Sunday 1 October 2017

First-half double salvo gets the Blues off the mark

White and Wellings strike as Birmingham see off Everton to claim first win of the season

FA WSL 1 match
12:30, Sunday 1 October 2017
Solihull Moors FC

Birmingham City Ladies Goal Scorers: White 14', Wellings 31'

Everton Ladies FC Goal Scorers: Kelly 47'

England striker Ellen White hit her third goal in the opening two matches of the season as Birmingham City claimed their first win of the campaign.

First-half goals by White and winger Charlie Wellings set the home side on the road to victory following last week’s defeat by Arsenal.

Winger Chloe Kelly pulled a goal back straight after the interval for the Toffees but despite having the better of the second half, they suffered a second successive defeat.

Birmingham pressed from early on and from a sixth-minute corner, floated in by midfielder Hayley Ladd, White headed over the bar.

But the striker made up for that miss with the opening goal eight minutes later, forcing in a close range shot from a Paige Williams corner kick.

The lead was almost doubled in the 24th minute, midfielder Andrine Hegerberg sending in a 20-yard drive that was kept out by a diving Lizzie Durack.

But the second goal arrived when a low 31st-minute White cross was swept home by Wellings from 10 yards.

As half-time approached, midfielder Jess Carter tried her luck with a 25-yard effort that flashed narrowly wide of the near post.

Everton had been outmanoeuvred in the first half but started the second period with a bang, Kelly pulling a goal back within seconds of the restart as she turned in after being teed up by Courtney Sweetman-Kirk cross.

Striker Sweetman-Kirk was denied an equaliser when her angled drive was well-saved by teenage substitute goalkeeper Fran Stenson.

Stenson then kept out a late Simone Magill effort to ensure a Birmingham victory.

What they said:

Birmingham captain Emily Westwood, ex-Everton, said: “We made it difficult for ourselves in the end but we thoroughly deserved the win.

“Our first-half performance won it for us. We were really slow and lethargic in the first half at Arsenal, so we had to change that and we played really well in that first 45 minutes.

“We had well-taken goals by Ellen White and Charlie Wellings – that’s three goals in two games for Ellen and she’s on fire at the minute.

“Her attitude and application is first class in training as well as in matches, and she’s deservedly getting the rewards in front of goal.

“Everyone feeds off her, everyone buzzes off her, and hopefully, she’ll keep her great form going.

“I was pleased with the grit and determination shown by everyone in the team.

“We had to stick together to beat my old team, who are always well-organised and never give in, and it’s a good three points for us.”

Everton manager Andy Spence said: “We were very, very disappointing in the first half.

“We were one or two yards off in all parts of our game – defensively and offensively, we were slow, laboured in possession and lacking in confidence.

“The girls are completely honest, which they showed at half-time – by the time I got into the dressing room, they were having real honest conversations with each other and they didn’t really need me to tell them what was going wrong.

“We never got a foothold in the game but the second half was the complete opposite. We were very impressive and I’m disappointed not to have won the game in the end.

“Of course, I did tell them, in no uncertain terms, and there was a super response.

“I think, in that second half, we showed ourselves and showed everyone who was watching that when we put our game together, we can be very competitive.”

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Birmingham City 2

White 14, Wellings 31

Everton 1

Kelly 46

Birmingham (4-2-3-1): Ann Katrin Berger; Meaghan Sargeant, Emily Westwood, Aoife Mannion, Paige Williams; Jessica Carter, Hayley Ladd; Lucy Quinn, Andrine Hegerberg, Charlie Wellings; Ellen White.

Substitutes: Fran Stenson for Berger 46, Abbeyleigh Stringer for Wellings 72

Substitutes not used: Freda Ayisi, Kerys Harrop, Marisa Ewers, Maddy Cusack, , Emma Follis.

Bookings: None

Red cards: None

Everton (4-4-1-1): Lizzie Durack; Faye Bryson, Gabby George, Georgia Brougham, Danielle Turner; Chloe Kelly, Megan Finnigan, Jodie Brett, Marthe Munsterman; Simone Magill; Courtney Sweetman-Kirk.

Substitutes: Claudia Walker for Munsterman 46, Chantelle Boye-Hlorkah for Kelly 65

Substitutes not used: Kirshe Levell, Angharad James, Olivia Chance, Siri Worm, Mollie Green.

Bookings: Sweetman-Kirk 36, Munsterman 43, Brougham 87

Red cards: None

Referee: Mr D. Middleton

Attendance: 821