BY TOM DEAN
It was goals galore at Hayes Lane as Bristol City extended their perfect start in the FA Women’s Continental League Cup with a 4-2 victory over Crystal Palace last night.
The Robins made it two wins from two in Group F with goals from Emma Bissell and a Chloe Logarzo double before the break.
Substitute Charlie Wellings gave City breathing space with a fourth before Bianca Baptiste grabbed a double of her own to narrow the deficit in the final reckoning.
After a slow start to the game the visitors burst into life on 15 minutes when Ebony Salmon whipped a dangerous cross into the box and Carla Humphrey lashed a shot on to the Palace crossbar.
Five minutes later Salmon did exactly the same but this time to devastating effect as Bissell arrived late at the back post to tuck home the opener from six yards.
From then on it was all Bristol City as Australians Ella Mastrantonio and Logarzo found their rhythm, the latter scoring from the penalty spot on 30 minutes after she was dragged down by Amy Goddard.
Salmon went close to a third with a cheeky backheel off the post before Logarzo capitalised on some more sloppy Palace defending to increase the lead before half-time and grab her second of the night.
Crystal Palace finally found a foothold in the game after the break but not before substitute Wellings rifled in the Robins’ fourth.
Substitute Baptiste then took matters into her own hands, and having picked the ball up on the halfway line, drove all the way into the City box and fired low under Sophie Baggaley for the goal of the night.
Two minutes later Baptiste had the ball in the net once more, this time poking home from close range after Kate Natkiel’s 30-yard effort crashed down off the crossbar and into her path.
But the visitors steadied the ship for the final 30 minutes as Palace’s search for a first home win of the season continues.
Palace midfielder Leeta Rutherford said: “We have been preparing for this game for a while and we always want to go far in this competition but our ambition has to be to pick up league points now.
“There were quite a few players out there who haven’t played for a long time – there’s a bit of rust there but it was good to see them getting minutes.
“We are conscious that we haven’t won at home and not having the fans here has made it tough.
“As a team the only thing we can do is keep on going and working hard. We showed that we can have force going forward in the second half and we won that second half so that is definitely a positive too.”
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