Birmingham City head coach Carla Ward declared Ruby Mace’s late equaliser against West Ham United last night as a ‘huge moment’ in the club’s season as The Blues maintained ninth place in the Barclays FA Women’s Super League table.
Ward’s side recorded a 2-2 draw against The Hammers in East London with Arsenal loanee Mace finding her side’s equaliser with the last kick of the game. Emily Murphy had initially given the visitors a 1-0 lead going into the break, before goals from Emily van Egmond and Katerina Svitkova handed the home side a 2-1 advantage prior to Mace’s late equaliser.
In the post-match press conference which was shared with FAWSL Full-Time, Ward stated how proud she was of her players’ desire and attitude to go and find the equaliser which came late in a challenging second half for her side.
Ward said “Honestly, I’m delighted. We showed great character at the end because we weren’t at our best in the second half.
“It was a huge moment in our season. It was important not to lose the game and for Ruby to put the ball in the back of the net at that moment, my heart is still racing now.
“The last five minutes we threw the kitchen sink at them and got the goal that I think we deserved. On the balance of things, it was probably a fair point.
“I didn’t see it coming, which is partly why I ended up sprinting down the touchline. They are an absolute credit to work with.”
Despite going into the break with the lead, Birmingham City found themselves chasing the game having conceded two second half goals.
Goalkeeper Hannah Hampton made a crucial save to deny Martha Thomas in the second half which Ward declared as the ‘game-changing’ moment.
“Our message was to relax, be patient and it would come but it was almost frantic,” admitted Ward. “We wanted them to just relax and get back to playing the way we wanted to play.
“Hannah’s one-on-one save was the game changer, it was huge.
“She has that in her locker and she’s made sure we stayed in the game, so credit to her as the save was outstanding.
“She’s a young keeper and she’s learning every day.”
Birmingham City face another huge battle in their next match when they host Bristol City on Sunday 28 March.