Match Report: Birmingham City 1-0 Everton

Birmingham manager, Marta Tejedor, made one change from the 1-0 defeat at West Ham, handing Connie Scofield her first start of the season with Chloe Arthur on the bench.

The first real chance for blues came 14 minutes in as Lucy Staniforth’s free-kick was flashed off the head of Kerys Harrop and straight into Levell’s hands.

When these two sides faced off on the first game of the season Everton won by a single goal to nil and they looked to take the lead with their first chance as Taylor Hinds flicked the ball into the path of Chloe Kelly who shrugged off  her marker and looked certain to give Everton the lead but her shot was well dealt with at the near post by Hannah Hampton.

Kelly pulled the trigger again a minute later, her deflected shot was dealt with well by Hampton.

Everton goalkeeper Kirstie Levell and midfielder Maeva Clemaron exchanged passes in the box but a loose ball fell to Brianna Visalli who became embroiled in a tangle her penalty appeal though was waved away by referee Lucy Oliver.

Abbi Grant took the latest corner for blues her low swinging delivery looked to be straight at the goalkeeper but she fumbled at her attempt to catch it. The ball fell to skipper Harrop who seen her shot blocked by an Everton player.

Hampton had to be alert at the other end to charge out at Turner’s feet after Harriet Scott’s passback fell short.

Blues remained on the front foot after the break with Harrop a fraction away from connecting with Staniforth’s inswinging free-kick. Visalli’s Cross-shot again dropped to Harrop six yards out but the defender could not quite sort her feet out, while Mayling had a header blocked and cleared by George.

Birmingham kept probing and eventually made their pressure count as substitute Rachel Williams raised highest to head Staniforth’s teasing corner delivery into the bottom corner.

Photo: @BCFCWomen

Blues went a whisker away from doubling their lead Abbi Grant got on to a cleverly flicked pass by Williams but the Scottish international’s curling effort smashed the face of the bar with Levell beaten.

There were a couple of late scares as Everton came close to Levelling through Hannah Cain but her shot was beaten away by Hampton who then had to be alert moments later as Turner’s cross-shot was destined to drop under the bar in added time.

Izobel Ward
izobelward1@gmail.com