The Vixens were knocked out of the SSE Women’s FA Cup when they suffered a sixth-round 2-1 defeat to City at the Stoke Gifford Stadium in March and are set to have another crack at the reigning FA Women’s Super League 1 champions.
Having been promoted from FA WSL 2 last season, the Vixens’ Spring Series campaign started with a 3-1 defeat to Reading on April 22 but a week-and-a-half later, Willie Kirk’s side bettered the team they finished level on points with last term.
A 3-2 triumph at Yeovil Town handed the Vixens their maiden Spring Series victory but on Saturday, a Lucy Staniforth penalty proved their undoing in a 1-0 defeat at Sunderland.
UEFA Women’s Champions League Semi-finalists City were forced to share the spoils with Birmingham – their FA Cup final opponents next weekend – in their Spring Series opener on May 3.
However, they grabbed a first victory in dramatic style on Sunday, scoring two goals in two second-half minutes to dispatch Reading 3-2 at Adams Park.
The Vixens suffered last-gasp heartache at the Stoke Gifford Stadium when they were beaten by City in the FA Cup on March 26.
Nikita Parris’ deflected effort two minutes from time saw the visitor’s progress to the semi-finals with a 2-1 victory, after Steph Houghton’s opener had been cancelled out by Claire Emslie.
Bristol City forward Claire Emslie said:
“It is a good test. It is the level we want to be at and the players we want to be playing against.
“We played them in the FA Cup and they beat us 2-1 in the 88th minute, so we will be looking to build off that and hopefully get a result if we can.
“We see it as an opportunity rather than something to be scared of and I think that is a good thing.
“We are learning each game but the most important thing is to take what we have learned and build on it, and not just think: ‘we should have done that’ – we need to put it into practice, so that is what we are looking to do.
“I don’t think you can go into any game thinking you are going to get beat – there’s no point doing that.”