Often Partisan

Birmingham City Ladies Into Last Eight of Champions League

Blues Ladies are through to the quarter finals of the UEFA Women’s Champions League after steamrollering Russian side FK Zorkiy Krasnagorsk 5-2 at St Andrews last night to win the tie 7-2 on aggregate. Goals from Izzy Christiansen, Kirsty Linnett (2), Kerys Harrop and Mel Lawley assured that David Parker’s team would be in the hat for draw on November 22.

Blues came into the game on the back of a well-fought 2-0 win out in Russia and started this tie like a freight train, instantly pushing the Russians back into their own half and using the pace of Christiansen and Linnett to get behind the defence. With only three minutes on the clock Linnett found herself in on the keeper having beaten the offside trap once again and whilst Zorkiy keeper Chante Sandiford was able to keep out her effort Christiansen tucked home the rebound.

Five minutes later the same combination came together again; Christiansen bursting forwards after a poor goal kick and had enough time to square it for Linnett before being hacked down by Sandiford with the former Arsenal Ladies player tucking the ball home into the empty net.

The 1,062 crowd could be forgiven at this time for thinking it would be a rout with every ball forwards making the Zorkiy backline look nervous but the Russian side started to grow in confidence and took a noticeable control in midfield as passes from the Blues started going astray.

On 29 minutes the Russians were back in the game on the night when Svetlana Tsidikova’s forward ball bounced unluckily off a defender leaving Spanish striker Maria Ruiz one-on-one with Blues keeper Rebecca Spencer and Ruiz made no mistake from twelve yards out. The Russians were massively in the ascendancy at this point with Spencer having to save smartly at the feet of an onrushing striker in a goalmouth scramble. However the equaliser came before half time, Ashley Nick stooping to head home Vera Djatel’s right wing corner.

At this point one did get the impression that one more goal would see the Russians go on to win the tie but Blues came out for the second half with the same vim and purpose that they came out with in the first half and soon retook the lead. Linnett’s hard work won a corner out of almost nothing and from the resultant flag kick full back Kerys Harrop headed home Jo Potter’s deep cross back across goal from the far post.

This time the Russians did noticeably deflate, and Blues started to pick them off on the counter, with Linnett rounding the keeper before slotting home after a fine ball from Christiansen before Lawley slotted home late on after Karen Carney unselfishly squared the ball to her 20 yards out. One could be forgiven for thinking that Hall Green native and childhood Blues fan Carney would have wanted to take the effort for herself but she showed true class in playing in her teammate who was in a much better position to round off the night.

The celebrations after the whistle were wild and ecstatic with Blues Ladies now into the hat for the quarter-final draw, which is to be made on November 22 with the ties to come in March. They now go into the end of season break knowing that they could start the new campaign with a glamour tie against the likes of Barcelona,Wolfsburg or Lyon on the road ot Lisbon.

The crowd seemed appreciative too, with many staying behind after the final whistle to applaud the ladies. There had been some appreciative noises at not just some of the technical skill on offer but also some of the full-blooded challenges. Blues fans have always wanted to see passion on the pitch and it was here in spades from the get go; Jade Moore squaring up to a Zorkiy player within two minutes of the kick off after a brutish challenge whilst there were some crunching tackles from both sides – Alyssa Mautz of Zorkiy being fortunate to remain on the pitch.

All in all it was a very successful night and hopefully won’t be the last time St Andrews sees Champions League action; although Ladies’ football is still very much grassroots at this moment in time one does get the feeling that there is room for it to grow and to help make Birmingham City a truly community club. The people behind the ladies’ side are very much passionate and it’s good to see that passion and commitment slowly being rewarded with nights like this.


Rebecca Spencer (Mary Earps), Chelsea Weston, Laura Bassett, Emily Westwood (Aoife Mannion), Kerys Harrop, Karen Carney, Jo Potter, Jade Moore, Mel Lawley (Katie Wilkinson), Izzy Christiansen, Kirsty Linnett.

Unused subs Emily Simpkins, Cristina Torkildsen, Hannah George, Coral-Jade Haines

Blues Ladies - sponsored by Hollywood Monster

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27 Responses to “Birmingham City Ladies Into Last Eight of Champions League”

  • AuldBertie says:

    Thanks for the report Dan. I was unable to attend last night but I did listen to the game on WM. It was an excellent performance by the ladies and a lift for all Blues fans. I will definitely try to attend the home tie in March which hopefully will also be at St Andrews.

  • Frankie says:

    Well done to the ladies of Birmingham City !
    We need a few successes like this to help us through the season and you are the highlights.

  • Oldbluenose says:

    A great night for the girls, So glad that they could play at St, Andrews, Really made their night, !!.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      Did you see Kirsty Linnet’s face when her name was announced over the tannoy after her first goal? Her smile lit up the stadium. She must have felt so proud to hear that. :-)

  • dave mann says:

    went down last night, girls made us proud with a great victory, cant wait for the draw friday
    week, bring on barcelona or wolfsburg who are the defending champions.KRO.

  • motozulu says:

    Great stuff. Glad the club are backing them, which in these times of financial strife is to the club’s credit.

  • Chris W says:

    Great game to watch, blues out paced the Russians with ball over the top time and again.
    There was a lot of good football played by both sides, along with some solid tackling.
    neither team pulled any punches but on the night Blues were just to quick and took there chances well.
    Well done to all concerned with Birmingham Ladies and the crowd too for a decent turn out on such a miserable night weather wise.

  • oldburyblue says:

    I went last night and was not disappointed. Much more speed,skill and strength shown than I anticipated. Congratulations to the girls….not wanting to sound sexist but I mean it as a compliment when I say that it was easy to forget that they were even female….just accepting them as players wearing The Royal Blue.

  • oldburyblue says:

    Another eye-opener for me last night was to sit in the Main Stand again after many years. Quite simply it is not safe! I am surprised that it retains its Safety Certificate. The walkway across the stand is far too narrow not allowing people to walk in opposite directions at the same time without fear of being pushed over. I realise that we are stuck with the steep steps to get into the stand but surely the narrow area at the top of those steps and then the aisles up to the seats could be widened? Glad I’m in The Kop!
    Oops, when did I turn into Victor Meldrew?

    • Chris W says:

      I was also concerned by the sudden LARGE step as I was walking down to the exit and jarred my back, I thought I had missed a step or something.
      I use to be a season ticket holder in the main stand and was looking forward to revisiting it again.
      Definitely time for more redevelopment and knock it down, though I have many happy memories from that stand, similar to last night of exception talent from the ladies, time to say goodbye.

  • ...sappy sad says:

    …………..fantastic blues ladies …..I have been watching ladies football on telly lately.very entertaining …I was very disappointed with the gate ,and I think the ladies was as well..i know blues fans are upset with things lately but I think most of us agree that they are an asset to be proud of at our beloved club ……so lets get more behind our squad that puts the beauty into the beautiful game in many ways….so COMEON blues fans make them a force in Europe .get behind them ……SUPER BLUES

  • Ted says:

    Congratulations Blues Ladies! I couldn’t go last night but very much wanted to. Next time we have a Champions League game down Stan’s let’s rally and get a good crowd in. KRO Ladies, you did the club proud.

  • dave mann says:

    what a star kirsty linnett is, scored two made one, even outshone the brilliant karen carney
    who missed a sitter in the first couple of mins and had a pretty average game if ime being
    honest, a shinning light on the blue horizon was the performance…..guys take note and
    come out firing against blackpool next saturday. KRO.

  • Alan, Wythall says:

    An excellent TEAM performance by our Blue Belles last night. The Russians were a good side but vulnerable to the pace and well-timed runs of our forward players. I was particularly impressed by Potter’s command of midfield areas and the precise finishing of our attacking players.
    Lots of skills on show, enhanced by playing the game at St A. In fact, more skills and entertainment than shown by our guys in the last home game v Charlton (though they were terrific v Stoke!).
    The crowd was way over 1,016. Somebody should correct that, and BCFC should give the Ladies St A for the next round. I will certainly be there, and I’ll entice a few others.
    WELL DONE to ALL concerned.

  • dave mann says:

    i hope they do Allan but i think they only got stans because of the international break but the
    quater- final home leg would be great for the girls to play there again, they loved it and it showed
    in the way they play, the crowd would be closer to 2000 if they did and the atmosphere would be
    much better than solihull moors, bring it on i say!!! KRO.

  • Agent McLeish says:

    Sky New website annoyed me. Most of the piece they wrote and the only picture was all Arsenal Ladies. So even in Ladies footie the London bias rules.

  • dave mann says:

    sky news last night only showed arsenals highlights but they did show the blues ladies
    this morning so someones had a moan and to right to, the london bias really p—– me off
    but then who cares about a bunch of part time proffesionals beating a fully proffesional
    team with lots of intermational players 7-2 on agg and getting to the champions league
    quater- finals when they ONLY come from birmingham…. only us ime afraid….only us!!!

  • BigmanSteve0 says:

    Fantastic news about the blue girls Almajir & well done to you & your site for doing a good article on it but I am getting in a bit fed up with people on here been derogatory about “the Chinese” just because CY happens to be Chinese ,my son who reads this blog has asked me why lots of people on here seam to hate the Chinese how can I answer that? They have no reason to!
    CY is only one of a billion plus Chinese people so because there un happy with him we blame “the Chinese “. I’m glad CY isn’t a Big man

  • sutton apex says:

    well done ladies – a great advert for b’ham city !! Well done the club to – nice touch to let them play at stans, the hallowed turf !!

  • mark says:

    fantastic result by the ladies showing our men how to put the ball in the back of the net………….lets hope their joyful win bring us some good luck against Blackpool i would definately settle for the same result…Again well done ladies go all the way now…………………………..kro

  • bluenoserob says:

    i checked the bbc website about the game , there was a whole page on the arsenal game and 12 words about the blues ladies game , makes me wanna vomit.

    • DoctorD says:

      Yeah please go ahead and vomit.

      To be fair, the Arsenal game was against another British club — hence double the interest from UK readers I guess. Having said that, both Arsenal and Blues are top teams in the women’s game. I am sure the thinking in the BBC is “Arsenal men’s team is much more important than Blues’ men’s teams so the same applies to the women’s teams”. That’s just not true.

      • StaffsBlue says:

        We’ve finished runners-up to Arsenal in the last 2 seasons and, in the first of those, we topped the table for most of the season, before being overtaken in the last week or two. I think that puts us on a par with Arsenal at least.

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