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Everton and Birmingham in stalemate
 Women's Football News 10 Sep 2014
 
Everton 0 Birmingham City 0
Everton and Birmingham City had to make do with a hard fought point after the sides fought out a goalless draw at the Select Security Stadium. 
 
The stalemate leaves Birmingham two points behind leaders Chelsea, with both teams having three games left to play, while Andy Spence's side are four points adrift of seventh placed Notts County with four games remaining.
 
The game started in cautious fashion as both sides seemed overwhelmed by their respective league agendas. Birmingham's Melissa Lawley caused Vicky Jones a number of problems down the Everton right, although her centres were dealt with by the excellent Gabby George and Lindsay Johnson.
 
The Blues enjoyed the better of things throughout the first half and Rachel Brown-Finnis had to be alive to tip Jess Carter's goalbound 20-yard-effort over on 23 minutes.
 
Everton were grateful to Danielle Turner as she was well placed to clear off the line after Aoife Mannion had flicked a Karen Carney corner goalwards at the near post. Birmingham captain Carney was to go close again ten minutes later, but saw her volleyed effort go narrowly wide after some excellent close control.
 
The visitors were dealt a blow when influential midfielder Jade Moore limped off shortly before half time, to be replaced by the versatile Emily Westwood.
 
Tempers nearly threatened to boil over in the second half, as Brooke Chaplen entered the referee's notebook following a late tackle. The midfielder's caution seemed to galvanise her team though and the hosts shifted up a gear as the game became more stretched.
 
Everton then had a glorious chance to open the scoring when Lucy Whipp's tireless running saw her pick up a wayward Chelsea Weston back pass, only to strike the ball over with only Rebecca Spencer to beat.
 
Back came Birmingham and Carney sent over a pinpoint cross from the right for Kirsty Linnett who climbed above Vicky Jones at the far post but her header was narrowly off target.
 
The game took on a more end-to-end feel as legs started to tire, and it was Birmingham who could have snatched late on had it not been for two goal line clearances. First, Danielle Turner's heroic header denied Mannion and then Vicky Jones scrambled a goalbound Carney effort away with ten minutes remaining.
 
Both sides continued to probe through a very tense last ten minutes and as the game went into injury time, the best chance went the way of Birmingham as Linnett was sent clear down the right and crossed, however the ball came at an awkward height for Westwood in front of goal and she steered her shot wide. 
 
Everton: Rachel Brown-Finnis, Vicky Jones, Alex Greenwood, Brooke Chaplen, Gabrielle George, Lindsay Johnson, Danielle Turner, Michelle Hinnigan, Lucy Whipp, Millie Turner, Kelly Jones. Subs not used: Megan Walsh, Fern Whelan, Jody Handley, Simone Magill, Paige Williams, Amy Kane, Lauren Davies. 
 
Birmingham City: Rebecca Spencer, Chelsea Weston, Jess Carter, Jade Moore (sub Emily Westwood 44mins), Aoife Mannion, Kerys Harrop, Melissa Lawley, Remi Allen, Kirsty Linnett, Karen Carney, Jo Potter. Subs not used: Meaghan Sargeant, Hannah Keryakopolis, Emily Simpkins, Sophie Baggaley, Cristina Torkildsen, Abbey Leigh Stringer.

(Report by www.fawsl.com)


 
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