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📝 Report: Reading 0-1 Bristol City

Abi Harrison’s thunderous 92nd-minute strike saw City Women kick-off their Continental Cup campaign with a 1-0 victory over Reading.

Match Report sponsor: University of the West of England

THE BACKGROUND

City Women travelled to the Select Car Leasing Stadium looking to kick their Continental Cup campaign off on a positive note after reaching last year's final. 

Reading are the only top-flight side in Group D, so Wednesday's match-up would be big test for Lauren Smith's side.

Smith made four changes to the starting eleven that cruelly lost out against Charlton at the weekend as Sophie Whitehouse, Chloe O'Connor, Naomi Layzell and Ella Powell started.

WHAT HAPPENED

City had the first clear cut opportunity of the match as Ella Powell and Abi Harrison combined on the right-hand side, the forward then picked out her strike partner Melissa Johnson who forced Grace Moloney into a point-blank stop.

Justine Vanhaevermaet had the best opportunity of the first-half for the hosts as she met Tash Harding’s corner, but Sophie Whitehouse was equal to her best effort as she instinctively saved down to her right.

Harrison then went close with a dipping volley from the edge of the area which whistled past the target. Neither side would break the deadlock in the first period to see the two sides head into the changing rooms locked up at 0-0.

The Royals had the first chance of the second period as Harding’s header grazed the roof of the net, before Whitehouse was again called into action to deny Amalie Eikland’s effort on goal as well as bravely meeting Harding in mid-air.

City’s youthful backline defended resolutely and comfortable dealt with the threat of their WSL opponents. The closest the Royals came to finding an opener was through Eikeland, whose glancing header rebounded off the woodwork.

With the game seemingly set to go to a penalty shootout, up steps Abi Harrison. The forward had previously threatened from outside the area and this time she was on the money. A dipping right-footed strike beat Moloney to see the Robins claim victory at the death.

THE TEAM

City: Whitehouse, Powell, Layzell, Aspin, Cataldo, Woolley, Kuyken, Palmer (C), O'Connor, Harrison, Johnson

Subs: Bentley (GK), Jhamat, Allen, Bull, Davies, Wilde, Beever-Jones, Morgan

REACTION


UP NEXT

Women's football now heads on a two-week break as the international window gets underway, with the Robins next home fixture taking place on Sunday, October 31st when Sheffield United visit the Robins HPC.

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