Banned Corinne forced to miss Chelsea game
MARK Sampson feels the recent downpours have done Bristol Academy no favours.
The entire FA Women's Super League programme was washed out last weekend, with the Vixens' away game at Birmingham City one of the fixtures called off because of waterlogging.
That means they will still be without skipper Corinne Yorston and full-back Grace McCatty because of suspension for this Sunday's game against Chelsea at Staines.
Central defender Yorston would have completed her three-match ban had the Birmingham game gone ahead, while McCatty still has two games to serve.
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The duo were sent off in Bristol's 4-1 win at Liverpool last month and McCatty had her three-game suspension extended to four after the Vixens lost an appeal against her red card.
"Sunday's postponement was a pain because it means the two girls have to wait at least another week – they are both training hard and raring to go," said Sampson.
Bristol think midfielder Molly Clark faces around a month on the sidelines after aggravating a knee problem in the 1-0 home defeat by Lincoln in their last outing, and don't know when to expect Stef Curtis to be available again.
The winger has an Achilles problem and Sampson said: "We have to be very careful with Stef because it is a tricky one and we need to get it right. If we try and rush her back, it could have serious consequences at this stage of her career."
Chelsea lie third in the table, one place and a point above Bristol, but have played a game more. The game could see midfielders Helen Bleazard and Katie Sherwood lining up against their old club, having left the Vixens for the Londoners during the close season.
"Chelsea are one of the clubs who strengthened during the winter and it will be a difficult game – as all away matches are in this league," said Sampson.
"But if we can improve on the performance we put in against Lincoln, there is no reason why we can't go down there and get a win."
The weather also had a major effect on the local programme, with Downend Flyers' game against Swindon Supermarine in the Bristol Soccerworld Cup final at Bishops Lydeard among those washed out. The two clubs will try again this weekend.
St Nicholas' meeting with Quedgeley in the Gloucestershire County Women's League Cup final at Yate was also postponed and will have to be rescheduled.
But Saints hope to clinch the Division I title next Wednesday when they play their rearranged game at Bitton.
A victory would effectively secure the crown for the visitors because they have a much better goal difference than Forest of Dean, who play their final game against AEK Boco the following Sunday
SW Women's League Premier Div: Weymouth 0, Larkhall Ath 1.
Eastern Div I: Blandford Utd 0, Poole Town 8.
Sunday, May 6 – FA Women's Super League: Birmingham City v Doncaster Rovers Belles; Chelsea v Bristol Academy; Everton v Lincoln; Liverpool v Arsenal.
SW Women's League Premier Div: Marine Academy Plymouth v Oldland Abbotonians. Eastern Div I: Forest Green Rovers v Bishops Lydeard.
Bristol Soccerworld Cup final: Downend Flyers v Swindon Supermarine (at Bishops Lydeard).
Wednesday, May 9 – Gloucestershire County Women's League, Div I: Bitton v St Nicholas.