Often Partisan

Penalty Joy For Blues In The Womens Cup Final

It was the cruel heartache of penalties that decided this game with the blues of Chelsea the unlucky losers. Gemma Bonner  missed the crucial spot kick which meant Blues won the spot-kick battle 3-2.

Chelsea thought that they had won the game in extra time after a mixup in the heart of the Blues defence gifted Kate Longhurst an easy chance which she gobbled up.

A breakdown in communication between Bassett and Westwood saw the Chelsea sub steal through and put an easy chance past the despairing Blues goalkeeper.

However a quickly taken free kick from Karen Carney from 20 yards out saw Blues equalise for a second time in an very enjoyable match.

A tight first ninety minute saw the game go into extra time after Blues scored a last gasp equaliser against Chelsea.

It looked like it was to be heartbreak for Blues captain Laura Bassett in normal time as Chelsea opened the scoring in the second half thanks to a Helen Lander goal that came about from a mistake from the skipper.

However, Blues equalised in the first minute of injury time as Williams bundled home from a Blues corner.

Lander had nutmegged the Blues Ladies skipper with a clever flick and then buried the ball past Spencer to take the lead for Chelsea

Bassett was then clearly fouled by Ingle as Blues pushed for the equaliser only for the referee Natalie Walker to wave away claims for a penalty.

It was a closely fought tussle and for a long time Blues looked the superior team but profligacy coupled with some dodgy decisions robbed them of glory at Ashton Gate.

The first half ended goalless as both teams struggled to really impose themselves on the game.

The game burst into life in the second half though as both teams visibly tired under the hot May sun.

There was clearly an intention from both sides to get the ball on the deck and to play it around rather than hoofing it and as such it made for a better spectacle for the young and boisterous crowd of 8723.

The early exchanges went mostly with Birmingham but the Blues ladies were restricted mainly to shots from range, with Jodie Taylor going close from the edge of the box.

Kerys Harrop had a good chance with a header from a free kick but Chelsea’s goalkeeper and captain was easily behind the ball.

Blues Ladies captain Laura Bassett also had to be on call and she made a perfect well-timed challenge to deny former Blues player Dunia Susi who made a great break from midfield into the box.

However that chance came against the run of play however as Birmingham Ladies were clearly on top as they pressed onto the Chelsea defence.

That pressure nearly became a goal for Blues but Jodie Taylor wasted the opportunity, heading wide from six yards after strike partner Rachel Williams put in a beautiful ball from the right.

Chelsea responded in kind with Helen Lander forcing a good save from Rebecca Spencer in the Blues goal having got clear of the Blues defence.

Blues Ladies thought that they had broken the deadlock on 35 minutes when Williams tucked home from close range but the assistant referee’s flag incorrectly ruled it out with replays showing the Chelsea left back was playing Williams on by a good two yards.

Chelsea then had the chance to make Blues Ladies suffer further but Helen Lander struck the far upright when she probably should have scored, having been put through by a hopeful punt forwards from the Chelsea midfield.

Kerys Harrop went into the book early on in the second half for a rough challenge on Lara Fay as Blues looked to impose their superiority on the game.

Jade Moore quickly followed her into the book as the game took a turn towards scrappiness.

Blues were starting to lose their cool a little and now looked to hoof it forwards for Williams and Taylor to chase rather than playing the free-flowing passing style they had displayed in the first period.

However Blues soon got back into their rhythm as Taylor and Williams dovetailed nicely trying to play in each other with some delicate slide rule passes that were just fractionally overhit.

As both teams struggled to make an impression they brought on subs to change things, Chelsea taking off Laura Coombs for Drew Spence and Blues withdrawing Kerys Harrop for Eniola Aluko, sister of former Blue Sone to try and spice up their front line.

Karen Carney switched wings with Aluko and it immediately came to good effect as she twisted and turned her way into the penalty box, her ball desperately hit behind for a corner.

Dunia Susi caused havoc down the right wing, and went close to scoring midway through the second half after Unitt misjudged a crossfield ball. However Susi could only hit it wide of the near post.

The goal came about on 69 minutes from Lander, who was playing in her third cup final and it was taken with aplomb as she first controlled the ball well before playing the ball through Bassett’s legs with a clever flick and burying the ball from fifteen yards.

Blues desperately tried to get back into the game as Aluko surged into the area from the left flank, but the Chelsea defence held firm and Blues couldn’t get their shot off.

Blues grew increasingly frantic in their attempts to equalise and gaps started showing at the back.

Time and time again they made nice moves towards the front but were let down by the final ball.

However, Blues Ladies can feel aggrieved that they were denied a penalty in the final minutes as Laura Bassett was bundled over clumsily by Chelsea centre-back Sophie Ingle – however the ref waved play on.

Chelsea then cleared Bassett’s shot off the line but the resultant corner saw Blues finally equalise as last season’s top scorer Rachel Williams scored following a goalmouth scramble.

Chelsea had a chance to snatch it but the ball was played behind the onrushing forwards and the match went into extra time.

Substitute Kate Longhurst was the first to go close for Chelsea, turning Laura Bassett with an audacious flick as she raced down the left before seeing her shot narrowly tipped over by Spencer.

Taylor then had a chance after being put through but she too couldn’t keep her shot beneath the crossbar.

Sherwood then went close for Chelsea after a long throw routine had found her in space outside the box, but again the ball flew over the bar.

Sherwood then went into the book for a sliding tackle on Eni Aluko which gave Blues a free kick in a dangerous position. However they couldn’t make it pay and Chelsea easily cleared.

Karen Carney really should have scored after Williams played her in and Chelsea made her profligacy pay as Kate Longhurst scored what was to be the winning goal.

Eni Aluko made a great run into the Chelsea penalty area at the start of the second period of extra time but no one could get on the end of her low cross.

Jodie Taylor did her best to get onto a Karen Carney throughball but the Chelsea defence were just too well disciplined for her, and easily guided it back to the keeper.

Chelsea then shot themselves in the foot, gifting Blues a free kick just outside the D and Karen Carney made no mistake, burying it in the top right corner having taken it quickly to fool the Chelsea goalie.

Blues had an opportunity to wrap it up with another free kick in dangerous territory after Carney was fouled but her cross was easily headed away.

However neither team could wrap it up and thus it went to the lottery of penalties.

Team:

Spencer, Weston, Harrop, Bassett ©, Williams, Carney, Potter, Moore, Taylor, Unitt, Westwood.

Subs Hourihan, Christiansen, Eni Aluko, Maz Ballard, Crissy Torkilsen

 

Blues Ladies - sponsored by Hollywood Monster

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13 Responses to “Penalty Joy For Blues In The Womens Cup Final”

  • blue says:

    cheers almajir i knew you’d keep us informed :) unfortunately missed the pens, damn that red button…. great news,and a well deserved win in a match we dominated. well done ladies.

    i’m glad Carson brought the ladies back into the fold, he deserves some credit for that.

  • m says:

    thanks for keeping people up to date almajir, great result for the ladies and well done Carson.

  • Had to ring a mate to get a running commentary for the penalties as I couldn’t use the red button either. I was just as excited when the final Chelsea penalty was missed as much as if it had been the men’s team. Well done girls, you’ve done the name of Birmingham City Football Club proud!

    PS it was great to hear Keep Right On sung at Ashton Gate today! :-D

  • Basingstoke Blue says:

    Very Well done ladies. Very enjoyable game.

  • chris says:

    fantastic result and two years running we’ve beaten the southerners in a final.
    great game ladies and enjoy the glory, you deserve it and so does BCFC for backing the ladies team.
    parade the cup at blues first home game of next season.

  • DoctorD says:

    Great game – I was there in person with my family and had the privilege of saying hi to the guy who writes this blog.

  • blue says:

    if you like blues ladies and ska check out Recollector catchy tune, The famous girls of Birmingham

  • prewarblue says:

    Well done to the Ladies,,,,,,,,pity they now have bragging rights over the Lads,,,,,,they HAVE won the cup !
    this will give them idea,s above their station [ at the kitchen sink ! lol]
    MALE Chauvinism Rules O.K ?

  • Aussiebrum says:

    Brilliant and so well done Ladies.
    So proud.

  • Paul Carter says:

    Watched it for 5 minutes, absolute useless standard so turned over.

    If that’s the best womens football in the UK then the sport will remain where it’s always been. Nowhere

    Well done to em though, still an acheivement for them

    • almajir says:

      Disagree with that Paul, I thought it was quite a good match myself and that it was a good advert for the sport.

      I do believe however some people are predisposed to thinking “women’s football is crap” and won’t be won over because they are too stubborn to change their mind.

  • Jay Sidney says:

    What a pity there were attempts to sully a great day for BCLFC by the pathetic and ignorant bigotry of Paul Carter and “prewarblue”. Pre-civilisation, more like.

    Well done, BCLFC, Shame on you and your social backwardness, “prewarblue”.

  • Paul Carter says:

    Grow up Jay will ya.

    I said what I saw nothing more so stick yer bigotry bollox where the sun don’t shine. Did you not read where I said ‘Well done to em though, still an acheivement for them’

    Al, I concede you may have a point but based soley on the bit I watched I wont be watching again.


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