Arsenal Ladies stretched their winning run in the Women's Super League to five games with a 3-1 win at Birmingham, but manager Shelley Kerr is still not taking anything for granted.
At times they looked unstoppable against a Blues side that has run them close over the last two seasons. It sends a clear message to their rivals, but the manager said afterwards that winning the title is still not in their hands. “For me every team in this league is capable of beating each other on their day. It’s exciting, it’s a challenge, but that’s what we want,” she said.
Her team got off to the perfect start with Steph Houghton heading home Kim Little’s corner after seven minutes.
Then when Houghton’s free-kick rocket smacked a post and Gilly Flaherty’s follow up did the same, Ellen White finally fired home the second, again off a post.
Gemma Davison volleyed in Emma Mitchell’s cross in the 39th minute to give them a comfortable lead at the break.
Kerr was full of praise for her team and especially her captain. “We got off to a good start," she added. "I thought we were really comfortable and played some exceptional football in the first half.
"I never like singling out players because it’s a team sport and all the team were exceptional, but Steph was a real leader out there.”
Birmingham boss David Parker gave his side a rocket at half time and it was a much more competitive Blues after the break. Coral Haines was introduced as a substitute and immediately made a difference, hitting the crossbar within two minutes.
They found a way back in nine minutes into the second half when Jo Potter’s long-range shot deflected past Emma Byrne.
And they had chances for more. Emily Westwood had a header cleared off the line by Little, Jade Moore fired over and Rachel Williams brought a good save from Byrne.
- Houghton Goal!
- Flaherty Yellow Card
- Mitchell 90
- White Goal!
- Davison 78 Goal!
- Grant 90
- Yankey 78
Birmingham City Ladies
- Bassett (C)
- George 46
- Christiansen 85
- Carney 67
- Potter Goal!
- Coral Haines 46
- Wilkinson 85
- Williams 67