FAW Women's Cup Report | Cardiff City 6-0 Abergavenny Women
Cardiff City Women booked their place in the semi-finals of the FAW Women’s Cup with an impressive 6-0 victory over Abergavenny Women at Cardiff International Sports Campus on Sunday afternoon.
The Bluebirds opened the scoring through Lisa Owen, before further goals from Phoebie Poole, Evie Hughes, Megan Saunders, Lily Billingham and Hollie Smith ensured the victory.
Iain Darbyshire made four changes to the side that recorded a 1-1 draw against Swansea City Ladies last time out, with Owen returning to starting XI, along Hughes, Saunders and Megan Bowen.
City started on the front foot and created the first clear-cut chance, as the ball dropped to wing-back Hughes in the box, who fired just over the woodwork.
The Bluebirds were rewarded for their positive start in the 22nd minute, as a brilliant ball into the box from Hughes was turned home at the back post by fellow wing-back Owen on her return to the side.
Darbyshire’s team immediately searched for a second goal and went close through Poole, who turned Owen’s cross just wide, before creating another chance by showing great strength in the box, firing just over the bar.
In another positive attack, Saunders turned brilliantly in the box, before forcing Charlotte Hastings into a save with a fierce strike.
Just before the break, City were awarded a penalty for a handball in the area, and striker Poole clinically converted to send the Bluebirds into the interval with a 2-0 lead.
At the start of the second period, City added a third in the 50th minute, as a wicked delivery from a corner by Hughes found its way straight into the net for her first goal for the Bluebirds.
Just seven minutes later, a great ball from Poole set substitute Eliza Collie through, who had her effort saved, only for Saunders to fire home the rebound.
Substitute Billingham made an instant impact, finding the net just eight minutes after her introduction, as she fired brilliantly into the bottom corner from the edge of the box.
Fellow replacement Smith also got on the scoresheet, turning home in the 77th minute from another pinpoint Hughes delivery.
After a professional performance, the Bluebirds return to league action next weekend, welcoming Barry Town United to Cardiff International Sports Campus on Sunday, 18th December, 2pm KO.
FINAL SCORE: CARDIFF CITY WOMEN 6-0 ABERGAVENNY WOMEN
Cardiff City Women: Chamberlain, Owen, Power, S Walsh © (Smith 63'), Bowen, Hughes, Watkins (Norman 46’), Broadhurst (Billingham 58'), Saunders, Oakley (Collie 46’), Poole (Atkins 58').
Abergavenny Women: Hastings, Simmonds, Bull, Scrivens, Bennett, Boyd (Sherrard 76’), Davies (Cybulska 20’), Williams ©, Lunn (Leonard 76’), Stanton, Grosvenor (Gittins 69’).
After the final whistle, head coach Darbyshire spoke to cardiffcityfc.co.uk:
“We spoke before the game about keeping our standards high,” Iain began. “I thought it was patchy in the first-half, but in the second-half, we moved the ball really well and created a lot of opportunities.
"Credit to Abergavenny, they kept going, they’ve got a lot of young players and I’m sure they’ll learn a lot from that. We’re just happy to be in the semi-final and a step closer to defending our Cup.”
Commenting on the return of Lisa Owen, Iain said: “I was a little bit emotional when she scored that goal to be honest. She’s never been known as a goalscorer, but to cut in on her left and do that, I think it was written.
"There were some great performances today and it was good to get some girls minutes. Some players have shown us what they can do.”
Iain concluded by heaping praise on Hughes following a fine performance, stating: “She was unbelievable today. We’ve been speaking to Evie a lot about being more confident in attacking positions.
"She’s definitely the most two-footed player in the league. I don’t know if she’s left or right footed to be honest. She was fantastic today; she’s learning and has come a long way. For a 16-year-old, she’s got so much talent.”
Wing-back Hughes, who netted her first goal for City, added: “It’s lovely to progress into the next round of the Cup. We performed really well and proved that we’re capable of progressing. I’m delighted with the goal, I didn’t expect to score! I had a few chances in the first-half, which I should have scored, but I was delighted to score.
"I’m very pleased with my performance. I thought we worked together really well and I’m happy to create chances for the other goalscorers.”