Bristol City welcomed Birmingham City to a very wet Stoke Gifford for this vital WSL game. The Vixens were in the middle of a storm themselves, having just suffered there worst ever club defeat, an 11-1 loss to Arsenal at Boreham Wood last time out. That on top of conceding 23 goals in their last three games and not having won in the league in 14 games since we beat Yeovil in January.
Birmingham it appeared offered respite from the recent opponents in Arsenal and Manchester City as they were just above Bristol at the bottom of the table.
In a massive blow for Tanya Oxtoby, influential midfielder Carla Humphrey was injured in the warm-up. Although she did welcome back the talented left-back Poppy Pattinson after a lengthy injury
Things didn’t start well as Birmingham’s Lucy Whipp lofted the ball into the top left corner of the net with a fine shot from a cross to put the visitors 1-0 up after just 5 minutes. This was her first goal for the blues.
Birmingham thought they had doubled there lead ten minutes later but Abbi Grant’s shot cannoned into the crossbar.
Bristol’s midfield which has struggled most of this season was unable to keep the ball and when they did get into the final third it was their final ball that was letting them down. After the early disappointment of conceding, the Vixen’s defence held firm to ensure the home team went into the half time interval only trailing by one goal.
Bristol City came out in the second half much sharper with Frankie Brown pulling off a long shot that tested Hannah Hampton in the Birmingham goal.
The sparse home crowd were baffled by Oxtoby’s decision to substitute her number one striker, Ebony Salmon, on the hour mark. Although her replacement, Katie Robinson’s pace caused a lot of trouble for Birmingham’s defence.
Just as the Vixens looked like they might be getting back into this game they gave Birmingham an early Christmas present as Sophie Baggaley was unable to properly deal with Grant’s shot as it trickled inside the post to give the visitors a 2-0 lead on 65 minutes and that is how it would finish.
Another disappointing result and as Bristol City fan, my only comfort is that basement club Liverpool keep losing. With the transfer window is only a couple weeks away, if we are to remain a WSL team beyond this season then we desperately need strengthening in at least the midfield and striker areas.
Our wait for our first league win will now go to at least 322 days when we have our next opportunity against West Ham next Sunday.
Bristol City: Baggaley (GK), Evans, Matthews, Brown (c), Pattinson (Dykes, 76), Salmon (Robinson, 56), Daniels, Wellings, Sargeant, Wilson, Chance.
Subs: Cumings (GK), Van Der Linden, Collis
Birmingham City: Hampton (GK), Scott, Arthur, Williams, Grant (Gregory, 90+3), Jordan, Whipp, Walker (Scofield, 79), Holloway, Simkin, Stainforth (c).
Subs: Brooks, Powell.