Match Report | Cardiff City FC Women 2-1 Aberystwyth Town Ladies
Cardiff City FC Women got Phase Two of the Adran Premier off to a terrific start, with a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Aberystwyth Town at Cardiff International Sports Campus on Sunday afternoon.
Catherine Walsh broke the deadlock for the Bluebirds, before Phoebie Poole made an impact off the bench to secure the three points.
Boss Iain Darbyshire made three changes to the side that booked a place in the Semi-Final of the FAW Welsh Women’s Cup with an impressive 6-0 victory over Abergavenny Women last week, with Hannah Daley, Lily Billingham and Lisa Owen coming into the starting XI.
A competitive opening period resulted in chances for both sides, with winger Amy Williams’ great work down the left creating space to cross, as her delivery almost crept into the net. The visitors looked to break on the counter-attack through attacker Flavia Jenkins, who beat the offside trap, only to fire wide of the post.
Both sides continued to have opportunities, as Jenkins got in behind once more, with Ceryn Chamberlain producing a brilliant save to clear the danger. In a positive attack for City, Ffion Price’s fantastic cross found Zoe Atkins in the area, whose header was agonisingly wide.
The Bluebirds weren’t to be denied however, finding the breakthrough in the 17th minute, as a brilliant volley from midfielder Walsh from inside the area found the net to give City the lead. Darbyshire’s side immediately searched for a second goal, as Billingham’s direct run inside resulted in Danielle Broadhurst forcing a great save from Ashman.
Shortly before the break, great persistence from Williams on the left saw her find space to cross, just evading the on-rushing Atkins, with City going into the break with a 1-0 lead.
The Bluebirds started the second period on the front foot, as Price’s dangerous delivery from the left almost found its way into the net. After giving City the lead, Walsh went close to doubling her tally for the afternoon, powering a header at goal, which Ashman kept out with a brilliant save.
With Darbyshire’s side still looking for the elusive second goal, Price stepped up with a great effort from a free-kick from distance, forcing another save from Ashman. The Bluebirds boss looked to his bench for reinforcements in the form of Poole, who almost made an instant impact with a brilliant strike, which Ashman parried clear.
Poole continued to pose a danger after coming on, as she raced in-behind the Seasiders, only for Ashman to produce the save. Having threatened on a number of occasions, Poole found the breakthrough for the Bluebirds, turning and finishing brilliantly from the edge of the box.
In the dying minutes, there was a senior competitive debut for Summer Bowen-Quirk, who has been hugely impressive for the U19’s so far this season. Libby Isaac pulled a goal back for the Seasiders in added time, but it wasn’t enough to mount a comeback, with the Bluebirds securing all three points.
City return to action next week, welcoming league-leaders Swansea City Ladies to Cardiff International Sports Campus on Sunday 20th February, 2pm KO.
FINAL SCORE: CARDIFF CITY FC WOMEN 2–1 ABERYSTWYTH TOWN
Cardiff City: Chamberlain, Owen (Bowen-Quirk 90’), Daley, S Walsh ©, Price, Watkins, Broadhurst, C Walsh, Billingham (Poole 64’), Williams, Atkins (Collie 83’). Subs not used: Bayliss, Smith.
Aberystwyth Town: Ashman, Gwilt (Isaac 61’), Mathias, Jones, Kelly Thomas ©, Cooper (Pusey 63’), Thomas, Jenkins, Davies, Kelsey Thomas (Jenkins 70’), Evans. Subs not used: Roberts, Pugh.
Following the final whistle, Head coach Darbyshire spoke to cardiffcityfc.co.uk:
“I thought player for player, we were incredible today" he began. "I thought we controlled the game for most of the match. We were very unfortunate to concede right at the end, it was just the weather conditions playing a part on that one.
“Credit to Aberystwyth, they’re coached very well, they’re adding different elements to their game now and they deserve to be where they are, but our girls stepped up and performed.
Commenting on the senior competitive debut of Bowen-Quirk, Darbyshire added: “Summer has been incredible for a period of time for our U19’s. She can play anywhere across the backline and she deserved that today. I thought she would have a nice few minutes, but they scored and she had to defend, which was good because she got the experience of playing at the top level.”