City returned to FA Women’s Super League action as we hosted Yeovil Ladies at the Academy Stadium in our last home game of the 2018/19 season.
Nick Cushing’s side did not get off to the start that we were looking for after falling 1-0 behind in the opening minute of the game, Fergusson slotting the ball into the back of the net for the visitors.
Nikita Parris equalised from the penalty spot prior to half-time before Lauren Hemp’s 65th minute header ensured a 2-1 victory for the Blues.
Arsenal’s 4-0 victory over Brighton earlier in the day saw them secure the FA Women’s Super League title but the win over Yeovil puts us in good stead ahead of our FA Women’s Cup final at Wembley next Saturday.
City failed to get off to a good start, conceding within the first minute of the game as Olivia Fergusson slotted past Ellie Roebuck from 10 yards out.
A quick recovery for City saw Nick Cushing’s side provide several chances to equalise within the opening 10 minutes. A Megan Campbell free-kick was lofted into a dangerous area inside the box but narrowly flew over the top of everyone’s head to go out for a goal kick.
Nikita Parris also went through on goal to face the ‘keeper in a 1 on 1 twice in the opening tint of the game but had both of her shots stopped defiantly by Megan Walsh in the Yeovil goal.
However it was third time lucky for Parris as she struck the equalising goal into the top corner from the penalty spot after Lauren Hemp was brought down inside the area in the 30th minute.
City’s performance stepped up after the goal with several great chances coming our way; Georgia Stanway’s long range shot was fired just inches over the cross bar whilst a diving header from Lauren Hemp was stopped only by the finger tips of the Yeovil goalkeeper.
City started the second half how they had finished the first, piling the pressure on the Yeovil back line and dominating possession, with Bremer seeing a great chance from close range denied once again by the keeper.
In the 65th minute that goal that we had been pushing so desperately for finally came! Lauren Hemp headed in from Parris’ cross to put City in front for the first time in the game.
Despite the second goal City refused to sit back. Hemp came within touching distance of her second goal of the game five minutes from time after curling one towards the top left-hand corner, only to be denied by a spectacular fingertip save from Walsh.
A brilliant second-half display saw City hold out the visitors to ensure that all three points would be ours.
How we lined up
Roebuck started between the sticks for City, shielded by a back four of Campbell, Bonner, Houghton and McManus.
Walsh, Stanway, Hemp and Emslie occupied the midfield with Bremer and Parris up top.
City's next fixture is the FA Women's Cup final against West Ham on Saturday 4 May at Wembley Stadium, with kick-off at 5:30pm. Having already secured the Continental Cup back in February with victory over Arsenal at Bramall Lane, Nick Cushing's side will be hoping to lift their second trophy of the season.