FA Cup Quarter Final: Birmingham v Brighton
Brighton book their place in the semi-finals of the FA Cup with a 2-0 win over a testing Birmingham
20 March 2023
Brighton & Hove Albion reached the semi-finals of the FA Cup with a 2-0 win away at Birmingham City. Poppy Pattinson and Danielle Carter scored the goals in a five-minute spell around the half hour mark as the WSL side overcame their Championship opponents. Birmingham can maybe feel a bit unlucky as a dubious penalty decision went against them and they hit the woodwork five times during the match.
Birmingham had reached this stage after wins against Huddersfield Town, Everton and Charlton Athletic. Darren Carter made five changes to the eleven that started their 2-2 draw against Charlton Athletic in the league last week. Harriett Scott, Siobhan Wilson, Lucy Quinn, Charlie Estcourt and Claudia Walker were the ones who came in.
Brighton had reached the last eight after beating West Bromwich Albion and Coventry United. Interim head coach Amy Merricks made five changes to the side that had started their defeat to Manchester City last Sunday. There was a very late change to the starting eleven for this match with Megan Connolly replacing Elisabeth Terland.
After a quiet opening 10 minutes at St Andrew’s, Birmingham had the first chance of the game when Jade Pennock, who was named as Women’s Championship Player of the Month for February during the week, saw her effort from 25-yards come back off the crossbar. The home side had another opportunity in the 13th minute but Wilson’s shot from 30-yards went wide. Three minutes later, Pennock’s shot from an angle hit the outside of the post via a slight touch from Brighton’s goalkeeper Megan Walsh.
Brighton’s first chance came in the 19th minute when Katie Robinson’s shot came off the post, hit the head of the diving Lucy Thomas and went behind for corner. Victoria Williams headed wide for the visitors six minutes later.
Brighton took the lead in the 28th minute. Pattinson took an inswinging corner that went directly in despite Thomas’ attempt to keep it out.
The visitors were awarded a penalty a few minutes later. Referee Emily Heaslip deemed that Brianna Visalli had been fouled by Jamie Finn close to the edge of the area as she was running out of it. Birmingham head coach Darren Carter was disappointed with the penalty being given, saying after the match when speaking to the media “it is never a penalty”. Danielle Carter took the spot kick and scored low into corner of the net.
Birmingham had a couple of opportunities to get a goal back before the break but Lucy Quinn shot over, then Christie Murray saw her free kick hit the wall before being cleared.
In the first minute of the second half, Walsh tipped over Finn’s shot. The resulting corner from Murray caused problems before the ball was claimed by Walsh. Pennock shot over in the 49th minute as the hosts made a good start to the half.
Pennock hit the woodwork again for Birmingham in the 53rd minute when her shot from 6-yards hit the crossbar. A few minutes later, Louise Quinn headed wide a corner.
Ashley Hodson, who had only just come on as a substitute, was the next Birmingham player to hit the woodwork when her volley came back off the post before being scrambled behind for a corner in the 70th minute.
Brighton’s first opportunity of the second half came a minute later when they broke but Robinson’s shot was easily caught by Thomas. Carter’s low shot was also saved in the 79th minute. These turned out to be the Seagulls only chances during the second 45 minutes.
In the 88th minute, Walsh made a good save from close range to deny Pennock in what turned out to be the final chance of the game for Birmingham.
The final whistle went shortly after and Brighton made it through to the last four of the FA Cup for the second time in the last three seasons. Interim head coach Merricks said that she was “proud” of the team and they “impressed with some of their play today, and they created some good opportunities”.
Darren Carter thought his Birmingham side “were excellent” in the second half and “good in the first half but a little bit hesitant in their pressing”. He added they “were disappointed we’ve conceded two goals, one we can control and one we can’t” but was happy with his players response.
Birmingham’s next match is on Wednesday evening when they take on Crystal Palace at home before travelling to Coventry United on Sunday, both games are in the Championship. Brighton are away to Reading on Sunday in the WSL in their next game.
Birmingham City (3-5-2): Thomas, Scott, Louise Quinn (c), Lawley, Lucy Quinn (Hodson 68’), Finn, Murray, Estcourt, Wilson (Harris 68’), Pennock, Walker (Devlin 83’)
Unused substitutes: Jones, Simkin, Bourne, Jenner, Worsey, Banaras
Booked - Scott
Brighton & Hove Albion (4-3-3): Walsh, Fox, Bergsvand, V. Williams (Morse 63’), Pattinson, Bance, Visalli, Zigiotti (c), Robinson, Carter, Connolly,
Unused substitutes: L. Williams, Sarri, Stott, Park, Kullberg, Fergusson, Terland
Goals – Pattinson 28’, Carter (pen) 32’
Referee – Emily Heaslip
Attendance - 541