Cardiff City Women 1-0 Cyncoed Ladies – Murphy super-strike sends Bluebirds into final
Cardiff City Women’s reached their first final in three years as they saw off the challenge of Welsh Premier Women’s League rivals Cyncoed Ladies at Rhiw’r Ddar.
Joel Hutton’s side will meet South Wales rivals Swansea City in the Final, after the Swans victory over Port Talbot Town last weekend.
The Bluebirds who reached the semi-final after beating Abergavenny Women on penalties had originally been knocked out by Cardiff Metropolitan University, but now find themselves in the final after the Archer’s expulsion for fielding an ineligible player.
The games first chance was presented to Cardiff, who were edging it in the middle of the park.
Lucy McDonough took the ball off of Jessica Williams and teed up Lisa Owen for the shot, but she put her effort over the bar.
Gwennan Davies had Cyncoed’s first chance, as she tried a speculative effort from outside the box but Ceryn Chamberlain had it covered.
The Mighty Oaks had a faint penalty appeal when Caitlin Bevan carried the ball into the box with some neat footwork, but the referee remained firm.
Fern Burrage’s side was given a free-kick on the edge of the box after a foul on Athina Varnava. Rosina Hill lined-up her free-kick but placed it just over the bar.
Daley had her own chance as she tries to lift the ball over Chamberlain but the City keeper used her body well to block the shot.
Cyncoed were almost made to pay after being down to ten as Gwennan Davies received treatment for a challenge. Alana Murphy took the ball off of Holly Broad and shot from the corner of the box with O’Sullivan saving.
Gwennan Davies who made her senior debut for Wales this week was unable to run off the injury, with Naomi Grant coming on in her place.
Three minutes before the interval, the game had its first goal. A throw into the box wasn’t dealt with, allowing Alana Murphy to score with a dipping effort over O’Sullivan.
Cardiff City continued to how they played in the first half, with a strong backline that was doing well to thwart the pressure of Cyncoed. Jordan Guard made an import well-timed challenge to deny Julia Moulton’s path into the box.
The Bluebirds had a penalty appeal as they claimed Cyncoed skipper Holly Broad, but the referee remained adamant that the ball hadn’t struck the hand of Broad. Substitute Mollie L Jones came on and she nearly made an immediate impact. She was found in space after a neat passage of play and she forced O’Sullivan to palm the ball away for a corner.
Skipper Siobhan Walsh made her presence known as she put in a tackle on a rushing Moulton. It was one-way traffic for Cardiff City who had a firm hold of the game with twenty minutes to go.
Cyncoed Ladies manager Fern Burrage opted to bring herself on in an attempt to rescue something from the game as she slotted into the midfield. However, City very nearly made it 2-0 after her substitution.
Lucy McDonough showed great link-up play with goal scorer Murphy as she reached McDonough’s low cross, but her shot was cleared off the line but Jessica Williams to keep her side in the game.
The Bluebirds held out in the final minutes of the game as they took the ball into the corner, containing possession well. The referee blew for full-time, sparking jubilant celebrations.
Chamberlain, Thomas (Jones 63), May(Broadley 67), Daley, Walsh (C), Guard, Burne, Underdown, Owen, McDonough (Davies 82), Murphy
O’Sullivan, Jenkins, Williams, Broad (C), Davies (Grant 40), Bevan, Sandford, Hill (Moulton 45), Pervin-Davies, Daley (Burrage 76)
(Featured Image: Will Cheshire)