A very physical game of football saw Cardiff City run away 3-0 winners this weekend at home to West Ham. A Cardiff team off the back of a 4-0 win away at Swindon on Thursday started the day on the back foot, with West Ham carving a few half chances in the opening exchanges. However, neither team were able to create any clear cut chances until the 13th minute when a pass over the top of a very high West Ham defence was pounced upon by Cardiff’s Cori Williams, wo slotted the ball passed the oncoming keeper.
The first half continued to be a physical game with committed challenges coming in from both sides, who to their credit played a very clean and fair game despite the committed nature, however chances were sparse. Michelle Green saw a shot from the edge of the box come close in the 25th minute, and both keepers had a couple of comfortable saves. In the 40th minute, in a near copy of the opening goal, a through ball caught out the West Ham defence, and Cori Williams found herself one on one with the goalkeeper. However, on this occasion Adi Chauhan in the away side’s goal came out on top, with a very good save down low to her left.
With the game so close and neither team creating any major chances, it was clear something would need to change. And it was Cardiff City who decided to be that change, with Chloe Chivers and Hannah Miles coming on at the break. It was this change that turned the game around, with the opening 15 minutes of the second half being completely dominated by Cardiff, with very high pressing, attacking football and forcing mistakes out of the West Ham defence. Cori Williams came close again from a corner in the first minute of the half, and captain Abbie Briton hit the bar 5 minutes later with a header from a free kick, after Cori Williams was fouled on the left wing.
West Ham created some half chances with Chloe Burr, Sarah Wilson and Amy Cooper shooting from distance with Laura O’Sullivan comfortably saving each time. Hope Suominen tried an audacious volley from 30 yards out which very nearly found the bottom corner of the goal if not for the West Ham goalkeeper, before Chloe Burr, West Ham’s most dangerous player of the game, had a shot canon off the underside of the bar to remind Cardiff of how fragile their one goal lead was.
However, just two minutes later, Laura O’Sullivan launched a long goal kick forward, which Kerry Bartlett got underneath to flick on, with Chloe Chivers getting on the end and finishing down to the keepers left to give Cardiff a two goal lead. With a two goal cushion, Cardiff were comfortable, with the game fizzling into a similar game style to the first half; regular turnover of possession, committed tackles, and a string of half chances that don’t threaten either goalkeeper. In the 82nd minute, Cardiff put the final nail in West Ham’s coffin. When Michelle Green picked up the ball 20 yards out with her back to goal, no one expected her to turn her marker and wrap her foot around the ball to curl a shot on goal, but that is exactly what she did. The curve of the ball caught out the keeper and the ball caught the inside of the post on its way in to seal the points for Cardiff City, and move them up to second place in the table.
I am Dragon Radio's Head of Arts, and have been a part of Dragon Radio since 2014 as a presenter, producer, and last year as the Head of Website, Playlist and Content. I am a third year Radio student, and... Read more