PROMOTION IS OURSWITH FOUR WINS, INSISTS LADD
PROMOTION-CHASING Bristol City will aim for an immediate return to winning ways when they entertain WSL2 bottom club Watford next Saturday. Hopes of a rapid return to the top flight, following last season’s relegation, were dealt a blow in last week’s 1-0 defeat by Everton.
Victory for second-inthe-table Vixens would have taken them level on points with leaders Yeovil Town. Instead, the Toffees, whose 1-0 win came via a penalty, edged to within two points of City with a game in hand.
“It was an extremely frustrating defeat,” said Vixens captain Hayley Ladd, “especially as the penalty decision was highly debatable.
“The decision looked unjust when we watched the game back, but it’s gone now and we have to bounce back by beating Watford.
“We beat them 2-0 at their place and we are certainly capable of completing the double over them. But they’ve beaten Everton since losing to us, which shows they are no walkover. There’s no way we’ll be taking them lightly.”
City can steal a march on their promotion rivals as their game comes 24 hours before the rest of next weekend’s WSL2 matches.
Yeovil, Everton and fourth-placed Durham, the latter sitting just three points below Bristol with a game in hand, have Sunday fixtures.
Just two promotion places are up for grabs and Wales international Ladd, 22, said: “The race could go right to the wire.
“Our fate is still in our own hands. If we win our last four games, we’ll clinch promotion.
“That’s going to be easier said than done because we’ve got return fixtures against Everton and Durham among those games.
“But Everton have also got to play Yeovil and Durham, so there could be plenty of twists and turns during the run-in.”
Ladd is desperate to lead her team back to the top flight after last year’s relegation in her first season with Bristol.
Though she will settle for a second-place finish to guarantee promotion, she is aiming to make it a triumphant return to WSL1.
“We’ve definitely got the title in our sights,” said the former Arsenal midfielder, who joined the Vixens from Premier League Coventry City.
“Last year was a bitter disappointment for me.
“There was only one thing on my mind at the start of this season and that was to help us get back up there.
“There’s a lot of hard work to do if we’re to finish the season ahead of the excellent teams around us. We can’t concern ourselves with others, though. We have to concentrate on what we need to do. I think it will come down to who can hold their nerve and form best – we’ve got to make sure that’s us!”
STUCK IN: Hayley Ladd, left, fights for the ball