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Notts County 0 Blues Ladies 1

Posted: Mon 21 Jul 2014
Author: Chris Quinn

Karen Carney (left) celebrates with goal-scorer Jo Potter.

Image by: Ville Vuorinen

Blues Ladies restored their three-point lead at the summit of the FA WSL table following a 1-0 victory against Notts County.

Jo Potter’s 48th minute goal came directly from a corner at Meadow Lane, but Blues could have scored more with Hannah Keryakoplis and Kirsty Linnett having good chances either side of the midfielder’s strike.

Manager David Parker made two changes to the side which avenged a defeat against Bristol Academy on Wednesday with Jess Carter and Keryakoplis restored to the starting 11 at the expense of Emily Westwood and Hannah George.

Linnett also made a return to the squad following a leg injury which has kept her out of action in recent weeks.

Having lost to their hosts in the Continental Cup two weeks ago, Blues were looking to ensure they did not let their league form suffer the same fate as their cup run and were quickly out of the blocks.           

With a dozen minutes on the clock, captain Karen Carney got herself free down the right-flank and attempted to float an effort in at the far post, but her angles were just wrong and she missed both the target and the onrushing Keryakoplis.

Six minutes later, Aoife Mannion ensured Blues’ hearts were in their mouths when she made a last-ditch tackle on Jess Clarke, poking the ball away from the England striker, but also past goalkeeper Rebecca Spencer, who was glad to see the ball trickle past her post.

On the stroke of half-time, the game saw its first real chance when Carney’s ball from the right picked out Keryakoplis, but the Welsh international could not generate much power on the header from six yards out and Carly Telford gathered.

Having taken a blow to the head just prior, Keryakoplis was then substituted at the interval with Linnett replacing her.

The striker then set up Carney for an effort from range which was blocked, but Blues made their first corner of the day count.

Three minutes into the second half, Potter stepped up to whip in a delivery from the right-hand side which looped over Telford and nestled into the net at the far post.

It could have been even rosier for Blues, had Linnett finished her chance after picking up the ball inside the box and dancing past a defender – unfortunately, Telford was off her line quickly to smother the striker’s effort.

The hosts were starting to get desperate and with 11 minutes left of the game, England striker Clarke cut inside Mannion in the box, but as the defender stood her ground, Clarke threw herself to the floor. Referee Christopher Ward was not fooled by her antics and waved away the penalty appeals.

Inside the final 10 minutes, the hosts threw everything at Blues, who looked dangerous on the counter as Amy Turner turned a Carney cross behind as Lawley waited to pounce at the back post, but the visitors held out to secure a crucial three points in the FA WSL title race.

Blues: Spencer; Weston, Mannion, Harrop, Carter; Moore, Potter; Allen, Carney (c), Lawley; Keryakoplis (Linnett, 46)
Unused subs: Rogers, Simpkins, Wellings, George, Westwood, Torkildsen.
Goal: Potter (48)

Notts County: Telford, Susi (Whelan, 85), Hoyle (Unitt, 74), Clarke, Scott, Corsie, Walton, Turner, Holtham, Brogan, Roberts (Friend, 77).
Unused Subs: Draycott, Haywood, O’Neill.

Attendance: 782

Referee: Christopher Ward

For more news and reaction, visit www.birminghamcityladiesfc.co.uk.