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Report: Bristol City WFC 0-0 Yeovil Town

Yeovil win 3-2 on penalties

Bristol City Women exited the FA Cup at the fourth round stage, losing on penalties to Yeovil Town Ladies. 

Bristol City Women made a slow start to the match, with Yeovil Town Ladies (who had five former Vixens in their starting 11) dominating from the out-set.

Millie Farrow posed a threat, with her knack for taking on defenders, but she was denied shots on goal by an organised Yeovil defence. Her fellow Chelsea loanee Jodie Brett put a free kick wide midway through the half, while Ayane tested Haynes on the stroke of half time. At the other end, The Vixens had to defend several corners, and Reid was equal to their attempts on her goal, making an important save early on from ex-player winger Nadia Lawrence after a Yeovil counter-attack.

At half time Megan Alexander was substituted for Paige Sawyer, who's introduction formed part of a rejuvenated Bristol City Women, who came forward with more menace in their attacks from the get-go. Farrow was put clean through just minutes after the restart and had only the keeper to beat, but Haynes did well to smother the ball before the forward could get her shot away. Shortly after Sawyer then blasted narrowly over the bar from close range after a good build-up move.

However, the Vixens were plagued by a couple of injury problems in the second half – first for Ayane, who had to be treated on the pitch for a painful clash near the halfway line – then for Frankie Fantom-Brown. The right back was carried off the pitch following her clearance from a corner, in which she clashed with a Yeovil attacker’s attempt to steer the ball goal-wards. Forward Olivia Fergusson replaced her for her competitive Vixens debut and Tatiana Pinto also came on to replace Evans.

Yeovil had several great opportunities to put themselves in front. Former two-time Bristol FA Cup finalist Annie Heatherson headed wide when unmarked on the far post, but the best chance was from Sarah Wiltshire in the dying minutes of the 90. Reid charged out from her goal to meet a clean-through Nicola Cousins, making a good tackle, but the ball then fell to Wiltshire, who lobbed Reid as she scrambled back into the penalty area. Her goal-bound effort was foiled on the line by a combined headed clearance from Dykes and ex-Yeovil player Corinne Yorston.

In extra time Bristol City Women's attack was looking much stronger. Farrow had the ball in the net after 10 minutes, but the play was pulled back for an offside call in the build-up. Ayane also had several good chances, the best coming when Yorston teed her up with a short free kick from just outside the box, with her effort forcing a low save from Haynes as the shot almost squeezed past inside the left post.

Late Yeovil substitute Natasha Knapman had a golden opportunity to win it, but to The Vixens' relief, her shot was over the bar. Glovers captain (and another ex-Vixen) Ellie Curson was booked after objecting to a free kick given for a blatant shove on Sawyer, as the sides strained to break the deadlock, but ultimately, none of the goalmouth action led to that all-important goal, forcing the result to be decided by penalties.

From the spot, Hayley Ladd and Millie Farrow hit the back of the net for Bristol City Women and Atlanta Primus, Sarah Wiltshire and Helen Bleazard converted for Yeovil Town Ladies, meaning Yeovil Town Ladies progress to the next round, winning 3-2 on penalties.

Manager Willie Kirk pulled no punches in his post-match assessment of the result, though he did take some positives for the upcoming season, commenting: “I think that the longer the game went on, the more we looked the stronger team, but we set out this season to play against our own standards, regardless of the opposition, and today we never got anywhere near our own standards. So I don’t think, on the basis of that, we can really complain about not being in the next round of the cup. That’s the way it’s got to be this year; just play against ourselves and not the opposition, and we never did that today, which was disappointing.”