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Report: Bristol City Women 0-0 Brighton & Hove Albion

Sophie Baggaley’s first-half penalty save earned Bristol City Women a point as they drew 0-0 with Brighton & Hove Albion in front of a record crowd over 3,000 at Ashton Gate.

What Happened?

The first chance of the game fell to the Robins seven minutes in when Abi Harrison got onto the end of a perfectly-weighted through ball from Lana Daniels, however Megan Walsh was quick off her line to deny the striker.

Another chance came on the twentieth minute for City when Carla Humphrey’s first time shot from Charlie Welling’s lay-off was saved comfortably by Walsh.

Aileen Whelan forced a good save out of Baggaley thirty-nine minutes in when she capitalised on a loose ball and cut onto her right, only to see her shot tipped over the woodwork.

Brighton were awarded a penalty five minutes before the break after Gemma Evans caught the trailing leg of Aileen Whelan. Victoria Williams stepped up to take the penalty, but Baggaley was equal to the defender's effort, making a brilliant save to keep the score level.

Jas Matthews battling for the ball (via JMPUK).

The first big chance of the second half came ten minutes from the end when substitute Ebony Salmon’s nutmeg inside the box ran through to another substitute Olivia Chance, however her effort was tipped over by Walsh.

The impact of Salmon coming onto the pitch was noticeable, with the Brighton defence struggling to handle her pace on the wings. She had a chance to win it at the death when a cleared corner fell to the feet of Salmon 25 yards out, but her curling effort rebounded to safety off the crossbar.

Official Attendance: 3, 041


Bristol City Women: Baggaley, Dykes (C), Evans, Matthews, Brown, Van Der Linden (Salmon 51), Humphrey (Robinson 90), Daniels, Wellings, Sargeant, Harrison (Chance 70)

Substitutes: Cumings, Allen, Strippel, Wilson

Brighton and Hove Albion: Walsh, Gibbons, Bowman (C), F. Whelan, A. Whelan, Lundorf, Green (Umotong 62), Brazil, Connolly, Williams, Garrec (Kerkdijk 78)

Substitutes: Harris, Barton, Simpkins, Natkiel, Nilden.

Key moment:

With just five minutes until the half-time whistle, a nice turn of acceleration from Aileen Whelan inside the City penalty box fooled Gemma Evans who caught the tricky winger and a penalty was awared to the visitors.

Centre back Victoria Williams stepped up hopeful to give the Seagulls the lead, but her penalty was saved brilliantly by Sophie Baggaley down to her right-hand side to keep the score level. It went on to prove vital and earn City a valuable point.

Player of the match:

The City Women shot-stopper has picked up where she left off at the end of last season with a fantastic performance in front over over 3,000 at Ashton Gate.  

The 22-year-old ‘keeper once again showed why she was in the PFA Team of the Year, with another world-class performance and another clean sheet.

Baggaley made some impressive saves throughout the game, as well as saving the penalty on the stroke of half-time.

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Written by: Lewis Barton