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Cardiff reclaim Welsh Cup
 Women's Football News 25 Apr 2012
 
Cardiff reclaim Welsh Cup - 25 Apr 2012 - Women's Football News

 
With Cardiff City Ladies back from a seasons' exile out of the FAW Challenge Cup, it took a dramatic penalty shootout against UWIC to regain the title, following a 1-1 draw after extra time.

Cardiff were forced to make changes prior to kick off with injuries and suspensions, least of all following the sending off last week of captain Amie Lea against Leeds United in the league. Stand-in captain, keeper Rhian Nokes, led the Cardiff girls out and ended up playing a captain's role by the end of the match.

The heavy rain made conditions very difficult for both teams but it was Cardiff who took control of the opening minutes. Bethan Lloyd had the first chance when she was put through on goal by Lauren Townsend, but her low shot was well saved by UWIC keeper, Sophie Dando.

On 16 minutes it was Cardiff who opened the scoring when Danielle Broadhurst sent a 30 yard pass to Lloyd who crossed low and hard from the right goal line. Despite Dando blocking with her feet, striker Zoe Atkins pounced to toe poke the ball home.

It took a while for the students to settle into the game but their first chance came from a cross from the right, but Adele Hooper sent her shot wide of the target.

Broadhurst took a quick throw-in to Nicola Cousins. In turn she found Ellie Smith who did well to lay the ball back for Lloyd whose shot flew just past the UWIC post.

UWIC came close to equalising when a corner was fired in to the near post but went just wide of the goal. Cardiff had their own corner shortly afterwards, which was sent over by Steph Williams. Terri Beddows rose above the UWIC defence but was unlucky to see her effort cleared off the line.

UWIC scored the equaliser with the last kick of the first half when they were awarded a free kick just outside the Cardiff box. Chloe Bassett managed to slip from her marker and slam the ball past the unsighted Nokes and level the scores at the break.

Cardiff opened the second half with a tremendous long range effort from Townsend but UWIC keeper Dando was equal to it. UWIC went straight down the other end but Hooper's shot went just a whisker wide of Nokes' far post.

Following an individual run from Cousins into the UWIC penalty area, she was unlucky to have her appeal for hand ball turned down when her shot was blocked right in front of the goal.

With fifteen minutes remaining of the ninety, Cardiff manager Michele Adams replaced Atkins with Cori Williams, and shortly afterwards brought off Cousins for Slovakian international, Veronika Kletchova. Despite the changes neither team were able to score the winner and extra time was inevitable.

There was very little goal mouth action in the extra half hour, apart from a shot from Williams firing wide and UWIC's Hooper blasting a shot into the side netting.

Cardiff had the final chance to steal the game but Lloyd's shot was well saved by Dando, ensuring that the result was to be decided by a penalty shootout.

Cardiff captain Nokes was about to lead by example and made two tremendous saves from the spot, whilst her team mates Nia Jones, Townsend, Kletchova and Williams all scored to ensure that the Challenge Cup returned to the hands of Cardiff City Ladies.

This match had been preceded by Cardiff City Ladies' Under-16s winning the South Wales Girls League Cup Final by a single goal against Mardy Tigers, making sure that Cardiff doubled their silverware for the day.

 
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