FOOTBALL: BIRMINGHAM City Ladies boss Marc Skinner has described progressing through to the Women’s FA Cup final at Wembley as an ‘incredible feeling’ and is looking forward to going toe-to-toe with the Women’s Super League winners.
Skinner’s side produced another big upset in Easter Monday’s semi-final by knocking out Chelsea on penalties after a 1-1 draw to set up a final at the home of English football against Manchester City Women.
“I was tremendously proud regardless of what happened in the shoot-out,” said Skinner.
“To take a team like Chelsea to extra time with all the pedigree they have was an achievement in itself. The way we kept our heads up after Chelsea equalised was fantastic.”
Meaghan Sargeant headed hosts Blues in front shortly after the hour mark before substitute Drew Spence forced extra-time with an 88th minute equaliser.
But goalkeeper Ann-Katrin Berger was the hero for the Blues after making a series of fine saves including one in the penalty shoot-out.
“She’s an impregnable wall,” Skinner continued. “She is just getting better and better and oozes confidence.
“I will reiterate once again that we have two fantastic keepers in Ann and Sophie Baggaley. Only a wonder strike would have beaten Ann. She’s a rock for this side, as are all of our defenders.”
Blues will now have to complete a hat-trick of upsets as they prepare for a Wembley final on May 13 against Manchester City Women where they many will once again see them as underdogs, but Skinner disagrees.
“Manchester City are a brilliant side and we know just how stern the test awaiting us is,” Skinner added.
“However, we do not see ourselves as underdogs against anyone. We have a project here and know how we are going about things. Confidence is high.
“We’ve had to do it the hard way, seeing off Arsenal and Chelsea, so facing Man City is the same kind of task.
“You look at the likes of Ellie Brazil and Charlie Wellings giving top class players such a tough time and it fills me with pride. They are local girls who have come through our system and it will mean the world to them to be going to Wembley.”