Published by Sam Hardwell (@HardwellSam)
26th July 2015
Bristol Academy slipped to heavy defeat against Sunderland Ladies as Carlton Fairweather’s clinical side punished the Vixens’ mistakes in ruthless fashion.
CHRONOLOGICAL MATCH REPORT:
Willie Kirk made four adjustments following his sides 4-0 victory away to Aston Villa Ladies in the week, with Marije Brummel making her full league debut and top goal-scorer Jade Sayo returning to the XI. In contrast, Sunderland Ladies boss Carlton Fairweather made five changes to his sides midweek continental cup win (1-2) away to North-East rivals Durham.
In what was a quiet opening to the game, it was the Vixens who came closest to scoring early on. Caroline Weir, who scored a stunning 45-yard strike in the week, sent a free-kick inches wide of the right-hand post.
However, it was the Black Cats who found the opener courtesy of top goal-scorer Bethany Mead. The striker latching onto a through-ball from Stephanie Roche that seemed to confuse both Hayley Ladd and Marije Brummmel, as the pass somehow managed to find its way through the pair.
GOAL: BRISTOL ACADEMY 0 – 1 SUNDERLAND LADIES (Bethany Mead, 22 mins)
Following Meads’ goal, the Vixens looked for an immediate response and almost got it. When Jade Soya failed to control a Nadia Lawrence cross, it was Christie Murray who found her eventual shot blocked by a strong and resilient Sunderland defence.
Through most of the first-half, Sunderland’s Roche seemed to find time and space with regularity. Again, it was she who put through Mead via the right-wing, however, Mary Earps did well to block and the Vixens eventually cleared the danger.
The pendulum seemed to fall in the Vixens’ favour when ‘keeper Hilde Olsen scuffed her first-time clearance – Academy skipper Sophie Ingle picked out an unmarked Jade Soyo who took a touch before dispatching the ball into the back of the net with a composed right-foot finish.
GOAL: BRISTOL ACADEMY 1 – 1 SUNDERLAND LADIES (Jade Sayo, 39 mins)
Sunderland looked for an eager reply before the interval. Kelly McDougall twice trying her luck from range in the space of just three-minutes, but failed to hit the target on both occasions.
HALF-TIME: BRISTOL ACADEMY 1 – 1 SUNDERLAND LADIES
Much like the first-half, it was the Vixens who looked more likely to find the breakthrough from kick-off. Great link up play between Murray and Lawrence resulting in an instinctive first-time shot via Ingle, but again being struck by a green jersey.
When the Vixens failed to clear a Sunderland corner; captain Stephanie Bannon was in the right place at the right time to bundle the ball home. This despite the efforts of both Frankie Brown and Caroline Weir to block the initial effort in what was an almighty scramble on the line.
GOAL: BRISTOL ACADEMY 1 – 2 SUNDERLAND LADIES (Stephanie Bannon, 50 mins)
Just a minute later, the Vixens came agonisingly close to an equaliser – Sophie Ingle flicking her header just wide of Olsen’s right-hand post via the corner from the right.
Sunderland Ladies Substitution: Emma Kelly replaces Stephanie Roche (64 mins)
On her full league debut, Christie Murray looked to be a breath of fresh air for the Academy, operating just behind forward Jade Soya. It was Murray who hit the crossbar in the 66th minute after taking the ball in her stride 28-yards from goal. The ball eventually being tipped over after Ingle struck the ball just outside the box from a central position.
Sunderland Ladies Substitution: Sarah McFadden replaces Kelly McDougall (68 mins)
Bristol Academy Substitutions: Lauren Townsend replaces Loren Dykes, Angharad James replaces Nadia Lawrence, Tatiana Pinto replaces Frankie Brown (70 mins)
A triple substitution by Bristol Academy boss Willie Kirk almost paid dividend – midfielder Angharad James somehow scuttled her way down a crammed Sunderland byeline, almost forcing an own-goal from Black Cats defender Bannon who just managed to clear for a corner.
As time ticked away in the second half, the Vixens struggled to pressure the visitors’ goal – the Sunderland midfielders keeping control of the ball fairly comfortably. This proved as Earps flapped at a cross from the right by Kiera Ramshaw and substitute Emma Kelly tapped the ball into an unguarded net from 13-yards out.
GOAL: BRISTOL ACADEMY 1 – 3 SUNDERLAND LADIES (Emma Kelly 81 mins)
Just three-minutes later, a well crafted move by Sunderland ended any hopes of a Vixens revival. Ramshaw again picking out goal-scorer Emma Kelly who unselfishly squared the ball to Bathany Mead for her second of the game.
GOAL: BRISTOL ACADEMY 1 – 4 SUNDERLAND LADIES (Bethany Mead, 83 mins)
Despite the score-line, the Vixens were brave to commit players forward in search of a consolation. Substitute Tatiana Pinto did well to connect with her overhead kick, however, it was yet again a green jersey to frustrate a dejected Bristol Academy side.
Sunderland Ladies Substitution: Emma Wilson replaces Bethany Mead (91+1 mins)
FULL-TIME: BRISTOL ACADEMY 1 – 4 SUNDERLAND LADIES
Bristol Academy: Earps, Dykes (Townsend), Caroline Weir, Lawrence (James), Ladd, Murray, Sayo, Ingle (c), Brummel, Brown (Pinto), Evans.
Subs Not Used: Popadinova, Passariello, Reid, Short.
Sunderland A.F.C Ladies: Olsen, Holmes, Greenwell, Bannon (C), Williams, Furness, Chaplen, McDougall (McFadden), Ramshaw, Roche (Kelly), Mead (Wilson).
Subs Not Used: Laws, Sharp, Joice, McFadden.
Referee: Chris Smith
Assistants: Daniel Ghent & Benjamin Morris
4th Official: Jozsef Madaras
WOTM: Caroline Weir