Genero Adran Premier

Abergavenny Women FC 0 Cardiff City Women FC 5

GENERO Adran Premier is a tough league in which to gain points, and fixtures don’t get any more intense than those with Cardiff’s Bluebirds, as a much-changed Pennies found out a week last Sunday (September 18), reports ANDREW KENNEDY.

Football matches were called off on September 10/11 after the passing of Her Majesty The Queen, but Abergavenny Women FC were back in action the following weekend at home to one of the best teams in Wales, Cardiff City FC Women, who will be looking to clinch the league title this year, after second last time.

One of the ‘big three’ teams in Wales, any opposing club needs to be at full strength for such a match, which was disappointingly not the case for the Pennies in their second league fixture.

Walking out onto the pitch, the hosts were joined by U7 and 8 players from Treowen Stars Girls FC before a one-minute silence for the Queen was observed.

For the Pennies it was a day when the established firepower of last season was represented by winger Lauren Boyd, with closed season signing Ellis Lunn given the No 9 role and initial support on the right from Eliza Atkins.

In midfield were Elena Scrivens, Ceri Hudson (captain), and Olivia Barnes, and a back line of Ffion Simmonds, Mali Summers, Scarlett Teague and Katie Williams and goalie Charlotte Hastings were tasked with keeping the Bluebirds from scoring.

It was a young Pennies team (with the bench perhaps even younger) but not short of spirit, despite City soon dominating possession and creating a number of attacks.

The Pennies’ defence soaked up lots of pressure but the breakthrough for Cardiff came from Danielle Green on 18 minutes, before she added another goal 13 minutes later.

With the score 2-0 at the break, the revived hosts and a tweaked formation resulted in a few attacks into the Cardiff half after the break, giving heart to the Pen-Y-Pound faithful. But the Bluebirds hit three more goals: Danielle Broadhurst (58 mins), captain Siobhan Walsh (65 mins) and Rhianne Oakley (74 mins) scoring.

The home side battled on and enlisted three second-half substitutions – Gracie Grosvenor (54 minutes), Mia Sherrard (68 minutes) and Ellie Bidhendy (85 minutes) – all making their Tier 1 league debut.

Mia was fresh from scoring in a mid-week U16 match and is still only 15, with Gracie 16 and Ellie 17, and all three got stuck in, undaunted by the opposition.

Team boss Craig Morgan-Hill, in what turned out to be his last game in charge before moving sideways to take up the the head of development role, said of the 5-0 reverse: “No excuses from us today. We lost to the better team. They play some of the best football I have seen in a long time and they deserve all the credit.

“We knew how hard it would be but I can’t fault the girls’ effort and work rate today. We have a huge few weeks ahead now and we have to pick up points quickly.”

Abergavenny WFC are offering free entry this season – with everyone feeling the pinch, the club wants to encourage as many to come along as possible.