WC: Bristol City v Charlton Athletic
Bristol City were crowned Champions and are promoted to the Super League in front of a 7000 strong crowd at Ashton Gate
Bristol City FC Women
24 April 2023
Bristol City won the 2022/23 Women’s Championship title and promotion to the Women’s Super League with a 4-0 victory over Charlton Athletic at Ashton Gate on Sunday afternoon. The Robins goals came from Grace Clinton, Abi Harrison, Brooke Aspin and Ffion Morgan. All this happened in front of a record attendance for a Bristol City home game of 7,045.
After Birmingham’s 2-1 win over Durham earlier in the day, Bristol City knew that only a win would make them champions in this match otherwise it would go to a decider against the Blues next weekend. The home side started well with Rachel Furness and Shania Hayles having chances in the opening ten minutes but none tested Charlton’s goalkeeper Sian Rogers.
Freda Ayisi had Charlton’s first opportunity but shot wide. Back at the other end, Cliton played a great ball through to Harrison who shot straight at Rogers.
Clinton tracked back to stop Emma Follis as she attacked before the Manchester United loanee opened the scoring in the 25th minute. After winning the ball off Kiera Skeels on the edge of the area, the 20-year-old shot low into the corner of the net.
Jodie Hutton put in a dangerous cross but it was just out of reach of the Robin’s attackers and was caught by Rogers. Charlton did have a few opportunities of their own late in the first half which came to nothing. The home side were almost causing themselves problems by getting a bit sloppy in defence.
Hayles had the final chances of the first period for the Robins with Furness sending in a good cross from the left which was headed into the keepers hands. She was then unable to control a cross and the ball was smothered by Rogers during the 2 minutes of stoppage time. These turned out to be Hayles’ last bits of action in the game as she was replaced by Morgan in one of the attacking positions at half time.
Two minutes into the second half, Bristol City made it 2-0. Harrison, who was making her 100th appearance for the club, sent in an inswinging corner from the left that went straight into the net despite Rogers efforts to keep it out.
In the 53rd minute, Charlton had their best chance of the game but Fran Bentley made a fantastic save to keep out Mel Johnson’s close-range effort. Ayisi saw an effort blocked before Mia Ross shot wide as the visitors looked to get back into the game.
Furness was spraying some long balls into wide positions for the hosts as they went looking for a third goal. They did make it 3-0 in the 80th minute when Aspin, who had been ill in hospital earlier in the season, headed in a corner to score her first senior goal for the club.
Morgan shot over in the 86th minute as City went looking for more goals. The Welsh international did find the net two minutes later with a stunning effort from just outside the area to make it 4-0.
After four minutes of added time, Lauren Smith’s side and the Robins fans could celebrate winning the league and promotion back to the WSL after two seasons away. Bristol City then picked the Championship trophy up in front of their supporters.
Both sides have one match remaining in the league on Sunday with the Robins visiting Birmingham whilst Charlton are at home to Crystal Palace.
Bristol City (3-4-3): Bentley (c), Bruce, Aspin, Layzell, Hutton (Mustaki 68’), Furness, Syme (Teisar 85’), Powell (J. Bull 85’), Hayles (Morgan 45’), Clinton (Palmer 75’), Harrison
Unused substitutes: Clark, C. Bull, Pearse, Woolley
Goal – Clinton 25’, Harrison 47’, Aspin 80’, Morgan 88’
Booked – Harrison, Syme
Charlton Athletic (4-3-3): Rogers, O’Rourke, N’Dow, Skeels, Henson, Ross, Simpkins (c) (Bamsford 78’), Follis (Hennessy 86’), Ayisi (Iogau 78’), Johnson, Addison (Roche 86’)
Unused substitutes: Gray, Soper, Bell
Booked – O’Rourke, N’Dow, Rogers
Referee – Melissa Burgin
Attendance - 7,045