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Bristol City 3 (Ayane 29,52, Farrow 36) Yeovil Town 2 (Primus pen 54, Cousins 79)
Bristol City survived a second half fightback from Yeovil Town to clinch victory in the opening WSL 2 match of the season at Stoke Gifford.
The Vixens looked to be on their way towards a comfortable victory when they led by three goals but a never-say-die Yeovil side dragged themselves back into the game and almost snatched a point late on.
The opening half hour of the game was largely uneventful, littered with stray passes, with Steph Williams striking a shot from outside the area and Corinne Yorston winning a header from a free kick, both of which were comfortably saved.
The game exploded into life when Megan Alexander's pass released Millie Farrow down the left and the striker outpaced the Yeovil defence before cutting the ball back for Rosella Ayane to bundle home from close range.
Ayane had another attempt from distance which she dragged wide but moments later, she crossed into the area for Farrow who took one touch and held off Nicola Cousins before burying a low shot past Charlotte Haynes.
Sarah Wiltshire drove an angled shot wide at the other end but City ended the first half well on top with Jodie Brett commanding the midfield area while the pace of Ayane and Farrow was a constant threat.
City continued to control matters at the start of the second half and were soon three goals ahead when Ayane buried a powerful left foot shot into the far corner of the net, giving Haynes no chance.
Yeovil needed to make a response and it came just two minutes later. Cousins' low ball into the area was not held by Hannah Reid and after seizing on the loose ball, Wiltshire was brought down and penalty was awarded. Atlanta Primus duly drove her shot down the middle to give her side a glimmer of hope.
Suddenly Yeovil's tails were up and they began to look more dangerous going forward. A Helen Bleazard free kick into the area was not dealt with and Ann Marie Heatherson's snap shot was saved by Reid at her near post.
With eleven minutes remaining, Yeovil were right back in the game. Wiltshire did well on the left with some fancy footwork to find enough space to clip a pinpoint cross to the far post where an unmarked Cousins headed in from close range.
The pace of the game became even more frenetic during the final ten minutes and the comeback could well have been completed. Hannah Short planted an excellent pass over the City defence and into the path of Cousins who steadied herself but sent her shot past the post with only Reid to beat.
City were close to a fourth in injury time when a great run by Olivia Fergusson took her past three opponents and into the area but Haynes did well to advance and make a smothering save at her feet. The home side nervously saw out the remaining minutes to seal a winning start to the new season.
Bristol City: Hannah Reid, Loren Dykes, Megan Alexander (sub Tatiana Pinto 64mins), Jodie Brett, Grace McCatty, Corinne Yorston, Chloe Arthur, Hayley Ladd, Millie Farrow (sub Olivia Fergusson 79mins), Georgia Evans (sub Ellie Wilson 72mins), Rosella Ayane. Subs not used: Caitlin Leach, Paige Sawyer, Emma Tustin, Katie Jones.
Yeovil Town: Charlotte Haynes, Nicola Cousins, Kelly Snook (sub Lauren Townsend 55mins), Ellie Curson, Helen Bleazard, Hannah Short, Sarah Wiltshire, Steph Williams, Ann Marie Heatherson (sub Natasha Knapman 86mins), Atlanta Primus, Nadia Lawrence (sub Kayleigh Green 55mins). Subs not used: Emily Donovan, Charlotte Johnson, Kirsty Whitton, Sammy Quayle.
(top) Charlotte Haynes gathers with Nicola Cousins and Megan Alexander in close attendance
(middle) Rosella Ayane (partially hidden) scores the opening goal for Bristol City
(bottom) Charlotte Haynes makes a late save from Olivia Fergusson
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