By Sion Misra
It was Oxford United who reigned victorious on a blustery afternoon in Ystrad Mynach with a 3-0 victory.
Two goals from McLachan and one from Lumsden proved to be the difference between both teams, but a player of the match display from Laura O’Sullivan kept Cardiff in it for most of the game.
The opening 30 minutes was a cagey affair. The strong winds and heavy flurries of rain made it difficult for either team to gain a real foothold in the game.
The first opportunity of the game fell to Cardiff. Cori Williams played a ball through into Ruby Scahill but couldn’t find the power to direct the ball into the back of the net.
Oxford replied with a half chance of their own. A corner resulted in the ball falling to the feet of Panting but she couldn’t keep her volley down and the ball sailed over the bar.
The biggest chance of the half fell to Panting again. A mix up in the Cardiff defence meant she was clean through on goal. But Laura O’Sullivan showcased why she is Wales’ number one keeper, but expertly tipping her effort onto the post.
Oxford had another chance towards the end of the half. Some quick passing meant Johns found herself in the box but couldn’t gain enough power on her shot to really test O’Sullivan.
In the 60th minute Oxford took the lead. A corner was floated in, but the Cardiff defence couldn’t deal with it, and the ball fell to McLachan, who rifled the ball into the top corner on the turn.
The visitors had an opportunity to double their lead a few minutes later, however, the free kick on the edge of the area was well saved again by O’Sullivan.
15 minutes towards the end, a long ball reached Lumsden who was one-on-one with O’Sullivan but she dragged her effort wide.
Minutes later, Katie Jones misjudged a header and Lumsden was in again, and this time made no mistake and calmly slotted the ball into the bottom corner.
The third for Oxford followed in the 90th minute. McLachan won the ball from Roberts and skipped her way through the defence and put it past O’Sullivan to make it three.
Cardiff will be hoping to make up for this defeat in their next game, which is a League Cup tie away to Southampton Women’s FC.
Player of the Match – Laura O’Sullivan
A true captain’s performance from O’Sullivan today. She showed exactly why she’s Wales’ number one keeper by producing mesmeric saves and really kept Cardiff in it for large portions of the game.