Updated: Apr 14
By Tom Lea
Cardiff City Ladies crossed the Severn Bridge on Thursday evening seeking three much-needed points in their battle against the drop.
They would ultimately come up short in their quest as goals from Meesha Dudley-Jones and Daisy Ackerman, along with a brace from Jenna Markham meant that Charlotte Buxton's early own goal was a mere consolation for the girls in Blue.
Cardiff started brightly and took the lead as early as the sixth minute when Ellie Sargent wriggled free on the right-hand side and her low cross into the middle was deflected into her own net by Buxton with Cori Williams lurking close behind her.
Bridgwater would look to respond and Markham thought she was in to level the tie in the 13th minute as she took the ball round Laura O'Sullivan however the assistant raised her flag following some excellent awareness from Caitlin Williams to catch the striker offside.
Shortly before the half-hour mark however, Bridgwater would find an equaliser as a long ball forwards held up in the wind and with O'Sullivan stranded, Dudley-Jones would be presented with an unguarded net to roll the ball into and level the game.
Things would go from bad to worse for Cardiff only a few moments later as another long ball found Ackerman and, although her initial effort was blocked expertly, Markham was on hand to loop a header over the Welsh number one and put the hosts in front for the first time.
Cardiff nearly hit back immediately as Zoe Smith fired goalwards from range and forced Beth Howard into an outstanding fingertip save to maintain the Bridgwater advantage.
After the interval, Bridgwater got their third as the two previous scorers combined with Dudley-Jones slotting through Markham who took the ball round two defenders before calmly sliding her finish in at the near post to double the lead and leave the Welsh side with a mountain to climb.
Kylie Nolan had her only real sight of goal in the 52nd minute as she was played through in the right-hand channel but, with the angle against her, she was unable to squeeze her effort into Howard's near post.
With just over half an hour remaining, Nicky Potts got free on the right and whipped a fantastic cross into the middle where the tireless Ackerman was on hand to fire a volley beyond O'Sullivan and put the result beyond much doubt.
Bridgwater were then content to let Cardiff control possession of the football and look to hit their visitors on the break but never created another significant chance as they ensured the points would stay in the west country rather than crossing the border back to Wales.
Next up for City is a home clash with Crawley Wasps on Easter Sunday by which time the relegation picture will be much clearer.