Welcome to the latest weekly update from the Bristol City Women Supporters Club.
It was a delightful start to the New Year for us Bristol City fans following a torrid start to the season which had seen us fail to win a match in the FA Women’s Super League.
We began 2020 in style with a thrilling 1-0 victory at Manchester United last Sunday, a match which some of us supporters club members were lucky enough to be at. It was a remarkable backs to the wall effort from our girls with ex-United prospect Ebony Salmon scoring the winner in the first half, a player who we all expect to have a bright future in the game and we all hope it is with us. It was also nice to meet a number of United fans in their ‘Legends Cafe’ and to swap badges with Natalie from the Manchester United Barmy Army.
I turned the trip into a weekend away and on the Saturday visited the National Football Museum. I would highly recommend visiting the museum, especially to see the women’s football items on show including a highly impressive football shirt exhibition which included St Helens captain Liz Deighan’s Women’s FA Cup winning shirt from 1980 among many others.
Our supporters club started our own ‘Vixen of the Match’ to be voted by members at the game and posted on our social media platforms. Sophie Baggaley was our inaugural winner for her brilliant performance which included a string of saves against Manchester United that saw her return to her very best form from last season.
In other club news, Ella Rutherford has moved on yet again. She initially spent time on loan at Crystal Palace and she has now moved on from there to Leicester City until the end of the season. Back at Stoke Gifford Stadium, influential midfielder Carla Humphrey, who was injured last month, has had an operation on her foot and will now face a lengthy spell on the sidelines.
In the recent Women’s FA Cup fourth round draw, we were again paired with Durham at home in what will surely be hyped up as a grudge match after the physical Wildcats dumped The Vixens out of the competition in the fifth round last season. The match is scheduled to be played on Sunday 26 January at Stoke Gifford Stadium ,
This Sunday brings another away day at Chelsea and some of us will be making the trip to Kingsmeadow to catch up with Mark Pycraft and our good old friends from the Chelsea Women’s Supporters Group. We are obviously relishing watching Sam Kerr play against us.
Our last two visits to Chelsea have been games to forget and both resulted in 6-0 defeats, including the game last year which I attended when Fran Kirby and Beth England both scored hat-tricks. Despite a battling 0-0 draw at the Stoke Gifford Stadium, in the last six games against us, The Blues have scored 22 goals, conceded none and won five of those matches.
The last goal Bristol City (or Bristol Academy as we were known back then) scored against the South West Londoners was netted by Jade Saho in a 4-1 away loss in 2015 while our last victory was a 3-1 win at Chelsea in 2013 when Tash Harding, Natalia Pablos and Alex Windell were on target. Rosella Ayane, who played for both teams, netted an equaliser for Chelsea that day. Since both teams first met in 2005, there have been 26 meetings in the top division of women’s football with Chelsea winning 14 , Bristol seven and there have been five draws.
Here’s hoping this Sunday sees a repeat score of one of those early games in 2007 which finished Chelsea 0 Bristol Academy 5 with Stef Curtis bagging a hat-trick and Nikki Watts and Corrine Yorston grabbing the other two.
I’ll be back next week to reflect on all of the action from Kingsmeadow but for now, enjoy the weekend’s action.
Rich Paish (founder of Bristol City Women Supporters’ Club – @BCWFC_SC)