MCWFC: Five of the best games
- 13 March 2016 15:11
- Posted by @MPHenson
With less than seven days to go to the start of Manchester City Women's new season, we look back on some of the best games at the Academy Stadium…
City 3-1 Doncaster Belles, 22 March 2015
The first competitive game to be played at the Academy Stadium following the Club’s move there in December 2014, City progressed in the FA Women’s Cup with a 3-1 win against Doncaster.
After a busy summer of recruitment it was all eyes on the first competitive team sheet of the new year, and boss Nick Cushing opted to name four of his new signings in the starting XI.
Jennifer Beattie, Demi Stokes, Nikita Parris and Sarah Wiltshire were all included, while Toni Duggan was fit enough to be named on the bench. Jill Scott wore the captain’s armband in the absence of the injured Steph Houghton.
A debut brace for Parris and a stoppage time strike from Duggan on her return from injury were enough to see off the Belles, and secure a coveted place in the next round of the competition.
City 1-0 Birmingham City, 12 July 2015
England’s performance at the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada inspired many and that was clear to show in the numbers that were in attendance for the first game back at the Academy Stadium.
Birmingham were the opponents for the WSL clash and a record-breaking 2,102 vocal supporters turned out to welcome eight of the Lionesses squad, five of them City players.
Karen Bardsley, Houghton, Lucy Bronze, Scott and Duggan all started for the hosts, while Jade Moore captained the visitors and Karen Carney and Jo Potter emerged from the sidelines after the break.
And it was Duggan who secured the three points for City in the second half to move them up to fifth in the FAWSL 1 table.
City 5-0 Durham, 29 July 2015
City welcomed Durham on a warm night in Manchester for the second Continental Cup game and secured their highest victory in the competition to date in a 5-0 rout.
On a comfortable night at the Academy Stadium, Cushing's side produced a thoroughly dominant and professional display, peppering the visitors' goal with efforts as the away side struggled to venture out of their own half.
Braces from Krystle Johnston and Parris plus a goal from Izzy Christiansen secured the victory as the Blues continued their 100% record since the season restarted after the World Cup.
City 6-1 Bristol Academy, 27 September 2015
Cushing’s side notched their highest number of goals in a game on a sunny afternoon at the Academy Stadium back in September.
A brace from Christansen plus goals from Scott, Bronze, Parris and Georgia Stanway ensured the Blues leapfrogged Chelsea to the summit – before the Londoners regained top spot with victory at Liverpool later in the evening.
The win ensured that the title race would go down to the final game of the season at home to Notts County, as well as keeping up City’s post-World Cup unbeaten record.
City 2-1 Notts County, 4 October 2015
City set a new record attendance for one of their games at the Academy Stadium as a crowd of 3,180 were in attendance for the final game of the 2015 season.
The Blues and Chelsea were competing for the title and City came up just short, but Cushing’s side signed off the season in style with their ninth win in ten league matches to secure a place in the UEFA Women’s Champions League for the 2016 campaign.
Parris opened the scoring in front of a vocal crowd before Rachel Williams levelled the scores for the away side. Christiansen then added City’s second to restore the lead and it the scoreline remained the same until the final whistle was blown.
However, Chelsea’s win at home to Sunderland meant that City would end the season in second place, but there were plenty of positives heading into the next campaign.