Manchester City Women were left frustrated after their first home match of the new season ended in stalemate.
The blues won their opening fixture 2-0 at Villa Park last weekend, but a resolute Brighton defence and some excellent keeping by Megan Walsh in the Brighton goal kept the blues at bay.
Manager Gareth Taylor gave a second debut to the returning Lucy Bronze and Alex Greenwood, while England striker Ellen White played alongside Chloe Kelly for the first time this season. The blues needed the win to keep pace with Arsenal, who put eight past West Ham on Saturday, and Chelsea, who went one better by putting nine past Bristol City, and the blues almost got off to the perfect start when Sam Mewis threaded a ball through for White, and Walsh had to be quick off her line to clear the danger.
Walsh was again called into action when she tipped a Steph Houghton free kick around the post and denying Kelly her first goal in a sky blue shirt. Walsh was in fine form and the only blip in her performance came when she allowed Georgia Stanway’s cross to slip from her hands, before gratefully retrieving the ball before it crossed the line.
However, after laying siege to Brighton’s goal, the blues went in 0-0 at half time and the fans watching on City+ must have thought it will be just one of those days.
The blues started the second half much in the same vein, with White sliding the ball agonisingly wide from Laura Coombs pass. The excellent Kelly was denied again by Walsh after creating some space for herself and unleashing her shot, but the keeper was equal to it.
Such was City’s dominance that the visitors didn’t muster a shot on goal until the 54th minute. Golden Glove winner Ellie Roebuck had her hands stung by Maya Le Tissier’s 20-yard shot and a dangerous free kick on the edge of the City box thankfully went wide with Roebuck at full stretch.
With time running out, Stanway had a chance to win it, but her shot flashed wide of Walsh’s goal. That proved to be the final chance of the game, and while not too many conclusions can be drawn after just two games, City will need to be more clinical up front in the coming months if they are to claim the WSL title again.
Final Score: Man City Women 0-0 Brighton and Hove Albion Women