Cardiff City Ladies U16's 1-3 Villa Dino
The first game of the new season saw our under 16’s come against Villa Dino, a fixture that has always provided a tough game and this time was no exception.
With the rain holding off just long enough for the game to be played in dry conditions, our players attacked from the outset and were rewarded for their positive start with a goal for Erin who ran onto a ball played from a freekick having sprung the offside trap. A great start to the new season with an early lead for the girls.
The deadlock could have been broken even earlier as Katy Williams and Erin combined well to put early pressure on the Villa Dino defence with good interchanging. Villa Dino started to put pressure on the Cardiff back four with their willing runners keeping our fullbacks Eloise and Meels fully occupied. The football played by both teams at times was excellent and there were chances at both ends. Talia, fully restored as keeper, made several excellent saves and interceptions, allowing us to keep our slender lead. Whilst never comfortable, Cardiff had several more opportunities as Alissa and Freya prompted the attacks from midfield.
Erin and Katy W both went close again as the Villa Dino keeper kept them in the game with good positional play and some excellent saves. For their part, the visitors were always a threat and their effective balls through the middle of the defence were keeping Carys and Meg on their toes and working hard. The fact that the game was still 1-0 at halftime was a credit to both keepers and both sets of defenders and the game promised more goals in the second half.
The game after the break followed a similar pattern with attacking intent shown by both teams. Whilst Erin warmed the hands of their keeper with another fierce shot, the visitors were starting to get on top in the midfield battle with a near constant barrage of through balls testing the resolve of the back four. Talia made some more important interceptions and saves but the score somehow remained unchanged.
The next period of the game saw Cardiff have a purple patch where Katy Trotman became more influential and Crys, Alissa and Freya interchanged with the forwards, ably supported by the fullbacks when they were able to venture forward. This sadly did not last too long as Villa Dino pressed virtually continuously in search of an equaliser. Talia had already made one great save to keep us ahead when a fierce shot from outside the box finally beat her to make the scores 1-1.
For the remainder of the game it was virtually one way traffic as Villa Dino dominated possession and had a number of chances which were thwarted by some last ditch challenges and some determined keeping. Lauren came on for Katy T to provide fresh legs but it was somewhat inevitable that another through ball would beat our defence and allow the visitors to take the lead. Cardiff changed formation and threw players forward in search of an equaliser but with virtually the last kick of the game, another pass allowed the opposition forward to get behind our tiring defence to score and make the final result 3-1 to Villa Dino.
The final goal made the scoreline seem a little harsh on our team but in truth Villa Dino deserved the victory as they dominated the second half and we were defensively overrun by the end of the match. Full credit goes to both sets of players for an excellent advert for junior football.
The girls will come back stronger for this run out and there were plenty of positives to take out of the game.