League leaders Cardiff City stamped their authority, claiming a dominant home win against Wrexham as the Red Dragons played at Cardiff City Stadium for the first time.
Eliza Collie’s first-half double followed by Tija Richardson’s late strike ensured Wrexham could not become the first team to beat the league leaders this season.
Wrexham manager Steve Dale welcomed back Phoebe Davies, with the full-back available again after suspension, while Charlotte Bolland returned in goal with Del Morgan unavailable.
Libby Mackenzie dropped to the bench, while Rosie Hughes returned to the match-day squad for the first time since suffering injury before Christmas.
Storm Isha hit Cardiff hard before kick-off, but the rain abated just in time for the start of the game on a slick surface at Cardiff City Stadium.
Wrexham started with three at the back again, with Davies, Keren Allen and Katie Sharp in defence, and Cardiff took the game to them from the off.
In the third minute, Wrexham were caught at the back and Collie’s shot deflected wide off Allen.
Four minutes later, however, Collie beat Sharp to a long bouncing ball and hooked a left-footed shot over Bolland and into the far corner.
If there was any blame attached to Bolland for the goal though, she atoned for it on 18 minutes – Allen’s clearance was intercepted by Molly Kehoe, but the Wrexham keeper tipped her vicious, rising shot over the bar.
Wrexham had largely responded well to the early setback, without testing Ceryn Chamberlain in the Cardiff goal.
The first Wrexham shot on goal came in the 20th minute, when Lili Jones’ tame shot was saved. Just seconds later, after Cardiff were caught passing out from the back, Ava Suckley’s shot from an angle was saved and held.
Suckley found space to run at the defence and get the ball onto her right-foot from a tight angle and shoot on the half-hour, but it deflected wide off Hannah Power.
Lili Jones’ initial corner was blocked by Siobhan Walsh’s arm, with Wrexham’s half-shout for a penalty turned down, before Jones crossed again and Suckley headed wide at the back post.
At the other end, Seren Watkins shot from distance after Allen was caught in possession, but Bolland did enough to parry it onto the bar and over.
Cardiff doubled their lead on 34 minutes, however – with the Wrexham defence stretched, Emma Beynon’s shot was parried well by Bolland but Collie was on hand to tap in the rebound.
The Bluebirds had another opportunity on 42 minutes, when Allen fouled Kehoe on the edge of the box, but Price’s free-kick was straight at Bolland.
Kehoe should have scored just three minutes into the second-half, getting in one on one but dragging her shot wide across goal.
At the other end, Carra Jones found Lili Jones on the edge of the box, and the latter dug a shot out but Chamberlain saved.
Hughes made her return to action on the hour-mark, replacing Rebecca Pritchard, and was straight into the thick of things – linking up with Carra Jones before Lili Jones’ scuffed shot was saved.
Mackenzie and Lily Whitefoot then replaced Lili Jones and Ava Suckley for the final 15 minutes.
Kehoe had another chance to wrap up victory in the 76th minute, getting onto a through ball as Bolland came charging out to meet her. Rushed into an early shot, however, she again missed the target.
Cardiff did get their third in the 80th minute, however, just as the heavy rain was returning. Tija Richardson stretched to meet a left-wing cross at the near post and steer the ball in across goal.
Wrexham return to action on Wednesda, when they take on The New Saints - when both teams will look to bounce back from defeats today to strengthen their top-four ambitions.
Cardiff City: Chamberlain (Phelps 82), Power, Walsh, Bowen (Walklett 82), Price, Beynon, Watkins (Richardson 73), Adams, Smith (Cook 63), Kehoe, Collie (Basham 73)
Wrexham AFC: Bolland, Davies, Allen, Sharp (Lovett 80), Pritchard (Hughes 60), L.Jones (Mackenzie 74), Gibbard, Dickens, Lightfoot, C.Jones, Suckley (Whitefoot 74)
Subs: Ankers (G/K)
Referee: Tegid Richards
Wrexham: Pritchard (13, foul), Davies (26, foul)