Sunday 17 December 2017

Manchester City made to work hard for semi-final spot

Bristol City battle hard but go down 2-0 to Manchester City in the Continental Tyres Cup

FA WSL Continental Tyres Cup match
14:00, Sunday 17 December 2017
Oaklands Park Stadium

Manchester City Women Goal Scorers: Parris 60', Beattie 87'

Holders Manchester City took another step towards defending the FA WSL Continental Tyres Cup as second-half goals from Nikita Parris and Jen Beattie booked them a place in the semi-finals at the expense of Bristol City.

The current FA WSL 1 leaders had beaten Bristol 4-0 in a league encounter in Manchester last month, but found the going much tougher in the wind and rain on an artificial surface at Oaklands Park.

It was the home side who created the first clear opening of the game in the 16th minute but Yana Daniels shot wide of Karen Bardsley’s right-hand post.

Less than a minute later, Bristol keeper Sophie Baggaley pulled off a tremendous double save from close range to thwart Jane Ross and Nikita Parris in quick succession as they attempted to force home Claire Emslie’s cross.

Hemp saw her left-foot shot from 25 yards comfortably saved by Bardsley just after the half-hour while Stokes fired a long-range attempt for the visitors over the bar before the break.

But the deadlock was not broken until the 62nd minute when the influential Emslie fed Abbie McManus, whose deep cross saw Parris ghosting in from beyond the far post to net with a downward header.

The visitors could have extended their lead in the closing stages, but Jill Scott headed just over the top from Izzy Christiansen’s corner and Baggaley pulled off another fine stop to block a fierce Parris shot and deny her a double.

But the outcome was put beyond doubt when Beattie headed home from Christiansen’s corner two minutes from time.

Manchester City boss Nick Cushing said: "We knew it was going to be a difficult game because Bristol are a very energetic team.

“But the aim was to come here and win and we did that, so we're very pleased.

"The artificial pitch isn't ideal for us and the way we want to play because we don't train on it, but that's no excuse.

“I thought our build-up play and possession was a bit scruffy in the first half, but we managed to nail it down more as the game went on and we created more chances in the second half.

"I thought the players were excellent in the second half when they started to use the space more and exert some control on the game."

Bristol City boss Willie Kirk commented: "We certainly got a better display and I think the girls can be proud of their performance.

"The goal in the 88th minute finished the game off but we had been right in it up to that point. We were disappointed with the nature of that goal because we had created half-chances and other bits and pieces and on another day, we could have been 1-0 up.

"But we never collapsed and kept going until the final kick of the ball, which was pleasing to see.

"The artificial surface was quick and although it got slippy as the game wore on, it made for a very high-tempo game."

Bristol City 0

Manchester City 2

Parris 62, Beattie 88

Bristol City (3-5-2): Sophie Baggaley; Millie Turner, Danique Kerkdijk, Jasmine Matthews; Charlie Estcourt, Julie Biesmans, Carla Humphrey, Chloe Arthur, Loren Dykes; Yana Daniels, Lauren Hemp

Substitutes: Flo Allen (for Estcourt, 67), Aimee Palmer (for Humphey, 74)

Substitutes not used: Aimee Watson, Frankie Brown, Amy Goddard, Poppy Wilson, Eloise Wilson

Bookings: None

Red Cards: None

Manchester City (4-5-1): Karen Bardsley; Abbie McManus, Steph Houghton, Jen Beattie, Demi Stokes; Nikita Parris, Jill Scott, Keira Walsh, Izzy Christiansen, Claire Emslie; Jane Ross

Substitutes: Mel Lawley (for Ross 73)

Substitutes (not used): Marie Hourihan, Georgia Stanway, Esme Morgan, Ella Toone

Bookings: None

Red Cards: None

Referee: Savvas Yianni

Attendance: 352

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