Yet another cold miserable Wednesday evening set the scene for Burn FM’s match of the week. Our spectacular women’s first team had their rival match against Loughborough and it was surely one not to be missed. Going into the game, Birmingham had to call up a few girls from the second team because a number of first team players were unavailable, including Lily Owlsley, Holly Munro and Erica Saunders as they were meeting up with the Great Britain squad, development squad or the England team.
The game began rather cautiously with both sides opting not to adventure forward, but to sit back and be patient. Both sides choosing to stay firm in defence meant that not a lot happened in the opening ten minutes. Birmingham had the majority of the possession, but did not create much with it.
However, Birmingham began to grow in stature as the game went on and capitalised from their first short corner. The ball was passed back to the edge of the D, slipped left and Katie Toogood struck the ball low and it went in off the keeper to give Birmingham the lead. Loughborough then had the chance to retaliate with a short corner of their own, but the shot from the edge of the Birmingham D was saved by Somerville after it took a deflection.
Birmingham began the second half with a slightly higher sense of urgency, looking like they wanted to make things happen and they got their reward from another short corner. As the ball arrived at the edge of the D, it was passed right where Costello drilled the shot low into the right corner to double Birmingham’s lead.
Loughborough seemed increasingly devoid of ideas and lacked a real spark when they were in possession of the ball. There was no urgency or desire to attack Birmingham, which was indicated by their defensive team shape and willingness to allow Birmingham to play the ball around the back. Their stand-off tactic was proving ineffective as Birmingham continued to attack and create chances. Birmingham miss the chance to go 3-0 up through short corners, but late on in the game Aitchison controlled a pass on the edge of D, turned the defender and slotted home to make it a comfortable victory for Birmingham.
Loughborough were very disappointing and hardly caused Birmingham to break a sweat throughout the match and scoreline was reflective of their performance. Birmingham on the other hand, were not at their best, perhaps because a number of players were absent this week, but they were able to see out another comfortable win.