A stunning Ellen Martin free kick along with a Caitlin Wilson goal gave Birmingham university women’s football firsts an all-important win against Loughborough University on Wednesday night.
A delayed kick off was matched on the pitch by both sides during the opening fifteen minutes, with each side lacking a foot hold in the game, and instead having to feed off half chances. The first notable incident was a goal line scramble after a corner into the Birmingham box, with the Birmingham defence switching off, and goal keeper Bell Killet eventually coming to the rescue of her defenders.
The game, lacking any structure or rhythm, was dying out for a goal. In the 18th minute, after a foul by a Loughborough midfielder, Ellen Martin stood up to the task and unleashed a Coutinho-esk free kick, floating over the wall into the top right hand corner of the net, no chance for the keeper. A sublime effort that was plain to see had been worked on in training sessions.
Shortly after, the Loughborough striker had one of their best, and only chances, to the credit of the Birmingham defence, after a through ball that was played between the two centre backs, but had just too much pace on it, yet still required a brave lunging Killet to collect it. The goal had obviously opened up the game, as shown by the chances created for the Loughborough attackers, as well as two long range efforts by Birmingham, but to say it added the game any structure would be untrue, not to the dissatisfaction of the supporters however. Half time 1-0 Birmingham.
The second half started polar opposite to that of the first, with Loughborough pressing all over the park, however this tactic game to no avail as the lionesses doubled their lead through Caitlin Wilson in the 49th minute, who found herself one on one with the keeper, kept her composure, and slotted it away in the bottom right hand corner.
As with the first, Birmingham failed utilise their goal in terms of dictating play in the middle of the park, with a determined Loughborough side dominating in all aspects of the game. The only thing they didn’t have, was a goal. An opportunity for their first of the match could have come through a penalty appeal in the 74th minute, however, it was plain to see by both supporters and the referee that it was a perfectly good tackle, play on the official waved.
The final ten minutes of the game followed suit to that of the majority of the second half, in that the away side created a number of significant chances. A 90th minute free kick to Loughborough, parallel in position to that of the opening goal, really summed up Loughborough’s day, in that the effort ended up in row z, symbolising a frustrated side. Final score, Birmingham Ladies 2-0 Loughborough ladies.
A look ahead to new week’s game sees Birmingham travel to Durham on the 18th of October, 1 o’clock kick off. Good luck ladies, from all here at Burn FM!
Player of the match – Ellen Martin – Piece of individual excellence to open the scoring, and a sound defensive display in the second half to make sure of the clean sheet.