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Cardiff City Ladies took over the leadership of the Southern Division on Tuesday night with a 5-1 victory over Keynsham Town.
Four of the goals came in the last twenty minutes as Cardiff grew stronger as the match wore on, but the margin of defeat was rough on an injury hit Keynsham side which had battled hard for the whole game against their talented opponents.
The two teams had met three weeks earlier with Cardiff winning 6-0 on that occasion but Keynsham began the game in determined fashion. Indeed, the only goal of the first half came at the midway point when leading scorer Cori Williams slotted home from the penalty spot.
Cardiff continued to press at the start of the second half but Keynsham began to grow in confidence and, shortly after Leanne Lapham had a shot deflected just wide, stunned the home side by levelling the scores. The Cardiff defence failed to deal with a free kick floated into the area and Pilar Garcia pounced to sweep the ball home from twelve yards.
Elena Pasare denied Kelly Aldridge with a fine save at the other end and a Louise Hutton header was cleared off the line by Andreea Alexandru but the pressure eventually told and Aldridge, who had scored a hat-trick in their previous meeting, tormented her former club once again with a clinical finish from the edge of the area which found the far corner.
Before Keynsham could recover, they found themselves two goals behind as Kelly Isaac scored a fine solo effort, dodging past two challenges before burying her shot home. Shortly afterwards, Pasare was injured as she crashed against a post but, despite visibly being hampered, had to carry on.
Cardiff sensed more goals and their prolific attack soon struck again. Aldridge powered into the area and although she was initially halted by an excellent tackle by Laura Williams, Aldridge was able to lay the ball back for Williams to confidently finish from the edge of the area for her tenth league goal of the season.
Another former Keynsham player, Abbie Britton bundled home the final goal with five minutes remaining to crown a good night overall for Cardiff. Bizarrely, both the Northern and Southern Divisions have three teams level on points at the top of their respective tables, and just one point covers the top five in what looks to be a wide open Southern Division title race this season.
Cardiff City Ladies: Alesha McGlynn, Abbie Britton, Lauren Townsend, Steph Williams, Louise Hutton, Kayleigh Green, Kelly Isaac, Michelle Green, Naomi Clipston (sub Shanelle Edwards 60mins), Cori Williams, Kelly Aldridge. Subs not used: Sophie Dando, Hannah Mills, Heather Strating.
Keynsham Town: Elena Pasare, Arianna Somaschini, Fleur Jenkins (sub Agnieszka Ziolek 45mins), Rachel Cullen, Kierra Minall, Andreea Alexandru, Pilar Garcia, Laura Williams, Hari Sabic (sub Molly Blethyn 69mins), Justine Lorton-Radburn, Leanne Lapham.
(top) Cori Williams shields the ball from Kierra Minall
(middle) Elena Pasare and Andreea Alexandru manage to keep Kelly Aldridge at bay
(bottom) Kelly Isaac scores Cardiff's third goal
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