MANCHESTER CITY WOMEN 1, BIRMINGHAM CITY LADIES 0
Toni Duggan’s second half tap-in from England team-mate Jill Scott’s cut back sealed only the second league win of the season for Manchester City Women in their first game after the Women’s World Cup in Canada.
2,102 people attended the first game after the World Cup, a home attendance record for City’s women.
All five of Manchester City women’s England Lionesses started for City in their Women’s Super League game against Birmingham City Ladies at the City Football Academy Stadium today.
There were big cheers for City’s women but also cheers for Birmingham’s Lionesses Jade Moore, Karen Carney and Jo Potter.
City had made a bright start with Natasha Harding testing Becky Spencer with a shot from wide on the right but the Welsh international soon limped off with an injury after just ten minutes.
Despite early City pressure it was the visitors who had the clearer chances in the first half.
Coral Haines’ free kick hit the bar after Jill Scott gave away a foul 20 yards from goal after 20 minutes.
Freda Ayisi shot tamely at Bardsley after Bronze lost out to her in a tackle in midfield, leading to a Birmingham attack.
City had a Jennifer Beattie header from a Izzy Christiansen corner cleared off the line and Demi Stokes also had half a chance collected by Spencer just before half time.
The arrival of England striker Karen Carney was greeted with applause from all in the stadium but it was City with the first chance of the second period after substitute Krystle Johnson shot straight at Spencer in the Birmingham goal after 47 minutes while Steph Houghton blazed over from inside the box after 50 minutes.
City finally broke the deadlock after 55 minutes after Scott chased a lost cause down the right flank, held off her marker, and produced a superb cut back for her England team mate Duggan to convert.
There was no room for complacency as Birmingham City raised their urgency following the set back. Kirsty Linnett saw a chance deflected wide and Melissa Lawley’s shot brushed the side netting.
City could have extended their lead with a quarter of the game to go after Christensen’s tame shot.
There was time for the late introduction of new signing Daphne Corboz before Parris broke free in the dying minutes only to be denied by Spencer’s acrobatic save.