Sunday 1 July 2012
Blues Ladies remain five points behind FA Womens Super League leaders Arsenal Ladies after a narrow defeat at home to Everton Ladies.
Blues Ladies remain five points behind FA Women's Super League leaders Arsenal Ladies after a narrow defeat at home to Everton Ladies.
With Arsenal not playing today (Sunday), Blues had the chance to apply some pressure on the Gunners but Everton had other ideas, with goals from Natasha Dowie and Fara Williams proving to be the difference between the two sides.
Both teams struggled to impose themselves early on as chances were at a premium, but a defensive mix up allowed the Toffees to test Birmingham's keeper Marie Hourihan on 25 minutes, however, the 24-year-old was equal to Williams strike.
Karen Carney was presented with a golden chance in the 30th minute when Jo Potter's free-kick was only half cleared, but the England international sliced narrowly wide.
And the visitors punished that miss shortly afterwards, when Dowie headed home from close range after Hourihan had initially made a good save.
David Parker's side thought they'd equalised on the stroke of half-time through Emily Westwood's flicked header, but Brown tipped the ball onto the bar for a corner.
Much like the opening period, the second-half was a tight affair.
For all of Birmingham's possession - a resilient Everton defence prevented them from carving out many clear cut opportunities.
The Merseysiders were in fact the team more likely to score the next goal, as Amy Kane's speculative drive was inches away from flying into the net.
But what turned out to be the winner arrived on 79 minutes, when Williams' wonder strike left Hourihan with no chance in the Blues goal.
The hosts managed to pull a goal back with five minutes left on the clock courtesy of Jodie Taylor's neat finish, but it proved to be nothing more than a consolation.
Ladies manager David Parker said of the encounter: "It was very disappointing. We've never been beaten back-to-back before. We've always bounced straight back from a poor performance the week before, so it's new territory for us."
"We just have to put right what we did wrong, which was a lot today. It just didn't go well from start to finish. We didn't work to our principles and get our game going."
The DCS Stadium outfit are next in action away to Bristol Academy Women on Saturday evening (kick-off 6pm); the last game before the mid-season break for the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Blues: Marie Hourihan, Chelsea Weston, Emily Westwood, Laura Bassett (C), Rachel Unitt (Kerys Harrop 80), Karen Carney (Izzy Christiansen 80), Jo Potter, Jade Moore, Rachel Williams, Eni Aluko, Jodie Taylor.
Subs (unused): Rebecca Spencer, Cristina Torkildsen. Marie Ballard.
Goals: Taylor (85)
Bookings: Potter (24), Moore (80)
Everton (in numerical order): Rachel Brown, Becky Easton, Fara Williams, Lindsay Johnson, Jodie Handley (C), Jill Scott, Natasha Dowie, Toni Duggan, Brooke Chaplen, Amy Kane, Lucy Bronze.
Subs (in numerical order): Michelle Hinnigan, Danielle Hill, Gwen Harries, Eartha Pond.
Goals: Dowie (32), Williams (79)
Bookings: Easton (55)
Player-of-the-match: J. Potter
Referee: P. Forrester