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2016/17 Season Review: May

With the title challenge now over the focus turned to who would get the second-place spot in the table, Cardiff City Ladies or Coventry United Ladies. This would be decided with a huge home game for City Ladies between the two sides, would Cardiff be able to finish the season off in style?

Sunday 7th May 2017: Cardiff City Ladies 1 – 2 Coventry United Ladies (Chivers 21’)

Coventry were in the driving seat going into this game knowing that a win would seal the second spot in the table whereas Cardiff knew a win today would put them in the driving seat, heading into the last game against Crystal Palace Ladies. The game of football however, was only at the forefront of people’s minds for less than a minute when a hard challenge from Stephanie Smith in the first minute left Abbie Britton with a fractured tibia. After a fourteen minute delay the game was restarted but a sombre tone had enveloped it. The two sides were even but it was City Ladies who took the lead in the 21st minute when Chloe Chivers headed in from 12 yards out. Kerry Bartlett almost doubled the lead three minutes later, but that would prove to be the end of the chances for a while. In the 42nd minute Cardiff had another injury concern, this time Laura Williams going off forcing Cardiff into their second substitution in the first half. In the third minute of the 14 to be added on at the end of the first half, Coventry United hit back when Ali Hall turned her defender and slid the ball into the bottom corner, ensuring that the sides went into the break level.

It was Cardiff who came out the stronger of the two sides in the second half with Chivers forcing the keeper into a fantastic save before Ellis Hillman saw a deflected effort almost sneak under the bar. Laura O’Sullivan was kept busy in the Cardiff goal too, having to make a number of good saves, but it was in the 80th minute after Cardiff had failed to convert on a number of chances that they were ultimately punished. Amber Hughes was fed through on goal and slid the ball underneath O’Sullivan, whose touch wasn’t enough to divert it away from goal and Coventry had the lead. They then sat back and soaked up Cardiff pressure and Chivers was by far the most dangerous player on the pitch but she was unable to add a second to her tally for the afternoon and Coventry came away winners. They were now guaranteed second spot in the league whilst Cardiff were down to fourth, relying on C&K Basildon to take points away from Charlton on final day to finish top three.

Cardiff City Ladies: O’Sullivan, Allen, Bartlett, Britton (Llewellyn 15’), Chivers, Evans, Hillman, C Lloyd, Mills (Randall 80’), C Williams, L Williams (Green 42’)

Bookings: Evans

Sunday 14th May 2017: Crystal Palace Ladies 0 – 1 Cardiff City Ladies (Bartlett)

The final game of the season saw Cardiff City Ladies travel to Crystal Palace Ladies in a game which they knew they had to win to stand a chance of taking the 3rd spot in the table. It was a feisty game with five players going in the referee’s notebook, but a single goal from Kerry Bartlett would prove to be the difference between the two sides. That goal coupled with C&K Basildon ending up on the right side of a seven-goal thriller against Charlton Athletic, ensured Cardiff’s final league position inside the top three behind Tottenham and Coventry.

Cardiff City Ladies: O’Sullivan, Allen, Bartlett, Evans, Hillman (Turner 58’), C Lloyd, Mills, Randall, Suominen (Deacon 70’), C Williams, L Williams

Bookings: Randall, Suominen, C Williams

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