Bristol City Women came from behind to draw 2-2 against Aston Villa on Saturday afternoon in the FA Women’s Super League.
With survival on the line and pressure mounting for the two teams at the bottom of the WSL table, there was plenty to play for as Villa welcomed the Robins to the Banks’s Stadium.
Marcus Bignot’s side started brightly and took a two goal lead into the break, but two late goals from the visitors meant the points were shared at the final whistle.
The Villans were lively from the kick-off and early pressure paid off as Shania Hayles headed a cross into the six yard box on three minutes.
A scramble infront of goal saw Sophie Baggaley get a hand to the ball, but it was turned in off a Bristol City defender to give Villa a much-needed early lead.
Despite Matt Beard’s side then pushing to get back into the game, Villa remained a constant threat going forward.
25 minutes in, Olivia McLoughlin sent a fantastic delivery into the box that Chloe Arthur headed inches wide.
10 minutes later, the Villa camp erupted into cheers once again as they extended their lead.
A short corner was sent back to Elisha N’Dow who whipped a cross into the box that was headed in by Natalie Haigh.
The hosts were in complete control as the whistle blew for half-time, but with so much at stake, it was never going to be straightforward.
What a move! @NatHaigh6 finishes off a well worked corner routine!#BarclaysFAWSL pic.twitter.com/9PQ3aySHK1— Barclays FA Women's Super League (@BarclaysFAWSL) April 24, 2021
Once the second half kicked off, Villa saw far less possession as the visitors pushed further up the pitch in search of a lifeline.
After a positive start that saw a flurry of opportunities for Bignot’s side and a handful of opportunities to extend their lead, City were the ones that took control of the game.
Beard’s substitutes proved to be impactful as Faye Bryson took to the field with 72 minutes gone.
Just minutes after coming on, the 23-year-old fired the ball into the top corner on the half-volley to get the Robins back into the game.
This led to a tense end to a dramatic 90 minutes in Birmingham and with six minutes added time, Villa were all but holding on in the closing stages.
Ebony Salmon won a free-kick for the visitors deep into stoppage time and substitute Ella Mastrantonio’s resulting effort was turned into the back of the net.
What an impact! @FayeBryson scores with her first touch of the game!#BarclaysFAWSL pic.twitter.com/UkD2Jzb962— Barclays FA Women's Super League (@BarclaysFAWSL) April 24, 2021
With little time to respond, the points were shared and both sides now sit on 12 points as we enter the final few weeks of the season.
Villa sit above their rivals on goal difference, but do have a game in hand, which is set to be played midweek against Birmingham City before they welcome West Ham to Villa Park next Sunday.
Bristol City host Manchester United next weekend and on the final day, they travel to the south coast to face Brighton, whilst the Villans are away to Arsenal.