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Cardiff City Women 1 (Poole 17)
at Dragon Park, Newport>
Swansea City 4 (Richardson 40, Hosford 51, John-Davis 55,80)
Cardiff City Women 1 (Poole 17)
at Dragon Park, Newport
Swansea City picked up the first trophy of a potential League and Cup 'double' as they recovered from an early setback to beat Cardiff City Women 4-1 in a well contested WPWL League Cup Final at Dragon Park.
The teams had met three days earlier in the league, with the Swans triumphing 6-0 on that occasion, and Cardiff started in determined fashion as they sought to keep things tight at the back. Nevertheless, Swansea did create a couple of early chances as Stacey John-Davis fired over the bar after a good move and Katy Hosford struck the outside of the post from the edge of the area following good work by John-Davis.
Cardiff weathered the early pressure and started to come into the game more as an attacking force themselves. This was to bring its reward on 17 minutes as Phoebie Poole found Catherine Walsh just outside the area, where her powerful strike was parried up in the air by Claire Skinner and Poole followed up to sidefoot the rebound into the net and put her side in front.
A determined Cardiff side worked hard to keep hold of their lead with central defenders Siobhan Walsh and Hannah Daley showing up well against a strong Swansea attack. However it needed a superb save from Charlotte Hastings to keep them in front, tipping a firm strike from John-Davis over the bar.
The pressure eventually told and Swansea were back on level terms five minutes before half time. After her initial corner was cleared, Emma Beynon returned the ball to Laura Davies out wide where she whipped in a low cross into the area and Tija Richardson reacted quickest, stealing in to sweep past Hastings from close range.
Swansea were quickly into their stride in the second half and pushed Cardiff back as they looked to capitalise on their leveller before the break. This came six minutes after the restart when, after being fouled near the touchline, Hosford picked herself up to drive the resulting free kick goalwards and over the grasp of Hastings to put the Swans ahead for the first time.
Before Cardiff were able to recover from the setback, they found themselves two behind as a Siobhan Walsh back pass was intercepted by John-Davis, who showed great composure to clinically buries her shot past Hastings and inside the far post.
Beynon forced a save from Hastings with a strike from the edge of the area but a change in formation saw Cardiff push players forward in an attempt to get back into the game, which almost brought reward. First, Hannah Daley floated a free kick into the area where Jasmine Simpson headed back across the face of goal but no team mate was on hand to force the ball over the line.
Cardiff continued to have their best spell of the match with Simpson showing some nice touches after having come on as a substitute. She released an overlapping Ffion Price on the right where her cross was not held under pressure by Skinner and Danielle Green hooked a shot which was deflected wide. From the resulting corner, Catherine Walsh's firm header was cleared off the line by Shaunna Jenkins and Swansea survived the resulting scramble in the area.
Swansea began to press forward again and with ten minutes remaining, although Hosford's initial pass had been cut out by Cerys Pinchard, the ball ran into the path of John-Davis who neatly clipped the ball over the oncoming Hastings for her second goal on the night, and to put the result beyond any remaining doubt.
Danielle Broadhurst almost pulled one back in injury time as her attemped lob was saved by Skinner, but although Cardiff can be pleased with their efforts on the night, particularly impressive young striker Phoebie Poole, Swansea were too strong overall and need to avoid defeat in their final league match of the season against Abergavenny Women on Sunday to complete a memorable campaign for themselves.
Swansea City: Claire Skinner, Ellie Lake, Shaunna Jenkins, Alicia Powe, Ria Hughes (sub Jess Williams 88mins), Tija Richardson, Emma Beynon, Laura Davies (sub Chloe Chivers 65mins), Kelly Adams (sub Nieve Jenkins 88mins), Katy Hosford, Stacey John-Davis (sub Chloe Tiley 88mins). Subs not used: Gemma Border, Kate Searle, Hannah Thomas.
Cardiff City Women: Charlotte Hastings, Lisa Owen (sub Jasmine Simpson 62mins), Ffion Price, Hannah Daley, Siobhan Walsh, Danielle Broadhurst, Danielle Green (sub Michaela Major 88mins), Phoebie Poole, Catherine Walsh (sub Mikayla Cook 88mins), Zoe Atkins, Cerys Pinchard (sub Ellie Jones 90mins). Subs not used: Ceryn Chamberlain, Charley Hocking, Carys Minton.
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