Women's Team

Taylor: Hemp's header was my type of finish!

Taylor: Hemp's header was my type of finish!
Manchester City Women boss Gareth Taylor likened Lauren Hemp’s match-winning header against Arsenal to the kind of goal he would put away in his playing days.

The winger stole in at the back post ten minutes from time to get on the end of Chloe Kelly’s searching cross and hand City a sixth win on the spin.

Ellen White's delightful 24th minute half volley had given us the lead and made her the Women’s Super League’s record goalscorer in the process, but Caitlin Foord levelled up proceedings early in the second half before Hemp's timely contribuition.

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But when Taylor, a centre-forward in his day, was asked about White's opener, he joked instead that her fellow forward had been taking notes from his heyday.

“Hempo's was more my type of finish with a header at the back post, I said to Lauren afterwards: ‘I’d be proud of that one’,” the City boss grinned after the win.

“(It was) a great finish from Ellen, for someone who’s not especially quick she has a knack of getting across the front player, whether it’s the goalkeeper or the first defender, and she did that brilliantly for her finish.

“She's been scoring goals since we returned, scoring goals before Christmas, I think she's really enjoying the kind of service she's getting.”

While Hemp and White will take the plaudits for their contribution at Meadow Park, their fellow forward Chloe Kelly was instrumental in the making of both goals, grabbing two assists in a match-winning performance.

And while Taylor mentioned the embarrassment of attacking riches he has at his disposal, he was full of praise for his front three as a whole.

He reflected: “They’re very different, they bring different things to the attacking lineup and then we have some other players supporting that as well.

"When your two wingers combine and your front three are scoring like that, it's great to see.

“We’ve got really good players coming back to full fitness, Laura Coombs, Rose Lavelle, Janine Beckie, we've got some really good players returning to fitness and knocking on the door of playing.”

The potential significance of the win over the Gunners in terms of the WSL title race cannot be overstated, with title rivals Manchester United and Chelsea both slipping up this weekend.

Their home defeats to Reading and Brighton respectively moved City to within two points of top spot, and seven points clear of Arsenal, who remain fourth.

Taylor admitted the result could eventually be crucial and was proud with how his side dug in to grab the win, but insisted he and the players will not be getting carried away by it.

“On the face of it yes, it looks like a big win (but) I always try to keep the focus on what we do.

“It was difficult conditions today, the wind was pretty bad and the cold as well but I thought the battling and work ethic of the players, especially after Arsenal equalised, the character was top class.

“It's still three points, we'll always take that additional support from elsewhere but we focus on what we do.”

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