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Brave Blues Ladies Bow Out in Tough Conditions

Birmingham City Ladies bowed out of the FA Women’s Cup following a 3-1 quarter-final defeat to Manchester City Women. Goals from Duggan, Parris and Scott were enough for the hosts to win the game although Blues Ladies had a brief moment of hope when Coral-Jade Haines made it 2-1 late on.

Tough weather conditions at the Academy Stadium on Manchester City’s Etihad Campus made for a difficult game. With Kirsty Linnett ruled out of the squad with an ankle knock Emily Westwood supported Melissa Lawley up front with Meaghan Sergeant slotting into a back five.

Man City took the lead somewhat against the run of play, as Blues Ladies had been pushing hard at them. A quick counter saw the ball break to Parris on the right hand side of the box and while her shot hit the bar, Duggan was able to steer the ball home. It was harsh on Blues Ladies as they looked like they were going to clear the danger but as the half wore on it became evident that the talent within the Man City ranks was going to be a tall order to beat.

As the rain lashed down Lawley could and maybe should have equalised, beating the Man City keeper in a foot race to a long ball which left the striker wide on the right side of the box with an open net – however rather than shooting and potentially missing, Lawley opted to check back inside allowing the Man City defence to get back and defend.

Four minutes later a bad mistake from Brooks in the Man City goal when she dropped a cross could have brought good fortune but the ball wouldn’t fall to a Blues player and Man City were able to scramble clear the danger.

Early on in the second half Brooks again failed to properly claim a long ball with Westwood charging down on her but again Blues couldn’t make the most of the chance.

On 67 minutes Man City Women doubled their lead with Parris finishing from a Christiansen free kick. Man City had been complaining about play being pulled back while they were attacking but their complaints abruptly ceased as a beautiful ball was floated over and Parris broke clear of the Blues back line to slot home.

Blues looked like they might just get back into it when Haines got a goal back. Westwood made the most of a slip by the Man City full back, driving into the area and pulling the ball back from the byline across the face of goal where Haines was able to slot home from close range.

With their tails up the Blues Ladies attacked with gusto but they were dealt a sucker punch as Man City countered and the impressive Jill Scott finished the move off with a beautiful goal, slotting the ball underneath Spencer to finish the game off.

While it wasn’t the result they would have wanted it was a good performance from the Blues Ladies and in a team shorn of most of their attacking players they did well to put the Man City team under the pressure they did.

Blues: Spencer, Windell (Wellings 75) , Mannion, Sergeant, Harrop, Carter, Allen (Haines 75), Moore, Potter, Lawley, Westwood.
Subs not used Baggaley, Stringer, Torkildsen


Blues Ladies - sponsored by Hollywood Monster

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