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Women's Football News
Birmingham City 1 (Linnett 85) Lincoln Ladies 1 (Clarke 62)
A late goal helped Birmingham City to secure a 1-1 draw against an impressive Lincoln side at the DCS Stadium.
In what was a scrappy opening to the game, Blues had two early efforts as Jo Potter tested visiting goalkeeper Karen Bardsley with identical long-range free kicks. Lincoln grew into the game though and began to play some nice football despite blustery conditions hampering both teams from being able to get the ball down and play.
Blues were then forced into an early change as Issy Christiansen took the full force of a Sophie Walton clearance in the face. The midfielder tried to carry on, but was soon replaced by Melissa Lawley.
However, Blues should have taken the lead just before half time. A mix-up in the Lincoln back line saw a bouncing ball evade Casey Stoney and find Rachel Williams 20 yards out. The striker drove into the box before shooting, but she dragged her effort just wide.
Half time saw Emily Westwood make way for Kirsty Linnett as Blues looked to inject more pace on the right wing. But the change seemed to invigorate the visitors who settled quicker than Blues in the second half.
Carla Cantrell fired an ambitious volley over and Kerys Harrop made a last ditch tackle to cut out a through ball to prevent Precious Hamilton from getting in behind the Blues defence.
In the 62nd minute, Jess Clarke forced Marie Hourihan into a fingertip save with an effort from long range and from the resultant corner, Lincoln took the lead. Cantrell's delivery was initially cleared, but when Hamilton put the ball back in, Clarke turned quickly to score on the turn.
Hamilton then forced Hourihan into another save before Blues came back into the game. Potter tried an audacious free kick which nearly caught Bardsley out and shortly afterwards, Linnett nodded over the stranded goalkeeper, but Rachel Unitt couldn't connect with the loose ball to score.
Cantrell missed a great chance to seal the win when she failed to properly connect with a header from six yards out and it would prove to be costly.
With only five minutes left on the clock, the impressive Lawley jinked her way down the left wing before crossing to the back post. Linnett strode on to the ball to fire across goal and a wicked deflection off Stoney left Bardsley helpless as Blues levelled.
In the last minute, Blues could have won the game when Williams' brilliant run ended with a pass to Lawley who fired wide when a goal looked likely.
Birmingham therefore register their second draw in as many games while Lincoln pick up their first point ahead of their F.A.Women's Cup semi final with Bristol Academy next Sunday.
Birmingham City: Marie Hourihan, Chelsea Weston, Rachel Unitt, Jade Moore, Kerys Harrop, Laura Bassett, Issy Christiansen (sub Melissa Lawley 29mins), Emily Westwood (sub Kirsty Linnett 45mins), Rachel Williams, Emily Simpkins (sub Kate Wilkinson 71mins), Jo Potter. Subs not used: Cristina Torkildsen, Mary Earps, Marie Ballard, Coral-Jade Haines.
Lincoln Ladies: Karen Bardsley, Martha Harris, Sophie Walton, Emily Roberts (sub Hayley Bowdon 69mins), Amy Turner, Casey Stoney, Megan Harris, Precious Hamilton, Carla Cantrell, Remi Allen, Jess Clarke. Subs not used: Bonnie Horwood, Amy Kay, Sophie Bradley.
(Report by www.fawsl.com)
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