Author: Dafydd Jones
Publisher: Y Clwb Pêl Droed
Cardiff Metropolitan University went top of the Welsh Premier Women’s League table with an impressive 4-1 win over Cyncoed Ladies.
Striker Erin Murray’s superb hat-trick, along with Lauren Hutton-Townsend’s penalty secured another three points for Met.
Cyncoed Ladies, who battled well throughout, pulled a goal back through Rhianne Oakley, but it wasn’t enough to mount a comeback.
The victory sees the Archers go level on 28 points with Swansea City, with Kerry Harris’ side having a greater goal difference.
Despite a spirited performance, Cyncoed Ladies’ winless run is extended to five games, as they remain in sixth.
Charlie Mitchell’s side defended strongly early-on and looked well-drilled as they competed with the Archers.
A moment of brilliance however saw Harris’ side take the lead in the ninth minute.
An intricate move saw striker Murray fire emphatically into the top corner to break Cyncoed’s early resistance.
Despite falling behind, the visitors continued to compete well and created chances to equalise on the counter-attack.
Striker Alison Witts fired wide from a free-kick delivery, before flicking a header on for Kirstie Pervin-Davies, whose effort flew over as she looked to chip goalkeeper Charlotte Smith.
In a competitive first-half with opportunities for both sides, Cardiff Met headed into the break with the lead.
The Archers started the second-half on the front foot, as they searched for a crucial second goal.
Influential playmaker Chloe O’Connor fired narrowly wide from a free-kick from the edge of the box, before Murray headed a cross wide of the post.
A huge chance then came for the hosts with Murray again involved, rounding goalkeeper Maisie Jones, only to fire into the side-netting.
The Archers weren’t to be denied however, as the pressure finally told, with substitute Shannon Evans being brought down in the area for a penalty for Harris’ side.
Winger Hutton-Townsend dispatched emphatically from the spot to double the hosts’ lead in the 56thminute.
Just two minutes later, the Archers found a third, as a superb cross from Lucy Finch was turned home by Murray for her second of the afternoon.
In a clinical spell from Harris’ side, Murray found space in the box to fire past Jones to cap off a superb hat-trick in the 65th minute.
Despite falling further behind, Cyncoed continued to battle and found a swift goal back just three minutes later.
The lively Oakley beat Smith to the ball to slot into an empty net to reduce the deficit.
The hosts controlled possession late-on and went close to adding to their lead.
Substitute Elianna Chavez’s superb cross just evaded Murray, before Evans raced through on goal, only to take a heavy touch.
In the dying minutes, Cyncoed had a golden opportunity to pull another goal back, as defender Holly Broad was found free in the box, but couldn’t quite turn home.
In an impressive second-half display from the Archers, a 4-1 victory sees them take top spot.
Cardiff Metropolitan University’s next fixture is a huge, top-of-the-table clash against Swansea City in midweek, while Cyncoed Ladies travel to the Swans next weekend.
Cardiff Metropolitan University: Charlotte Smith, Grace Corne (Hannah Mills 34’), Stephanie Turner (C), Sophie Hancocks (Emily Richards 67’), Amy Long (Elianna Chavez 77’), Erin Murray, Chloe O’Connor, Robyn Pinder, Lucy Finch, Amber Roberts (Shannon Evans 45’), Lauren Hutton-Townsend
Goals: Erin Murray 9’, 58’, 65’, Lauren Hutton-Townsend, 56’
Cyncoed Ladies: Maisie Jones, Grace Morris, Clare Daley, Holly Broad (C), Ellie Gunney (Caitlin Meadows 76’), Kirstie Pervin-Davies (Megan Saunders 64’), Rhianne Oakley, Caitlin Bevan, Ffion Spence, Olivia Barnett (Seren Watkins 64’), Alison Witts
Goals: Rhianne Oakley 68’