Saturday 18 August 2012
Matt Beard could not direct his side to victory in his first Women's super League game in charge at the Stoke Gifford Stadium, as they slipped to a 1-0 defeat.
A goal from Laura del Rio proved enough to settle the tie, despite the valiant efforts of Liverpool Ladies keeper Nicky Davies.
Del Rio’s second half strike came as a rebound from a fine Davies save, but the keeper could do nothing to keep out the close range follow-up.
The goal was delivered with no great surprise, as the Vixens piled great pressure on the LLFC defence from the first whistle, with Jessica Fishlock firing a long range effort just over on the ten minute mark.
Nicky Davies’ outstanding performance began with a save low to her left from Nicki Watts’ effort just 12 minutes in. A barrage on the Liverpool goal then ensued, with Davies being forced into tipping another long range Fishlock effort round her post. From the resulting corner a handball from Nicky Harding resulted in a Bristol penalty.
Fishlock stepped up but again Davies denied her a place on the score sheet with a save down the middle to keep her side level.
Fishlock once more enforced her control on the match in the centre of midfield when a second distant effort was parried by Davies, only to land at the feet of oncoming Laura del Rio. Her shot however was kept out by the Red’s stopper who showed outstanding agility to close down the attacker and force the block.
The Academy onslaught continued right up until half time, with a mazy run from del Rio, who could only fire wide.
The second half was much more of the same, and after torrents of pressure del Rio finally found the net.
Davies’ woman of the match performance remained sturdy throughout the entirety of the game and the number one did fantastically to keep her side with any chance of a draw.
A late surge from the Reds ended with a corner, but Bristol cleared and relieved any pressure.
Final Score Bristol Academy 1 – 0 Liverpool Ladies.
By Mitch Francis.