Birmingham City Ladies progressed to the Quarter Finals of the FA Women's Cup after a comprehensive 3-0 victory at home to Liverpool. Goals from Jodie Taylor, Izzy Christiansen and Maz Ballard secured the win and the perfect start to what promises to be an exciting season for The Blues.
The home side were out of the traps early, passing the ball around quickly and trying to use the flanks for the runs of Taylor and new signing Aluko, and midfield dynamo Jade Moore had the first attempt of the match, shooting over on 2 minutes. Liverpool's first corner on 12 minutes came to nothing, but a minute later, Carney's first corner was cleared, but only straight back to the England winger, who sent in a dangerous cross which was headed wide by debutant left back Rachel Unitt.
Katie Brussell looked lively for the visitors, testing Hourihan in the home goal on 20 mins, but Birmingham always looked more threatening, with Carney, Christiansen, Taylor and Aluko all linking very well considering the lack of playing time together. The pressure finally paid on 26 minutes, when Unitt's inviting cross was smartly finished by Jodie Taylor. Barely a minute later, Eni Aluko had her first real chance of the afternoon, racing through one-on-one with Liverpool's debut 'keeper Aroon Clansey, but was tharted by a good save. Captain Laura Bassett was next to venture forward, threading a fine through ball to England striker Aluko, but the Liverpool defence got back just in time to sniff out the danger. Taylor almost doubled the lead and her tally before the break after being put through by Carney, but Clansey was on hand to make a smart save.
Half Time: Birmingham City Ladies 1-0 Liverpool Ladies
The second half started as the first finished, with Birmingham on top and in full control of the game, with a lot of possession and another early chance for Aluko, but who was again denied by the strong Clansey in the Liverpool goal. Michelle Evans nearly brought Liverpool back into it with a curling left footed free kick, but this was saved low down by Hourihan. New Zealand international Clansey was having a busy afternoon, and was needed to deny the unfortunate Aluko once again just before the hour mark, but Blues' second goal was one to treasure, and there was nothing Clansey could do to prevent it. A long ball over the top was chased down by Taylor and Aluko, but Clansey rushed off her line to clear with her head, but only found Christiansen, whose first time volley from roughly 35 yards looped back over the goalkeeper's head and bounced into the unguarded net, a sublime finish to cap a brilliant performance by the youngster.
|Goal Scorer Izzy Christiansen|
|Maz Ballard wraps up the game for the blues|
For photos of this game please visit: www.flickr.com/birmcitylfc
Full Time: Birmingham City Ladies 3-0 Liverpool Ladies
Birmingham (4-4-2): Hourihan, Weston, Bassett, Westwood, Unitt, Carney (Torkildsen 88), Moore, Potter, Christiansen, Aluko (Ballard 88), Taylor (Simpson 90)
Goals: Taylor (26) Christiansen (57) Ballard (90)
Liverpool (4-4-2): Clansey, Chappell, V Jones, Harding, Thowig, Shepherd (S Jones 67), Brussell, Foster (Lea 67), Littlejohn, Evans (C Jones 67), K Jones
Player of the match: Izzy Christiansen