The Blues produced an outstanding performance against Hope Powell’s Brighton with the moment of the match being the three passes that lead to Georgia Stanway completing her hat trick. Nick Cushing’s side picked up three points in Crawley to move above Birmingham in the FA WSL table; sitting second after the weekend’s events.
Brighton started early with the hosts capitalizing on a free kick that they were awarded after less than a minute; Jill Scott the culprit bringing down Aileen Whelan. Captain Dani Buet stepped up to take and the defender whipped the ball in, Ellie Roebuck making a comfortable save and her first touch of the game.
Caroline Weir and Esme Morgan made a good partnership down the left, the Scottish midfielder making a good overlapping run for the youngster to play her through. Morgan then got involved seconds later when her pass to Keira Walsh ended up at Nikita Parris, the forward attempting to play through Georgia Stanway, but the ball was collected by former Blue Marie Hourihan in the Brighton goal.
The home side used the pace of both Ellie Brazil, returning from a spell in Italy with Fiorentina and Welsh international Kayleigh Green, in an attempt to outrun the City defence but Green found her way blocked by Steph Houghton before teeing it back to Kirsty Barton who sent a shot over the bar.
Brighton were awarded a free kick and corner in quick succession with Chloe Peplow stepping up to take both, the free kick running out and giving way to the corner after Morgan got the last touch. Gemma Bonner got her head to the ball from the set piece, Scott clearing up the pitch to Stanway, with the youngster going up against Amanda Nilden; going out for a Brighton throw in.
Jill Scott dragged her shot wide after a spell of Brighton possession before Houghton played a long ball over the top, playing in Stanway who lost out to Hourihan as she got a touch on the ball sending it out to Barton. The defender slipped as Caroline Weir won back possession, sending a cross back into the area forcing a brilliant save from Hourihan.
The Blues won themselves a corner shortly after and Weir stepped up, choosing to opt for the short option to Parris, Keira Walsh picking the ball up and sending in a low cross; Houghton heading over.
City continued to pile on the pressure as Walsh sent a beautiful ball over to Bonner on the right, the defender playing through Nikita who had her shot blocked and cleared. The visitors took their time playing the ball around on the edge of the box, Parris sending a ball through for Weir, which was saved by Hourihan.
Walsh had her shot from range go over the bar before the Blues went ahead through Georgia Stanway. Tessa Wullaert collected the ball from Parris and played a beautiful ball between Nilden and Williams, both defenders unable to catch Stanway as she latched onto the ball and put her shot past the keeper. Georgia nearly bagged herself a second within a minute after Houghton played a through ball for Parris, the forward playing a nice section of passing with Bonner. The ball ended up at Keira who sent a cross over the top for Stanway, the youngster making the run however the keeper came out to collect.
Caroline Weir stepped up to a corner around the 30 minute mark, the ball finding Gemma Bonner but the defender’s header ended up going over the bar.
With five minutes to go, Brighton wanted an equaliser and they nearly had one when Chloe Peplow dispossessed her England teammate Stanway, the midfielder finding the captain who sent a ball over the top to a waiting Ellie Brazil on the left wing. Brazil beat Esme Morgan and managed to get a cross into the box, Jen Beattie heading away before Kayleigh Green teed up Peplow who dragged her shot wide.
Stanway won the Blues a corner after her attempt on goal was put out, Weir sending the ball in with former Sunderland player Victoria Williams heading clear to Brazil who’s run was cut out by Morgan.
A bad clearance from Hourihan saw the ball land on Wullaert’s head, Jill Scott picking it up and playing through Nikita Parris, the forward sending the ball into the area for the oncoming Caroline Weir, the Scot striking the cross into the bottom left corner.
2-0 down at half time, Brighton made a substitution and brought on former Oxford striker Ini Umotong in place of Jenna Legg.
The hosts started brightly with Ellie Brazil sprinting down the wing, beating Morgan to send a cross in; Houghton clearing and Ellie Roebuck collecting. Jen Beattie made a great tackle on Umotong, the ball falling to Nilden and then Peplow who sent her shot well over.
Wullaert won the visitors a free kick and Stanway sent the ball in, the Belgian collecting the ball but her shot was blocked.
A few minutes later, Stanway won a free kick and instead of sending it in first time, she sent the ball slightly wide to Weir who sent it in with Williams clearing away. From the resulting throw in, the ball found its way to Ellie Roebuck who collected before playing it out Jen Beattie, Ellie Brazil dispossessing the defender and then beating her to take a shot; Roebuck stopping it with her feet.
Brazil collected the ball once again and her cross was met by Umotong, the forward’s looping header cleared off the line by Steph Houghton.
Following a Brighton free kick, Jill Scott cleared the ball out to Tessa Wullaert who used her pace to win back possession from Amanda Nilden. The home side then took back the ball before Kirsty Barton launched the ball over the top, Houghton cushioning the cross with a header down to Scott who found Georgia Stanway on the right.
The forward ran down the wing, reaching the edge of the box before unleashing a powerful shot with her right foot into the bottom right corner.
Five minutes later, Stanway struck again after three passes that started with goalkeeper Roebuck, the young keeper playing the ball out to Steph who launched a ball over the top, switching play to Caroline Weir on the left wing. The Scot spotted the run of Georgia and laid it off to the nineteen year old who cut inside and sent another long range shot along the floor and into the back of the net; completing her hat trick.
A Brighton corner not long after City’s substitution saw Dani Buet send a ball over everyone which was collected by Ellie Brazil on the far side, her cross back in falling to Northern Ireland international Laura Rafferty; Nikita Parris holding her up to win City a free kick.
Ellie Roebuck calmly sent the ball out to Steph Houghton under pressure from Aileen Whelan, the ball finding it’s way to Esme Morgan and then Parris; her shot going wide.
Georgia Stanway played her fellow forward through, Parris going up against Rafferty and Williams, Rafferty clearing the ball and bringing it away. Her pass was cut out by Stanway, who lay off the ball to Emslie. The ball fell to Weir from Stanway as she was under pressure from sub Jodie Brett, Weir cutting back to her fellow Scot who attempted a run before cutting back to the edge of the box and whipping in a beautiful curling ball that landed directly on Parris’s head and into the net.
The Blues then rounded off a brilliant game with a 6th goal coming from Emslie, the Scottish forward capitalizing on a loose ball after Nikita fell over Hourihan who had come to claim, striking it with her right foot into the top right of the net.
Speaking to mancity.com after the game, hat trick heroine Georgia Stanway said this on both her and the team’s performance: “We had a lot of the ball and created a lot of chances and I think when you get more and more into the game, you get more and more confident and you’re more willing to have a go. I think that’s what we did today, and that showed even more in the latter stages”.
“I’m really happy with the hat trick but like I say, it’s a team performance. Probably the first goal was my favourite because it put us in good stead.”
“We started well, so to get that first goal which escalated to six was really good. I’ve done my job as has everybody else and we’ll take this into Friday’s game against Reading and we’ll see what we can do then”.
Man City Women are at home to Reading FC Women on Friday evening, kick off at 7pm. Tickets are available and season ticket holders have now received their season cards.
Brighton and Hove Albion Women:
Marie Hourihan, Dani Buet ©, Laura Rafferty, Aileen Whelan, Kirsty Barton, Amanda Nilden (Felicity Gibbons 73’), Chloe Peplow (Jodie Brett 85’), Jenna Legg, Kayleigh Green, Ellie Brazil and Victoria Williams
Subs (not used): Lucy Gillett, Fern Whelan, Kate Natkeil and Sophie Perry
Man City Women:
Ellie Roebuck, Gemma Bonner, Jen Beattie, Steph Houghton ©, Jill Scott (Claire Emslie 70’), Georgia Stanway, Esme Morgan, Nikita Parris, Caroline Weir, Keira Walsh and Tessa Wullaert
Subs (not used): Fran Stenson, Mel Lawley, Nadia Nadim, Janine Beckie, Jess Park and Abbie McManus
Goals: Stanway 20’, 63’ and 68’, Weir 43’, Parris 87’ and Emslie 90’
MCWFC OSC POTM: Georgia Stanway
Referee: Lucy Oliver