Bradford City Women vs Brighouse Town AFC Women

How did I spend a cold and windy Thursday night? Well of course I spent it at the West Yorkshire derby. It was actually quite a surprise to me that it was going ahead as the rain barely let up all day and as kick off approached it just got worse.  It was always going to be an interesting game as Brighouse's leading scorer recently left for Barnsley and City were coming in on the back of consecutive losses and are still without a manager so how was each team going to do? Surprisingly the conditions didn't exactly effect the game either although a few players from either side slipped a few times that was it not much else was effected by the rain or wind.

Throughout the game both teams were working the ball around well but Brighouse seemed to be quicker at making decisions and getting the ball away without pressure, whereas City seemed to take a little too long at times and by the time they had made a decision on who to get the ball to, the Brighouse players had already closed them down and either they won the ball back or they were under that much pressure they ended up making a sloppy pass. Even though this was the case City did seem the stronger side in the first 15 minutes or so but it didn't last much longer.

For both me and Liam though we believed City definitely looked stronger than they did at the Stockport game we went to recently. This was mainly down to the defence and midfield looking a lot stronger and coming together to stop Brighouse's chances. It just seems as though as much as City try get a goal their final 3rd is lacking and opportunities are getting wasted. Two of the City players who really stood out to me were Roberts and Norde, their attacking runs were brilliant and they managed to beat quite a few Brighouse players to put the team in some great positions but again that play in the final 3rd was lacking unfortunately.

It took until the 25th minute for Brighouse to break the deadlock and that came through a penalty converted by Cass. It seemed as though one of the City players slid in and the possible momentum of the wet surface lead her to take down the Brighouse player. It was an unfortunate one for City as they had played really well and didn't really deserve to go a goal down.

Both before and after the penalty both teams seemed to be taking their chances with long range efforts but to be honest only a few of them looked threatening. Throughout the 90 minutes Brighouse definitely had the most chances and the scoreline definitely reflected that.

Brighouse claimed their second goal in the 29th minute a bit of a snap shot around the City defence from Beresford went straight into the bottom corner although it did look as though it took a little bit of a deflection. A 3rd came just a few minutes later as Brighouse rocketed the ball into the top corner to make it 3-0. City did try to claw one back not long after as the ball was worked around the pitch well and a break that featured both White and Norse saw Norde's low driven shot saved by the Brighouse keeper. Maxted also tried to get in on the action as she hit a long range shot that looked to have had the keeper beaten but unfortunately the ball rattled off the cross bar and unfortunately bounced back into play.

City may have started off well but once Brighouse got the penalty the game seemed to shift and fell into Brighouse's rhythm as they seemed fired up and at half time the score was 3-0 to the home side, a score line that honestly represented how the first half went.

Not long after the restart City had another chance as Stube took another long range shot that looked promising but the Brighouse keeper pulled off a brilliant save and pushed the ball around the goal for a corner, although the Brighouse keeper didn't have much to do last night she did really well when actually called into action.

Throughout the 2nd half City made all 3 off their substitutes which saw White, Sales and Roberts taken off and respectively replaced by Sumaili, Prothero and Donna but unfortunately none of the replacements could really make an impact in the time they were given.

City keeper Routledge pulled off some absolutely fantastic saves throughout the game but unfortunately Brighouse did score a 4th, but to be completely honest I do believe that if City didn't have Routledge the score line could have been a lot worse as at time she was willing to put her body on the line when needed and saving some shots that could have very easily found themselves in the back of the net. 

Unfortunately though the 4th goal did come and confirmed Brighouse's win it was a nice finish but was quite questionable as there could have easily been ruled out as the ball seemed to strike a Brighouse players hand in the build up play, there were plenty of appeals from the City players but the goal stood. 

Roberts had one final chance before being substituted off when Sumaili was fouled on the edge of the box. Roberts stepped up to take the resulting free kick and although it looked good and beat the keeper it unfortunately beat the goal too and went over for a goal kick. I think the fact that was so close just summed up City's night, just being unable to find the back of the net.

City did play a lot better in the 2nd half but there were just no breakthrough for them and the game finished 4-0 to Brighouse which was a deserved win as they capitalised on the chances given and just looked an overall more organised side. Rob Mitchell their manager has done really well with picking his team and getting them working together I think they are going to do really well this season and are definitely league winner contenders. As for City fingers crossed when they bring in their new manager that manager can hopefully get the team to where they should be, winning games. Once they get better in that final 3rd I really do believe they could end up picking 3 points in their games as they have the defence and the threats already in place, it is just a case of making the most of what happens on the edge of the area. 

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