London Bees’ FA Women’s Continental Cup campaign began with defeat as Bristol City ran out 3-0 winners at the Stoke Gifford Stadium.
First-half goals from Carla Humphrey and Ebony Salmon had the hosts in the driver’s seat heading into the halfway stage, and a stoppage-time Abi Harrison tap-in wrapped up the points for the Robins despite a spirited second-half display from Lee Burch’s side.
Bristol were the brighter of the two sides in the opening stages and immediately put the Bees on the back foot.
Humphrey, who impressed throughout, scored the opener as she blasted across goal from the right-hand side of the box to find the bottom corner, and the hosts dominated the proceedings from then on.
As they constantly tested the Bees defensive line, City were relentless in their search for a second, and with 25 minutes played, they found it.
Showcasing her pace, Salmon took hold on the right-wing before driving past the Bees defender and slotting home at the near post.
Despite all of their first-half pressure, City couldn’t find a third and they took a two-goal lead into the changing rooms.
The Bees put on a much better second-half display and will be disappointed not to have found the net on at least one occasion.
Nikita Whinnett was as lively as ever and almost fashioned an opening out of nothing. Chasing down her marker, she nicked the ball before finding Brooke Nunn. Nunn then slotted Whinnett through on goal only for a last-ditch challenge to deny the forward.
Whinnett then turned creator as she played a splitting pass into the feet of second-half substitute, Lauren Pickett, but the latter’s strike was straight at the ‘keeper.
The Bees best effort of the half came with just minutes to play as Amelia Hazard crashed an effort into the post following a corner kick, however, Burch’s side were made to pay for their missed opportunities as Harrison punished the Bees with a last-minute tap-in.
London Bees now look ahead to Sunday’s FA Women’s Championship clash with Lewes.
Team: Lynch, Brooks (Hazard), Robert, Wilson, Alexander, Gamby, Will (Gibson), Horwood, Whinnett, Nunn, Loomes (Pickett)
Unused subs: Quantrill, Dench