It may have been a 14 year wait but it was definitely worth it as both Gas Girls sides won their opening competitive fixtures on Sunday, scoring five goals apiece.
The ‘Gas Girls’ were initially formed in 1998, starting out in the South West League and in 2005, Bristol Rovers Women’s FC became known as Bristol Academy WFC under a new partnership agreement with South Gloucestershire and Stroud College. In 2011 the club changed its name to Bristol Academy WFC in 2011 and finally became Bristol City Women’s Football Club in 2015. They were re-formed this summer by the talented team at Bristol Rovers Community Trust and entered two teams into the Gloucestershire County Women’s Football League, with the first team playing in Division One and a Development side playing in Division Two.
After a busy summer of trials and recruitment it was finally time for the serious stuff to start and what a start it was. The first team recorded a very impressive 5-0 victory at Abbeymead Rovers with Libby Bell leading the way with a two goal return, with further goals from Hannah Thompson, Jen Atherton and Rossana Rocha, with Courtney Adams picking up the Player of the Match award for her dominant display in the middle of the park. It was Hannah who actually scored the historic first goal. Did she enjoy the moment? Hannah says, “it felt incredible and a moment I will treasure. As strikers we were told before the game if you see the opportunity to, then shoot and luckily the ball sat up nicely and I was able to score, it was a great feeling & even better that we got the 3 points!”
Coach Nathan Hallett-Young said, “t was a really positive performance, we played some really nice football at times even though the pitch was a slight disadvantage. We have taken a few things away from the game, I think it showed some of our younger players how physical this league is going to be, however it was great to see two of our youngest players, Jasmine Bull and Katie Rawlings performing well. Our strike force and midfield were a step ahead all game, unpredictable and a delight to watch them continuously creating chances. The defence led by Natty Coles were so calm and really untested throughout the game, again it was great to see despite the lack of action they didn’t switch off and barely gave Abbeymead an opportunity to attack. Our main target for the game was to go out and play some nice football and keep a clean sheet, We hit those targets, now we’re looking to build on that performance for the Longlevens game”
Captain Natty Coles added, “What a great start to the season with 3pts, but also keeping a clean sheet. A lot of positives to take from the game as well as things that we can take into training & work on! But overall a brilliant performance from all the girls & excited for the rest of the season!”
Our Development side opened their campaign withan equally as impressive 5-2 victory at Cotswold Rangers Women with Lottie Weeks scoring twice with further goals from Rosie Hall, Zoe Jones and Zoe Fielden-Stewart. The Player of the Match award went jointly to Emily Hulbert and Shannon Francis.
Both sides are back in action this Sunday with the first team playing an away game at Longlevens and the Development side hosting Cheltenham Civil Service at Lockleaze Sports Centre. Both games kick-off at 2pm.