Birmingham City Ladies come from behind to claim first victory of the 2016 Women's Super League season - The Solihull Observer
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15th Aug, 2022

Birmingham City Ladies come from behind to claim first victory of the 2016 Women's Super League season

Solihull Editorial 28th Apr, 2016 Updated: 21st Oct, 2016

BIRMINGHAM City Ladies picked up their first win of the Women’s Super League season after coming from behind to beat Doncaster Rovers Belle on Wednesday evening.

The home side had fallen behind early on after Natasha Dowie had fired the visitors in front with just six minutes on the clock.

But striker Freda Ayisi levelled things up in the 15th minute before Mel Lawley’s deflected effort but Dave Parker’s side in front.

And despite Doncaster throwing everything at them in the second period, Birmingham held on for an important three points.

Many people were billing Tuesday night’s fixture as a ‘must win’ for the Blues after losing their opening two matches against Liverpool and Manchester City.

And they got off to the worst possible start when Dowie beat Sophie Baggaley from close range after Alex Gummer’s free kick had landed nicely by the penalty spot.

The visitors had a chance to double their advantage one minute later after Jess Sigsworth had stolen possession on the edge of the area but she wasted the one-on-one chance by firing her shot inches wide of the target.

It was a let off for the home side but it sparked them into life and on 15 minutes Parker’s side were back on level terms when Ayisi headed home Kerys Harrop’s dangerous cross from the left.

Chances came and went for the hosts with Jo Potter sending a free kick from 20 yards out wide and Lawley was played in down the left but her cut back was beaten away by Nicola Hobbs.

Ayisi should have made it 2-1 when she was put through on goal but again Hobbs was quick off her line to make a crucial save and Lawley dragged a left-footed shot wide after cutting in from the left.

Blues did manage to take the lead on the half-hour mark when Lawley registered her first goal of the season with a shot from the edge of the area which took a deflected and went in off the post.

Potter dragged an effort wide of goal from the edge of the area and Charlie Wellings almost got a touch to a Lawley volley but it remained 2-1 at the half-way point.

Jade Moore was introduced for skipper Emily Westwood at the break in a like-for-like change in defence, while former Blues player Emily Simpkins came on for the visitors along with Rhiannon Roberts.

The second period proved to be a more tense affair with both sides enjoying their fair share of possession but chances were few and far between.

On 67 minutes Simpkins put her body on the line to deny former team mate Ayisi in front of goal while at the other end Dowie was inches away from connecting with a Katrin Omarsdottier.

The visitors’ best chance of the half fell to Dowie again but her volley whistled across the face of goal and nobody could get the all important touch.

There was to be one final chance for Doncaster as Simpkins floated in a free kick into the area but Omarsdottier’s header at goal was comfortable for Baggaley as the hosts registered their first win of the season.

Birmingham City: Sophie Baggaley; Aoife Mannion, Emily Westwood, Remi Allen; Jessica Carter, Chloe Peplow, Jo Potter, Kerys Harrop; Mel Lawley; Freda Ayisi, Charlie Wellings.

Substitutes: Jade Moore for Westwood 46, Abbey-Leigh Stringer for Wellings 86

Substitutes not used: Cheryl Edwards, Ashlee Brown, Sian Johnson, Keeley Davies, Ellie Brazil.

Bookings: Tierney 45, Easton 80

Referee: Sarah Garratt

Attendance: 615

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