Notts County Ladies 0 Birmingham City Ladies 1
A HEADED goal from Emily Westwood midway through the second half proved the difference between the sides as Blues Ladies secured their first away win of the campaign on Sunday, reports Liam Moakes.
Centre back Westwood took advantage of some hesitant County defending to get on the end of Jo Potter’s inviting free kick and nod the ball over home keeper Carly Telford in the 69th minute.
After the goal, David Parker’s side comfortably held on to their advantage and the impressive manner in which they ground out this victory which lifted them into fourth place is a credit to this young outfit.
With Potter orchestrating things in midfield, Blues were rarely troubled by the home side other than on the half hour mark when keeper Sophie Baggaley made a superb full length save to tip Angharad James’ thumping 30-yard strike around the post.
Moments later, the 19-year-old stopper made a brilliant point blank save to keep out Ellen White’s close range header before denying the hosts twice more in the ensuing goalmouth scramble.
Blues had looked the more confident side in the opening quarter and came within a whisker of taking the lead in the eighth minute when Potter’s inswinging corner struck the bar with Telford beaten.
A level scoreline at half time was a fair reflection of the game but Parker’s side almost changed that three minutes into the second half when Potter spun on the edge of the area and fizzed a blistering left-footed strike inches wide of the right-hand post.
With Freda Ayisi tireless in her running up front, Blues looked confident, and Westwood, Aoife Mannion, Jess Carter and Kerys Harrop were in no mood to give anything away at the back.
The closest County came to an equaliser was in the 87th minute when White glanced a header goalwards but Baggaley was well positioned to safely gather and afterwards Blues comfortably saw out the remainder of the game to head home with all three points.
Blues: Baggaley, Mannion, Westwood (C), Carter, Stringer (Peplow, 76), Harrop, Allen, Potter, Lawley, Wellings (Moore 70), Ayisi. Subs not used: Brown, Johnson.