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December 16, 2021 by Stephen L Wright
So let’s get the elephant in the room out of the way; whatever the outcome of last evening’s Conti Cup tie at London City Lionesses, Blues were already out of the competition.
The not surprising news before kick-off was that new coach Darren Carter had rested nine players from last Sunday’s match against Man City, in preparation for this Sunday’s bottom of the league fixture at Leicester. Into the Starting XI came Academy player Taylor Reynolds, whilst her Academy team-mates Abbi Jenner and Mikayla Wildgoose were on the bench.
The ringing of the changes didn’t appear to deter the team. From the off, Blues took the ball to the Lionesses, subsequently creating several chances. However, fortunes turned the other way; at the break the hosts went into the dressing room 1-0.
Carter made one change, bringing on Sarah Ewens for Lisa Robertson. Ewens got through to the goal but was denied. Minutes later, Lionesses doubled their score. So it stayed until, with ten minutes to go, Blues found their second wind and threw themselves at their hosts. Consequently, Eleanor Ryan-Doyle netted two to make it honours even. The subsequent penalty shoot-out for the bonus point went to the Lionesses.
Darren Carter has worked some pre-Christmas magic. The squad that Scott Booth built, but could only get two goals out of its members during his short tenure, has tripled its goal tally in Carter’s two matches in charge. What’s more, the players held Man City to a 2-2 draw and came from two down to level the score last evening. So comments like “The Club needs to spend money on WSL-standard players” are without foundation. In my opinion they always were; I never had any doubt in any of the players. It isn’t the first time that we’ve had coaches that can’t get positive results. I don’t think we’ve seen the end of Darren’s magic, nor the additions to the goal tally.
It’s back to the League on Sunday. Preview to come. Until then, stay safe and…