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REPORT | Wrexham AFC Women 0–2 Cardiff City Women

Red Dragons beaten in Bute Energy Welsh Cup Final

5 May 2024

Match Reports

REPORT | Wrexham AFC Women 0–2 Cardiff City Women

Red Dragons beaten in Bute Energy Welsh Cup Final

5 May 2024

A battling Wrexham performance went without reward at Rodney Parade, as the Red Dragons were beaten by Cardiff City in the Bute Energy Welsh Cup Final.

Rhianne Oakley’s early goal and Emma Beynon’s brilliant late strike proved the difference, despite Wrexham having enjoyed more of the game in between.

Having been unable to find a way past Cardiff’s experienced defence, however, the Red Dragons missed out on what would have been a first Welsh Cup success as the Bluebirds sealed the treble.

Wrexham made two changes from the team which closed out the league season with a heavy defeat to the Bluebirds as Amber Lightfoot and Erin Lovett came in for Rosie Hughes and TJ Dickens.

It meant Carra Jones starting through the middle, where she finished that match at Cardiff City Stadium, while Lovett came into the back three – allowing Liv Fuller to play in a more advanced role.

Cardiff had the game’s first big chance, when Oakley won a 50-50 tackle with Keren Allen and raced towards the box in the seventh minute. Eliza Collie could not wrap her foot around Oakley’s pull-back, however, and the winger volleyed well over from the rebound.

For Wrexham, Lili Jones turned well in the middle on nine minutes and threaded a probing through ball to Carra Jones, but her early, low shot lacked the power to beat Ceryn Chamberlain.

Cardiff hit Wrexham with a sucker-punch on 16 minutes, however – Oakley running onto a clearance over the top as Wrexham stepped up and finishing across goal.

The Red Dragons looked for an immediate response but, after patient build-up in the middle, Carra Jones shot well over from distance just a minute after the restart.

Lili Jones’ corner caused carnage in the penalty area in the 22nd minute, as Phoebe Davies and Allen both looked to pounce, but the ball eventually deflected wide for a goal-kick.

Mikayla Cook, who scored a long-range free-kick in last month’s league fixture, had a chance from a similar range after Rebecca Pritchard was penalised on 28 minutes but shot well over.

Emma Beynon was next to try her luck from distance for Cardiff, after the Bluebirds had absorbed a good spell of Wrexham possession, but Morgan parried wide on 40 minutes.

Wrexham counter-attacked quickly when Morgan claimed the ball from the resultant corner, but Carra Jones’ shot was blocked in the area as Cardiff got back well.

Eliza Collie then beat Lili Jones and Lovett to race down the left wing on 42 minutes and run inside one-on-one with Morgan, but the keeper saved superbly.

The game was opening up, and Carra Jones spotted Chamberlain off her line as she received another through ball on 44 minutes but she could not beat the keeper from distance.

Mari Gibbard also tried her luck from distance in first-half stoppage time, but her shot lacked accuracy and drifted well wide.

The Red Dragons started the second-half well too, and went close to an equaliser on 52 minutes. Pritchard raced down the right and her cross dropped for Brooke Cairns to hook back across goal, but Lightfoot’s volley dropped wide.

Lightfoot had another chance on 55 minutes, when Cairns’ snapshot from distance deflected into her path, but she shot straight at Chamberlain on her left foot.

Wrexham made their first substitution two minutes later with Cairns making way for fellow February signing Annie Small.

Hughes then replaced Gibbard midway through the second half, as Carra Jones moved wide and Pritchard dropped deeper.

Wrexham continued to have the better of the game, but Allen was forced into a superb sliding tackle to deny Kehoe in the 74th minute. From the resultant corner, Cardiff thought they had doubled their lead, but an offside flag spared Wrexham as Oakley touched the ball in at the back post.

Fuller and Hughes’ high pressing forced Chamberlain into a slip in the 81st minute, but the Cardiff keeper got away with it as the ball dropped wide off Hughes.

Lightfoot then got to a long ball ahead of Chamberlain and the ball rolled back for Hughes on 86 minutes, but the striker scuffed her shot under pressure.

At the other end, Ffion Price crossed from the left-wing but Cook volleyed a difficult chance over.

Cook then beat Lovett to a long ball over the top of the defence in the 89th minute and attempted to lob the onrushing Morgan, but her shot dropped wide.

Cruelly, however, during five minutes stoppage time, Cardiff did get their second goal and in style – Beynon beating Morgan with a brilliant long-range shot to seal victory.

There was still time for Collie to hit the post with the goal gaping as Cardiff finished the game on top. Further goals would have been even crueller on Wrexham, however, before the referee’s whistle confirmed a 2-0 loss.


Wrexham: Morgan, Lovett, Allen  (Sharp 90+3), Davies, Pritchard, L.Jones, Fuller, Lightfoot, Gibbard (Hughes 68), Cairns (Small 57), C.Jones

Subs: Ankers (G/K), Dickens

Cardiff City: Chamberlain, Power, Walsh, Bowen, Price (Walklett 90+3), Beynon (Smith 90+3), Watkins, Cook, Oakley (Owen 77), Collie, Kehoe (Adams 88)

Subs: Phelps (G/K)

Attendance: 1,734

Referee: Cheryl Foster


Wrexham: Cairns (20, foul), Allen (85, foul)

Cardiff: Watkins (25, foul), Oakley (72, time wasting), Beynon (84, foul)

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