Manchester City Women 3 – 0 Sunderland Ladies AFC
Manchester City Women youngster Georgia Stanway helped her side to take another step towards a maiden FA Women’s Super League title this past Sunday afternoon with a hat trick in her side’s 3-0 victory over Sunderland Ladies at the City Academy Stadium.
Stanway who has been away with England’s Under 17 side for their European Championships, it saw the Barrow-born forward scoring her first professional hat trick in what was in a truth, a routine win for the City side. The home side controlled the play without threatening too much, but the Blues then began to create a couple of chances for themselves as Jane Ross went close with a header from a ball off Megan Campbell and had her effort come back off the bar and put behind for a corner.
City were getting closer and closer in their attacks and finally saw the deadlock broken after Georgia Stanway out-muscled Danielle Brown for a loose ball and then got into the Sunderland area and then in fired at the near post, that saw Rachel Laws in goals unable to stop the shot and saw the home side 1-0 up after 18 minutes played.
Laws was then nearly caught out again soon after by a ball that went towards goal and was so inoxious, but it needed to be tipped over for a corner and saw the visitors struggling to get into the game with the Blues dominating.
Lucy Bronze almost made it two for the City, when her long range effort hit the bar and saw Nick Cushing’s side searching for a second goal that seemed would settle them. Sunderland did enjoy a brief spell of play towards the end of the first half, with England’s number one Karen Bardsley needing to be alert to make an important stop from Rachel Furness shot on goal as the City keeper helped preserve the lead as half time came around.
Second half saw more good play by City, with Stanway scoring her second goal of the game with the 17-year old curling an effort in after Lucy Bronze had ran down the wing at the Sunderland defence and saw her cross partly cleared as far as Stanway, and the England starlet doubled the lead for the home side on 54 minutes to see the Blues with a bit of breathing space. City sealed the game 8 minutes from time as it was Stanway yet again on the scoresheet with the Striker grabbing a hat-trick in the game, after some nice play by Toni Duggan saw her neatly back-heeling a pass into the path of the England U17 star and her shot went in off the post and made it 3-0.
Moments later she got a standing ovation from the home crowd and was replaced by Daphne Corboz, with her and her teammates playing out the remaining minutes with relative ease.
Reading Women FC 1 – 2 Manchester City Women
Wednesday night saw the Blues travelling down to Wycombe Wanderers Adams Park to face Reading Women and saw them strengthening their lead at the top of the table with a 2-1 win down in Berkshire, thanks to goals from Izzy Christiansen and Toni Duggan. The visitors had plenty of chances to score before Izzy Christiansen put City in front in the 38th minute thanks to a header on her 50th appearance for the club, when Nikita Parris put a little ball in for the midfielder to head home and see the away side taking the lead.
Reading were struggling to make anything with the ball and saw the away side finally making sure of the match, when Toni Duggan added another strike to her impressive goal scoring collection with a thumping shot that found the top corner from the edge of the area. City then conceded a penalty late on with Parris being guilty of upending Emma Folis in the penalty area and that allowed Laura Bruton to convert from the spot and give ‘The Royals’ nothing more than a consolation at the end of the game.
That win meant the Blues are now 7 points clear of their nearest challengers Chelsea, with the West London side having a game in hand on their opponents and still have to travel up to Manchester for a possible title decider.