Often Partisan

Blues Ladies Fail To Break Winning Duck

A resilient Bristol Academy Women defence held against everything Blues Ladies could throw at them last night in an entertaining goalless draw at the Autotech Stadium.

Freda Ayisi, Mel Lawley and Karen Carney all had chances to win the game for Blues Ladies but couldn’t quite force the ball in leaving them still searching for their first win in the WSL this season.

Dave Parker shuffled the pack somewhat from the last game, dropping Emily Westwood and Abby-Leigh Stringer for Freda Ayisi and Alex Windell and changing the formation to 3-4-1-2. The result was a team which was much more confident in possession and much stronger going forwards, with the pace of the former Arsenal player Ayisi consistently worrying the Bristol defence.

It was Bristol who had the first chance when a fifth minute corner led to some confusion in the Blues Ladies’ defence but it was scrambled clear and the pace of Ayisi was utilised to good effect with direct balls in behind the visitors’ back four.

On 25 minutes Ayisi was played in by a beautiful ball over the top from Potter but the young striker could only pull her shot wide across the goal. Just a few minutes later, Lawley went even closer with her effort deflected along the goal-line and cleared to safety when it looked certain she must score.

The introduction of Carney in the second-half led to more chances, but frustratingly the ball wouldn’t seem to drop to a Blues Ladies player when it counted – and the one time it did fellow sub Kirsty Linnett ballooned her chance over the bar.

The chance of the match fell to England star Carney in injury time however when Lawley skipped past the full-back and hit a low cross from the byline. Everyone thought Carney must score but she hit her shot from close range awkwardly and it skewed away when everyone expected to see the net bulge.

It was a positive performance with much to build on but the lack of time the Blues Ladies frontline have had to play together showed. As Carney remarked afterwards, the front four that finished the game look dangerous but they are playing as individuals at the moment and they will need to work together more to be able to read each other’s moves properly.

Mel Lawley was picked as player of the match by the watching Darren Carter in the press box.

Team:

Spencer, Sargeant, Mannion, Harrop, Windell (Carney 49), Allen (Linnett 63), Potter, Carter (Westwood 90+3), Moore (c), Lawley, Ayisi

Subs not used: Baggaley, Stringer, Torkildsen, Haines

Blues Ladies - sponsored by Hollywood Monster

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