Birmingham City 0-2 Bristol Academy
The FA WSL
Wednesday 5 June 2013
Stratford Town FC
Bristol Academy boss Mark Sampson praised his ‘warriors’ as they joined Liverpool at the top of the League.
The Vixens withstood plenty of Birmingham pressure in the second half but stole the win after capitalising on two defensive errors late in the game.
Sampson said: “I’m absolutely delighted. I don’t use words like fantastic, exciting and superb very often, but tonight all those phrases are really common for the way the team played.
“They were brilliant and I’m speaking about character more than footballers, I’m delighted at the way they stuck to the task.
“They were absolute warriors and if they continue to show those qualities we’ll be a competitive team.”
The game did not spring into life until the second half where Birmingham started the brighter but found Siobhan Chamberlain a difficult obstacle. The Bristol goalkeeper saved well from Jo Potter’s free kick and a spectacular close-range volley by Kirsty Linnett.
Sampson was quick to praise his goalkeeper: “Siobhan has been brilliant for us. The key for a good goalkeeper is when the important times come, they make some big saves.
“She did that for us tonight and when we had our opportunities we were clinical.”
Bristol almost opened the scoring on the hour. Birmingham stopper Marie Hourihan spilled a corner into the path of Natasha Harding but Chelsea Weston cleared her shot off the line.
But the visitors broke the deadlock with 12 minutes of the game remaining. Blues defenders Weston and Laura Bassett got their wires crossed and Natalia Pablos Sanchon took full advantage, racing into the box and firing across Hourihan into the corner of the net.
The win was sealed four minutes from time after another mistake by Hourihan. A poor pass out from the 'keeper was picked up by Laura Del Rio who had time to square a pass to Harding who smashed it into the empty net.
Birmingham boss David Parker was understandably disappointed after their first League defeat of the season.
He admitted: “There wasn’t enough quality, that’s the bottom line.
“We didn’t work the box well enough, we didn’t get the penetration in the final third, they’ve had two chances and taken them, that’s been the difference.”
Hourihan, Weston, Bassett, Westwood, Harrop, Lawley, Moore, Potter, Linnett, Williams, Christiansen (Wilkinson 72)
Substitutes not used Simpkins, George, Earps, Haines, Torkildsen
Chamberlain; Haynes, Rose, Matthews, Yorston; Watts (Del Rio 61), James, Curson, Heatherson; Pablos Sanchon (Hignett 80), Harding
Substitutes not used Cleverly, Leek, Evans
Referee Gareth Hubbard