area, with the Bluebirds awarded a penalty. Fellow midfielder Watkins stepped up and fired into the bottom corner to add a third goal for Darbyshire’s side in the 71st minute. A fourth goal followed three minutes later, as Smith’s delivery was finished brilliantly in the box by Kehoe.
The Bluebirds made changes with 15 minutes left to play, including a debut for goalkeeper Anna Phelps, who joined the Club from Pontypridd United. Fellow replacement Madison Lloyd then finished a fine City move to mark her first Adran Premier goal. In added-time, the Bluebirds added a sixth goal, as Richardson turned home from a Price corner. After a fine display, City recorded another three points.
Next weekend sees the Bluebirds take on Wrexham at Cardiff City Stadium, with a kick-off time of 5.10pm KO.
FINAL SCORE: THE NEW SAINTS 0–6 CARDIFF CITY
The New Saints: Haydn-Jones, B Lewis ©, Teare, Hartley, Lockley, Chapman, Edge (Samson 77'), Redding, L Lewis, Ridge (Staley 46’), Williams (M Evans 87'). Subs not used: Parkes, H Evans.
Cardiff City Women: Chamberlain (Phelps 75'), Price, Power, S Walsh © (Richardson 75'), Bowen, Smith, Watkins (Basham 75'), Adams, Beynon, Collie (Cook 75'), Kehoe (Lloyd 75').
Commenting after the final-whistle head coach Darbyshire said: "I think it's our best performance of the season. It was a really good team performance and it shows the togetherness of the squad.
"In the second-half, we scored nearly every chance we had. To score six here against TNS is not easy. They're a really good side, but we were really good both in and out of possession. It was a complete performance. I'm so proud of the players."
After striker Lloyd netted her first Adran Premier goal, Iain added: "I'm so happy for her. We've got a few injuries up front at the moment, but that provides opportunities for our U19s squad. Credit to Noah [Bushby] and Tom [Stiley], they prepare players really well and when they come in, they know exactly what their role is, what principles we play with and that's a big positive for us."