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Dublin: 13°C Thursday 13 May 2021
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Raheny United suffer Champions League defeat

The Dublin side went down 4-0 in their last 32 tie.

Niamh Walsh wins the aerial battle.
Niamh Walsh wins the aerial battle.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Raheny United 0

Bristol Academy 4

RAHENY UNITED have a mammoth task ahead of them in their UEFA Women’s Champions League round of 32 tie with Bristol Academy after the English side won tonight’s first leg 4-0 in Richmond Park.

With more than 1,200 supporters packed into the main stand in Richmond Park, the home side showed well early on, but the visitors quickly established themselves in the middle of the park thanks to good work from Angharad James and Nicola Watts.

And it was the latter who created the opening goal when she pinched the ball just inside the Raheny half before teeing up Natasha Harding.

That strike just before the half hour mark had been coming, and United dropped deeper and deeper as the Vixens upped the tempo.

Niamh Walsh did head wide for Raheny two minutes later, but Natalia Pablos Sanchon really should have made it 2-0 from the resulting goal kick.

The Spanish international controlled the ball brilliantly at pace, but saw her shot bravely saved by Burke.

Sanchon threatened 60 seconds later with a header that crept just wide, and Watts forced Burke into another save on the stroke of half time.

Burke was busy just after the restart too when she had to punch over Watts’ shot from distance, but the introduction of Clare Shine 10 minutes into the second half offered the Pandas more in attack.

McCabe saw her effort from six-yards blocked, and Pearl Slattery watched her header from Walsh’s freekick saved by Earps.

But, just like in the opening half, Bristol grew into the game once again, and they were 2-0 ahead when Natasha Harding netted the rebound after Burke had palmed Watts’ strike onto the crossbar.

Worryingly, Katie McCabe had to be carried off the pitch with three minutes of normal time remaining, and it got much worse for the Irish Champions when Watts added a late penalty and Sanchon also headed past Burke in injury-time.

RAHENY UNITED: Burke, Keenan (Dwyer 39), Walsh, Slattery, Creagh, Graham, McCabe, Murray, Killeen, Sheehy (Shine 55), Conlon (O’Farrelly 81). Substitutes: Shine, O’Farrelly, Ryan, Cronin, Dwyer, Eiriksdottir, Brierley.
BRISTOL ACADEMY: Earps, McCatty, Rose, Mathews, Dykes (Brown 89), James, Ingle, Harding, Watts, Yorston (Del Rio 78), Sanchon. Substitutes: A Evans, G Evans, Brown, Del Rio, Bird.

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Simon Walsh

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