Match Report: Birmingham City 3-2 Southampton FC

It was an emotional afternoon in Solihull as Birmingham bided farewell to manager Carla Ward and the ground itself. They’d have hoped for a comfortable send off for Carla Ward but Saints put in a great performance.  

The opening stages of the game were dominated by the blues but failed to make any clear chances, most attacks coming from the left hand side through Rebecca Holloway but Southampton defender Milly Mott worked tirelessly to deny any crosses.

The first chance of the game fell to Southampton but Ella Pusey could only direct her header straight at Sophie Whitehouse in the blues goal.

Birmingham had two penalty shouts in the first half but both were waved away by the referee.

The home side did manage to break the deadlock deep into the first half. Holloway’s Left-footed corner was attacked by Scott, her header was blocked in front of goal but the ball fortunately rolled into the path of Mollie Green to lift the ball home despite the Saints best efforts to clear.

It was nearly a fantastic start to the second half for substitute Emily Murphy who saw her powerful header crash off the bar after Sarah Mayling sent in a delightful cross.

But the Chelsea loanee wasn’t to be denied again though. Shortly after, Mayling’s low corner wasn’t dealt with at the near post and it fell to the teenager who saw her shot blocked but then got their first to nod the rebound into the net.

The home side were awarded a set piece for a handball on the edge of the area and Kayla Rendell could only stand and watch Sarah Mayling’s perfectly struck free-kick go up and over the wall and into the back of the net for the third.

At this point, Birmingham looked to be cruising to the next round but Southampton came flying out the blocks late on. Lucia Kendall had been causing problems with her deliveries when awarded corners and she finally made one count, her dangerous delivery to the back post was headed in on the line by substitute Caitlin Morris.

That wasn’t the end for Saints as Phoebe Williams sent a great ball over the top which found Ella Pusey, her fantastic first touch allowed her to get on her right foot, her shot deflecting off  Hannah Hampton and looping into the net to set up a nervy finish for the WSL 1 side.

The match ended 3-2 to Birmingham City despite Southampton’s late comeback, they should be really proud of themselves with the performance they put in.

So that was the end of an era at Damson Park for Blues who will play at Saint Andrew’s next season, where they will hope for a more comfortable campaign!

Birmingham City: Sophie Whitehouse (Hannah Hampton, 76), Harriet Scott, Georgia Brougham, Ruby Mace, Rebecca Holloway, Christie Murray, Lucy Whipp, Mollie Green (Emily Murphy, h-t, Heidi Logan, 79), Sarah Mayling, Jamie-Lee Napier (Abbi Grant, 66), Claudia Walker.
Unused sub: Emma Kelly.

Southampton: Kayla Rendell, Milly Mott, Caitlin Morris, Rosie Parnell, Shelly Provan (Rachel Panting, 72), Phoebe Williams (Emilie Castagna, 90), Shannon Sievwright, Sophia Pharoah (Georgie Freeland, 72), Lucia Kendall, Alisha Ware (Ella Morris, 58), Ella Pusey.
Unused subs: Kirsty Whitton, Sara Luce, Charley Evans, Chloe Gilroy, Laura da Silva.