Match Report

City seal comeback to maintain unbeaten FAWSL run

COMEBACK: The Blues responding superbly against Birmingham.
Sun 30 Sep
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City put their midweek Champions League exit behind them by overcoming a two-goal deficit to win 3-2 against Birmingham City Women.

An own goal by Abbie McManus and an early second-half Meaghan Sargeant header had put Birmingham in control.

But second-half goals from Caroline Weir, Nikita Parris and Tessa Wullaert extended our unbeaten start in the FA WSL.

What happened

An uneventful opening suddenly burst into life in calamitous fashion when McManus’ halfway line pass was misjudged by Ellie Roebuck, allowing the ball to bounce over the line before the 10-minute mark.

It almost got even worse in the 18th minute when Roebuck was forced into an excellent reaction save to prevent McManus from slicing a clearance into her own net.

The home side continued to threaten as the half progressed with Hayley Ladd’s half-volley whistling past the post following a Steph Houghton clearance just before the 25-minute mark.

Despite the laboured start, we began to grow into the game and, but for a perfectly timed Aoife Mannion slide-tackle, Nikita Parris would have been in on goal soon after Ladd’s chance.

Five minutes later, Parris was provided with another opportunity following an incisive Keira Walsh pass, but her heavy touch allowed Birmingham goalkeeper Ann-Katrin Berger to clear up the danger.

Two more big chances at the end of the half almost saw us draw level, but Jen Beattie’s header from a corner was cleared off the line by Staniforth, and Parris was denied by Berger once again in stoppage time when through on goal.

A slow start to the second-half saw us go two down in the 49th minute when defender Meaghan Sargeant rose highest to head home for her second goal in two matches.

However, this latest setback seemed to spring the team into life, and we managed to find much more joy down the flanks.

Within ten minutes of the second-half, Weir had pulled one back when her deflected drive on the edge of the box following an inviting cross from the right took a deflection to loop over Berger.

Despite our improvement, Birmingham remained in the game and were prevented from regaining a two-goal lead when Roebuck was quick off her line to block Staniforth’s path to goal.

And then, with 25 minutes left to play, City were level when Weir slalomed through the Birmingham rear-guard before squaring the ball for Parris to tap home from close range.

An explosive twenty minutes from Nick Cushing’s side then saw Tessa Wullaert burst through the middle at pace and fire an effort towards goal which was deflected over Berger to complete the comeback.

It was almost four soon after when Weir struck the post with a 78th minute free-kick, but Wullaert’s goal proved the decisive action of the game as City ran out as 3-2 winners.

How we lined up

18-year-old Roebuck started in goal with a back four of Bonner, Beattie, Houghton and McManus, unchanged from Wednesday night’s Champions League defeat to Atletico Madrid.

Keira Walsh and Jill Scott sat in front of the defence, while Caroline Weir and Tessa Wullaert, returning to the team, offered support to the front two of Stanway and Parris. 

Up Next

Next up is West Ham United Ladies for our second WSL home game on Sunday 14th October. The Hammers currently sit in 8th place after a draw and a defeat in their first two matches.

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