FAW Women's Cup R1 Report | Cardiff City 5-0 Cascade YC
Cardiff City FC Women began their defence of the FAW Women’s Cup with an impressive 5–0 victory over Cascade YC Women at Cardiff International Sports Campus.
First half strikes from Danielle Green and Megan Saunders put the Bluebirds in the ascendancy, before Seren Watkins’s goal and Eliza Collie’s brace sent City into the next round.
Head coach Iain Darbyshire gave first senior starts to Evie Hughes and Alysha Hawkins, while Sophie Norman returned following a long-term injury.
The Bluebirds started brightly and created early chances, as exciting talent Collie forced a great save from goalkeeper Kirsty Lewis, before attacker Zoe Atkins almost turned home from Green’s ball across the box.
The visitors soon created an opportunity of their own as Abbie Davies raced through, but was denied by some fantastic work from Hawkins.
Despite some early resistance from Cascade, Darbyshire’s side broke the deadlock in the 33rd minute, as Michaela Major’s fine delivery was turned home at the back post by Green for her third goal of the season.
City immediately searched for a second and went close through Watkins’ pinpoint corner delivery, which Saunders couldn’t quite turn home.
Bluebirds wing-back Green turned from goalscorer to provider, as City doubled their lead in the 43rd minute, crossing low for the perfectly-positioned Saunders to fire into the net.
There was no let-up from the hosts in the second period, playing on the front foot and searching for a third goal. Collie showed great movement to find herself one-on-one with goalkeeper Lewis, but her effort struck the inside of the post.
Darbyshire’s side did find their third in the 64th minute, as another great ball from Major saw Watkins turn the ball home at the back post.
Striker Collie was rewarded for her persistence and tireless work, as she got on the scoresheet just four minutes later with a brilliant strike into the top corner.
Late in the game, boss Darbyshire introduced exciting U19s talents Summer Bowen-Quirk and Indie Jay Morgan, who gained invaluable senior experience.
As the Bluebirds searched for a fifth late-on, Collie raced through on goal, only to be denied by Lewis, before left-back Hughes struck just wide of the post, having made an intelligent run into the box.
In added-time, Collie found her second goal of the afternoon, clinically finishing after being played-in by Major, who recorded her fourth assist in the game. After a professional performance, the Bluebirds secured their place in the next round.
City return to league action next weekend, welcoming Aberystwyth Town Women to Cardiff International Sports Campus on Sunday, 16 October, 2pm KO.
FINAL SCORE: CARDIFF CITY WOMEN 5–0 CASCADE YC WOMEN
Cardiff City Women: Hawkins, Bowen, Power ©, Hughes, Cook (Watkins 18’), Green (Bowen-Quirk 74’), Norman, Atkins (Morgan 82’), Major, Saunders, Collie.
Subs not used: Chamberlain, Oakley.
Cascade YC Women: Lewis, Hamer, Moreton, Thomas, K Davies © (R Lewis 90’), A Lewis, A Davies, Kemp (James 90’), Chapman, Moger (Cooper 64’), Bowles (Rees 64’).
Subs not used: Gilpin.
After the final whistle, head coach Darbyshire said: “We started the game a bit slowly, but with the amount of changes we made, we expected that. I thought some of the football was good at times.
"It was a good opportunity for some of the players to show what they can do, especially for the players who haven’t had as many minutes as they would have liked. It’s a positive performance, another clean sheet and into the next round."
Commenting on the performance of Major, who recorded four assists, Iain added: “I thought she was fantastic. She started in a number eight position for us, but she had to go out to play as a wing-back, and she might have to play there again after four assists! She’s got so much ability, we’re trying to build the belief in her, so she knows she’s got it.”
Goalkeeper Hawkins, who made her first competitive start for the senior team, said: “I’m absolutely buzzing and really glad to keep a clean sheet. I think we were a bit shaky at the start, but we had a talk and we came out for the second half a lot better.
"It helped my confidence a lot having senior players in front of me. I probably won’t be so nervous in the future, so it was a great experience for me.”