Lincoln Ladies’ FA Cup journey came to a disappointing and premature end, as a far superior Bristol Academy side dismantled them at Ashton Gate.
Wins against Chelsea and Leeds, earned Lincoln a deserved place in the semi final but, despite a battling performance, the Lady Imps was found wanting.
Neither side were able to break the deadlock in the first half but Lincoln Ladies goalkeeper Karen Bardsley was called into action, with most of the danger coming from Bristol corners. The best chance came when Bardsley flapped at a corner, forcing Sophie Bradley to clear the ball off the line.
Lincoln simply couldn’t get hold of the ball, with the only positive outlets coming from Precious Hamilton and Jess Clarke on the wings.
Hamilton especially looked dangerous, but took a nasty whack on her leg midway through the half, which she never really recovered from. However, that was mild in comparison to the terrible injury to Bristol striker Ann-Marie Heatherson, who was stretched off the pitch with a suspected broken leg.
Due to the sickening injury to Heatherson, the referee added seven minutes stoppage time to the end of the first half. The ref drew the half to an end. A half, which the Lady Imps would have been delighted with to go in level.
Lincoln came out invigorated in the second half and, for 15 minutes at least, the Lady Imps were looking like the most likely to score. Nevertheless, that control was quickly destroyed by Bristol’s opener as Spanish international Natalia Pablos Sanchon’s shot wrong-footed Bardsley to slide into the net after 60 minutes.
That goal decimated Lincoln’s confidence as they were unable to regain any control over the game, and it wasn’t long until Bristol doubled their lead with a goal from another Spaniard, Laura Del Rio.
That goal ended the game as a contest, with Lincoln struggling to make inroads into the Bristol defence.
The referee blew the final whistle and brought an end to Lincoln’s miserable afternoon, where fans and players alike agreed that Bristol were just by far the better side.
Lincoln Ladies’ next game is against Arsenal on May 2nd, 2013 at The 12th Imp Sincil Bank Stadium.
Karen Bardsley – 7
Strong performance in goal. Kept the score line modest.
Sophie Bradley – 6
Made an important goal line clearance but was bewitched by Bristol’s Spanish duo.
Casey Stoney – 5
Struggled against Bristol’s fast paced attackers.
Meg Harris – 5
Made no real impact on the game.
Precious Hamilton – 6
Looked dangerous till that knock on her leg.
Remi Allen – 5
Jess Clarke – 7
Looked a danger. Lincoln’s best player in quality.
Martha Harris – 7
The Linc Sport Player of The Match. Strong all game.
Emily Roberts – 5
Carla Cantrall – 4
Simply didn’t do enough as the lone striker.
Bonnie Horwood – 5