Cardiff Women Match Report

4th August 2019

Cardiff City Women 3

A strong second half showing wasn’t enough for a mix of Cheltenham Town Ladies First Team and Reserves as they lost out to Cardiff City Women at the Cardiff International Sports Campus.

Cardiff started quickly against Cheltenham’s mixed bag and were on the attack almost immediately, looking to play fast football down the right but a combination of Kayleigh Hateley and young fullback Hannah Dix cut them off, giving away a corner with a minute on the clock.

The corner was hugely overhit and Cheltenham were able to break away but found themselves unable to produce a result. As the early minutes ticked by, the Robins slowly got themselves in, winning a corner of their own after four minutes.
The game developed into a fast paced end-to-end game with neither side fully able to dominate or convert their attacking moves.

Baber and Kayll were a good unit down the right hand side as Cheltenham looked to camp in the home side’s half.
Cardiff were able to break away, with Hateley rushing up and getting caught. The resulting shot was saved well by Clark in the Cheltenham goal.

The hosts were on the front foot, focusing their attacks down the right hand side and calling the defence into action time after time with whipped crosses but the trio of goalkeeper Clark and her centre-halves Leask and Hateley stood firm.

The home side took the lead after some good play down the right wing, and extended their lead two minutes later as a perfectly placed shot went in off the far post.

Cheltenham came back into the game with an Abby Bevan penalty. A free-kick was clipped into the Cardiff penalty area and in the scramble, the ball struck the outstretched arm of a Cardiff defender. Bevan stepped up and blasted it into the net.

After some to-and-fro football between the two teams, the home side restored their two-goal lead down the right hand side. A well weighted cross into the area beat Leask, before the striker belted it home.

Cheltenham pushed forward, looking to Hitchcox or Butterfield to bag a goal right before the end of the half but were unable to make things click.
Cardiff went into the break in the lead but not looking quite as dominant as they had in the early phases.

Half Time: Cardiff 3 – 1 Cheltenham

Cheltenham restarted the game and in under a minute got their second goal. A fantastic Lauren Kayll cross was just right for Ella Hitchcox, who rose between the two centre-backs and connect with a wonder of a header, leaving the goalkeeper no chance.

Cardiff reacted strongly and started to push further up the field, rattling the bar from outside the box. Cheltenham’s chances were restricted, but Bevan and Butterfield were still able to create the odd opportunity.

Cheal rang the changes, with the Reserves’ Jenna Lepore, Hannah Galpin, and Caitlin Marron (pictured) were introduced into the game to replace Hannah Dix, Lauren Kayll and Kayleigh Hateley.

The changes didn’t disrupt the visitors but Cardiff were still asking questions. Lepore was called in to duty twice in as many minutes – first clearing a corner at the near post and then cutting out a low pass in the box after Cardiff had gotten round the back of Cheltenham’s defence.

Following this, Cheltenham settled down as Cardiff’s substitutions seemed to disrupt their play. The visitors looked threatening with Hitchcox, Butterfield, Bevan and Marron all creating chances.

Cheltenham made some more changes, with defender Amy Leask and midfielders Alice Kempski and Sally Butterfield coming off and being replaced by more Reserve Team players, this time Ella-Mae Simpson, Anna Symanowski and Hannah Marshall.

Leask returned to the field almost immediately, as trialist Cheryl Baber took an injury to the thigh while striking the ball.

Cardiff searched for a fourth but couldn’t convert. Cheltenham on the other hand got their flow back, with Hateley coming back in to replace Wilkins.
Marron on the right was a thorn in Cardiff’s side, with a perfectly struck shot but the angle resulted in a standard save for the goalkeeper.

At this point, Cardiff were on the back foot and not being able to find a way through, were left resorting to long shots which Clark would claim all day long.

Galpin and Symanowski were regularly getting stuck in and holding their own against their Welsh Women’s Premiership opposition.

The home side would eventually try to break away as Cheltenham threw bodies forward and won a corner.
Cardiff, desperate for a breather, played the corner short and looked to hold it in the corner to run out the clock.

D2 Interactive