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2016/17 Season Review: August and September

As the end of August drew near the anticipation in South Wales was high for the start of another campaign for Cardiff City Ladies. The first four matches of competition saw a double header against Lewes Ladies and a long away trip to Ipswich Town Ladies in the Determining Round of the WPL for City Ladies, but they rose to the challenge with superb professionalism.

28th August 2016: Lewes Ladies 1 – 1 Cardiff City Ladies (Bartlett 50’)

The opening day of the season was always going to be tricky as competitive match fitness amongst the team was unknown. It was a tight first half against Lewes Ladies but City Ladies took the lead through Kerry Bartlett shortly after the break, as she was able to run onto a through ball in behind the back four and tuck the ball away from a tight angle. Cardiff were not able to take all three points however as with fifteen minutes to go, after a couple of good blocks in the area, a driven low shot into the bottom corner went past the outstretched Laura O’Sullivan, and the points were shared between the two sides.

Cardiff City Ladies: O’Sullivan, B Lloyd, Evans, Llewellyn, Britton (c), C Lloyd, C Williams, Miles (Mills 59’), Bartlett, Suominen, Chivers (Turner 70’)

Bookings: Evans

4th September 2016: Ipswich Town Ladies 0 – 5 Cardiff City Ladies (Suominen 4’, C Williams 20’, Chivers 51’, 59’, C Lloyd 58’)

Following the opening day draw City Ladies had a long trip to East Anglia to look forward to, as they faced Ipswich Town Ladies in the determining round of the WPL Cup. It was a dominating performance from the Welsh side, taking the lead just five minutes in when Hope Suominen rounded the goalkeeper and slotted the ball into the empty net. Ipswich struggled to get out of their own half and Cori Williams got on the scoresheet 20 minutes in when her left footed shot flew into the top of the net from the edge of the area. Chivers scored her first of the match when Gemma Evans’ shot was blocked and fell kindly for Chivers, before two quick strikes for City Ladies put the game to bed on the hour mark. Firstly, Chloe Lloyd’s cross come shot beat the keeper before a minute later another goal line scramble fell kindly for Chivers to grab her second of the afternoon, and Cardiff secured themselves a home tie against Larkhall Athletic Ladies in the next round.

Cardiff City Ladies: O’Sullivan, Mills (Llewellyn 78’), Chivers, Britton, Evans, Rees (Miles 65’), C Lloyd, Bartlett (Evan-Watkins 65’), Suominen, L Williams, C Williams

11th September 2016: Cardiff City Ladies 6 – 0 Lewes Ladies (Britton 25’, Chivers 60’, Bartlett 65’, C Williams 66’, B Lloyd 68’, C Lloyd 73’)

After the 1-1 draw in the reverse fixture on the opening day of the season, the first half of this game made it seem as though this contest was going to result in a similar score line. The first half was evenly matched with only one goal when Abbie Britton rose higher than her marker to head home from a corner on the edge of the six-yard box on twenty five minutes. It was in the second half that Cardiff really started to turn the screw. Chivers missed a chance to make it 2-0 shortly after the break after squandering a chance when clear on goal, only to make amends nine minutes later, sliding the ball home on the hour mark. Six minutes later it was 4-0 with Bartlett tapping home from Chivers’ cross before a minute later Cori Williams made no mistake from the penalty spot after a blocked shot was deemed to be handball. City Ladies then scored a further two goals to make it five in 13 minutes when Bethan Lloyd fired from just outside the box into the top corner before Chloe Lloyd volleyed home from Gemma Evans’ cross. The home campaign could not have started any better for the women in blue.

Cardiff City Ladies: O’Sullivan, Bartlett, Britton, Chivers, Davies (B Lloyd 65’), Evans, Green (Miles), Jenkins, C Lloyd, Suominen (Lake 75’), C Williams

Bookings: Suominen, C Williams

25th September 2016: Cardiff City Ladies 2 – 1 C & K Basildon Ladies (Chivers 7’, Bartlett 29’)

After the 6-0 thumping of Lewes Ladies a fortnight earlier, City Ladies went into the fixture full of the confidence that comes with an unbeaten start to the season. It looked as though that run was going to continue when Chloe Chivers showed all of the poachers skill that she showed against Ipswich Town to volley home a ball in the penalty area just seven minutes in, after a Cori Williams cross caused all sorts of problems for the Basildon defence. Laura O’Sullivan was made to work in the Cardiff goal but was equal to everything early on, and Chivers had a hand in the second goal as well when her initial shot was parried by the Basildon keeper and the grateful Bartlett was there to tap in for Cardiff’s second just before the half hour mark. With the rain now pouring the game began to change and Basildon looked a side capable of scoring. They pulled one goal back four minutes later when Zoe Rushen slotted home from a cross, but Cardiff were able to go in at the break at 2-1. Basildon hit the post midway through the second half and then City Ladies began to sit back and invite pressure, O’Sullivan making a world class save in stoppage time to tip a dipping header over the bar and continue the unbeaten streak.

Cardiff City Ladies: O’Sullivan, Bartlett (Llewellyn 84’), Britton, Chivers, Davies (Tinman 58’), Evans, Green, Jenkins, C Lloyd (B Lloyd 62’), Suominen, C Williams

Bookings: Chivers

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