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Match Reports

SCINTILLATING CITY VICTORIOUS OVER SPENNYMOOR

16 February 2024

Match Reports

SCINTILLATING CITY VICTORIOUS OVER SPENNYMOOR

16 February 2024

Bradford City Women produced a stellar performance last Sunday to overcome Spennymoor Town Ladies 3-1 and leapfrog their opponents into fourth place.

Hosting a team that had only lost three matches all season, winning nine, the Bantams needed to replicate the form that had seen them win three of their previous four matches (3W, 1D) to ensure victory.

After surviving an initial onslaught in which Spennymoor took an early lead, goals from Aaliyah Nolan, Mia Jacobs, and Kanisha Underdown saw City claim all three points.

Despite Sunday’s weather conditions at the Horsfall Community Stadium being much calmer than anything experienced at City’s recent trips to the North East, the nature of the first 10 minutes was anything but.

As early as the fourth minute, City ‘keeper Laura Wilson was forced into a great save after Underdown was dispossessed just outside of her own box, allowing Spennymoor forward Abigail Cottam to break through and take a shot on goal.

A series of corners for the away side littered the early stages of the match, until Spennymoor found what felt like an inevitable opening goal.

Aaliyah Nolan produced some great footwork to charge down City’s left, before being hacked down for what looked like a free-kick to the hosts. However, the referee thought otherwise and awarded it the other way.

Taking it quickly, Spennymoor centre-half Alex Saunders launched the ball the length of the pitch, with forward Caitlin Bates quicker to react than any home player, controlling the ball as it bounced in the box and dinking it over Wilson.

City needed a reaction, and they found it through the trickery and pace of forwards Nolan and Jacobs, just seven minutes after going a goal down.

Captain Monika Stube was leading the press for her side, giving little time or space to Spennymoor’s midfielders whenever the ball went up in the air. Jacobs duly noted her skipper’s efforts, dispossessing Saunders as she tried to play the ball out from the back.

Suddenly, the forward was through on the right-hand side, squaring to the unmarked Nolan in the middle for her eighth goal of the season.

It was Spennymoor’s turn to show a reaction, and were it not for the heroics of Wilson, City might have found themselves behind again.

Having won a throw-in in the home side’s half, Cottam picked up the ball and curled a delightful cross into City’s box that Autumn Colledge met with a diving header, only to be kept out at point-blank range by Wilson.

City managed to keep Spennymoor at bay for long enough that, with just over 20 minutes gone, they found their second of the match.

The ever-reliable Underdown played a glorious ball down the left-channel for full-back Ellie Prothero to attack. She met the cross first-time and while Nolan was unable to connect with the ball in the middle, Jacobs was at the back post to bundle it home, adding to her assist earlier in the match.

The first half culminated in City dominating most of the ball without creating many more clear-cut chances, and preventing Spennymoor from scoring thanks to confident goalkeeping from Wilson at corners.

While the first half was a platform for City’s forwards to shine, the second half demonstrated the blossoming partnership of centre-halves Sharone Buckle and Dani Trickett.

Within 10 minutes of the restart, Trickett headed away two Spennymoor free-kicks from danger, while Buckle demonstrated composure to evade the challenges of three Spennymoor forwards whilst being pressed inside her own half.

This defensive solidity created a platform to allow City to grab their third goal on the hour mark.

Jacobs and Nolan combined again, the former slicing through Spennymoor’s defence with a ball that Nolan reached just before the onrushing Sophie Miller in Spennymoor’s net, leading to a stonewall penalty.

Underdown stepped up to take, and duly dispatched it into the bottom-left corner to make it 3-1 to City.

With the victory seemingly secured, City played the rest of the match with confidence. Nolan was rested and replaced by Summer Paley in the 70th minute, having combined devastatingly with Jacobs all match.

Trickett was nearly caught out with 10 minutes left, playing a loose ball too short just outside her box that Spennymoor tried to capitalise on, but the defender recovered well and cleared from danger again.

The only drawback of an otherwise convincing win was the withdrawal of Stube in the final minute, having suffered an off-the-ball head injury. Thankfully, the substitution was a precaution rather than a necessity.

The win takes City to 26 points, five points off leaders Barnsley having played a game more.

CITY: Dani Trickett, Charlie Ramsden, Sharone Buckle, Hannah Markey, Kanisha Underdown, Aaliyah Nolan, Monika Stube (C), Mia Jacobs, Laura Wilson, Ellie Prothero, Maria McKenna. SUBS: Tiffany Whelan, Jade Foster, Hollie Barraclough, Summer Paley, Matilda Fernie.

SPENNYMOOR: Sophie Miller, Hannah Knox, Coral Colledge, Alex Saunders, Bethany Engiuta, Shannon Reed, Katy Hemmingway, Autumn Colledge, Neve Jackson, Caitlin Bates, Abigail Cottam. SUBS: Drew Seymour, Lily-Mae Jackson, Holly Middleton, Rebecca Drinkald, Courtney Mole.


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