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Vital victory for Blues
 Women's Football News 27 Jul 2015
Vital victory for Blues   - 27 Jul 2015 - Women's Football NewsBirmingham City 1 (Carney pen 7) Liverpool 0
Birmingham City picked up three crucial points in their battle to get away from the relegation place when an early Karen Carney penalty gave them victory against injury-hit Liverpool at a soggy Solihull. 
Jo Potter tested Libby Stout with an early long range strike but with seven minutes on the clock, Carney made good run before setting up Potter and her shot was adjudged to have been handballed by Martha Harris. A penalty was awarded and Carney guided her kick into the corner of the net to put her side in front.
Remi Allen was off target with a shot from distance as Birmingham tried to build on their good start but Liverpool came into the game as the half wore on without really troubling Rebecca Spencer in the Blues' goal.
Birmingham had a great chance to double their lead just after the half hour as Melissa Lawley broke down the right and her far post cross picked out Kirsty Linnett who looked poised to score but the striker was denied by a fine diving save from Stout. Minutes later, Lawley made another threatening run towards goal but her shot lacked power and Stout was able to deal with it comfortably.
Liverpool hit back with Katrin Omarsdottir unleashing a powerful 25-yard strike which dipped inches over the bar but Birmingham were able to take their lead into the half time break with no more scares.
Birmingham were showing a confidence which had been missing for several games and started the second half brightly, Allen firing over following good work by Linnett. Lawley was in lively form on the right and a constant threat going forward.
On the hour mark, the Blues almost went two ahead but Potter's 20-yard free kick, which looked destined for the top corner, was kept out by a brilliant fingertip save from Stout via the bar.
Liverpool made a double change with Kate Longhurst, who had been playing as a central defender, pushing further forward with Becky Easton moving across to sweeper. One of the substitutes, Ashley Hodson, drove a shot narrowly over the bar as the Reds tried to drag themselves back into the game.
With Allen and Jade Moore working hard in midfield while Kerys Harrop and Aoife Mannion made some important challenges at the back, Birmingham made sure that the Liverpool attack was kept at bay.
In fact, the best chance late on went the home side's way as Potter's initial shot was charged down by a combination of Easton and Gemma Bonner. Potter elected to set up Lawley instead of shooting from the rebound but the pass was overhit and the opportunity was lost.
Birmingham needed to negotiate four minutes of injury time but did so with few problems and greeted the final whistle with a mixture of joy and relief. 
Birmingham City: Rebecca Spencer, Alex Windell, Jess Carter, Jade Moore, Aoife Mannion, Kerys Harrop, Melissa Lawley, Remi Allen, Kirsty Linnett, Karen Carney, Jo Potter. Subs not used: Meaghan Sargeant, Charlie Wellings, Cheryl Edwards, Emily Westwood, Coral Haines, Chloe Peplow.

Liverpool: Libby Stout, Becky Easton, Martha Harris, Lucy Staniforth (sub Ingrid Ryland 56mins), Gemma Bonner, Kate Longhurst (sub Corina Schroder 78mins), Line Smorsgard (sub Ashley Hodson 56mins), Katrin Omarsdotir, Natasha Dowie, Katie Zelem, Rosie White. Subs not used: Rachel Darbyshire, Mollie Green, Hannah Dale, Maz Pacheco.

Attendance: 778


(top) Melissa Lawley is faced by Martha Harris
(middle) Karen Carney gets in a shot past Katrin Omarsdottir
(bottom) Jo Potter has a shot blocked by Gemma Bonner and Becky Easton

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