Slow start for top side in Bristol

Top Bristol side Clifton Robinsons will be hoping to put their early-season England Women’s Premier League form behind them and get back to winning ways by the time they return to Coombe Dingle on Saturday.

Harriet Smith’s side were at fellow slow starters Canterbury yesterday seeking to erase memories of last Sunday’s 4-1 home defeat by University of Birmingham.

Clifton were already two down by the time international Joie Leigh scored a 32nd-minute goal from open play and even that joy was short-lived as two second-half goals from Lydia MacDonnell ensured Birmingham bagged all three points.

Bristol-born former Firebrands player, and Olympics gold-medal winning Great Britain international, Lily Owsley scored Birmingham’s second goal, converting a 27th-minute penalty corner, after Katelyn Aitchinson opened Birmingham’s account in the 17th minute.

On Saturday Clifton – who started the season brightly with a 2-0 home win over Leicester – host Bowdon Hightown at Coombe Dingle (1.00 pm).

A raft of big-name summer signings have boosted Bowdon’s hopes for the 2017-18 campaign, with GB and England stars Sam Quek and Kirsty Mackay having joined the club as well as Wales and Great Britain under-23 midfielder Julie Whiting.

But having won one, drawn one and lost one of their first three games, Bowdon are yet to find top gear.
Said Bowdon Hightown’s first-team manager Sam Leckey: “It has been a good start on the whole but we consider ourselves unlucky not to have more points given the chances we’ve created.

“We’ve had a good influx of players into the club at all levels, a bit of a Rio effect!

“We’ve picked up some great talent, especially at First XI level.

“We’re definitely targeting the play-offs. The last couple of seasons have been a bit difficult, but we think we’ve got enough talent to push for the top four.”

Clifton have made a habit of finishing in the top four in recent seasons.

This article first appeared in the Independent. To get the latest articles when they appear, buy the print edition every Sunday or subscribe to our online edition HERE.