Match Report

WSL: Brighton & Hove Albion v Birmingham City

Birmingham clinch crucial three points from the Seagulls in 3-1 shocker

Gareth Taylor Man City_edited.jpg

Girls on the Ball

24 April 2022

Birmingham kept their survival hopes alive with a 3-1 victory over Brighton. Veatriki Sarri gave Birmingham the lead in the first half before Louise Quinn added a second after the break, Julia Zigiotti got a goal back for Brighton in the last 10 minutes but Quinn scored her second with two minutes remaining to seal the win.

Before the match started, Brighton manager, Hope Powell, was presented with a framed shirt to mark her 100th WSL game in charge of the club.

Brighton had some early chances with Geummin Lee charging down Emily Ramsey as the Birmingham goalkeeper was slow to clear and then Kayleigh Green sent a looping header straight into Ramsey’s hands.

Birmingham took the lead though in the 9th minute when Sarri picked the ball up in her own half and ran through the Brighton defence and finished with a low shot that Megan Walsh got a hand to but not enough to stop the ball from finding the corner of the net.

In the 14th minute, Birmingham lost procession and Lee sent a curling shot towards goal that was pushed away by Ramsey. Five minutes later, Danique Kerkdijk saw her header cleared then Inessa Kaagman’s cross landed on the roof of the net as Brighton looked for an equaliser.

Birmingham had an opportunity to double their lead kick in the 24th minute but Gemma Lawley headed over a free kick. Play went straight up the other end where both Emma Kullberg and Aileen Whelan saw efforts blocked by the Birmingham defence.

In the 29th minute, Brighton had another chance when Kaagman’s shot was pushed away by Ramsey after some nice build up play and seconds later the same player saw her header miss the target.

Just before half time, Birmingham were given a free kick about 30 yards out which Sarri curled wide. In first half injury time, Lee saw her shot tipped over as Ramsey made another good save to keep Birmingham in the lead. From the resulting corner, Green’s header hit the crossbar and went behind. Birmingham went into the break a goal ahead despite Brighton having more of the clear chances and Ramsey making some vital saves for the visitors.

Brighton started the second half on top too but were sometimes lacking a final ball after good build up play. Ramsey made another save on the 56th minute when she pushed away Kullberg’s shot. Brighton had another chance five minutes later when they saw a shot blocked then Danielle Carter’s shot went through a crowd of players and was tipped behind by Ramsey.

Birmingham’s first chance of the half came in the 68th minute when Sarri sent a cross right across the goal but too far in front of the other forwards. A few minutes later, Emma Koivisto headed wide for Brighton. There were opportunities coming at both ends now with Libby Smith shooting wide for Birmingham as they broke quickly.

Birmingham made it 2-0 in the 75th minute when Sarri beat a few Brighton players and sent in a good cross that was headed in by Quinn at the far post.

Brighton looked to get back into the game and in the 78th minute, Kaagman saw her effort from around 35 yards out hit the top of the crossbar and go over. Two minutes later, Kaagman and Koivisto both saw efforts blocked.

Brighton did score in the 84th minute when a cross was played back by Maisie Symonds to Zigiotti who finished from about 12 yards to set up a nervy last five or so minutes for Birmingham.

However, Birmingham made sure of the win four minutes later when Quinn scored her second of the game and fifth WSL goal of the season as a ball from a corner fell to her and she finished from about 6 yards.

There were no more chances as Darren Carter’s Birmingham won 3-1 to move 4 points behind Leicester at the bottom of the WSL. Birmingham still have to play Chelsea, Manchester City and Aston Villa so it might be tough still to stay up but this victory has given them a chance.

Line ups:

Brighton & Hove Albion: Walsh, Le Tissier, Williams, Kerkdijk (Koivisto 69’), Kullberg, Whelan (Carter 45’), Connelly, Lee (Symonds 63’), Zigiotti, Kaagman, Green
Unused substitutes: Bowman, Bance, Simpkins, Startup
Goal – Zigiotti 84’
Booked – Kerkdijk, Le Tissier

Birmingham City: Ramsey, Cowie, Scott, Louise Quinn, Lawley, Robertson, Pennock (Smith 63’), Finn, Murray, Sarri, Lucy Quinn (Whelan 90’)
Unused substitutes: Hourihan, Ewens, Ryan-Doyle, Jenner, Worsey, Wildgoose, Cole
Goals – Sarri 9’, Louise Quinn 75’, 88’
Booked – Smith

Referee – Elizabeth Simms
Attendance – 1,206