Bristol Academy 2-0 Lincoln Ladies
The FA Women’s Cup
2pm, Sunday 28 April 2013
Manager Mark Sampson hailed the impact of Bristol Academy’s Spanish strike force as goals from Natalia Sanchon and Laura Del Rio booked the Vixens a place in The FA Women’s Cup Final for the second time in three years.
Del Rio set up her former international team-mate Sanchon for the opener on the hour, and then scored the second herself nine minutes from time to put the outcome of the Ashton Gate Semi-Final beyond doubt.
It was a deserved victory for the west country side, who had by far the better of the game – with Lincoln boss Rick Passmoor admitting his team failed to do themselves justice.
Bristol will now face Arsenal in the showpiece on May 26 in a repeat of the 2011 Final, which the Gunners won 2-0 at Coventry’s Ricoh Arena.
Sampson said: “I thought our opening goal was a bit scruffy, but the one thing Natalia can do is put the ball in the back of net.
“You might not see her for much of the game – but when she gets a chance, she normally puts it away. And her work-rate and willingness to fight for the team is tremendous.
“Laura’s finish was fantastic and I thought we thoroughly deserved the win. We could have scored more.
“That’s the third time in three seasons that we’ve reached the Semi-Finals and I’m just delighted that we’ve come through.
“I think this time we are much better equipped to give Arsenal a game in The Final than we were when we faced them two years ago.”
The only sour note for Bristol was seeing forward Ann-Marie Heatherson carried off on a stretcher with a suspected fractured leg in a first half which saw them create by far the better chances.
But their breakthrough didn’t arrive until the second half, when Sanchon’s shot from 12 yards wrong-footed England goalkeeper Karen Bardsley, rolling into the net off the Lincoln player’s legs.
They made the game safe in the closing stages when substitute Nikki Watts fed Del Rio, who let fly with a tremendous shot on the turn from the corner of the box which went in at Bardsley’s near post.
Lincoln created only a couple of half-chances early in the second half with Emily Roberts dragging a shot wide and Sophie Bradley’s looping header forcing Siobhan Chamberlain to make a scrambling save.
Passmoor admitted: “We never really got started and you have to say our performance was a disappointment.
“We needed nine or ten of our players to be winning their one-on-one battles, but there were only three or four who did that.
“I thought our younger players gave their all, but it was some of the more experienced ones who didn’t do themselves justice.
“The longer the game stayed at 0-0, I thought there might be a chance that we could eventually get a foothold in the game – but that never really happened.”
Chamberlain, Dykes, Rose, Matthews, Yorston, Harding, James, Staniforth, Heatherson (Watts 35), Del Rio (Curson 90), Sanchon (Windell 88)
Substitutes not used McCatty, Kyle.
Bardsley, Walton, Stoney, Bradley, Martha Harris, Clarke, Allen, Megan Harris, Roberts (Horwood 75), Hamilton, Cantrell
Substitutes not used Crosby, Kay.