Birmingham City 2-1 Chelsea
The FA WSL
7.45pm, Tuesday 28 May 2013
DCS Stadium, Stratford Town FC
Birmingham boss David Parker believes his side has finally turned the corner after their first League win of the season.
After going out of both cups, the League is Birmingham’s priority and that hunger was evident in this win over highly-rated Chelsea.
The home side took the lead when Isobel Christiansen burst into the box to rifle a low shot into the corner of the net with only 12 second-half seconds played.
Parker said: “We had a little quiet word [at half time] and it was just that desire from the whole group to make sure we got those three points.”
Birmingham went two up on 55 minutes thanks to a bit of magic from Jo Potter and a contender for goal of the season.
The ball fell kindly via a deflection off referee Simon Barrow, but if that touch was fortunate the strike on goal was pure class. From fully 35-yards out Potter unleashed a left-foot drive that arrowed into the top corner.
Potter admitted it is something she has being encouraged to do: "We got a lucky deflection off the ref, a few have said he got an assist tonight.
“I’m getting higher up the pitch, it’s something the management are telling me to do so all credit to then for letting me get up there.”
An inspired substitution brought Chelsea back into it as Hannah Blundell entered the game in the 70th minute and her first touch two minutes later was a superb strike from the edge of the Birmingham penalty area that gave Marie Hourihan no chance.
But despite some late Chelsea pressure the home side held on for the win.
Chelsea manager Emma Hayes was understandably disappointed.
She said: “You can’t concede two goals back-to-back and expect to get away with it.
“We played some good football, I don’t think Birmingham were better than us; our goalkeeper hasn’t really made a save, she’s been beaten by a screamer and some poor defensive display from the restart.
“But they’ve got players of top quality that will hurt you if you give them time and space.”
Hourihan, Weston, Bassett, Westwood, Harrop, Linnett (Torkildsen 75), Potter, Moore, Lawley, Williams (Wilkinson 89), Christiansen
Substitutes not used Simpkins, George, Earps, Haines
Telford, Susi, Holtham, Vidarsdottir (Blundell 70), Bleazard (Spence 62), Davies, Gardarsdottir (Dos Santos 52), Buet, Ward, Aluko, Jakobsson
Substitutes not used Cole, Myers, Coombs, Longhurst
Referee Simon Barrow