Spirited Cardiff City Ladies narrowly lose to table topping Tags

Report by Ioan Thomas

Hashtag United’s first half goal via Gemma Baker proved to be the only difference between both sides in a hotly contested match up.

Cardiff began the game under a spell pressure from Hashtag United but held their own and defended brilliantly to counter any pressure they were facing. Both teams were constantly battling for control of the game with neither side shying away from getting stuck in and trying to put their authority on the game. The first chance of the game fell to Ebony Dover who delivered a dangerous ball into the Hashtag penalty area early in the first half but Cardiff were unable to capitalize on a golden opportunity.

Despite Cardiff’s early efforts, it was Hashtag United who took the lead through Gemma Baker in the 26th minute who found herself in some space in the Cardiff penalty area after a failed clearance from a set piece to volley the visitors in front. Ebony Dover almost had an instant response for Cardiff when she found herself in some space at the back post, her header was agonizingly close to an equalizer but it flew just over the Hashtag goal. Ellie Sargent was played in behind beautifully by Thierry-Jo Gauvain but Hashtag fullback Malika Alpindia made an inch-perfect last-ditch tackle to prevent what looked to be a certain goal just before the break.

Hashtag started the second half quickly with Gemma Baker denied a brace by Laura O’Sullivan. Her looping shot seemed destined for the top corner but O’Sullivan’s outstretched Left arm swatted it away. Both teams looked to push forward but neither teams attack were given a proper sniff at goal due to impressive defensive shape and discipline by both defences. In the 79th minute the Dragons found themselves in the box with the lively Ellie Sargent who’s short pass found Emily Poole. Her effort is well blocked by a Hashtag defender and subsequently cleared away. The Tags almost doubled their lead late on after an error in possession by Caitlin Williams led to a Hashtag attack. However, she recovered brilliantly and used her pace to power back to help TJ Gauvain snuff out any danger.

City will be disappointed not to get any points from the game despite an impressive performance against a team with quality all over the pitch.

The Dragons will look ahead to their next game against Plymouth away.