Wednesday 29 June 2016

David Parker backs his 'scary' Blues for bigger things

It is as you were in FA WSL 1 as third-place Birmingham drew 0-0 with fourth-place Arsenal

FA WSL 1 match
19:45, Wednesday 29 June 2016
Solihull Moors FC

David Parker believes the potential of his Birmingham City side is ‘scary’ after being left impressed by his new signings in the FA Women’s Super League 1 draw with Arsenal. 

An impressive defensive display was spearheaded by new goalkeeper Ann Katrin-Berger, who made an important stop to deny Asisat Oshoala in the second half. 

Another new face in midfielder Andrine Hegerberg also started while Germany international Isabelle Linden came off the bench. 

And despite the departure of England duo Jo Potter and Jade Moore earlier this month, Parker insists Wednesday’s stalemate was another big step forward.

“It was another cracking performance and yet I still want more, there is still so much more to come from this group, it’s quite scary,” said Parker. 

“Teams are looking at us and thinking we have lost a few players – but look at the players we have added and the kids coming through too. “We are growing so quickly and so much, and there is so much more to come from this group.

“It was a great save from our new goalkeeper (Berger), she’s played against the best for PSG in the big Champions League games and when you have someone who can make crucial game-defining saves, and distribute the ball like her, it’s a real asset to have.”

Arsenal created several early half-chances, with Alex Scott going closest with a 40 yard free-kick that was helped around the post by Berger.

The Gunners should have been in front within minutes of the restart as Asisat Oshoala went through on goal, but could only fire her shot straight at an on-rushing Berger.

Midway through the second half Birmingham went close as neat build-up play between Mel Lawley and Kerys Harrop saw Hegerberg – unchallenged at the back post – head over the bar. 

Substitute Bella Linden then went close for the home side, while Arsenal’s Jordan Nobbs came off the bench only to see her shot comfortably saved by Berger as the game ended in a stalemate.

Arsenal manager Pedro Martinez Losa said: “I thought we deserved a little bit more in the second half but you have to accept results. 

“On another day we probably would have taken the points, so we’re not happy but obviously we value you one point away from home and I’ll take it in a very competitive game.

“Birmingham are full of confidence and you have to give them credit, they were well organised and we knew it was going to be very difficult to score here. 

“Last year we scored one goal and took victory, but this time we haven’t been able to do that. Teams will come here and drop points too.”

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Birmingham City (4-4-2): Ann-Katrin Berger, Alex Windell, Jess Carter, Kerys Harrop, Freyda Ayisi, Andrine Hegerberg, Abbey-Leigh Stringer, Mel Lawley, Charlie Wellings, Emily Westwood, Aoife Mannion.

Substitutes Used: Bella Linden on for Wellings 62, Chloe Peplow for Windell 73.

Substitutes Not Used: Connie Scofield, Cheryl Edwards, Ashlee Brown, Sian Johnson, Sophie Baggaley.

Bookings: Chloe Peplow 87.

Red cards:

Arsenal Ladies (4-3-3): Sari Van Veenendaal, Alex Scott, Emma Mitchell, Casey Stoney, Fara Williams, Vicky Losada, Josephine Henning, Danielle Van De Donk, Natalia Pablos Sanchon, Marta Corredera, Asisat Oshoala

Substitutes: Katie McCabe on for Oshoala 59, Jordan Nobbs for Corredera 59, Dominique Janssen on for Van De Donk 78.

Subs not used: Emma Byrne, Charlie Devlin, Chloe Kelly, Jemma Rose.

Bookings: Josephine Henning 57, Vicky Losada 68.

Red cards:

Att: 626

Ref: Mark Griffiths