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Women's Football News
Cardiff City midfielder Ellie Smith praised her side following their 2-1 victory away to Leicester City Ladies in the Third Round of the F.A.Women's Cup.
The National Division side needed to come from behind to beat their Midland Combination opponents and Ellie admitted to Women's Soccer Scene that it had been a tough game.
"The pitch was pretty icy, making it slightly tougher to get into a rhythm and control the game," she said. "Leicester made things tough but once the game settled down, we were able to play better and create a few chances.
"We played better in the second half with our strikers making good runs to create more space."
Cardiff also needed to contend with a home crowd in excess of 400 but Ellie insisted that only served to inspire her team. "It was great to play a team with a real passionate crowd and everyone was up for the match," she said. "The way the game panned out made it special too because we went behind and then had to fight for the win, so it was an entertaining match."
Leicester made a flying start and took an early lead but Cardiff hit back to equalise quickly. "Amie [Lea] did great to finish off a good move straight after we conceded, so we could keep our confidence high and give ourselves more time to push on for the win," said Ellie.
The game was settled by a terrific 25-yard strike by Bethan Lloyd during the second half. "What, the tap in?" laughed Ellie when asked about the goal. "It was standard really - she does it every day in training. She [Bethan] is a cracking forward so it was great seeing her score and even better when it is a peach and the winner.
"The team played well in the second half - for me, Danielle Broadhurst was solid at the back and also creative going forward. Bethan [Lloyd] also capped a good performance with her goal.
"Throughout the second half we were pretty strong, but late on we conceded a free kick right on the edge of our penalty area which was pretty nervy to be honest! Luckily the effort was headed over so we could go through and look forward to the next round."
Cardiff's opponents for that tie in the round are yet to be decided, with the Third Round clash between Sunderland and Rotherham Utd having twice been postponed. Ellie insists that the players will be full of confidence, whichever team they have to face.
"If it's Sunderland, then they are a good team - well organised. We played them in January in the league and conceded twice but it was a tight game and we will be sharper next time, so it would be great to have another shot at them. We know nothing about Rotherham, but we are looking forward to the next round whoever we play."
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