REPORT: Manchester City Women 1 Blues Women 0
Blues Women were narrowly beaten by Manchester City Women at the Academy Stadium.
In a tight encounter, Georgia Stanway's goal in the 12th minute was enough to separate the two sides as they cancelled each other out for large parts of the match.
There were three changes to the side that beat Leicester City in the Continental Cup as Hayley Ladd returned from illness, while Emma Follis and Meaghan Sargeant were in the starting XI. They replaced Sarah Mayling, Shania Hayles and Paige Williams.
After just 32 seconds, Man City threatened. Stanway broke through only to be tackled by the onrushing Hannah Hampton, who retained her place in goal.
It was Stanway who gave Man City the lead after 12 minutes. Miss control from Hampton allowed the England international through to slot home into an empty net, as Aoife Mannion’s attempts to clear off the line weren’t enough.
Following the goal, Blues began to keep the ball but didn’t carve out any clear-cut chances. The closest Marc Skinner’s side got to an equaliser was through Lucy Staniforth’s long-range effort from 35-yards-out. The midfielder saw Ellie Roebuck off her line, but her shot wasn’t powerful enough to beat the back-tracking goalkeeper.
In the second half, Blues began to gain momentum in the game, as a string of chances created by Staniforth gave the team hope. She whipped in a dangerous looking cross which was controlled neatly by Lucy Quinn. The winger brought it down on her chest and sent a half volley high and wide.
It was a feisty affair as Sargeant and Stanway matched up and the atmosphere cranked up a notch.
But it was Blues who had the best chances of the second 45 as Staniforth’s effort from 20-yards-out agonisingly graced the other side of the net. Then in the final 10 minutes, she should have brought us level with a free-kick that rattled the crossbar.
Man City: Ellie Roebuck, Demi Stokes, Jennifer Beattie, Steph Houghton, Abbie McManus, Keira Walsh, Jill Scott, Caroline Weir (Claire Emslie 59’), Tessa Wullaert (Janine Beckie 78’), Georgia Stanway, Nikita Parris (Gemma Bonner 90+1').
Substitutes (not used): Karen Bardsley, Pauline Bremer, Esme Morgan, Jess Park.
Goals: Stanway 12’
Bookings: Walsh 17’
Blues: Hannah Hampton, Meaghan Sargeant, Hayley Ladd (Connie Scofield 87’), Kerys Harrop, Chloe Arthur, Lucy Quinn, Emma Follis (Sarah Mayling 74’), Charlie Wellings, Harriet Scott, Aoife Mannion, Lucy Staniforth.
Substitutes (not used): Ann-Katrin Berger, Paige Williams, Shania Hayles.
Referee: Rebecca Welch