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Blues take firm grip on tie
 Women's Football News 9 Oct 2013
 
Birmingham City firmly have one foot in the final sixteen of the UEFA Women's Champions League after a comfortable 3-0 victory over PK-35 Vantaa in Finland. 
 
The result now puts the Blues in a strong position heading into next Wednesday's second leg at Stratford Town's DCS Stadium (2pm kick off).
 
Melissa Lawley helped to set the tone for a largely dominant display from the visitors. The forward had already shown glimpses of her goalscoring intentions prior to her opener. In the seventh minute, Lawley's 18-yard drive looked set to find the top right corner only to be tipped over by a desperate attempt from Vantaa 'keeper Rachael Ayegba.
 
Lawley gave Ayegba a glimpse of what was to come with a similar effort in the 13th minute that proved easy for the Nigerian goalie to gather. However there was no stopping the forward when she drifted in from the left in the 23rd minute before bending a delightful effort beyond the outstretched Ayegba.
 
That said, Blues did suffer minor scares towards the end of the first half. Goalkeeper Rebecca Spencer was called into action in quick succession to make a last gasp clearance outside her box to deny Sanni Franssi before keeping out a tricky effort from Sanna Saarinen.
 
However the wind was firmly taken out of the Finns' sails five minutes into the second half when Kirsty Linnett got her head on the end of Karen Carney's right wing cross to watch the chance bounce in off the underside of the bar.
 
The result was sealed in the 70th minute with Carney again the provider. The England international's free kick from the left was met by a tame punch from Ayegba that fell to Harrop 12 yards out and the defender made no mistake.
 
PK-35 Vantaa: Rachael Ayegba, Pirjo Leppikangas, Heidi Kivela, Jenna Korhonen, Furtuna Velaj (sub Eveliina Parikka 45mins), Jennifer Bisset, Sanna Saarinen, Hanne Ojanpera (sub Iina Salmi 82mins), Maiju Hirvonen, Laura Kivisto (sub Tiia Peitonen 32mins), Sanni Franssi. Subs not used: Paula Myllyoja, Linda Ruutu, Netta Koso.

Birmingham City: Rebecca Spencer, Chelsea Weston, Kerys Harrop, Jade Moore, Emily Westwood, Laura Bassett, Issy Christiansen, Melissa Lawley, Kirsty Linnett (sub Katie Wilkinson 80mins), Karen Carney, Jo Potter (sub Emily Simpkins 89mins). Subs not used: Jessica Myers, Cristina Torkildsen, Aoife Mannion, Hannah George, Coral Haines.

 
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