On a heavy pitch and against blustery winds, Arsenal coped best to secure a narrow 1-0 win over Birmingham.
The Gunners set out looking to take full advantage of this
midweek fixture - one of their games in hand. To add
to the frustration the kick-off was delayed by 45 minutes due
to Birmingham's coach breaking down on their travels down
to Borehamwood FC.
Despite controlling the game and enjoying the lion's share of possession in the first half, Arsenal could not break down a well-organised and disciplined Birmingham defence. The Blues' tactics to stay compact and deny Arsenal space worked effectively, leaving the home side to rely on set pieces and shots from long range.
It wasn't until the second half that Arsenal started to open up Birmingham on the wings and get in behind their resolute rearguard. The result was a series of neat moves that would have produced a goal but for the heroics of Birmingham keeper Sue Wood.
When Woods was eventually beaten it was by her own player. On 52 minutes, Karen Carney drilled in a low cross that defender Laura Bassett sliced past her team-mate in an attempt to clear.
The victory saw Arsenal regain their position at the top of the table having leapfrogged both Leeds and Charlton by two clear points with a game still in hand.
This Sunday they travel to Sunderland before
Thursday's first clash of the season with London rivals
Charlton Athletic, at Borehamwood FC. Kick off is at 7.45pm.