Argyle Ladies 1 Cardiff 3

ARGYLE Ladies slumped to bottom of the table on Sunday afternoon, following a 3-1 home loss against second placed Cardiff City.

The visitors were three goals up at the break, and despite a second half Argyle rally that saw Danielle Salt pull one back, the Welsh side proved too strong on the day. 

Argyle had to play the game without their regular goalkeeper Michaela Phillips; this saw Katie Middleton put her years of experience to the test, switching to goalkeeper from centre-half. Taylor also had to pick his side without Yeovil loanee Jessie Jones, and Kayley Lane, who are both serving suspensions. 

The opening 20 minutes of the game saw Cardiff assert their dominance but lacked that quality in the final third. Paige Steward came the closest to opening the scoring, with her 25 yard effort fizzing just wide of the post. 

The away side did take the lead midway through the first half, with Kelly Isaac teeing up Hope Suominen, who slotted her shot into the bottom left corner from 10 yards out, past a grounded Middleton. 

Cardiff added their second of the match shortly after, with Kerry Bartlett squaring up Suominen for her brace, who placed her effort it into the bottom left hand corner again. 

Argyle found it hard to respond, and the dominance of Cardiff was starting to show why the Welsh side were second in the division. 

Suominen almost grabbed her hat-trick before half-time after a loose ball found its way to her, but Middleton pulled off a fantastic diving save to keep the scoreline at 2-0. 

The away side did add their third of the match before half time, after Suominen teed up strike partner Bartlett to half-volley in her effort from six yards out past a halted Middleton in goal. 

Argyle went in three down at the break, and Taylor knew that his side needed to go out in the second half with the confidence and belief that they would salvage something from the game. 

The Greens came out of the blocks better than their Welsh opponents, but could not make it count in front of goal. 

Cardiff started to grow into the second half as the game went on, but Lucy Olde and Jodie Chubb pulled off some fantastic tackles during the latter 45 to stop the Welsh attack force from peppering the Argyle goal with chances. When needed, Middleton did make herself known, and at times pulled off some good saves. 

Argyle almost pulled one back midway into the second half following a skilful and pacey run from Amber Pollock, but once the ball landed to Danielle Salt, the former Truro City striker blasted her shot at O’Sullivan in the Cardiff goal.

Salt did manage to get herself on the scoresheet following a perfectly timed through ball from captain Mollie Taylor, which allowed Salt to place her shot in the bottom left hand corner. 

Right at the death Cardiff were awarded a penalty, following a foul from Jodie Chubb. Suominen stepped up to bag what would’ve been her hat-trick, but Middleton pulled off a diving save to block the spot kick, and to keep the scoreline at 3-1. 

With a surprise result in which saw Queens Park Rangers beat table toppers Brighton & Hove Albion, QPR rose above Argyle in the league, cementing the Pilgrims to the bottom of the division.

“You are fussed when you’re bottom of the table,” said Taylor.  

“But we have played all the top five teams at home, and apart from the result with QPR and Brighton today, no-one else has taken points off the top sides.

“Next week we’ll be looking to go and get something against West Ham, and really our season starts from there.”