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Everton 0 Birmingham City 2 (Harrop 27, Stanton 41)
Birmingham City continue to blaze a trail at the top of the FA WSL after defeating Everton to maintain their 100 per cent record.
A stunning Kerys Harrop strike and Sally Stanton's header made it five in a row for the runaway leaders at Marine FC, while the struggling Merseysiders are still searching for their first win after a disappointing start to the season.
It could have been a lot worse for Mo Marley's side if goalkeeper Danielle Hill had been sent off on 15 minutes after clattering into Dunia Susi on the edge of the penalty area. The Everton shot stopper clearly denied the Blues winger a goalscoring opportunity but referee Natalie Walker showed leniency in only brandishing the yellow card.
The home side were grateful for that moments later when Hill produced a superb save to deny Harrop. Natasha Dowie then spurned a great chance to put the Toffees in front when she fired wide after running onto Toni Duggan's pass.
Harrop made Everton pay when the full back opened the scoring with an audacious 35-yard strike from the touchline which caught out Hill on 27 minutes.
Jill Scott came close to an equaliser when she volleyed just wide with goalkeeper Marie Hourihan out of position after punching clear Rachel Unitt's testing cross. Hinnigan then fired into the side netting after Hourihan failed to hold Duggan's shot while the excellent Karen Carney drilled over at the other end.
The impressive Birmingham doubled their advantage four minutes before half time when, following a succession of dangerous corners from Jo Potter, Stanton headed home.
Fern Whelan headed over Jody Handley's corner as Everton, who had drawn their opening three games, looked for a way back into the contest. The lively Dowie then missed another good opportunity before the striker went even closer when she let fly from 25 yards.
But the visitors never looked like they were really in danger of letting their lead slip and they should have added a third when Amy Kane pushed Rachel Williams in the penalty area on 71 minutes but Emily Westwood blazed over the spot kick.
Susi rattled the post before the end as David Parker's team looked to finish in style, but the victory had long since been assured as Birmingham march on at the top.
Everton: Danielle Hill, Rachel Unitt, Fern Whelan, Lindsay Johnson, Becky Easton, Michelle Hinnigan (sub Nikita Parris 73mins), Amy Kane (sub Alex Greenwood 85mins), Jill Scott, Toni Duggan, Jody Handley (sub Jess Holbrook 85mins), Natasha Dowie. Sub not used: Rachel Brown.
Birmingham City: Marie Hourihan, Kerys Harrop, Sally Stanton, Laura Bassett, Chelsea Weston, Karen Carney, Jo Potter, Jade Moore, Emily Westwood, Dunia Susi, Rachel Williams. Subs not used: Jess Wright, Laura Watts, Faye Cardin, Isobel Christiansen, Marie Ballard.
(Report by www.TheFA.com)
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