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Cardiff City Ladies Reserves 2-1 West Bromwich Albion Women Reserves

Cardiff City Ladies Reserves fought to take three points from an impressive West Bromwich Albion Women’s Reserves side at the CCB Centre for Sporting Excellence. The home side put up a ferocious fight and were rewarded for their efforts.

Four minutes in, West Brom’s Seanna McCann-Lloyd had an excellent opportunity in front of goal although, as she blasted the ball over the bar she was waved offside.

Cardiff passed the ball around patiently as they looked for a break in the away side’s defence to exploit, however The Baggies stood strong and always looked dangerous in attack.

After 12 minutes, Marianne Toho stroked a through-ball to Indiana Tolty who struck a powerful effort on target, to force the home goalkeeper to tip the ball over the bar for a corner which came to nothing.

It was clear that Toho was West Brom’s most dangerous threat, as everything went through her and she caused problems for the Cardiff defence. On 19 minutes, she went one-on-one with the goalkeeper who pulled out another super save for another unsuccessful corner, to keep the match goalless.

Cardiff were not going to be walked over and they produced a series of attacks; their first corner allowed Jamelia Davies to pass to Kate Bennett, who shot from in front of goal but it was deflected wide for another corner. The set-piece was cleared to Sophie Thomas who hit the ball from outside the box, but it went just wide of the left post.

The Cardiff number one was keeping her team in the game as on the 26th minute, she dived to her left to pull out another strong stop from Tolty’s thunderous shot from outside the box.

After scrappy defending from Cardiff on the 32nd minute, the ball found its way through to Abby Bevan who slotted the ball into the bottom left corner of the net to make it 1-0; there was nothing that Tia Morgan could do to stop it this time. West Brom hunted for a second goal and an opportunity came for their danger woman Toho, who struck the ball wide from the right side of the box.

Cardiff needed something special and it came on the 41st minute, when Monet Legall hammered the ball into the top left corner of the net, from the right corner of the box to level the score at 1-1.

Both teams went into the half time break knowing that they would have to produce a top second-half performance to become victors.

Cardiff made a half time substitution, as Zoe Atkins was replaced by Cori Williams. From the outset of the second-half, both teams had level possession as they attacked from end-to-end in the look for the leading goal.

Evan Taylor was putting in a terrific performance as she pulled out a range of successful tackles to win the ball for her team; she had been transferred from left-back to left-midfield to allow her attacking presence to enter the game.

On the 56th minute, Jasmine Turner whipped in a corner and Shannon Greenway headed the ball on target, although it was straight at the goalkeeper who made a simple save. Just after, Turner had a shot from around 25 yards which forced the goalkeeper to grasp a strong save.

Four minutes later, Courtney Reynolds was forced to come off for Megan Richards, after she was brought down by a strong Williams challenge. Then West Brom had a corner, and Louisa Butcher crossed the ball close to the goalkeeper who put the ball over the bar for another corner which came to nothing.

Cardiff were let off on the 70th minute, when Butcher struck her shot just wide of the left post from around 10 yards out from a well-placed cross. West Brom and Cardiff decided to make their second substitution of the match, as Jade Sinclar came on for Tolty, and Sophie Thomas was replaced by Ffion Llewelyn.

Cori Williams put Cardiff 2-1 up with 12 minutes to go, as she placed the ball into the left corner of the net from a Ffion Price assist. The home support was ecstatic but they knew that the remainder of the affair would be tense.

West Brom grafted for an equaliser, although Cardiff were determined to avoid a slipup at this stage, as turned defence into attack. The home side looked to use up the remaining couple of minutes, as they substituted Legall, who slowly walked off, for Cerys Broad. The score remained the same at the fulltime whistle, and it was a brilliant victory for Cardiff in a game that could have gone either way.

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