The Birmingham Woman’s 1st XI suffered their third defeat of the season as they went down 3-1 to league leaders Northumbria at Metchely in a game that exploded into life towards the end with three goals in the final 15 minutes.
The Birmingham Lions went into the game off the back of two wins and two defeats from their opening four fixtures of the new season, including a 5-0 defeat at the hands of their opponents Northumbria in the opening fixture, and when the visitors took the lead via Maddie Hill inside the first 10 minutes, the Birmingham bench must have been fearing a repeat. However, the Lions defended admirably throughout the game, exemplified by a tremendous acrobatic clearance in the first half by Georgia Bracelli, and put up a much tougher challenge than they did in the reverse fixture, taking the game to the final moments before the result was truly determined.
With the score at 1-0, the host’s two best chances came with two brilliant strikes from distance, firstly from Elenor Boxall after 20 minutes that needed saving down to the keeper’s right after some neat work down the left-hand flank from full-back Bracelli, and then from Laura Cooper right at the start of the second half, with her effort narrowly edging past the post after some lovely passing in midfield from the hosts.
The visitors did however double their lead with 15 minutes to play as a gap was left in the defensive line which was dissected with a pass for the Northumbria striker to run onto and put the ball past Jess Mayers in the Birmingham goal. The Lions however didn’t let their heads drop and equalised within seconds with a wonderful curing strike from the edge of the area by Alison Hall which left the visiting keeper with no chance. However, having gotten themselves back in the game, they then gave away a disappointing free-kick in a wide position, with which Northumbria showed their quality by taking full advantage of, putting a brilliant ball into the box and heading home to make in 3-1 and kill the game off.
There were certainly positives to be taken from the game for the Lions but it was ultimately a frustrating evening for them. Quality in the final third was their downfall once again, with that brilliant goal from Hall being only their third of the season.