Bristol City 1-2 West Ham: Robins defeated in relegation six-pointer at Ashton Gate

With both Bristol City and West Ham having recorded just five points each from their opening 11 outings in the 2023/24 Barclays Women’s Super League, Sunday’s clash at Ashton Gate was billed as a relegation six-pointer.

BCI: Yañez; Napier, Connolly, Struck, Murray, Powell; Harrison, Jones, Rodgers, Ward; Thestrup

WHU: Arnold; Smith, Zadorsky, Tysiak, Shimizu; Ziu, Gorry, Hayashi; Asseyi, Ueki, Harries

Having bolstered her squad with a number of high-profile additions throughout the January transfer window, it was Rehanne Skinner’s West Ham United that seized the lead after 13 minutes of action in BS3. A precise, low effort from Honaka Hayashi nestled past Shae Yañez, handing the Hammers the upper hand in the table.

Viviane Asseyi could have doubled that tally as she picked out the back of the net with a superb volleyed effort from distance, only for the goal to be chalked off for a foul in the build-up.

Shelina Zadorsky thought she had found the elusive second goal just minutes into the second half, powering home from close range on her debut – but the assistant referee’s flag was promptly raised.

That would pave the way for Bristol City to draw themselves level, counterattacking rapidly from the free-kick as Ffion Morgan darted down the right flank. Her cross for Amalie Thestrup was met beautifully by the forward, levelling both the match and the relegation battle.

But the Hammers would fight back and ultimately prevail on Sunday afternoon, with Asseyi making amends for her earlier disallowed goal as she slotted the ball through the legs of Yañez just ten minutes after the restart.

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West Ham United move three points clear of the drop zone ahead of their next league outing against Arsenal on February 4. Bristol City travel to fellow strugglers Aston Villa the day prior.