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Report: Bristol City Women 1-0 Durham Ladies

Bristol City Women victorious in their last home game of the season.

Olivia Fergusson’s first-half strike was enough to earn Bristol City three points and a valuable victory over title rivals Durham in a hard-fought encounter at Stoke Gifford Stadium.

Fergusson profited from a mistake by Durham defender Sarah McFadden in the 19th minute, steering a low drive passed Helen Alderson in the Durham goal. 

In a tight game of few chances between two teams gunning for promotion, the Vixens had the better opportunities to extend their lead. Goal-scorer Fergusson was unlucky not to add to her tally in the 39th minute, seeing her acrobatic volley well saved by Alderson.

Chloe Arthur should have done better on the stroke of half-time but sent her volley from Jodie Brett's left-wing corner high over the bar from six yards.

The second period continued in the same pattern as the first with both teams struggling to create any clear-cut chances. 

Bristol City skipper Hayley Ladd should have scored when she rose unmarked to meet another Brett corner, but her header went narrowly wide of the right-hand post. 

The closest Durham came to scoring was in the 75th minute when Bristol City goalkeeper Hannah Reid moved smartly off her line to smother at the feet of Durham striker Natalie Guttering.

Olivia Fergusson believes the destiny of Bristol City is now firmly in their own hands after her goal secured a vital win over fellow FA WSL 2 promotion candidates Durham at Stoke Gifford Stadium.

The striker was unlucky not to add to her tally in the 39th minute, seeing her acrobatic volley well saved by Alderson, but was left delighted to head into their five-week break with a win to put pressure on those vying to reach WSL 1.

"It was a good win for us, it's important for us to beat our promotion rivals, especially at this stage of the season,” she said.

"In the first half the girls all performed really well, it was a really good game, then Durham threw everything at us but I think our defence and goalkeeper dealt with the pressure really well.

"We've got five weeks now until the Everton game, there's a few girls with niggles so it will be about managing those injuries and getting everyone back to full fitness.

"Now we'll be focusing on ourselves, controlling the controllables as (head coach) Willie Kirk always says.

"The aim at the start of the season was to win promotion, being greedy the aim was to win the Championship. It's in our hands now, so that's what we've got to go for and we want to win every game."

Despite being a goal down, Durham were far from out of the game, although both sides found it difficult to create chances in the second half.

Attendance: 870