M.5 - 22/2023 Season
By Eloise Martin
Pontypridd United suffered a close 2-0 defeat against Cardiff City in the league opener on Sunday. Goals from Danielle Broadhurst and Phoebe Poole saw the Bluebirds bag their first three points of the season.
It was Cardiff City who had the first chance of the game when Ffion Price placed the corner in the six-yard box but none of her teammates connected with the ball pushing it out for a goal kick. The Dragons defended well in the opening minutes and their first opportunity came when Anais Trinci triggered the counter-attack placing a ball through to Clare Daley. Daley ran onto the ball finding herself 2v1 against the City defence, but they intercepted the play.
Despite a competitive first twenty minutes, Cardiff City found their lead when Rhianne Oakley’s cross found Zoe Atkins who squared it to Danielle Broadhurst who poked it into the net. However, Pontypridd United's defence proved solid as Cardiff City continued to fire shots. Shannon Greenway executed an impressive block to prevent Atkins from doubling the Bluebird's lead.
At half time the Dragons made three changes to the team with Carys Bufton, Kirstie Pervin-Davies and Olivia Francis replacing Efa Preece-Jones, Olivia Barnett and Anais Trinci. The fresh legs increased the attacking force and new signing Olivia Francis proved a threat up front when she received a through ball in the box but she was denied by the City defence and left with no options to play a pass. Emily Bayliss was replaced by Brooke Evans and the substitutions were paying off for the Dragons. Olivia Francis ran down the right wing before cutting into the box and squaring the ball to Alison Witts who was intercepted by Cardiff City. Minutes later the Dragons were denied a potential penalty when Jasmine Turner's shot deflected off what seemed to be the arm of a Cardiff City player, but the referee was not convinced and the game played on.
Pontypridd United found themselves even closer to goal not long after when Jasmine Turner’s corner curled in towards the goal before being deflected off the post! The Dragons were threatening in the second half, but the Bluebirds secured their second of the game with twenty minutes to go. An excellent through ball from Hollie Smith put Phoebe Poole through on goal and she found the net comfortably.
Cardiff City goalkeeper, Ceryn Chamberlain produced an excellent performance to deny the Dragons a goal. She denied Olivia Francis who sent a curling effort into the top corner, but Chamberlain kept the score at bay with an impressive save. Pontypridd United did not back down forcing the goalkeeper into two more saves via Jasmine Turner’s free-kick just outside the box. She sent the ball in towards the corner and Chamberlain tipped it off the crossbar before denying Holly Broad who sent in a last-ditch header. The Bluebird keeper did well to keep the score line at bay as Pontypridd United could have easily scored two goals in the final 10 minutes!
It was a tight and competitive first fixture of the season and the game ended 2-0 to hosts Cardiff City. The Dragons were unfortunate to leave empty-handed.
Danielle Broadhurst 24'
Phoebe Poole 72'
Leckwith Rd, Cardiff CF11 8AZ, UK