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Bristol City are on the verge of the greatest achievement in their history to date and, if results go their way on Sunday by them winning and Southampton Saints failing to win at Chelsea, they will be on their way towards playing in the National Division next season.
However one City player is wishing that the season was just beginning, Heidi Bevan. The striker has just made her return to action after a five month lay-off with an ankle injury and she has had to watch City's title challenge from the sidelines during that time. Having been the lynchpin of City's attack for the past four seasons, and top scorer in each of them, it has been left to the likes of Charlotte King, Angie Tinson and Katy Little to provide the team's goal power in Heidi's absence, and the trio have scored 44 league goals between them.
That could be about to change though, as Heidi made her first league appearance since her injury as a substitute in last week's 4-0 win over Enfield Town, and scored within three minutes of her introduction, robbing a defender and racing through on goal before firing home emphatically for her sixth goal in only her eighth appearance, almost six months to the day since her last one.
"It's always nice to score, after all it's my job as a striker, but that goal was special," says Heidi, who is a student at Bath University. "I love playing and I'm so glad to be back."
Heidi originally picked up the injury back in September, when City were beaten 3-1 by Leeds United in the Premier League Cup. "I damaged an ankle ligament after twisting my ankle in a tackle. I tried coming back after a few weeks but I was told to rest before proprioception plus plenty of ultra sound treatment. It was six months all together." She made an appearance for the reserves and then in the GFA Cup semi final against Bristol Manor Farm, scoring after coming as a substitute, before her return to league action.
Heidi celebrated her 21st birthday this week and is hoping for a belated present on Sunday when City play at home to Brighton & Hove Albion, hoping to keep up their great run of form which has since them win their last three games, scoring 14 and conceding none. "We've played really well since we lost to Southampton, the long lay-off did not help us in that game after our long winning run. There's no extra pressure on us, just pressure to win and the same expectations that we have had all season.
"We will take the same approach against Brighton as in all our other games, play our game and formation, then hope the goals will go in."
But with City in a position where they are so close to clinching the title, has that occupied the team's thoughts? "Yes, the team does have thoughts on winning the title, especially after going so close last season. Now we are looking to complete the job and win the Championship as soon as possible."
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