Bristol City’s Mastrantonio levels late at Villa to keep WSL relegation fight tight

Ella Mastrantonio’s last-gasp equaliser rescued a 2-2 draw for Bristol City and denied fellow strugglers Aston Villa a crucial Women’s Super League victory.

The hosts opened the scoring in just the third minute as Freya Gregory’s inswinging cross found Shania Hayles, who saw her effort saved by Sophie Baggaley but deflected into the net by Meaghan Sargeant for an own goal.

Matt Beard’s City side came close to an equaliser when a ball was played in from Molly Pike and found Yana Daniels, whose glancing header went wide of the far post.

The lead was doubled 10 minutes before half-time as some excellent buildup play allowed Villa’s Elisha N’Dow to deliver a dangerous cross which Natalie Haigh headed into the bottom corner from long-range.

The home side carried their dominance into the second half as Chloe Arthur drove a ferocious and unstoppable effort from long-range against the woodwork.

City pulled a goal back through Faye Bryson in the 74th minute as she lashed a left-footed volley into the top corner to set up a nervy end to the game. In the dying seconds of stoppage-time, the visitors dug deep and Mastrantonio’s free-kick crept over the line and past Lisa Weiss to earn a vital point.

Villa remain second-bottom, level on 12 points with City who occupy the sole relegation place, but have a game in hand over Marcus Bignot’s side.