WC: Crystal Palace v Birmingham City
Birmingham leave Bromley with all three points after a 4-2 thriller at Hayes Lane
Birmingham City WFC
17 April 2023
Birmingham City travelled to Hayes Lane and beat Crystal Palace 4-2 on Sunday afternoon to make it four wins in a row in the Women’s Championship and keep their chances of winning the league alive. The Blues scored three times in the first 15 minutes with the goals coming from Jade Pennock, Claudia Walker and Lucy Quinn. Coral-Jade Haines and Molly Sharpe pulled two goals back for the Eagles before half time.
Walker scored her second of the game around the mid-point of the second half to secure the three points for the visitors.
On a pleasant afternoon in Bromley, the home side had the first chance of the game but Sharpe sent her effort wide.
Birmingham took the lead in the 9th minute when Charlie Devlin passed to Pennock who shot low into the corner of the net to score her 11th league goal of the season.
Devlin saw a shot of her own go straight at Palace goalkeeper Fran Kitching in the 12th minute. Seconds later, the Blues doubled their advantage. Devlin played in Walker whose initial shot hit the post, but she was first to the rebound to tap the ball into the net.
The visitors made it 3-0 three minutes later. Pennock, who was making her 50th appearance for the club, provided the assist this time when her low cross was finished from close-range by Quinn.
Birmingham had opportunities to extended their lead further with Lucy Quinn seeing a shot saved in the 19th minute, and Pennock put a low effort wide three minutes later.
Palace had a chance to get a goal back in the 24th minute but Anna Filbey saw her free-kick hit the wall then she shot straight at the goalkeeper from the rebound. Walker headed over for the away side on the half-hour mark.
The home side found the net to make it 1-3 in the 36th minute. Annabel Blanchard played the ball back to Haines who finished first time past Birmingham goalkeeper Lucy Thomas.
The Eagles made it 2-3 two minutes before half-time when Annabel Johnson played in Sharpe who lobbed the ball from the edge of the area into the net.
Palace had the final opportunity of an eventful first half, but Sharpe’s effort was cleared wide by a Birmingham defender on the line as the home side came close to equalising.
Pennock had the ball in the net again for Birmingham three minutes into the second half but this time it was ruled out for offside.
There were no real clear chances for the next 20 minutes with the Blues seeing a few efforts blocked, and Filbey shooting over for the Eagles.
Birmingham scored their fourth goal in the 68th minute. After some nice build-up play from Olivia McLoughlin down the right-hand side, the ball found Walker in the area who smashed it into the net.
Harriet Scott headed a corner wide for the visitors in the 73rd minute. After this, the game became a bit disjointed with a number of stoppages, bookings and substitutions. The Blues had the final opportunity of the match but Libby Smith saw her shot saved.
Birmingham now take on Durham home and away in the next week as they look to continue putting some pressure on Bristol City. The Robins will win the Championship if they beat Charlton next Sunday though whatever the Blues and London City Lionesses do. Birmingham and Bristol City face each other at St Andrew’s on the final day of the season. Crystal Palace are at home again next Sunday to Lewes.
Crystal Palace (3-5-2): Kitching, Reilly, Everett, Johnson (c), Doran (Gibbons 73’), Filbey (Guyatt 84’), Olding, Haines, Sharpe (Bailey-Gayle 85’), Hughes (Dean 73’), Blanchard
Unused substitutes: Negri, Arthur
Goals – Haines 36’, Sharpe 43’
Booked – Haines, Gibbons
Birmingham City (4-3-3): Thomas, Harris, Scott, Louise Quinn (c), Lawley, Finn, Devlin (Hodson 63’), McLoughlin (Estcourt 76’), Pennock, Walker (Smith 76’), Lucy Quinn (Bourne 84’)
Unused substitutes: Jones, Simkin, Jenner, Cowie, Worsey
Goals – Pennock 9’, Walker 12’, 68’, Lucy Quinn 15’
Booked – Finn
Referee – James Durkin