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Kick off 17:10 (UK)

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2-2
11 February 2024 Venue The Rock Attendance

Kick off 17:10 (UK)

Wrexham AFC
2 - 2
Cardiff Met
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Match Previews

PREVIEW | Wrexham AFC vs Cardiff Met

A memorable first phase of the season comes to a close.

10 February 2024

The first phase of the league season ends with the visit of Cardiff Met to The Rock, and although our visitors can't qualify for the championship phase, there's still plenty at stake.

Wrexham will want to round off the opening section of the season with 3 points as our closing total will be carried in into the second phase. If Swansea aren't able to win at champions Cardiff City, a win would also mean we'd finish the first phase in second place, a terrific achievement in our first season in the top division.

Also, a win would complete a remarkable achievement, as we'd have pulled off the feat of completing the double over all the teams below us in the table.

Steve Dale has strenghtened his squad with three exciting new signings, who could make their debuts in this match. Liv Fuller arrived from AFC Fylde, having previously captained Wales at youth level, 20-year old Brook Cairns has experience in the WSL with West Ham, and 17-year-old Annie Small, who was called up for Wales' Under-19 side earlier this week, having made the step up from the FAW Girls Academy North.

We also had good news in terms of injury, as Erin Lovett managed 90 minutes for the first time since coming back from injury in the 3-2 victory over Pontypridd United last Sunday.

That match also saw Rosie Hughes return to goal scoring form followiung the injury which disrupted her campaign. She started the season in typically prolific style, scoring 11 in the first 8 games with 6 assists, only failing to hit the net in one of those matches.

However, the last of those games, at Cardiff Met, was the beginning of the disruption which beset her around Christmas. She scored in a 3-0 win, but was sent off in the 9th minute of added time for a second yellow card offence.

That led to a suspension and soon after she returned she had to go off injured against Cardiff. Typically, she came back more quickly than one might have expected, but wasn't quite herself until last Sunday.

Two goals, including an 89th minute season, announced her return to full match sharpness: she not only scored for the first time in 5 games, since the Welsh Cup quarter final against Briton Ferry in early December, but it was also her first full 90 minutes since that match.

LAST TIME WE MET

THE VIEW FROM THE OTHER SIDE

Cardiff Met wouldn't mind building on their haul of 11 points in this match, as their form heading into the final phase is worrying. You'd assume Pontypridd, still 10 points behind the Met, will inevitably be the side to be relegated after the second phase of the season, but anyone who witnessed their spirited performance at The Rock last week, and factors in their narrow losses to cardiff City and Swansea City which preceded that game, will know the bottom side are a great deal better than their points total suggests.

The Met, meanwhile, have struggled since Ellie Preece's goal earned a win at Pontypridd in early January. Since then they've lost all their 3 games without scoring. Indeed, since an impressive 3-1 victory over Swansea City in the third game of the season, Met have only beaten Pontypridd in the league. Going back even further, their league record since this point last season is 3 wins, 2 draws and 14 defeats.

TODAY'S OTHER FIXTURES

Aberystwyth Town V TNS

Barry Town United v Pontypridd United

Cardiff City v Swansea City

While S4C are covering the Cardiff-Swansea match, there's no doubt that the match of the day is Aberystwyth against TNS. Separated only by goal difference, this showdown at Park Avenue is a play-off for the final slot in the top 4. With 4 consecutive defeats leading into the game, TNS need to find some form urgently, while Town's last home match was a 4-0 win over Cardiff Met, which they followed up with an impressive draw at Swansea.

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Match Reports

REPORT | Wrexham AFC 2-2 Cardiff Met

Wrexham fightback to claim a point in final match of Phase One

11 February 2024

Mari Gibbard’s 81st minute strike salvaged a point for Wrexham at the Rock, as they played out a 2-2 draw with Cardiff Met in their final game ahead of Phase Two in the Genero Adran Premier.

Steve Dale named four changes to the side that claimed a late win over Pontypridd United last weekend, as Charlotte Bolland, Ruby Jones, Libby Mackenzie and Amber Lightfoot were all named in the starting eleven. 

The Red Dragons came into the final game of Phase One in the Genero Adran Premier knowing that a victory could allow them to re-claim second place in the league table should results elsewhere go their way. 

Rosie Hughes called Cardiff Met keeper Daisy Farrow into action early on, as Wrexham’s number nine looked to build on her brace last weekend, firing her first effort on goal after just nine minutes. 

Amber Lightfoot then followed that up with an effort of her own in the 22nd minute, but again, Farrow was more than equal to the effort.

Despite their lowly position, the visitors started strongly at the Rock as Anna Houghton and Esme Kilburn-Thompson both caused issues with their speed and determination to shift the ball up the pitch. 

Kilburn-Thompson eventually took advantage of her good work for Met, and forced Charlotte Bolland into a fantastic save from close-range to keep the scores level. 

Hughes then managed to register her third goal in two matches in the 43rd minute, as she expertly latched onto Lightfoot’s through ball and calmly fired into the bottom corner to give Dale’s side the advantage. 

Wrexham managed to see out the remainder of the first-half, and went into the break with a slender lead thanks to Hughes’ finish into the bottom corner. 

However, Wrexham’s lead didn’t last, as Kilburn-Thompson broke through on the break shortly after the interval, firing past Bolland on 49 minutes to level the scores.

Moments later, new signing Brooke Cairns came on to make her Wrexham debut, as she replaced Libby Mackenzie in midfield. 

The sides battled it out throughout the second-half, but it was Cardiff Met who struck the next blow in the match. 

Houghton, who was lively throughout continued to cause problems, and she eventually gave her side the lead after 73 minutes when she glided through the Wrexham defence to fire into the top-right corner. 

The hosts didn’t let the setback dishearten them, and eventually they responded through substitute Mari Gibbard, who lifted the ball over a number of defenders.

Her strike was deflected at the last minute, taking it past Farrow, much to the elation of the supporters within the Rock. 

Time began to run out to grab a winning goal, and a spirited showing from Met eventually meant that Wrexham were forced to settle for a point in the final match of Phase One in the Genero Adran Premier. 

Wrexham Starting XI: Bolland (GK), Lovett, R.Jones, Sharp (Gibbard 67’), Davies (C), Dickens, L.Jones, MacKenzie (Cairns 50’), C.Jones (Pritchard 67’), Lightfoot, Hughes. 

Subs not used: Ankers, Small.

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