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Birmingham City 1 (Ayisi 40) Sunderland 1 (Joice 54)
Becky Spencer's heroics in goal ensured Birmingham City earned a share of the spoils and gave them a precious point in their survival battles, whilst frustrating Sunderland's title quest.
Rachel Furness went close twice for Sunderland early on, first a flying save by Spencer keeping out her 25-yard effort before the keeper tipped over her header from the resulting corner. It was all Sunderland and they went close again when Vicky Greenwell's free kick just cleared the bar.
Karen Carney then weaved her magic at the other end on 40 minutes, cutting in from the left before pulling back the ball for Freda Ayisi, who finished high past Rachael Laws to put the Blues in front.
Sunderland were level in the 54th minute when Brooke Chaplen played a great ball across the six yard box and Abbey Joice planted a right foot finish into the net.
Joice then robbed Alex Windell and teed up Beth Mead who fired wide from edge of box, which was the start of a spell of heavy pressure from the away side. But Spencer was in unbeatable form in the home goal, making good saves from Abby Holmes and Mead.
Birmingham had two late chances but Melissa Lawley and Carney saw their shots saved and the sides had to settle for a point apiece.
Birmingham City: Rebecca Spencer, Alex Windell, Kerys Harrop, Aoife Mannion, Jess Carter, Melissa Lawley, Emily Westwood, Remi Allen, Karen Carney, Kirsty Linnett (sub Jo Potter 76mins), Freda Ayisi (sub Charlie Wellings 68mins). Subs not used: Sophie Baggaley, Meaghan Sargeant, Cheryl Edwards, Coral Haines, Chloe Peplow.
Sunderland: Rachael Laws, Abby Holmes, Victoria Williams, Steph Bannon, Vicky Greenwell, Abbey Joice, Kelly McDougall, Rachel Furness, Brooke Chaplen (sub Sarah McFadden 83mins), Keira Ramshaw (sub Stephanie Roche 83mins), Beth Mead. Subs not used: Hilde Olsen, Gemma Wilson.
(Report by www.fawsl.com)
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