Cardiff City LFC continued their winning streak with a convincing 5-0 victory at home to Maidenhead Town. After scoring 26 goals in their first 4 matches, Cardiff found themselves up against a Maidenhead side set up to defend. In what was a frustrating first half, the home side dominated possession, with the ball rarely leaving their opposition’s half. However Cardiff despite their domination, Cardiff struggled to break their opponents down and create clear-cut chances throughout the first half.
The Dragons looked to take the lead after half an hour, when a perfectly placed cross from left-back Libby Piggott found Emily Poole at the back post. Poole gave the keeper no chance as she smashed it straight into the roof of the net, however the goal was disallowed for offside. Replays confirm Poole was onside, however unfortunately we did not have the benefit of VAR.
The home side continued to press for the opener, and came close soon after as Ellie Sargent ran in behind the Maidenhead defence, cutting it back to forward Kerry Bartlett on the penalty spot, however her first time strike was blocked by the Maidenhead defence. Minutes later Sargent went on a weaving run, beating two defenders, only for the keeper to comfortably save her effort.
It looked like both teams would be heading into the changing rooms level at half-time, however Sargent broke into the box, touched it past her marker to tee up the shot, only to be brought down. Chloe Lloyd made no mistake from the spot as she coolly slotted it into the bottom-right corner. 1-0 Cardiff at half-time.
Cardiff made two substitutions at half-time, bringing Grace Seren on up-front for Kerry Bartlett. Kelly Isaac replaced Chloe Lloyd in midfield who was rested as a precaution. Sub Seren had an instant impact. As Cardiff dominated possession, they played the ball back to centre-back TJ Gauvain on the half-way line. Gauvin picked out Cori Williams on the edge of the box, who headed it onto Seren. Seren beat her marker to the ball & dinked it first-time over the Maidenhead keeper, putting the hosts 2-0 up. Within three minutes Seren bagged a brace, this time Gauvain’s long ball from defence picked her out first-time, and as Seren held off her defender she slotted it in the bottom corner with the outside of her right boot.
Cardiff got their fourth ten minutes later as left-back Libby Piggott picked out Ruby Scahill’s back post run with a looping ball to the back post. Scahill brought the ball down and beat the keeper at her near post. The scoreline was rounded off by captain Cori Williams in the 69th minute. The assist again came from Piggott, who found Williams’ head at the back post from a corner kick.
Cardiff City Manager Jamie Phillip feels that the club’s convincing start to the season has meant that opponents set up to defend from the outset. “I think what we have created is a situation where every team comes to us looking to sit deep and stop the deficit. That’s a great compliment for us & although it caused us some frustrations at times in this game we knew that being consistent creating the chances would get the job done.”
Phillip also singled out his centre-back pairing of TJ Gauvain and Caitlyn Williams. “Special mentions for TJ & Caitlin who controlled the tempo of the game from the defensive third,” while also crediting Grace Seren for “continuing her individual journey and stepping up when required.”
Player of the match, chosen by mascots Dinas Powas FC u13s, was Ellie Sargent, who felt that patience was key to breaking down a resolute Maidenhead defence. “It was difficult to find a way through at first because they were set up to defend quite deep. This made it hard for us to play our usual attacking football but for us it was about controlling the game and just moving the ball until gaps appeared that we could try and exploit.”
O’Sullivan, Piggott, Gauvain, Ca Williams, Lambe, Lloyd, Scahill, Poole, Sargent, Bartlett, Co Williams (c)
L Williams, Isaac, Seren, Aadland, Wood
FA WNL Division 1 South-West
Home vs Larkhall Athletic
13/10/22, 8pm kick-off at Ocean Park Arena, Splott
Photo credits: Monk’s Photography