Manchester City Women 6, Blackburn Rovers Ladies 0 (FA Women’s Continental Tyres League Cup
Mary Fowler and Julie Blakstad each scored a brace while Hayley Raso and Vicky Losada also chipped in as Manchester City eased their way past Blackburn Rovers Ladies to start their defence of the Women’s Continental Cup with a big win.
Only right back Kerstin Casparij retained her place in the side after Manchester City’s 3-0 WSL win at Spurs last weekend and Championship strugglers Blackburn Rovers Ladies didn’t present much of a challenge to City’s second string.
Gareth Taylor handed a debut to goalkeeper Sandy MacIver while Hayley Raso, Mary Fowler, Julie Blakstad, and Vicky Losada made their first starts of the season in a side filled with talent and experience including Demi Stokes, club captain Steph Houghton, Filippa Angeldahl, Esme Morgan, and Leila Ouhabi.
And with injuries to Ruby Mace and Alanna Kennedy forcing City boss Gareth Taylor to field Morgan in midfield with two left backs in defence the home side started on the front foot and kept Rovers pinned back for virtually the whole game.
The game was so easy for City in the end that Gareth Taylor could afford to hand debuts to each of the subs that came off the bench aside from Jemima Dahou.
City dominated without creating clear chances until Kerstin Kasparij found Hayley Raso who cut inside from the right and slotted past Alex Brooks after 16 minutes to open her account for the season.
Steph Houghton then had a 30 yard free kick saved by Brooks before Raso had a shot tipped onto the bar from the acutest of angles on the right while Casparij also hit the foot of the back post with a chance and Morgan and Blakstad also tested Brooks.
It took until the 39th minute for City to breach the Rovers defence again, when Filippa Angeldahl was brought down in the area.
Mary Fowler stepped up and found the bottom right corner with a precise spot kick – her first goal for City – after 40 minutes and less than 3 minutes later Vicky Losada’s header made it 3-0 as the Spanish midfielder opened her account for the season by meeting a Casperij cross from the right.
There were a host of changes for both sides at the break – Blackburn players Nicola Worthington and Lauren Thomas were replaced by Megan Hornby and Millie Chandarana.
And Casparij and Morgan were replaced by Annie Hutchings and Jemima Dahou.
Losada twice delivered good balls from the left but Fowler and Dahou could not capitalise.
And the one time that Blackburn broke free of the City press after an hour, Hornby and Ellie Leek were well marshalled by City players coming back with Raso winning a free kick to defuse the danger.
Saffron Jordan replaced Chloe Williams for the visitors and she was beaten to a through ball by MacIver who had a very quiet night.
Late goals pad deserved Manchester City result
Raso was by far the best player on the pitch on the night and could tried to set up Blakstad for a goal of her own but the Norway saw the ball bounce wide of the near post.
It was Fowler who scored her second goal of the night to put the result beyond doubt after 69 minutes with Losada getting the much deserved assist with a dinked through ball which split the deep lying Rovers defence.
Dahou and Raso saw shots blocked after Fowler unselfishly cut the ball back soon afterwards.
City made two more substitutions with 9 minutes to go – Grace Prior replaced Demi Stokes and Lois Marley-Paraskevas replaced Fowler.
And Rovers replaced their captain Natasha Fenton with Farah Crompton.
But the goals hadn’t finished for the night as Marley-Paraskevas delivered a fine cross from the right which Blakstad finished with aplomb from close range.
And she followed that up with a second within 2 minutes with help from Raso after Crompton had Blackburn’s only shot on target in the game saved by MacIver.
The job was done and Losada got a deserved break – replaced by Emma Siddal who had a shot blocked in added time.
GOALS – Manchester City Women 6, Blackburn Rovers Ladies 0 (FA Women’s Continental Tyres League Cup
Man City Women 1, Blackburn Rovers Ladies 0: 16. Hayley Rasos change of pace caught Blackburn by surprise as she cut in from the right and opened the scoring past Alex Brooks.
Man City Women 2, Blackburn Rovers Ladies 0: 40. Mary Fowler stepped up and found the bottom right corner with a precise spot kick after Filippa Angeldahl was brought down in the box.
Man City Women 3, Blackburn Rovers Ladies 0: 43. Vicky Losada headed home City’s third after meeting a Kerstin Casperij cross from the right.
Man City Women 4, Blackburn Rovers Ladies 0: 69. Mary Fowler finished off Vicky Losada’s dinked through ball behind the Rovers defence.
Man City Women 5, Blackburn Rovers Ladies 0: 85. Julie Blakstad got on the scoresheet with a fine finish after Lois Marley-Paraskevas served up a great cross from the right which found the Norwegian clean through.
Man City Women 6, Blackburn Rovers Ladies 0: 87. Julie Blakstad bagged her second in 2 minutes from close range with help from Hayley Raso.
MATCH STATS – Manchester City Women 5, Blackburn Rovers Ladies 0 (FA Women’s Continental Tyres League Cup
Man City Women: MacIver, Casparij (Hutchings 46), Houghton (C), Stokes (Prior 81), Ouhabi, Morgan (Dahou 46), Angeldahl, Losada (Siddal 87), Raso, Fowler (Marley-Paraskevas 81), Blakstad
Man City Women Subs not used: Keating, Ramsden
Goals: Raso 16; Fowler pen 40, 69; Losada 43; Blakstad 85, 87
Blackburn Rovers Ladies: Brooks, Dixon, Fenton (C) (Crompton 84), Seed, McDonald, Leek (Nokuthula 90+1), Smith, Williams (Jordan 63), Thomas (Hornby 46), Murphy, Worthington (Chandarana 46)
Blackburn Rovers Ladies Subs not used: Salgado, Coan, Richards
Booking: Worthington 22 (foul on Esme Morgan)
Referee: Melissa Burgin