Bristol City 0-1 Tottenham: Beth England nets first WSL goal of the season as Robins’ fate hangs in the balance

Bristol City remain six points adrift of Barclays Women’s Super League safety after a slender 0-1 defeat at Ashton Gate on Sunday. 5,262 fans made their way to BS3 on Women’s Football Weekend, with Lauren Smith’s side facing off against first-time Adobe Women’s FA Cup semifinalists Tottenham.

The Lilywhites roared into an early lead as Beth England netted her first league goal of the season, and were unlucky not to extend their advantage throughout the match against a side that looks destined for the drop.

As it happened

Grace Clinton has written her name in lights since the very beginning of her loan spell with Tottenham, and as she returned to her former hunting ground, the midfielder took less than two minutes to have a marked impact.

Her searching ball for Beth England was collected beautifully by the forward, who danced infield before squeezing a composed effort past Fran Bentley at the near post.

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Robert Vilahamn’s Tottenham should have extended their lead before the break through Celin Bizet, with the Norwegian twice coming close to finding the back of the net but twice missing out by the finest of margins.

The visitors’ dominance continued into the second half, with Fran Bentley kept busy and notably forced to push Drew Spence’s effort over the crossbar before watching with relief as Wang Shuang struck the woodwork from a corner.

Bristol City remain rooted to the bottom of the Barclays Women’s Super League table and have just five games left to overcome a five-point deficit. As for Tottenham, they remain sixth – but three points in BS3 are enough to halve the gap to Manchester United.

Robins boss Lauren Smith told post-match that ‘the team will be frustrated by that [the early goal] because you can see how we’ve grown into the game [and] we’ve nullified them.’

Reflecting on a slender victory, Robert Vilahamn told SPURSPLAY that ‘if you look at its performance-wise, then we played some lovely football and got a clean sheet. Obviously, we want to score more goals, but it’s still a very good game.’

The lineups

BCI: Bentley; Morgan, Struck, Connolly, Aspin, Powell; Harrison, Syme, Rodgers, Hayles; Thestrup

TOT: Spencer; Nildén, Bühler, James-Turner, Neville; Clinton, Spence, Summanen; Bizet, England, Naz