Bradford City report that a Chloe Precious save and Zoe Roberts’ decisive spot-kick sealed a nervy win on Wednesday evening after Alarna Fuller’s early header had been cancelled out.
With no extra time to be played, it was straight to the dreaded shootout, but City kept their cool to win 4-3 on spot-kicks after a full time result of 1-1.
The game in itself was a scrappy affair that lacked clear cut chances, with the Bantams dominant but given little space to be creative by Guiseley’s high defensive line.
Unsurprisingly, the first goal didn’t come from open play then, but from a corner. Chantelle O’Hara delivered it and Fuller converted – the bullet header being her fourth in five games.
Five minutes later, City came close to doubling that lead as Charlotte Stuart led a swift counter-attack on the right. The captain’s cut-back found Sarah Danby, but the in-form forward saw her 20 yard effort fly over the bar.
Instead, Fuller’s 16th minute header would be cancelled out on the 25 minute mark as a long distant shot squirmed under Precious, snapping her run of three successive clean sheets.
The ball found Abi Barker lurking in the box just past the half hour mark in a rare sight of goal, but the bounce was an awkward one and would only allow her to scuff a shot into the arms of the ‘keeper.
The only other noteworthy moment of the half was a wayward shot by the Vixens as the interval brought a sloppy game of football to a halt.
With City’s opponents getting the whole team back to defend, as well as looking to play plenty of long ball, the Bantams struggled to play the football they like to.
With 20 minutes on the second half clock, O’Hara hooked a shot at goal to cap off an uneventful start to the next instalment of 45 minutes.
Just the same, the rest of the game’s chances were half and scrappy. A goal-mouth scramble followed on from a corner but was scuffed wide, while a cross from Rosie McDonnell fizzed behind the run of Emma Elliot.
Guiseley threatened a couple of times on the counter, but fired off target on both occasions as City continued to look the more likely to stop the game going to penalties.
Fuller had a volley deflected over while McDonnell arrowed an effort a yard or so wide of the mark, but the cutting edge was lacking and a shoot-out was required to decide a cagey affair.
Precious was the hero on penalties, making a superb stop as City accurately fired themselves to victory. Roberts took the fifth and final spot-kick, with her emphatic finish sparking the Bantams into wild celebrations as they booked their place in a third successive County Cup final.
They now have a shot at securing the title for a third year in a row, with arch-rivals Leeds to be their opponents in a repeat of the 2014 final.
Photo: Alex Daniel
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