Cardiff City Ladies 1-1 Coventry United LadiesDate: 06 May 2019 at 14:22 by Liam Cook
With the final attack of an enthralling season, Coventry United Ladies wrapped up an incredible draw at Cardiff City Ladies, and saved the Red and Green Girls' unbeaten away record.
The closing fixture of the FAWNL Southern Premier Division season saw the Red and Green Girls travel to their former title rivals, and the side they beat in Daventry to secure the title three weeks ago, but the Bluebirds were highly motivated and determined to get one over on the champions. But substitute Beth Merrick had other ideas. The former Sheffield United winger started the match on the bench, along with talisman Amber Hughes, as United manager Jay Bradford sought to protect her first team stars ahead of the FAWNL Play-Off tie with Blackburn on 18thMay. Rosie McDonnell also missed out due to injury, as development squad players Ellie White and Amelia Shiner looked to take their starting opportunities, while Helen Dermody returned.
The first half proved to be a disappointment. Long range attempts from Jade Formaston failed to hit the mark, and were the best Coventry could muster. Cardiff, on the other hand, failed to put away guilt edge opportunities as lackadaisical defending allowed Kelly Isaac through one on one with Cov keeper Sue Wood, but the Cardiff attacker dragged her effort past the far post. Wood would be called into action several further times before the break, but the skipper was helpless when Morrell surged towards the net, only to lift her attempt onto the crossbar when it seemed she couldn’t miss! Cerys Jones would see a half volley caught well, and Chloe Lloyd was also denied by smart reflexes from the shot stopper.
United saw out the first half on equal terms, but Cardiff would take the lead soon after the break. Wood’s heroics would only prolong the inevitable, as Gwen Davies had several bites of the cherry to strike past Wood in the 6 yard box. The ball would eventually fall to Morrell who blasted the ball into an empty net. From there, it was down to Coventry to find a route back into the game. It would not be an easy task. Helen Dermody sent a message to the hosts with two warning shots off target. Again, it was the goalkeepers who stepped to the plate, this time it was Cardiff’s Laura O’Sullivan’s turn to save her side. Amber Hughes and Beth Merrick both has efforts met by the hands of O’Sullivan, who made comfortable saves, before an astonishing finger tip stop from Lois Jefferies’ header looked to have sealed all three points for Cardiff. But from the resulting corner, Merrick’s low drive through a crowded penalty area was guided into the far bottom corner with the last attack of the match. A dramatic end to a dramatic season, as United secured a hard fought point, and finalised an unbeaten away season in league and cup.
CUTV’s coverage of this match is now online, with video highlights and Jay Bradford’s post match interview available to view via the links below.