Bristol City Women came from behind to draw 2-2 against Aston Villa Women on Saturday afternoon in what was a crucial game at the bottom of the FA Women’s Super League table.
Marcus Bignot’s side took an early lead inside three minutes as Shania Hayles’ cross was pushed away by Sophie Baggaley before it was turned into the back of the net off a Bristol City defender.
Villa extended their lead to two before half-time as Natalie Haigh headed it in from a corner, putting them in complete control of the game.
But two second-half goals handed City a lifeline and left things wide open in the fight for survival.
“We didn’t take our chances, it’s as simple as that,” Bignot began, speaking on what allowed their opponents back into the game.
“I always say the third goal is always really important in a game of football.
“You go 3-0 up and nine times out of ten it’s game over but then their first goal was around the 75th minute, it gave them some belief and gave them something to hang on to.
“Even then, the opportunities we had, we still should’ve gone 3-1, we should’ve pulled away from them again, but that’s football.”
Aston Villa face Birmingham City in the second-city derby on Wednesday night before welcoming West Ham to Villa park for their penultimate game of the season.
City host Manchester United before they travel to play Brighton on the last day, whereas the Villans face a difficult test against Arsenal.
The game in hand could prove to be decisive as the two teams remain level on 12 points, with West Ham and Birmingham City pulling away slightly on 14 points.
Villa gave themselves a boost by drawing to West Ham in their midweek game, but they’ll need to push on even further to secure their safety.
“West Ham was a 0-0, we didn’t create enough opportunities,” Bignot added. “But it was a good, clean sheet performance.
“Today was a winning performance, without a shadow of a doubt.
“We need to keep putting those performances in like we’ve seen today, and the results will take care of themselves.”