Cardiff City LFC 3-2 Burnley LFC – FA Cup Third Round
On a very cold and windy day in Ystrad Mynach, Cardiff City faced the visit of 5th tier side Burnley in the FA Cup Third Round, with a place in the fourth round, and a potential tie against Super League opposition, up for grabs. It was the home side who started brightest, with a half chance early on. And it only took 7 minutes for Cardiff to break the deadlock. A looped ball over the top caught out the Burnley defence, letting captain Cori Williams get through one on one with the on-rushing keeper. She expertly lifted the ball over the keepers head, and it nestled in the back of the net to give Cardiff an early lead.
Cardiff’s strong start continued, with a number of chances falling to the home side, with one 30 yard strike nearly looping over the head of the keeper, who recovered well to tip wide, and a Cori Williams free kick being struck just over the bar on 14 minutes. On the 21st minute a well worked Cardiff corner was cleared off the line by the Burnley defence, keeping the score at 1-0 despite Cardiff dominating the early exchanges. It was this moment that triggered a fight back from the visitors, who rapidly grew into the game and began to match the side two divisions above them, forcing a very good save from Cardiff keeper Estelle Randall after a well worked Burnley corner. Randall would be called into action on a number of occasions throughout the game, and Burnley peppered her goal with ranged shots, but none were good enough to beat the Cardiff number 1.
Cardiff began to reassert themselves towards the end of the first half, with a free kick striking the bar before Zoe Atkins failed to convert the rebound. Atkins had another opportunity a few moments later, getting on the end of a Ffion Price free kick, but this time was denied by the Burnley keeper, who was called into action right before the half time whistle, with Price feeding in Williams, who couldn’t beat the keeper who was in fine form all game.
The 7 minute mark proved to be the golden minute for Cardiff, as in the 7th minute of the second half, much like the first, they found a way through the resolute Burnley defence. Ffion Price floated in a free kick which found its way to Ella Powell at the back post, who bundled the ball into the back of the net to double the home side’s advantage. Burnley weren’t willing to go down without a fight at this point, and began to really boss the game, once again peppering Randall’s goal. They got their breakthrough in the 63rd minute, with a looping cross beating everyone in the Cardiff box and finding its way to Priestley at the back post, who headed home to cut the Cardiff lead in half.
The game became very cagey after this, with Cardiff content to sit back a little and soak up the Burnley pressure, dealing with it well for the next 18 minutes, limiting the visitors to half chances and ranged efforts, with Randall equal to everything that came at her. But the visitors finally got the better of Randall, and got their equaliser, with 9 minutes to go until full time. Cardiff failed to clear their lines after a Burnley attack, and the ball fell to Sarah Greenhalgh who fired into the top corner, leaving the keeper with no chance.
It looked as though Burnley had done enough to tie the game after an impressive second half fight back, but just four minutes from time, Jasmine Turner was fouled out wide. Ffion Price once again looped the free kick into the box, and the keeper failed to claim the ball, which found its way to the feet of Cori Williams, who buried the ball into the back of the net for her 20th goal of the season, sending the home side through to the 4th round.