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Kick off 14:00 (UK)

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1-3
07 January 2024 Venue The Rock Attendance

Kick off 14:00 (UK)

Wrexham AFC
1 - 3
Cardiff City
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Match Previews

PREVIEW | Wrexham vs Cardiff City

The mid-season break ends with a humdinger.

7 January 2024

Two of the top three clash in this fascinating return after the Christmas break.

Wrexham return to action in third place in the Adran Genero Premier, facing table-toppers Cardiff City in a fascinating Genero Adran Trophy quarter-final.

THE WREXHAM ANGLE

Steve Dale's side will feel they have a point to prove against The Bluebirds. They inflicted a 3-0 defeat on us in October, making them the only side to keep a clean sheet against us in our last 21 games, and the only team to shut us out in the league this season. 

The champions certainly showed their quality in that match, but three months later they will find a side which has benefitted from another three months of improved fitness and conditioning work. The difference in stamina in the last half hour of that match was a crucial factor, but Wrexham are far better equipped to deal with the physical challenge Cardiff present.

The break will hopefully have helped key players to approach a return from injury. Lili Jones (above) missed the Briton Ferry quarter-final, while Erin Lovett and Hannah Keryakoplis have been long term absences who are hoping to return in the opening weeks of the new year.

LAST TIME WE MET

THE VIEW FROM THE OTHER SIDE

Cardiff have been in spectacular form this season. They've only dropped one point so far, in a surprising off-day in front of goal in the second round of games which allowed Aberystwyth Town to return home with a point from a 0-0 draw.

“Playing Wrexham was a game I’ll never forget. From their previous results early on in the league, they demonstrated their talent and ability to challenge.

-Cardiff wing-back Ffion Price

Striker Eliza Collie will need to be watched as she enjoyed a prolific end to the first part of the season. She scored 8 goals in 3 matches in December, including 4 at Pontardawe after coming on at half time, and a hat trick against Aberystwyth.

"I'm very eager to continue my form from last year," she told her club website, "I just want to keep pushing forward. I don't think there's a limit, I just want to keep improving.

"Last year was a great year for us as a team, but we always have high targets and we want to achieve even more in 2024."

Further fire power comes in the form of Molly Kehoe, who scored twice when Cardiff came to The Rock earlier this season. She told Cardiff City's website that The Bluebirds are keen to get back into action:

"We're really excited for Sunday's game. We want to keep up our positive results that we had in 2023 and keep winning games. 

"We've played Wrexham already this season and have beaten them, so they're going to want to come out and beat us this time. I think it'll be a good game, but as long as we keep playing as we have been playing, I think we'll be able to get a result.

"That being said, we shouldn't underestimate them at all, anything can happen in football. They could come with a whole different mindset, we could play badly on the day, but as long as we keep to the standards that we've been playing at, we'll be ok."

Ffion Price scored the third goal at The Rock earlier this season, but was full of praise for Steve Dale's team when ahe spoke to the Cardiff City website:

“They were strong, resilient and showed that against us. With the quality of Molly (Kehoe), she provided us with a two-goal advantage, which allowed us to control and relax in the game.

“Wrexham didn’t give up and demonstrated their fight until the final whistle. As a team, we kept going and luckily for me, the ball fell at my feet in the right area, and I was able to stick it in the back of the net. I’m pretty sure my celebrations will tell you how much that goal meant for me and the team.”

TODAY'S OTHER FIXTURES

Swansea University v The New Saints 

Swansea City v Cardiff Met 

Felinheli v Aberystwyth Town

Swansea versus Cardiff Met is the only other all-top tier tie in the quarter-finals, but while Swansea University's bid to add to their reputation as giant-killers against TNS might look like the most attractive game of the round, the drama around Felinheli's path to the last 8 is notable.

In the previous round they were drawn at home to Barry Town United, but faced a challenge to get their pitch ready for the match. The referee passed the pitch as fit for play, but Barry refused to accept the decision and last Thursday the FAW decided to expel them from the competition.

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Match Reports

REPORT | Wrexham AFC 1-3 Cardiff City

Red Dragons’ Genero Adran Trophy journey comes to an end

7 January 2024

Wrexham AFC were knocked out of the Genero Adran Trophy, after falling to a 3-1 defeat against Cardiff City at The Rock.

Both sides started their first match of 2024 with intensity, but it was Cardiff who landed the first blow as Seren Watkins broke the deadlock after 15 minutes.

Things went from bad to worse, as Molly Kehoe doubled the Bluebirds’ lead before the break, giving Iain Darbyshire’s side control in the match.

Amber Lightfoot got a goal back for Wrexham in the 73rd minute, but Eliza Collie quickly responded with a goal of her own to confirm Cardiff’s progression into the semi-finals.

Steve Dale named two changes to his side, with Ava Suckley and Louisha Doran replacing Katie Sharp and Rosie Hughes.

The visitors started strongly and forced Del Morgan into action after just two minutes. Ffion Price was released through inside the Wrexham box and fired a powerful strike on her right foot, but the Red Dragons’ number one produced a fine stop to deny Iain Darbyshire’s side.

Suckley then recorded Wrexham’s first chance of the match, as they went toe-to-toe with the reigning Genero Adran Premier champions.

The forward battled away and was first to the ball on the edge of the box, but her ambitious volley drifted just wide of the post after seven minutes.

Despite a positive start, the Bluebirds were clinical in their play and took the lead in the 15th minute. Seren Watkins drove towards the ball on the edge of the box and struck a thunderbolt that left Morgan with no chance.

Molly Kehoe, who caused Steve Dale’s side issues last time out, doubled the visitors advantage with another long-range effort, which flew into the top-right corner with ease after 26 minutes.

Amber Lightfoot got a goal back for the Red Dragons, as Rebecca Pritchard’s delivery dropped into the path of the winger, who calmly finished to bring Wrexham back into the match with 73 minutes gone.

However, the league champions showed their quality and just three minutes later, they found themselves level.

Eliza Collie, who scored a hat-trick against Aberystwyth Town, continued in her rich vein of form and restored Cardiff’s two-goal advantage with an impressive finish.

Wrexham battled to try and get back into the match, but Collie’s goal came at a vital time and stopped the Red Dragons from gaining any real momentum.

Dale’s team continued to battle, but they were eventually beaten by the visitors, ending their journey in the Genero Adran Trophy.

Wrexham AFC: Morgan, Pritchard, Allen (C), Doran (Sharp 64'), Davies, Dickens, L. Jones (Mackenzie 46'), C. Jones, Gibbard, Lightfoot, Suckley.

Subs not used: Bolland, Whitefoot, Marsh.

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