Cardiff City Ladies 1 - 3 Charlton Athletic Women
Cardiff City Ladies suffered a 3-1 home defeat to table-toppers Charlton Athletic Ladies after a hat-trick from Charlotte Gurr. Despite the score-line making it look like a simple enough victory for Charlton, the game itself was even throughout and on another day Cardiff could’ve easily won this game based on their performance.
The first attack of the game saw Gurr burst into the box only to be denied by a last ditch tackle from Ffion Price. The first half chance for Cardiff followed, Kelly Isaac firing well over the bar. Both sides were being given far too much space on the ball, especially on the right wing for Charlton. Cardiff were very close to forcing huge chances, two through balls from Ella Powell were only slightly over hit and Charlton had a similar effort as Hope Nash was put almost put through.
The first clear chance on goal fell to Cardiff City as Cori Williams fired straight at the keeper after some good work to shift the chance onto her left foot. Cardiff were living dangerously, giving free kicks away in threatening positions and on 14 minutes they were punished. A central free kick from Gurr clipped the bar on its way in just out of reach of Estelle Randall. Gurr's free kicks would prove to be the difference come the full time whistle. The chance for an equaliser immediately followed as a corner went right through the box evading any kind of touch which would’ve surely sent it into the net. The second goal followed soon after, again a free-kick given away, excellently curled round the wall by Gurr as Randall had no chance this time around.
Cardiff were really struggling to get on the ball however they were almost gifted a way back into the match when Powell collected a poor back pass but her run was stopped far too easily and Charlton cleared the danger. Just when the home side started to get back into the game before half time, yet another free kick given away, Gurr completed her hat-trick with easily the best free-kick of the three as it moved in the air, deceiving Randall and nestling in the top corner.
A 3-0 half time score line was very deceitful as Cardiff had had more than their fair share of possession and clear chances. They started out the second half with high pressure and it quickly made a difference as just 90 seconds into the half the ball was won back from a sloppy goal kick before being chipped home by Chloe O’Connor to put the home side well and truly back in the contest.
The next chance fell to Charlton and Kit Graham but her well hit left foot drive was brilliantly saved by Randall. A big moment in the game came just after the hour mark as Laura Williams burst into the box and was tackled from behind, the referee waving away what seemed to be a clear penalty and a clear way back into the match for Cardiff. Charlton almost punished Cardiff immediately but Ffion Price cleared what was a certain goal off the line as the home side tried to salvage something from the match.
With Cardiff starting to look tired, Charlton started to become a little complacent. Two huge chances came before the end of the game as goalkeeper Katie Startup gave the ball away cheaply twice. Cori Williams was denied when it looked easier to score than miss and then substitute Zoe Atkins chipped over the bar from the edge of the box.
The game ended in a 3-1 victory for the table-topping away side.
Cardiff City Ladies: Estelle Randall, Ella Powell, Kate Bennett, Hannah Mills, Ffion Llewellyn, Chloe O’Connor, Ffion Price, Emily Poole, Kelly Isaac, Laura Williams, Cori Williams.
Goals: O'Connor 47'
Charlton Athletic Ladies: Katie Startup, Katie Flack, Chloe Brunton-Wilde, Kim Dixson, Rosey Sullivan, Ellie Dorey, Charley Clifford, Charlotte Gurr, Nicole Pepper, Kit Graham, Hope Nash.
Goals: Gurr 14', 20', 33'