City Ladies v Cardiff: Match report
- 08 April 2013 17:20
- Posted by @NieldyMCFC / Words by @Footykev
A Krystle Johnston brace sealed a second win in a row for City Ladies keeping them in 4th place, 5 points clear of their opponents and two in front of Aston Villa.
The Sky Blues started brightly putting their opponents under significant pressure from the kick off. An excellent pressing game played by the home side as they looked to win the ball high up the pitch and test Cardiff keeper Alice Evans early on.
City laid siege to the Cardiff goal in the first half, forcing numerous chances in the opening 10 minutes, one of these saw Evans nearly beaten by one of her own players as the ball was lofted back toward the stopper only for the relieved keeper to see the ball cannon off the crossbar and go for a corner.
City took the lead their play deserved through Krystle Johnston's first of the contest on 18 minutes. Played in expertly by Becky Lee, she steadied herself before firing low to Evans right.
On the half hour, through a beautifully curved run by the lively Buffel, a crossing opportunity developed and while Cardiff cleared the initial delivery the ball fell to Sarah Danby 18 yards out. Looking to celebrate a birthday goal she looked on as the ball narrowly dipped over the opposition crossbar.
A rare Cardiff foray into City territory saw them force a freekick around the edge of the box, however the cross was dealt with, with McManus heading the delivery away. Only 5 minutes later it was the defender's turn to add to City's goal tally. Finding herself in the opposition back after a corner had been cleared, Becky Lee smashed the clearance back into the area and it fell invitingly at McManus' feet. Seeing her initial shot hit the bar, she reacted first to slot past Evan to give City a further advantage.
In the second half, Cardiff came out with renewed rigour. Stepping up their game as they did at home a couple of weeks ago, looking a different prospect in the second period. City weren't without their own opportunities to further stretch their lead with Buffel and Johnston both going close early on.
A cut to McManus' foot saw her replaced by Nightingale on 56 minutes and Turner left the pitch to make way for Shepherd in the 65th minute. A further injury to Captain Lindsay Savage saw Wood forced into another switch late on as Jordan took her place.
A tense finish was set up when in the 82nd minute Cardiff Substitute Zoe Atkins raced clear to reduce the deficit to one. A nervy few minutes ensued until Sarah Danby's pinpoint cross found Johnston unmarked and the striker fired in her 8th goal in all competitions to settle City's nerves and the contest.
Leigh Wood summed up the result, "We started the game really well today, the hard work the players put in at training this week on our defensive shape really paid off, as we won the ball high up the pitch in the 1st half and caused Cardiff lots of problems. The 2nd half was a lot closer, however we kept creating chances and fully deserved the 3 points. Well done Ladies."
CITY XI: Worrall, Middleton, Harding, Lee, McManus (Nightingale 56), Bayley, Buffel, Johnston, Savage (c) (Jordan 78), Turner (Shepherd 65), Danby
SUBS: McLellan, Jordan, Nightingale, Shepherd, Young
National Division Results – 07/04/13
Manchester City LFC 3-1 Cardiff City LFC
Aston Villa 3-0 Barnet LFC
Charlton Athletic WFC 0-1 Coventry City LFC
Portsmouth Ladies 1-2 Watford LFC
This weekend's Match and Ball sponsors were MCFC Swinton & District Supporters Club @SwintonBlues - Choosing Lindsay Savage as Player of the Match