It has been a very eventful week both on and off the pitch for us Bristol City supporters.
First up was our long midweek trip up north to see The Vixens take on Manchester City. It was a relief to actually have a game to watch after our two previous fixtures at Tottenham Hotspur and at home to Reading fell foul to the weather. Once inside the highly impressive Academy Stadium, which I had never visited before, it was lovely to meet up with Emma Meredith-Shone, Dave Sheel and our wonderful friends from the Manchester City Women Official Supporters’ Club for a catch up. The jovial banter continued into the match and at one point, the home fans chanted my name to sing them a song. This just proves how lucky we are in women’s football that opposition fans can have such a great time together.
The match itself saw us fall to a 1-0 defeat with the only goal coming in the opening minute, however, I was mightily impressed with how we grew into the game and kept City’s stars at bay. There was some courageous defending, primarily by Gemma Evans and Jasmine Matthews with the latter winning our latest supporters’ club ‘Vixen of the Match’ award. It was also great to have two of our fans, Justine Vanwynsberghe and Peter Maene with us after making the trip over from Belgium.
Five days later, was the highly publicised Women’s FA Cup fifth round home tie against Everton which was played under the lights at the men’s stadium, Ashton Gate. We were all in buoyant mood after the performance at Manchester City and four of us were even invited to be interviewed by BBC Radio Bristol’s Tom Seymour to give our thoughts before the match. We also met up with some nice folks working for club sponsors Yeo Valley to gauge our thoughts on improving the fan experience at the Stoke Gifford Stadium. We all had plenty to say as supporter facilities at the Stoke Gifford Stadium are somewhat limited.
There was a decent crowd of almost 2,000 inside Ashton Gate on Monday evening including many young fans and families hoping to see an inspirational performance from Bristol City and maybe come back for more at a later game. What they got was completely the opposite as the home team never got going and allowed Everton to dominate proceedings as they won 5-0 to end our interest in the competition for another year. It was a highly disappointing result and more worryingly, another lacklustre performance in a home match.
Thankfully, our away travels have been more fruitful which is where we find ourselves this Sunday, in a massive relegation dogfight in Solihull against fellow strugglers Birmingham City. We will be taking a fair few supporters up there to support our girls and are hopeful of a much more improved performance than what we saw on Monday night, in a match than can only be described as a must win. I am looking forward to making the trip having done so last season in what was a memorable 1-0 win for The Vixens thanks to a Gemma Evans headed goal. We are also hoping this Sunday will see our new signing Chloe Logarzo, fresh from international duty with Australia, make her Vixens debut and we look forward to welcoming her to the club. I certainly hope her arrival will bring a much-needed boost for the team.
I hope you enjoy the weekend’s action and I look forward to next week’s update before we all break up for the international break.
Rich Paish [founder of BCWFC-SC]