Ward’s side remained resilient defensively.BCFC
Goals from Leah Galton and Ella Toone secured the points for the hosts, and they could have had more but for some fantastic goalkeeping from Hannah Hampton who denied the former twice.
Blues settled into their shape well at the beginning of the game, defending well and restricting the hosts to half chances.
United’s first real chance came through Lauren James. The forward gathered the ball down the left and cut inside, but she could only power high over the goal.
Hampton was called into action minutes later. Galton attacked down the left and aimed for the near post, but Hampton got across well to palm it clear.
Blues then threatened from a Becks Holloway corner. The left-back’s delivery caused problems for Mary Earps in the United goal, but they managed to scramble it clear.
Jackie Groenen had a chance to give United the lead when a deflected cross fell into her path, but she could only fire it over.
It was again Galton who came close for the Red Devils in the latter stages of the half. Her flicked effort was denied superbly by Hampton who reacted quickly to tip it wide.
Half-time: Manchester United 0 Blues 0
Casey Stoney’s side came out the blocks quickly in the second half and took the lead just after the restart. James fired across the face of goal where Galton was waiting to slam home.
Ward’s side remained resilient defensively, maintaining and holding their shape well to stop Man United from playing their football.
It took another well-worked goal for the home side to double their lead. Toone cut back onto her left foot and guided a low drive in off the post to make sure of the points.
Manchester United: Mary Earps, Ona Batlle, Amy Turner, Millie Turner, Martha Harris (Kirsty Smith 32), Hayley Ladd, Katie Zelem (Kirsty Hanson 75), Jackie Groenen, Ella Toone, Leah Galton, Lauren James (Ivana Fuso 63).
Substitutes not used: Fran Bentley, Maria Thorisdottir, Jess Sigsworth, Ivana Fuso, Jane Ross, Christen Press.
Blues: Hannah Hampton, Sarah Mayling, Harriet Scott, Georgia Brougham, Rebecca Holloway, Lucy Whipp (Emma Kelly 85), Ruesha Littlejohn (Chloe Mccarron 85), Jamie-Lee Napier, Gemma Lawley (Mollie Green 65), Emily Murphy, Claudia Walker.
Substitutes Not Used: Abi Cowie, Libby Hart.
Referee: Stacey Pearson