Birmingham City booked their place in the fifth Round of the Vitality Women’s FA Cup with an impressive 5-1 win over Coventry United at the SportNation.bet Stadium.
Two goals from Claudia Walker and Sarah Mayling, as well as one from Emily Murphy, sent Carla Ward’s side through to the next round of the competition where they will take on Southampton at home. Coventry United substitute Georgia Stevens earned her side a late consolation goal with a curling effort.
Ward made four changes to her Birmingham City side from the one that lost 6-0 away at Chelsea a fortnight ago. Sophie Whitehouse and Veatriki Sarri were both handed their debuts while Walker retained her place in the starting line-up as she made her 50th appearance in a Birmingham City shirt.
Jay Bradford also made changes to her Coventry United side to the team that beat Blackburn Rovers 1-0 two weeks ago. Olivia Clark and Alice Hassall both came into the starting XI to replace Sue Wood and Fran Orthodoxou.
Ward’s side started the game brilliantly and they took the lead after just three minutes through their top scorer Walker. She scored on the rebound from six yards out after Coventry United goalkeeper Clark could only parry Christie Murray’s long range shot into the path of the onrushing forward.
Coventry United had an excellent chance to get themselves an equaliser after 12 minutes. Ashlee Brown picked out former Blues player Destiney Toussaint with a brilliant sweeping cross from the right but her low shot was superbly blocked and forced out for a corner.
Birmingham City continued to enjoy freedom going forward as they searched for their second goal of the afternoon but wasted two brilliant chances in the process. Sarri was first denied by the crossbar with a left-footed effort from close range before Walker fired wide of the target after being put clear though on goal.
The hosts started the second half how they finished the first and had another brilliant chance to double their lead after 54 minutes but Jamie-Lee Napier fired over from 18 yards out after some brilliant passing play from left to right.
They finally found their second goal of the game after 65 minutes through substitute Murphy who did brilliantly to guide a header beyond Clark into the bottom right corner after a dangerous whipped cross from Rebecca Holloway on the left.
It got better for Birmingham City as they made it 3-0 after 77 minutes through Walker’s second goal of the afternoon. She showed determination and confidence to tap the ball past Clark after she closed in on a mistake at the back.
The Blues added gloss on the win when Mayling made it 4-0 with a tap-in as second half injury time approached after she was picked out superbly by Murphy on the left.
The visitors then found themselves a consolation goal in injury time to make it 4-1. Stevens’ curling effort left Whitehouse rooted to her goal line after Birmingham City had given possession away in midfield.
The Blues replied instantly though and they went back up field and scored their fifth as Mayling earned her second goal in as many minutes. She beat Clark at her near post with a fierce right footed effort from the edge of the box.
Ward will be happy with her side’s performance and she will be hoping that the confidence taken out of this win will be used in games coming up, as they look to secure their Barclays FA Women’s Super League safety.
Birmingham City take on Reading next Sunday in the Barclays FA Women’s Super League and they will be keen to back up today’s performance with three points as they look to avoid relegation to the FA Women’s Championship.