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Yeovil Town 1 Bristol City 2
Bristol City took the spoils in a keenly contested West Country FAWSL derby with two goals from Lucy Graham at Dorchester Town FC's Avenue Stadium.
Amber Gaylor cancelled out Graham's first within a minute but City fashioned a winner with about twenty minutes remaining and, although Yeovil had a goal ruled out with the scores level, the Vixens had decent chances to seal victory either side of Graham's far post headed winner.
Julie Biesmans sent an early free kick wide for City and an Ella Rutherford cross caused confusion in the Yeovil defence before Nicola Cousins hooked a Heather Payne effort clear from close to the line. The same left side route provided the opening goal on 32 minutes, Poppy Pattinson cutting the ball back across the area for Graham to hit a crisp first time shot high beyond Megan Walsh from 15 yards.
Yeovil struck back almost immediately when Amber Gaylor found space on the left edge of the area and hit a perfectly placed low shot beyond Sophie Baggaley for the Glovers' first goal at their new home.
There had been little to choose between the teams in a tight first half lit up by two fine finishes but the match took off early in the second period.
Julia Kemppi missed a good chance for the visitors as did Rutherford by firing wide after intercepting a back pass on 49 minutes then Yeovil celebrations were cut short by an offside flag when former Vixens striker Olivia Fergusson headed home after a free kick was nodded on after an hour.
Baggaley nearly provided an assist with a long clearance down the middle but City substitute Rosella Ayane sent a shot over the bar after beating the defence.
The winner on 72 minutes came from a fine lofted cross by Loren Dykes from a tight angle on the right, the ball flying beyond keeper Walsh for Graham to head home via an upright.
Hannah Short met a Megan Alexander corner with a header over the bar but, in truth, that was the nearest Yeovil came to a second leveller. Graham fired over a good chance for a hat-trick but City saw out the lengthy additional time with ease to record a precious derby win.
Whilst there was more frustration for Yeovil on the pitch, a crowd of 583 containing many enthusiastic young supporters from local clubs attending the pre-match festival created a fine derby day atmosphere.
Megan Walsh, Amy Goddard, Megan Alexander, Nicola Cousins, Hannah Short, Olivia Fergusson, Ann Marie Heatherson, Amber Gaylor, Ellie Mason, Georgia Evans, Shannon Albuery. Subs: Emily Donovan, Charlotte Buxton, Leah Burridge, Libby Piggott, Beth Howard.
Sophie Baggaley, Loren Dykes, Gemma Evans, Frankie Brown, Poppy Pattinson, Carla Humphrey, Juliette Kemppi, Ella Rutherford, Lucy Graham, Heather Payne, Julie Biesmans. Subs: Alicia Johnson, Danique Kerkdijk, Katie Rood, Poppy Wilson, Aimee Watson, Katie Robinson.
(Report by Patrick Higgins)
Photos by www.jamesprickett.co.uk:
(top) Lucy Graham heads the winning goal for Bristol City
(middle) Carla Humphrey gets past Ann Marie Heatherson
(bottom) Nicola Cousins is challenged by Rosella Ayane
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