Cardiff City 2-6 West Ham United
It was a tough day at the office for Cardiff City Ladies last weekend, as a strong West Ham performance caused a heavy defeat in the last game before the visit of Oxford United in the FA Cup.
West Ham came out the blocks the quickest, and Wealthall had an early chance that she flashed wide, before Zoepel saw a header just go over the bar from a corner. All of the early possession went to the visitors, and they found the break through on the 13th minute. Estelle Randall in the Cardiff goal pulled of a fine save from a West Ham break away, but Rosie Kmita reacted quickest to get to the ball first and fire at goal. Randall got a hand to the ball, but it wasn’t quite enough to stop the ball from nestling in the net. The Hammers nearly made it a quick double a minute later after a poor backpass was pounced on by Wealthall, but the attacker flashed it over the bar.
Cardiff’s main attacking outlet came in the form of stand-in captain Laura Williams, who took up the armband with Cori Williams out injured. In the 17th minute, Williams picked up the ball on the half way line, danced around 4 players, before being cut down painfully by the defender. Williams was ok to continue playing, but the concern is there for her to be ready for Oxford on Sunday.
West Ham continued their dominance, with Kate Bennet making a good block as the visitors countered from the free kick, and ten minutes later they should have made it 2-0, hitting the post from a corner, before the rebound was cleared off the line by Ffion Llewellyn. 3 minutes later they did make it 2-0, with a looping header from Zoepel just sneaking in over the head of Randall. West Ham continued to dominate the first half, but Cardiff held on to go in at only 2-0 down.
The second half would prove to be one of the most bizarre periods of football you’ll see this season. It began with Cardiff making a change in goalkeeper, with Courtney Young coming in. However, Estelle Randall stayed on the pitch, moving onto the right hand side of midfield for the second half. The restart proved disastrous for City as the visitors made it 3 within a minute, with Rosie Kmita getting her second of the game. The next 20 minutes proved slower, with the Hammers content to play safely, and Courtney Young making a smattering of good saves from ranged shots.
The 66th minute would mark the start of a crazy period of the game. A long ball over the heads of the Cardiff defence found Wealthall, who slotted home for 4-0. A minute later, a City free kick found Kelly Isaac, who fired a shot at goal only to see it cleared off the line for a corner. However, Isaac once again got on the end of the set piece, and this time made no mistake and buried the ball in the back of the net. West Ham followed this up 2 minutes later, with Zoepel making it 3 goals in 3 minutes in South Wales. The period ended 3 minutes later, when goalkeeper turned winger Estelle Randall was played in on goal by Zoe Atkins, and curled the ball around the keeper to make it 5-2 to the visitors, with 4 goals being scored in 7 minutes.
West Ham finished the game off with 10 minutes to go, with substitute Chloe Burr rounding the keeper and finishing to make it 6-2 to the Hammers. A poor day at the office for City, who face WSL2 opposition in Oxford United this Sunday.
Player of the Match: Estelle Randall