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Report: Bristol City Women 0-1 Manchester United

Bristol City Women slipped to a narrow defeat against Manchester United in a valiant display at Twerton Park on Sunday afternoon.

Match Report Sponsor: University of the West of England

What happened? 

The first clear cut opportunity of the game fell the way of the hosts as Molly Pike’s in-swinging corner was deflected sky-ward and dropped to the feet of Kiera Skeel, whose strike from 12-yards out rattled the crossbar.

Christen Press looked the most dangerous threat for United in the opening stages as the American’s half volley on the 10-minute mark whistled past the post.

Bristol City had another glorious opportunity inside the opening twenty as Ebony Salmon raced on to Evans lofted through ball, she shrugged off the challenge of Mille Turner but was denied by a strong save from Mary Earps. The rebound then dropped to Charlie Wellings, who tried to curl the ball into the far corner, but unfortunately it drifted past the target.

The Robins went from strength to strength as the first half progressed and Molly Pike was inches away from an opener. She met Salmon’s ball unmarked in the six-yard box but she was unable to direct her header on target. A real let off for the Red Devils.

Sophie Baggaley was called into action to claim Ella Toone’s curling effort before forced to deny a second attempt from the midfielder as she beat away her low driven shot.

Neither side were able to break the deadlock before the half-time whistle and headed into the sheds locked up at 0-0.  

Salmon was denied one-on-one by Earps (JMPUK)

City began the second half in the same vein as the first as Meaghan Sargeant connected with Jemma Purfield’s deep corner, however the centre-back’s header was comfortably dealt with by Earps.

Toone did have the ball in the back of the net for United, however the assistant referee had their flag raised for offside.

United’s breakthrough came in the 77th minute as Press weaved her way past two bodies in the City box and managed to get the ball into danger area, where Jane Ross was on hand to deflect the ball into the far corner and claim all three points.


Teams:

Bristol City Women: Baggaley, Bryson, Evans ©, Pike, Humphrey (Bissell 86’), Salmon (Woolley 89’), Daniels, Wellings (Harrison 60’), Sargeant (Mastrantonio 86’), Purfield, Skeels

Subs: Håland, Rafferty, Allen, Palmer, Layzell

Manchester United: Earps, Sigsworth (Ross 64’), Turner, Toone (Groenen 58’), Smith, Press, Hanson, Staniforth, Battle, Zelem ©

Subs: Ramsey, Bentley, Harris, Thorisdottir, Galton, Jones


Moment of the Match: Jane Ross

The deadlock was broken as the game approached the final ten minutes. Press had been a constant threat all afternoon and it would the American’s superstar qualities that would prove to be the difference.

She latched on to a through ball and shimmed her way through traffic to find substitute Ross, who deflected the ball into the bottom corner off her stomach to hand United all three points.

Agonising.


Player of the Match: Faye Bryson

It was a dominant performance from the Robins on Sunday afternoon as they went toe-to-toe with the Red Devils and pushed them all the way.

For the large part the City Women defensive line was resolute and worked well as a cohesive unit - the standout among the back four was Faye Bryson.

The full back was full of energy and certainly up for the fight, often making strong challenges at just the right time to deny the United frontline.

Big shift.


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