Manchester City 3-1 Bristol City: Vixens bravely battle to Conti Cup defeat as Man City end unbeaten run
Attention turns to the Women’s FA Cup and the league after being eliminated from the League Cup
An early lead from an Alex Greenwood own goal gave the Vixens a boost of hope, before the Manchester City team effectively ended the game before the end of the first half.
The unfortunate loss for Bristol City, ends their nine game unbeaten run in all competitions and silences hopes of reaching a second consecutive final.
Lauren Smith made three changes with Sophie Whitehouse starting between the sticks, Aggie Beever-Jones returned as a left midfielder and Jasmine Bull played as the defensive midfielder.
As the game got under way at the Manchester City Academy Stadium, the away side side started applying the pressure on the hosts, high up the pitch
A quarter of an hour into the Conti Cup clash, the reds are holding off City and retain possession. Beever-jones receives the ball and shrugs off a challenge from Lucy Bronze. She sent a ball into the six-yard box, and a lapse in judgement from Greenwood who tried to stop the cross, instead put the ball into her own net.
Bristol’s attacking play was a shock for Man City who usually see opposition teams play defensively due to their world class attack.
Despite the setback, the Citizens soon started to control the game, testing Whitehouse who made a string of good saves.
Just before the thirty minute mark, the hosts had a throw in that fell to Vicky Losada. She passed to Shaw who turned well and got past the City back line to slot the ball into the bottom corner in a composed finish to equalise.
With half-time on the horizon, Bronze sent a curling cross into Shaw, who used her strength well to hold off the defender and volley home to give Gareth Taylor’s side a first-half lead.
Not content with just the one goal lead at the break, a a darting shot from Hemp who hit the crossbar.
In need of a change at the break to try and offset Man City’s dominance, Melissa Johnson was taken off for Wales international defender Ffion Morgan.
Manchester City were again receiving a huge amount of pressure from the Vixens, who were trying to turn the game around immediately.
The blues whipped in a swerving ball into the box. An attempted clearance from the Bristol City defender saw Losada capitalise on the error and then rocketed the ball into the back of the net.
Still Man City were dominating possession leaving the Vixens clueless as to what to do next.
As the game reached the last fifteen minutes the attention had turned to keeping the scoreline down rather than mounting a fight-back. They were barely being able to leave their own half in most of the second-half and It was high possession play from the Blues that have let them be in control of the game.
More and more chances started to create themselves for Man City as they blasted a range of shots towards the Vixens’ net but none giving them a bigger lead.
The final whistle blew on City’s Conti Cup campaign after a well controlled game with the home side mustering up shooting 32 attempts.
Smith and her side will now look ahead to Sunday when they welcome Charlton Athletic to the High Performance Centre in the FA Women’s Championship.
Man City Women: 4-3-3 Starting XI: GK - Khiara Keating, Defence - Lucy Bronze, Steph Houghton, Alex Greenwood, Georgia Stanway, Midfield - Laura Coombs, Vicky Losada, Filippa Angeldal, Attack - Janine Becky, Lauren Hemp, Khadija Shaw. Substitutes - Demi Stokes, Jill Scott, Jess Park, Ellen White, Caroline Weir, Ruby Mace, Grace Pilling, Karima Benameur.
Goals: Khadija Shaw 27’, 44’, Vicky Losada 62’.
Bristol City Women: 4-2-3-1 Starting XI: GK - Sophie Whitehouse, Defence - Ella Mae Florence Powell, Satara Murray, Brooke Aspin, Lia Cataldo, Midfield - Jasmine Bull, Aimee Palmer, Aggie Beever-Jones, Chloe Bull, Melissa Johnson, Attack - Abi Harrison, Substitutes - Ava Kuyken, Simran Jhamat, Flo Allen, Gwennan Davies, Maisy Collis, Izzy Cook, Ffion Morgan, Fran Bently, Jessica Woodley.
Goals: Alex Greenwood OG 16’.