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Cardiff and Sheffield reach Final
 Women's Football News 30 Mar 2014
 
Cardiff and Sheffield reach Final - 30 Mar 2014 - Women's Football NewsCardiff City Ladies and Sheffield FC will meet in the Premier League Cup Final at Burton Albion FC on Sunday 4th May after coming through their respective semi finals. 
 
Cardiff won a very tightly contested 1-0 victory over Coventry City, courtesy of an injury time winner, whilst Sheffield ran out 4-1 winners away to Preston North End to set up a fascinating Final between two teams chasing titles in their respective divisions.
 
The clash at Cardiff was expected to be a close one and the game lived up to expectations as the teams were evenly matched from the start. After a good opening spell from Coventry, the home side had the better of possession during the first half but although their forward line looked lively, they were not finding it easy to break down the Sky Blues' well drilled defence.
 
Indeed it was Coventry who went closest to scoring just before the break when Maz Gauntlett hit the post, whilst Helen Dermody forced a save from Louise Hutton in the Cardiff goal.
 
The first opportunity of the second half went Cardiff's way with Bethan Lloyd breaking through before firing a shot just wide of the far post. Lloyd was again denied by a brave smothering save from Sue Wood but the two defences were once again on top.
 
As the game went into the final ten minutes, Coventry had their best spell of the game. First, Dermody had a shot blocked on the line and then two minutes later, a superb ball over the defence by Annabel Johnson was latched onto by Gauntlett whose first time effort struck the bar. Hutton saved a low effort by Natalie Brace and Natasha Lynch hit the woodwork from the resulting corner, but Cardiff rode out the storm before coming up with a reply of their own.
 
Lloyd found space on the right and whipped in an excellent cross for Kelly Isaac to steal in and power an unstoppable header past Wood from six yards.
 
There was no time for Coventry to conjure up a response and Cardiff saw the game out to book their place in a major English final for the first time.
 
Sheffield got off to a flying start at Preston, taking the lead with six minutes on the clock when a good move involving Leanne De Silva and Carla Ward was finished off by Jodie Michalska. Ellie Gilliatt and De Silva both fired shots over before the second goal came on the 19 minute mark, Michalska netting her second with a neat control and finish from Lisa Giampalma's cross.
 
Gilliatt hit the bar as Sheffield finished the first half strongly and they were to take a firm grip on the tie midway through the second half, Michalska slotting home from close range to complete her hat-trick.
 
Preston kept going and gave themselves fresh hope when Melissa Ball scored to reduce the arrears but with seven minutes left, Sheffield put the result beyond doubt when Kirsty Richardson rounded off the scoring. 
 
Photos (Cardiff City v Coventry City):

(top) Naomi Clipston shields the ball from Annabel Johnson
(middle) Destiney Toussaint takes on Kelly Aldridge
(bottom) Kelly Isaac heads in Cardiff's winning goal


 
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