Cardiff Met Win Welsh Premier League Cup

Jassie Vasconcelos scored two solo efforts against her former club as Cardiff Met rallied well despite playing much of the second-half with 10 players.

Leading 2-0 at the break, Cardiff Met found themselves a player down when Stephanie Turner was shown a second yellow card on the 56th minute.

Ceri Hudson looked to have given Abergavenny a lifeline when she thumped home the resulting free-kick from all of 35-yards, but a frantic five-minute spell midway through the half brought with it three goals as Cardiff Met further extended their lead, scoring twice, whilst Lyndsey Davies’ reply for Abergavenny proved to be a mere consolation.

Cardiff Met manager Kerry Harris believed her side coped admirably under pressure in that second-half before going on to lift the trophy.

“I’m really pleased, I think the girls were under a lot of pressure in the second-half with the sending off.

“They really grafted that out and I think they should be really proud of themselves. We work hard on these scenarios and how to deal with them and it’s paid of today.”

Cardiff Met had already won both league meetings between the two sides in the Orchard Welsh Premier Women’s League this season, and they attempted to pick up where their league form left off.

Chloe O’Connor’s low cross inside the opening minutes saw Abergavenny got off to a jittery start when Chloe O’Connor’s low cross was awkwardly turned behind as Cardiff Met won a string of early corners.

Abergavenny, beaten in last season’s League Cup final by Swansea City, had the best change of opening exchanges when winger Kate Jeremiah outpaced her marker and delivered an inviting ball in the goalmouth which unmarked Lyndsey Davies could only stab wide.

The opening goal arrived unexpectedly as Chloe O’Conner’s free-kick gave Cardiff Met the lead on 19 minutes with a long range flighted ball that found the back of the net, deceiving both goalkeeper and defence.

Abergavenny looked to respond with another delivery towards the Cardiff Met far post which required goalkeeper Sara Moreira to punch away.

But under growing pressure, Abergavenny conceded once again though there was little they could do about Vasconcelos’ superb effort which lit up the opening half.

After dispossessing an Abergavenny defender, Vasconcelos skipped past two players before coming onto her favoured left foot and executing a well-placed finish from the edge of the area to score a goal worthy of any final.

Met threatened to add a third when Robyn Pinder fired at the bottom corner forcing Grace Thomas-Parr to push around the post.

And against the run of play, Abergavenny spurned a late first-half penalty when Lyndsey Davies struck against the crossbar.

Stephanie Turner’s dismissal 11 minutes into the second half threatened to change the complexion of the game, when Abergavenny halved immediately halved the deficit from the resulting free-kick.

Captain Ceri Hudson lifted her side’s hopes of a second-half resurgence when her long-range free-kick beat Moreira, bringing Abergavenny back into the game.

Five second-half minutes just after the hour mark would decide the game however.

Vasconcelos single-handedly restored Cardiff Met’s two-goal advantage in the 61st minute when she again proved too hot for the Abergavenny defence to handle, dribbling her way into the box before sending a powerful finish high into the net.

Three minutes later, Cardiff Met a fourth as Erin Murray’s effort in driving rain went through Thomas-Parr.

And despite Abergavenny hinting of a comeback when Lyndsey Davies pulled a goal back down the other end on 66 minutes, they would fail to truly trouble Cardiff Met for the remainder of the final as conditions worsened.

Vasconcelos could have completed her hat-trick after hitting the frame of the goal after firing her initial shot at the goalkeeper but neither side would add to the scoreline.

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