Davies duo bloom to put Bluebelles in the shade
Cardiff Bluebelles FC Ladies 2 Abergavenny Women FC 6
A crosswind and near constant rain made for a chilly afternoon in the capital, but the table-topping Pennies soon warmed up to turn the heat on the Bluebelles in a six-shot blast, reports ANDREW KENNEDY.
Three weeks since their previous league match, a cautious Craig Morgan-Hill said before Sunday’s match: “It’ll be tough against a well-organised team who will be difficult to break down; we will have to be at our best to get the three points.”
And from the kick-off the home team attacked, scoring after nine minute thanks to Ellis Lunn after four attempts on the Abergavenny net.
But the Pennies soon settled and the space created when the hosts tried to add to their tally was soon exploited by the league leaders, with Aber’s Davies duo looking to rush forward to exploit any opportunity of breaking the defensive line.
The first chance fell on 19 minutes, when Elena Scrivens put in Lyndsey Davies to confidently netted for 1-1.
And the former set up the next goal again nine minutes later when Caitlin Davies burst forward on the right and showed great composure as the goalie loomed, facing her off and slipping the ball into the bottom left of the net for 2-1.
Caitlin proved a real headache for the Bluebelles, running like a rocket from a bottle, and another goal just two minutes later exemplified her self-belief and confidence.
Played through by Lyndsey Davies, she found herself in a shoulder-to-shoulder charge with Bluebelles’ Alice Cato.
And not committing to the shot until reaching the six-yard box, and dropping low as she did, she fired home for 3-1, keeper Kirsty Lewis unable to react quickly enough.
A determined run from captain Ceri Hudson then led to an ill-timed tackle inside the home side’s 18-yard box, with the referee pointing to the spot.
Maxine Mudge stepped forward, went low and left and beating the keeper for a 4-1 half-time lead.
Aber made their first change five minutes into the second half when Meg Jones relieved Olivia Barnes, a keen right winger for a midfielder whose distribution is second to none.
And the framework of the Pennies changed further when Lyndsey Davies came off for Carys Lowley, a forward for a proven defender.
The midfield was now driven by Mudge and Ceri Hudson, the latter taking to the right to feed the ball through to Caitlin Davies and enabling the No 10 to secure her first hat-trick of the season on 74 minutes.
Seven minutes later she gave way for U19s regular Chloe Leonard, who grasped her opportunity to attack, shoot and pass with maturity.
With four minutes to play, an 86th-minute corner wasn’t cleared by the Bluebelles and Mali Summers pounced to strike the ball into the top of the net for 6-1.
Much to their credit, a late attack saw Bluebelles awarded a penalty which Charlene Hewings scored to make it 6-2 at full-time.
I’m delighted with the result and the performance today.
For 10 minutes we were all over the shop, and that’s a credit to the Bluebelles who caused us problems.
Once we went 1-0 down we didn’t panic and something clicked with the girls.
We started winning our battles and got on top. Once we got the first we put our foot on the gas and got ourselves into a comfortable lead by half-time.
The goals were composed and quality finishes…
In fairness, Bluebelles kept coming at us, but we managed to stay strong and grab the two goals. The attitude and the way these girls reacted to last week (a Welsh Cup loss to Tier 1 Cardiff City) was huge and I’m incredibly proud of them.
“It’s a massive three points against a good team.
Craig Morgan-Hill, Abergavenny Women FC Manager
With just five league matches left for the Pennies, this Sunday (February 20) sees perhaps the toughest, away to fellow former Tier 1 outfit Briton Ferry Llansawel Ladies AFC, who sit third in the table behind Cascade Ladies but with a game in hand.
The venue is Old Road Welfare Ground, Briton Ferry, SA11 2HA, and the kick-off is at 2pm.
Pennies fans are encouraged to attend the match to cheer the team on.
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