Tag Archives: Bristol City Women

FA WSL round up: City come out on top in the Derby

Manchester City came out on top in the Manchester Derby on Friday night. Lucy Bronze and Laruen Hemp putting City two up, before a stunning chip from Caroline Weir made it 3-0.

Reading drew 1-1 with Everton after Rachel Rowe give the home side a 1-0 lead at half time. Denmark international Nicoline Sorensen got Everton’s equaliser after 77 minutes.

Elsewhere, in a preview to the Conti Cup Final Chelsea run riot and put five past Bristol City. Fran Kirby (2), Pernille Harder, Sam Kerr and Beth England all on the scoresheet for The Blues.

Finally Aston Villa’s home match against Arsenal was called off due to a frozen pitch.

Manchester City 3-0 Manchester United

On a bitterly cold night at The Academy Stadium Manchester United looked to stay above their City rivals.

In form Leah Galton was played in by Jackie Groenen, but Galton’s ball across the six yard box was cleared by Alex Greenwood.

The deadlock was broken in the 23rd minute by Lucy Bronze. United failed to clear Chole Kelly’s corner and the ball fell to Bronze who smashed the ball into the far corner.

Georgia Stanway’s cross almost caught out United Keeper Mary Earps going just over the bar and onto the roof of the net.

Hayley Ladd fired a shot wide as United looked for an equaliser. Kelly not clearing from a United free kick, the loose ball finding Ladd and shooting on the turn put the ball wide.

Ellen White forced Earps into a decent save with her overhead kick attempt. Kelly’s cross finding White who initial shot was blocked, White went for the spectacular with the rebound.

United were dealt another blow just before the break as Leah Galton was forced off. In an off the ball incident, the United player was helped from the field looking in some discomfort.

Earps was again called into action saving from White. Laruen Hemps low cross from the left finding White inside the box. The forward’s first time effort was pushed away by Earps.

United tried to get back into the game, Christen Press attempting a lob over a advancing Ellie Roebuck but she put her effort over.

Press saw another shot blocked by a combination of Lucy Bronze and Steph Houghton.

City weathered the pressure from united and extended their lead on 71 minutes. Chole Kelly firing a shot which Earps pushed away but the ball found Hemp who’s left footed shot flicked off Amy Turner and into the goal.

Caroline Weir wrapped up the Derby win for City with a potential goal of the season. Picking up a loose ball Weir’s left footed chip went over the stretching Earps.

Caroline Weir scores stunning goal in Manchester Derby.

City pick up the win and move into second in the WSL table five points off leaders Chelsea with a game in hand.

Reading 1-1 Everton

Reading started brightly with Amalie Eikeland forcing a save from Everton keeper Korpela. Eikeland again could only find the gloves of Korpela with a long range shot straight at the keeper.

Eikeland was causing Everton problems as she hit the post after Rowe’s free kick. Natasha Harding then headed over form the rebound.

Readings pressure told after 34 minutes as Rachel Rowe put the home side ahead. Sam Carter was unable to put in from Lilly Woodham’s cross but the ball fell to Rowe who had on open goal to aim at.

Everton started to pressure the home side in the second half. With out troubling the goal Everton had several half chances but did get the equaliser. Nicoline Sorensen heading in after 77 minutes. Wold’s cross to the far post was met by Sorensen who headed in to level the game.

Neither side could find a second goal with both sides having some half chance efforts.

Bristol City 0-5 Chelsea

Chelsea put five past Conti Cup Final opponents Bristol City in a game that they dominated. The Blues had 24 attempts at goal with 9 on target.

Fran Kirby gave them a 14 minute lead before Harder made it two after 36 minutes. Kirby got her second to make it three nil before the break.

Goals from Sam Kerr and Beth England in the second half made it five for the Champions.

Chelsea’s lead at the top is five points, while Bristol sit bottom – two points behind West Ham United.

Chelsea and Bristol City Reach Conti Cup Final

Chelsea will face Bristol City in years Conti Cup Final to be played on March 14th. A Pernille Harder hat trick helped Chelsea to a six nil win over West Ham, while Bristol City beat Championship side Leicester thanks to a Kiera Skeels goal.

This will be Bristol’s first ever appearance in the final where they will face holders Chelsea. The final will be played at Watford’s Vicarage Road.

Chelsea 6 v 0 West Ham United

Chelsea took an early lead as Ji So-Yun played Harder in the box and the Chelsea player provided a deft finish after just four minutes.

Chelsea had a second after a quarter of an hour thanks to another Sophie Ingle long range goal. West Ham attempt to clear but the ball dropped to Welsh International Ingle, she brings the ball down and her right, then shoots with her left squeezing the ball under Mackenzie Arnold.

The game was essentially over as Chelsea scored two in two minutes. First Harder got her second as West Ham tried to play out form the back, a poor pass from keeper Arnold allowed Harder to capitalise. Then Beth England scored from Fran Kirby’s cross from the right.

Chelsea kept the pressure on during the second half. Arnold making good saves from Kirby and England. West Ham did have a few chances, the best falling to Adriana Leon. Leon found herself clear in the box but a combination of good defending from Magdalena Eriksson and Ann-Katrin Berger keeping her out.

Fran Kirby made it five for The Blues. Kirby’s attempted lob after being played in by Maren Mjelde, was tipped away by Arnold but Kirby was quickest to it for a tap in. Harder completed her hat-trick four minutes from time with a stunning right footed shot from the edge of the area.

Chelsea Manager Emma Hayes told Chelseafc.com:

“I’m really pleased, getting to finals is no easy achievement and the preparation of the team to keep finding new levels in themselves is a real testament to the work that is put in day in day out from everyone in this environment.

“To dispatch a very good team in the manner that we did with five chances and four goals in the first half is reflective of the confidence that’s in the camp at the moment.

They are hungry, everybody is hungry for trophies and we know it’s ours to lose because of the fact we’re holders of the competition and we’re really looking forward to being back in another final.

“I’m really looking forward to a brilliant stadium and another showcase opportunity for women’s football.

“I’m so impressed by my players, I’m so impressed by the collective and the hunger, the will, the ambition.”

She also spoke about speculation around her and the vacant post at AFC Wimbledon:

“I’ve never spoken to Wimbledon and I’ve never been offered a job by Wimbledon. The whole question that was asked about me is about my own team and let me be clear about this.

“My words were this: It is not a step down to coach Chelsea Women’s team, it’s an insult to suggest otherwise but watching the reaction across the media in the last 24 hours manipulating my words, turning headlines and using inflammatory language to infer that I’ve insulted AFC Wimbledon, far from it.

“What a wonderful club they are, they are local to our community and one that’s dear to everybody’s hearts at Chelsea, so to infer that I’ve insulted them is a misrepresentation across the media and that needs to be made clear.

“I sincerely hope that AFC Wimbledon find the right candidate for their football club and the whole point about them not being able to afford me is nothing to do with money but everything to do with the fact I’m in the best job in the world and no amount of money is going to tempt me away from that.

“We talk of women in football like we are not entitled to the same opportunity and the same access and my final piece on it is that all I want is to normalise the conversation on it so if the entire universe is talking about it then hallelujah, let’s make sure we have it more often and let’s make sure we talk about it without feeling unbelievably threatened that everybody has a place in football.”

Bristol City 1 v 0 Leicester City

The other semi-final saw Bristol City beat Championship leaders Leicester City.

Lachante Paul crafted the best chance after 20 minutes, her shot from the Leicester left going straight into the gloves of Baggaley.

In a tight first half without many great chances Bristol went closest with Charlie Wellings firing a shot goalwards which was well saved by Levell.

Charlie Devlin made a shooting chance for herself after skipping around two Bristol players, but she could only shoot straight at Sophie Baggaley. At half time all square in a close game.

Leicester had the first real chance after the break as Paige Bailey-Gayle forced Baggaley to be at full stretch to turn the ball away from goal. Leicester were able to recycle the ball but were only able to put a shot well over the bar.

Bristol found the break-through after 72 minutes. Ebony Salmon’s cross finding the head of Kiera Skeels whos’ flick towards goal wasn’t held by Leicester keeper Levell and found its way into the goal.

Leicester pressed to get a equaliser but Bristol held on to make the final. Bristol City and Leicester may switch leagues not season but a historic final awaits for Bristol and maybe it could help their WSL survival.

Bristol City manager Matt Bread told Bcfc.com:

“I’m absolutely delighted. It was a tough game – there wasn’t much in it between the two teams,

“I thought we were excellent in the second half, I felt we dominated the game in the sense that we didn’t let them get into their rhythm. We didn’t create many chances ourselves, but semi-finals are won on moments like tonight with Kiera scoring from a set-play.

“The girls have worked so hard yet again across the 90 minutes to make sure they have come away with the win.

“Since coming in the group have been brilliant. I said to them at half-time that they’re the closest group I have worked with in terms of togetherness and it’s fantastic that they have been rewarded with a place in the cup final tonight.”

FA WSL Round Up: First Win for Bristol City, Chelsea remain top

Bristol City got their first win of the season after they beat Brighton by three goals to nil. First half goals from Yana Daniels and Ebony Salmon give the home side a two nothing lead at the break. Salmon added a third from the spot in the second half to round off the victory.

Chelsea, meanwhile, kept top spot after beating Spurs by four goals to nil. Two goals from Melanie Leupolz (one from the spot), another from Sam Kerr along with a Abbie McManus own goal.

Manchester United beat Everton by two goals to nil keeping them on level points with leaders Chelsea. Two first half goals from Ella Toone and Christen Press.

Manchester City cruised to victory beating West Ham by four goals. Caroline Weir and Georgia Stanway finning the net in the first half before Ellen White and Rose Lavelle in the second.

Arsenal’s trip to Aston Villa was called off due to a waterlogged pitch.

Bristol City 3 v 0 Brighton

The Robins were in front after just three minutes thanks to Yana Daniels stunning effort. Receiving the ball from Gemma Evans, Daniels turns and loops the ball over Cecilie Fiskerstrand clipping the inside off the bar on the way into the net.

Aimee Palmer sent a long driving shot just wide of the goal as Bristol looked to build on their lead. On 34 minutes City had their second. After along ball from the back by Jasmine Matthews, broke though the Brighton back line, Ebony Salmon got in front of Maya Le Tissier and coolly slotted past the advancing keeper.

Brighton had chances but failed to trouble Bristol Keeper Sophie Baggaley. Bristol made sure of the win in the 59th minute as Salmon scored her second from the spot. The ball flicking off the hand of Victoria Williams, with little the defender could do about it. Salmon stepped up and sent the keeper the wrong way, confidently putting the ball in the corner of the goal.

It got worse for Brighton as Kayleigh Green was sent off for stamping on Bristol’s Daniels.

Brighton subsequently remain in 9th place and City, meanwhile, remain bottom, but they close the gap on the teams above them to just two points.

Chelsea 4 v 0 Tottenham

Tottenham began the game brightly having the first chances. Kit Graham teeing up a long range effort for Ria Percival, but her shot was met by the stretching hand of Berger to flick the ball on to the post.

Graham forced Berger into another save after creating some space just inside the box to shoot. Chelsea leaving space in the centre allowing Tottenham to create chances.

Chelsea got the first goal a little against the run of play. Melanie Leupolz sending the ball into the net from 30 yards. Two minutes later Chelsea double their lead. Fran Kirby latching on to a loose ball from the keeper and crossing from the right found Pernille Harder who’s lifted shot deflected off Abbie McManus.

Chelsea got a third before half time, Sam Kerr heading in from Harder’s cross. Harder with plenty of time of look and spot Sam Kerr in the box put in a pin point perfect cross which gave Kerr a simple header for three nil.

The Blues made it four thanks to Leupolz’s penalty. Beth England’s cross hitting the raised arm of Kerys Harrop. Leupolz sent the Tottenham keeper the wrong from the spot to seal a big win for the league leaders.

Everton 0 v 2 Manchester United

United had an early chance as Christen Press on the turn tested the gloves of Maciver in the Everton goal.

Leah Galton was causing Everton problem down the left side and this was where United’s first goal came from. Driving at the Everton defence Galton got a shot off which was saved by Maciver. She was unable to hold onto the ball, but was able to push it away from Press. Everton were unable to clear as the ball fell to Ella Toone who fired in from close range.

Maciver was called into action again as Katie Zelem’s long ball found Toone in space but her shot only found the gloves of the Everton keeper.

Press got United’s second after 42 minutes after being played in by Hayley Ladd. Everton didn’t clear and the ball fell to Ladd who played a clear pass to get Press in the box. Holding off Turner, Press was able to put the ball past Maciver.

Everton tried to get back into the game, Jill Scott’s long range effort forcing Mary Earps to be at full stretch to keep the ball out. United were quieter in the second half but a comfortable victory.

Manchester City 4 v 0 West Ham Utd

City kept their good run of form in the WSL going with their fifth straight win. Caroline Weir found herself on the end of Chloe Kelly’s cross to make it one nil after 9 minute’s. City kept the pressure on West Ham and got their second on 39 minutes, Stanway scoring after a scramble in the box.

Ellen White made it 3-0 City with a header before Rose Lavelle capitalised on a mistake to make it four.

Liverpool Women claim ‘relegation was tough pill to swallow’

Liverpool’s men and women’s football teams could not be in more contrasting situations.  On one hand you have the men side, on the brink of their first Premier League title since Kenny Dalglish’s team clinched the championship in 1989/90.

While the men’s team are certainly on the way up, the same cannot be said of the women’s side, who learned yesterday that they will relegated from the Women Super League.

Liverpool Women’s club were bottom in the WSL having only managed six points before the FA had decided this week to call the season to a halt. They were one point behind Birmingham, who had a game in hand and three points behind Bristol City.

Having chosen to use the Points Per Game system, however, the two time WSL Champions ultimately ended up with an average of 0.43 points per game, just 0.11 fewer than Birmingham.

Following the FA’s decision Liverpool Women’s Manager Vicky Jepson said:

“For me as the Manager it’s important that I reach out to the Liverpool fans and we need them more than ever to stick by our players because I have spoken to our girls today and they were extremely heartbroken by the decision and shocked as well as I am.

“It’s something we can’t control but what we can control is how we react to this outcome.  We’ve got to react in the best way possible and that is how we prepare in our pre-season and how we perform on the pitch next season.”

Aston Villa, who were six points clear of Sheffield United at the top of the Championship were subsequently declared Champions and will replace the Reds in next season’s top flight division.

At the other end of the table meanwhile Chelsea were declared league champions ahead of Manchester City, despite the Blues sitting a point behind the Manchester club they crucially had a game in hand on their title rivals before the season ended prematurely.

On being announced champions Chelsea Women Manager Emma Hayes said:

“Of course we would have preferred to play the remaining games, but players’ welfare was always our priority, and finishing the season was ultimately not possible.  We have to respect the decision of the FA, clubs and people involved in the game who have decided this was the best and fairest outcome.

“I also want to congratulate Manchester City and Arsenal on wonderful seasons.  The title-race was shaping up to be one of the best this country has ever witnessed and we look forward to competing again when WSL resumes.

“To our fans, I’m sorry we can’t celebrate with you but we will hopefully see you soon at Kingsmeadow.”

The new campaign is currently set to begin in September, however, FA Director Kelly Simmons has already had to deal with wide spread frustration that the Barclays Women Super League did not follow the example of the Frauen Bundesliga restart and the NWSL in the USA. She explained:

“The season ending early gives us the time to plan to come back bigger and better for the 2020-21 season, and we are determined to ensure we don’t lose the momentum generated before the country went into lockdown.

“The Barclays FA Women’s Super League is the only fully professional women’s league in Europe, and we are incredibly proud of how far it has come on, but we have to remember that it has only been professional for two seasons.”

Following all the momentum that women’s football has built up in this country the past few years, the agonising prospect of not having the WSL and the Championship on our screens until September means that it will be the best part of six months before the sport returns to the public eye.  Unfortunately this may inevitability mean having to build up people’s interest in the game again. 

How does the FA plan to complete the Women Super League season?

These are certainly challenging times for the sporting calendar across the board.

Particularly it seems for women’s football, this appears somewhat remarkable given its raised profile in this country over the last few years and when the FA announced the Women Super League as the first fully professional division in Europe back in 2017.

It looked as though the only way was up with the prospects of improved publicity and clearer career paths for young talent emerging through the ranks.

Prior to the COVID-19 lockdown attendance records for women’s matches were rising significantly as 38,000 fans turned out at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium to see Arsenal’s 2-0 win over their North London rivals back in November of last year.

This in mind, 24/7 football decided to examine what the Football Association’s current plan is for completing the WSL season.

How many games are left?

There are 45 games of the current season still to be played and no WSL fixture has taken place since the 23 February, following an international break for the SheBelieves Cup involving England, Spain, Japan and the USA.

Current situation?

Already the tiers three to seven of the women’s football leagues in England have been declared null and void and subsequently the decision was confirmed on 9 April.  There is the prospect of the top two leagues in the Women’s game following this same line depending upon health advice given by the Government over the coming weeks.

What is the FA’s current plan?

The current plan that the Football Association is looking into is playing out the remaining fixtures all at one central venue behind closed doors with St.George’s Park, the FA’s English National football centre, currently being talked about as a possible location.

The earliest the campaign could begin however would be the weekend of the 6-7 June depending on the government’s advice and would rely on the players being able to begin training in the final week of May.

The completion date being targeted would therefore be the weekend of 18-19 July and would require each of the 12 WSL teams to play two matches per week.

It is understood that the FA would want any decisions made on the top women’s division to follow along with any similar choices made by the Premier League and the European Football governing body, UEFA.

How do the managers and players feel about this?

Manchester City and England striker Ellen White is hoping that the ‘crazy’ Super League season will be completed when the coronavirus is lifted.  White said:

“First and foremost I just want everyone to be healthy. I think everyone would love to finish the season but everyone’s health is the top priority.

“It’s been a pretty crazy season already and it’s a massive fight for who is going to win the league.”

Despite losing their manager Nick Cushing to New York City FC Manchester City found themselves a point clear ahead of their nearest rivals Chelsea. However their title rivals have a game in hand, which had set up an exciting finish until COVID-19 stopped all sport.

The Chelsea Women’s manager Emma Hayes meanwhile has said:

“When the men’s professional game resumes the WSL should consider doing that but I understand if the season does not resume and life is ultimately more important. Hopefully when the times come to lift the restrictions we can all do it in the same way.”

While the Bristol City Women’s manager Tanya Oxtoby has recently expressed concerns that some players may in fact be struggling with anxiety and depression during the COVID-19 lockdown.  Oxtoby said

“Athletes like structure, routine and to be around each other.  So I think from a mental health point of view that’s probably very difficult.

“There’s also been the added stress in terms of finances and families, those are all factors that will affect individual players a little bit differently.”

This observation can certainly be applied to all sports personnel during this time. FIFA Pro recently carried out a survey alongside Amsterdam University on both male and female footballers which showed 22% of female players and 13% of male players have reported symptoms consistent with a diagnosis of depression.

What next?

The Football Association is determined to complete the current season but wants it finished by no later than early August.

The FA Women’s Director Kelly Simmons, supports this by saying:

“We are determined to finish the FA WSL, Women’s Championship and the FA Cup in the most appropriate way while it is also the intention of UEFA to complete the UEFA Women’s Champions League.

“We are doing everything we can to plan for the return of football but for now safety and welfare remains are primary concern.”

One thing is however clearly apparent; this is certainly an unprecedented time for all those involved and ultimately tough decisions will need to be made about the future and growth of the women’s game in the days ahead.