Conti Cup win for Blues

Birmingham City boss David Parker expressed relief after an improved second-half performance helped his side claim an FA WSL Continental Cup win over Oxford United.

The Blues are top of FA WSL 1 and have won every match in this competition, but they struggled to break down Kieran Hayes’s side in the first half.

Parker made a couple of substitutions at the break and it had the desired effect as captain Karen Carney and Emily Westwood scored in the second half to hand the hosts victory. 

Birmingham 2-0 Oxford

FA WSL Continental Cup
Group 3
Wednesday 2 July 2014

Parker said: “I think it was just a lack of quality from us in the first half.

“We were just going through the motions and not creating anything or testing their keeper so we had to change at half-time and go on and win the game.

“Set pieces will always get you out of trouble and we got two of them today and kept a clean sheet.

“Oxford’s players were absolutely tremendous tonight they have worked their socks off, they showed great discipline and strength to restrict our forwards, but we stretched away in the second half and created more.”

Carney broke the deadlock on 63 minutes with a fine 20-yard free-kick and the Blues doubled their lead when Westwood fired home from close range after Kerys Harrop headed down a Carney corner in the 75th minute.

However, despite conceding two goals after the break, Hayes was impressed with his side’s grit and determination.

He said: “The performance was huge. They have done everything we have asked them today.

“We knew it was going to be a difficult game but we really made Birmingham work for their result.

“We worked so hard in the first half, we denied them space and we played some really good football at times just keeping the ball and playing out.

“It’s a steep learning curve for the girls but we now know we are getting to settle as a club and as a team.”

Birmingham City (4-3-3): Baggaley, Sargeant, Harrop, Torkildsen, Simpkins, Haines (Potter, 46), Westwood, Moore, Carney (Wellins, 75), Keryakoplis, (Allen, 46) Linnett.

Substitutes not used: Spencer, Weston, George.

Oxford United (4-5-1): Lambourne, Connor-Iommi, lane, Osbourne-Ricketts (Bruce, 83), Chivers, Stanley, Nutman, Fellows (Franlin-Fraiture, 46), King, Low (Nichol, 63), Allison.

Substitutes not used: Cox, Pinker.

Attendance: 254

Referee: Sian Massey