August 20, 2018 by Stephen L Wright
CONTINTENTAL TYRES CUP – Birmingham City Women 0 – 0 (4-5 penalties) Manchester City Women
I finished Saturday’s pre-season post with this:
So, will the 2018/19 squad start as its predecessor finished – strong, confident, determined? Well, according to the Skipper, Kerys Harrop, the recent Friendlies have been examples of under-achievement. I guess then the answer is: ‘Let’s hope so.’
The above result reflects at least that Blues stopped Man City from scoring in 90 minutes. That’s down to the defence of Aoife Mannion, Meaghan Sargeant, Paige Williams and Kerys Harrop which was, for the most part, strong, confident and determined. In fact the team as a whole showed all three qualities in the crucial opening ten minutes, with a close chance from Ellen White on the tick of the tenth minute.
But overall it was a mixed bag of a match. Man City gained more corners and free kicks but as stated above the Blues’ defence kept the ball out of the goal. Neither ‘keeper was seriously pressured but Ann-Katrin Berger did make a couple of crucial saves. Newcomers Lucy Staniforth and Chloe Arthur made a great impression and added width and depth, with the fomer linking well with Ellen White.
Blues upped the ante in the second half and began to put together some passes and drive a wedge through the Man City defence. Yet it was all too little and too late. The shoot-out saw Berger make two brilliant saves but it went to Man City in the end.
Blues came away with a point. Could it have been three? I think so. The absence of Rachel Williams, Charlie Wellings and Emma Follis was very noticeable. Once they’re back the squad will have an offensive line-up to be reckoned with.