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Everton add to Birmingham woes
 Women's Football News 2 Jul 2012
 
Everton add to Birmingham woes - 2 Jul 2012 - Women's Football NewsBirmingham City 1 (Taylor 85)
Everton 2 (Dowie 31, Williams 73)

Everton produced a good all round performance to inflict a second successive defeat on Birmingham City at Stratford. 
 
The result moves improving Everton level on points with the Blues and into a four-way tie with Bristol Academy and Chelsea, the weekend's other winners.
 
After a quiet start to the match, it was Everton who produced the first threatening attempt on goal as Fara Williams was just off target with a well executed volley from the edge of the area.
 
Birmingham came back with Rachel Unitt forcing a save from Rachel Brown with an effort from just outside the area but the home side were struggling to make an impression against the Toffees' defence.
 
Birmingham themselves were looking uncharacteristically nervous and unsure in possession and Jody Handley made a chance for herself as she nipped in to take the ball off Laura Bassett but sent her shot straight at Marie Hourihan. Moments later, Jo Potter was dispossessed by Williams who won a free kick but the England midfielder was just wide with her shot.
 
At the other end, a free kick by Potter was punched away by Brown as far as Karen Carney who sidefooted a volley narrowly wide.
 
Two minutes later though and Everton's enterprising start was rewarded by them taking the lead. Amy Kane slid a good pass into the path of Handley whose cross picked out Toni Duggan and although the winger's header was well saved by Hourihan, Natasha Dowie was on hand to nod home from the rebound.
 
Eniola Aluko cut in from the left and fired over as Birmingham tried to respond and the home side came close to levelling the scores two minutes before half time. Potter's corner was headed on by Rachel Williams for Emily Westwood whose looping header was tipped over the bar by Brown.
 
The second half saw Birmingham gain more possession but again not having a cutting edge as Everton stayed solid at the back. Lindsay Johnson was having an excellent game in the centre of defence for Everton, well supported by Lucy Bronze, whilst Williams and Jill Scott were back to their best form in the heart of the Toffees midfield.
 
Aluko flashed two centres across the face of goal but it was Everton who produced the best effort at the other end, a well struck effort from Amy Kane which flew inches over the bar.
 
With seventeen minutes remaining, Everton took a firm grip on the game as Williams picked the ball up in midfield and unleashed a strike from 30 yards which beat the dive of Hourihan and found the corner of the net to double her side's lead.
 
A shellshocked Birmingham side continued to toil and it seemed as though Everton would go on to win by a bigger margin at this stage. However the Blues gave themselves hope when a long pass by Chelsea Weston picked out Jodie Taylor on the edge of the area and the in-form striker held off the attentions of Johnson as she turned and buried her shot past Brown and into the far corner to reduce the arrears.
 
Jade Moore fired over the bar after being set up on the edge of the area by Aluko but Everton ran down the clock at the other end to secure a thoroughly merited victory. 
 
Birmingham City: Marie Hourihan, Chelsea Weston, Rachel Unitt (sub Kerys Harrop 80mins), Jade Moore, Emily Westwood, Laura Bassett, Eniola Aluko, Rachel Williams, Jodie Taylor, Karen Carney (sub Isobel Christiansen 80mins), Jo Potter. Subs not used: Christina Torkildsen, Rebecca Spencer.

Everton: Rachel Brown, Becky Easton, Brooke Chaplen, Fara Williams, Lucy Bronze, Lindsay Johnson, Jody Handley, Jill Scott, Natasha Dowie, Amy Kane, Toni Duggan. Subs not used: Michelle Hinnigan, Danielle Hill, Gwennan Harries, Eartha Pond.


 
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