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Cardiff City Ladies 3 (Aldridge 2, Jones 55, Stewart pen 57)
Cardiff Metropolitan Ladies 1 (Brown 16)
Cardiff City Ladies maintained their grip on the FAW Women's Cup as two goals in a three minute second half spell proved to be enough to give them victory against a valiant Cardiff Met Ladies side.
In front of a crowd which included many UEFA officials and coaches of the eight UEFA Women's Under-19 Championship finalists, City settled down quickly and took the lead in the second minute through Kelly Aldridge.
It was the perfect start for the Premier League side but Cardiff Met were not overawed by the occasion and responded well to the early setback. Indeed they got themselves back on level terms on sixteen minutes when a corner was not fully cleared and Emily Brown gave Rhian Nokes no chance with a well struck finish.
The remainder of the first half was evenly contested but the majority of the chances fell City's way, albeit mainly through long range efforts. Lauren Townsend drilled a powerful shot narrowly over from the edge of the area whilst Ellie Smith forced a save from Sophie Dando.
Michelle Green and Paige Stewart both had shots from outside the area saved whilst at the other end, there was a scare for City as a Nokes clearance was charged down by Brown and the ball bounced goalwards but Nia Jones was on hand to avert the danger.
City stepped up the pace from the start of the second half and Stewart nearly put them back in front with a deflected shot which brought out a good save from Dando. However from the resulting corner, Stewart's kick picked out Jones whose looping header dipped just under the bar and City were ahead once again.
Before Cardiff Met could recover, a good passing move involving Michelle Green and Kelly Isaac ended with Cori Williams tricking her way into the area where she was brought down by Jaz Thomas. A penalty was awarded and Stewart stepped up to coolly send Dando the wrong way from the spot.
The students refused to capitulate though and fought hard to keep themselves in the game as City pressed hard for further goals with Stewart and Jones dominant in the midfield area.
Townsend again tried her luck from outside the area with a rasping shot which was narrowly off target and a powerful run by Aldridge ended in a shot which was tipped round the post by Dando at full stretch.
As the game went into the last ten minutes, Cardiff Met, driven on by the tireless Laura May Walkley in midfield and Emily Allen working hard up front, threw themselves forward in an attempt to get themselves back into the game. They won a series of free kicks but City, with Louise Hutton and the impressive Kayleigh Green keeping things tight in the centre, kept them at bay.
The students' best chance came when Hannah Billingham floated a free kick into the area and Kayleigh Green rose highest to win the ball in the air, the clearance fell to Thomas whose half volley flew just over the bar.
As the game went into injury time, City captain Townsend once more went close with a shot from outside the area which dipped inches over after she had been set up by Zoe Atkins' lay off.
Cardiff City Ladies: Rhian Nokes, Lauren Townsend, Ellie Smith, Nia Jones (sub Rachel Cullen 75mins), Louise Hutton, Kayleigh Green, Kelly Aldridge (sub Sinead Mellin 90mins), Kelly Isaac, Cori Williams (sub Zoe Atkins 61mins), Paige Stewart, Michelle Green. Subs not used: Ellie Isaac, Annie Pritchard.
Cardiff Met Ladies: Sophie Dando, Siobhan Humphrey, Hannah Billingham, Kelly Highman, Jaz Thomas, Dana Hinton, Steph Turner (sub Adele Hooper 48mins), Laura May Walkley, Emily Brown, Emily Allen, Chloe Tucker. Subs not used: Kim Cheffey, Kirsty Hardwick, Elin Huxtable, Abi Morrissey.
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