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Cardiff City 3-1 Loughborough Foxes

Cardiff City 3-1 Loughborough Foxes

It was another game on tour for Cardiff City Ladies whilst work goes on at the CCB. This time we were hosted by Merthyr Town and faced the visit of Loughborough Foxes in an evenly fought battle in the FA Women’s National League Southern Premier.

The first chance of the game fell to Hannah Miles for Cardiff, who volleyed the ball wide just two minutes into the game. Cardiff started the brighter of the two teams, with Kylie Nolan getting some early chances, beating three defenders and rounding the keeper before pulling back for Miles to lash over the bar, and then Nolan hitting the post after turning her defender moments later.

Loughborough got into the game following this and what followed was a very evenly matched contest between both sides, with neither carving any clear chances until the 31st minute. A long ball over the top of the Cardiff defence started a race between the Loughborough attacker and City keeper Laura O’Sullivan, with the attacker getting to the ball first and lifting it over the Wales international and into the net to give the away side the lead.

The first half would continue in the same manner, with City making half chances but failing to put them away. Grace Horrell, Cori Williams and Kylie Nolan making the keeper work, but ultimately not beating her, meaning that Cardiff went into the break a goal down for the second game in a row.

The first 10 minutes of the second half continued in the same way, with Morgan firing from distance and Isaac stinging the hands of the keeper. A Loughborough corner was inches from doubling the away sides lead but for Kelly Isaac clearing off the line. This would mark the turning point for City, who began to bombard the opposition goal. Kylie Nolan had multiple shots on goal with the keeper continuing to deny her, Williams headed agonisingly wide from a corner, and Chelsea Jumaratie hit the bar with a stunning free kick from 30 yards, and hit another that would have gone in if not for a deflection from the defenders.

The breakthrough finally came in the 74th minute when Kylie Nolan received the ball out wide, and pulled the ball across the box to find Grace Horrell who put the ball into the corner of the net to equalise for Cardiff; a goal that had been coming. 2 minutes later, Nolan won a corner for Cardiff, with the set piece causing chaos in the box. A header eventually deflected off a defender for an own goal to give Cardiff the lead. The comeback was complete in the 88th minute with Nolan again involved, feeding in Kelly Isaac who buried into the bottom corner for 3-1.

Loughborough had the chance for a late fightback, winning a penalty in the 93rd minute, but the taker smashed it against the post and the score remained 3-1. Cardiff are now up to fourth in the table with a game in hand over the 3 above them, and travel to 3rd place Chichester on Sunday.

Photo: Neil Wildy

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