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Aston Villa 0 Birmingham City 2 (Keryakoplis 6, Moore 12)
Two goals in the opening twelve minutes sent Birmingham City on their way to victory in the local derby Continental Cup group match at Sutton Coldfield.
The Blues made a fast start to the game in search of an early goal and they got what they wanted with six minutes on the clock. Kerys Harrop's long ball forward was not dealt with by the Villa defence and this allowed Hannah Keryakoplis through on goal, the Welsh international striker slotting the ball past the oncoming Caitlin Leach.
Karen Carney was inches away as she cut in from the left and crashed a shot against the post but there was no respite for Villa. A loose ball out of defence was seized on by Jade Moore and the England international let fly from 25 yards, Leach getting a hand to her shot but could not prevent it from finding the top corner.
Keryakoplis could have had a second as she headed over when unmarked in front of goal after Remi Allen had leapt high to nod a Jo Potter corner back across goal. Carney had a shot saved by Leach but Villa finally weathered the early storm and began to stem the flow of Birmingham attacks.
Villa produced their first attempt on goal through a Sarah Mayling free kick which was saved by Rebecca Spencer, after Aoife Mannion had been penalised for a foul on Carly Davies. Carney was again to go close at the other end though, breaking down the right from Potter's pass and firing a shot into the side netting.
Birmingham made two substitutions at half time with Kirsty Linnett and Emily Westwood replacing Carney and Potter but they continued to press for more goals. Harrop made a good run down the left and crossed for Linnett but she was crowded out by three Villa players before she could get in a shot.
Keryakoplis had two half chances, both of which went wide, but Villa looked a lot tighter at the back in the second half with Jade Richards in excellent form in the centre. The defender came to her side's rescue on the hour after a corner had resulted in a scramble and she charged down a well struck shot by Westwood.
Linnett almost extended Birmingham's lead as she chased down a long ball from Chelsea Weston and produced a superb first touch to bring the ball under control but her shot came back off the post.
The Villa players were working hard but could make little headway against the Blues defence. Indeed it was Birmingham's two full backs who went close to scoring, Jess Carter with a 30-yard shot which dipped narrowly over and Weston forcing a good save from Leach after being put through by Westwood.
Former Villa striker Katie Wilkinson almost rounded off the win late on as she shot just wide following a strong run as Birmingham kept up their winning start to the competition.
Aston Villa: Caitlin Leach, Erin Vaughan, Lauren Walker, Sherry McCue, Dani Petrovic, Jade Richards, Sarah Mayling, Katy Moran, Carly Davies (sub Natasha Baptiste 77mins), Chloe Jones (sub Alicia Robinson 63mins), Maddy Cusack (sub Olivia Fergusson 72mins). Subs not used: Natalie Courtney, Beth Merrick, Maisie Baker, Abbey-Leigh Stringer.
Birmingham City: Rebecca Spencer, Chelsea Weston, Jess Carter, Jade Moore, Aoife Mannion, Kerys Harrop, Hannah Keryakoplis (sub Katie Wilkinson 67mins), Remi Allen, Melissa Lawley, Karen Carney (sub Kirsty Linnett 45mins), Jo Potter (sub Emily Westwood 45mins). Subs not used: Meaghan Sargeant, Coral Haines, Emily Simpkins, Crissy Torkildsen.
(top) Jo Potter skips a challenge from Chloe Jones
(middle) Remi Allen battles with Erin Vaughan
(bottom) Jade Moore finds herself up against Villa duo Sherry McCue and Erin Vaughan
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