Sunday 2 September 2012
FA WSL Continental Cup match
Blues boss David Parker lauded Jodie Taylors England credentials after the striker fired her side into their second successive Continental Cup Final at the expense of Lincoln Ladies.
Taylor (pictured) struck in both halves against her former club before Laura Alleway netted a late consolation for the Lady Imps.
Taylor has been in terrific form for the Blues all season and Parker believes she is now ready to make the step up to Hope Powell’s England squad.
“Another two goals for Jodie and hopefully she’s knocking on the door for that England call-up,” said Parker.
“She’s got all the qualities needed to be an international player. She’s got great technical ability and I believe she is the most natural centre forward in the country.”
Overall, Parker was delighted with his side’s display against Lincoln.
“It was a very professional display,” he added. “The defensive display, the work-rate and the commitment was very pleasing. The girls have been phenomenal in the last three games.”
Lady Imps boss Glen Harris was disappointed to see his side’s quest for silverware end at the Semi-Final stage, but praised his players’ attitude.
“I’m disappointed obviously. I thought the girls put everything into the game,” said Harris.
“We were hit with a sucker punch on the stroke of half-time. I thought at one stage, before they got the second goal, that we were totally dominant and the equaliser was coming.
“Then we got done by the long ball, a punt from the keeper, and Jodie Taylor, who I thought was magnificent throughout, took it well.”
Birmingham looked confident going forward and in the 13th minute Eni Aluko went agonisingly close to giving her side the lead, but her delicate effort struck the post.
The Blues wasted an even better chance midway through the first half. When the ball dropped to Taylor in the box, she had the goal at her mercy, but blazed over the bar.
The visitors weren’t having it all their own way and almost fell behind in bizarre fashion. A swirling free-kick from Lucy Staniforth held up in the wind and almost caught out Marie Hourihan, who palmed the ball onto the crossbar.
The Blues broke through on the stroke of half-time. A corner was headed towards goal, but Taylor, who was lurking on the edge of the six-yard box, got to crucial touch to give her side a deserved lead.
Birmingham struck again 15 minutes from time when Taylor latched onto a long clearance and clipped the ball over the stranded Hobbs.
The Lady Imps were given hope two minutes from time when Laura Alleway forced the ball home following a goalmouth scramble.
The home side were almost celebrating again seconds later when Staniforth’s free-kick from 30 yards flashed wide with Hourihan beaten.
Lincoln: Hobbs; Walton, Stoney, Bradley, Alleway; Barker (Horwood 81), Allen, Harris, Staniforth; Hamilton, Clarke.
Subs not used: Cantrell, Martha Harris, Rood, Roberts.
Blues: Hourihan; Weston, Bassett, Westwood, Harrop; Aluko, Potter, Moore, Carney; Taylor, Williams.
Subs not used: Christiansen, Simpkins, Wilcox, Simpson, Ballard, Torkildsen.
Referee: Stephen Ross