The 2022-23 season has drawn to a close, bringing down the curtain on a fabulous season for Cardiff City.
As the dust continues to settle on a riveting FA WNL season which saw four league titles memorably decided on goal difference, we take a look back at what made the 2022-23 league campaign so special for the Dragons, Cardiff City, and highlight some of the key numbers behind their success.
371 – Bouncebackability
On 1st May, Cardiff City’s relegation from the FA WNL Southern Premier Division was officially confirmed. The club said: “We’ll be back.”
371 days later, the only Welsh side to compete in the Women’s National League were true to their word, as they beat Moneyfields 2-0 to wrestle the league title from the grasp of Exeter City and regain their Tier 3 status.
2.64 – Points win prizes
Cardiff City averaged 2.64 points per game – 0.14 points per game more than last season’s FA WNL Division One South West champions, Cheltenham Town.
The Dragons fared marginally better on home soil, dropping just three points compared to five points on their travels.
9 – #FAWNLBigKickOff
City began the season in relentless form, winning nine straight games with an aggregate of 46 goals scored and only three conceded in the period between the FAWNL Big kick-off on 21st August and 15th January 2023.
It would prove to be the longest winning streak of any team in the FA WNL Division One South West in 2022-23.
1,980 – Ever-present
Laura O’Sullivan was the only ever-present during Cardiff City’s FA WNL Division One South West campaign, while midfielder Ruby Scahill was the only outfield player to feature in all 22 league matches (16 starts and 6 appearances from the bench).
14 – Golden Glove
During those 1,980 minutes between the sticks, O’Sullivan conceded a total of 13 times – an average of one goal every 152 minutes or 0.59 goals per match (0.73 at home, 0.45 away).
The Welsh shot-shopper kept an impressive 14 clean sheets during that period, divided evenly at home and away at a clip of 64 percent, to win the divisional Golden Glove award.
86 – Goals, goals, goals
The Dragons found the back of the net a total of 86 times during the 2022-23 season, scoring an average of 4.55 goals per game on home soil and 3.27 goals per game on the road, making Jamie Phillip’s side the most prolific team in the FA WNL Division One South West last term.
Cori Williams was the biggest contributor to that total, netting 18 times in 20 league appearances to finish the season as the club’s top scorer.
8 – Singled out Sargent
Ellie Sargent was singled out by her contemporaries more than any other Cardiff City player last term, with the midfielder being given the nod as Opposition Player of the Match on eight occasions.
Sargent, who featured 17 times for City last term, received plaudits for her performances against AFC St Austell, Selsey, Keynsham Town, Larkhall Athletic, Moneyfields, Southampton Women’s, and Portishead Town both home and away.
0 – Opposition: nil points
City dropped 0 points from winning positions en route to winning the title. Zero. Not one.
When the Dragons took the lead, they managed the game effectively to bank all three points every single time.
6 – Shutouts
Cardiff’s longest run without conceding a goal was six matches.
Their impressive run of shutouts spanned from 12th February to 13th April and included games against AFC St Austell, Keynsham Town, AFC Bournemouth, Southampton Women’s, Selsey, and Portishead Town.
BEST OF THE REST
8 – The number 8 proved to be significant – and the difference between being crown champions and finishing as runners-up as City recorded a goal difference of 73 compared to the Grecians’ 65.
24 – Phillip utilised a total of 24 players during the 2022-23 season, including 22 different starting players.
13 – Ingrid Aadland was the most called-upon player from the bench with the Norweigan making 13 substitute appearances.
3 – The Dragons failed to score on three occasions; once at home against Moneyfields, and twice on their travels to Southampton Women’s and Exeter City.
5 – 5-0 was City’s most common scoreline, with the Dragons winning by a five-goal margin on three occasions (against Exeter City, Maidenhead United, and Larkhall Athletic).
10 – In one of the most lopsided results of the season, the Dragons put AFC St Austell to the sword to beat the Cornish side 10-0 in their highest-scoring league game of the season.
384 – City’s longest away trip during the FA WNL Division One South West campaign was a hefty 384 miles to face AFC St Austell.
101 – The Welsh side recorded an average home attendance of 101 at Ocean Park Arena.
8 – City did the league double over eight different teams.
13 – No fewer than 13 players shared City’s 86 goals between them, with Williams, Sargent, Lloyd and Horrell all registering in the double digits.
1 – And finally, the most important number of all, 1 or 1st place. Champions.