Report: Aston Villa 0-1 Blues Women
Blues Women won the Second City Derby on Sunday afternoon.
Veatriki Sarri's 11th-minute goal was the difference as Birmingham City claimed back-to-back away wins in the fixture.
This saw Darren Carter's Birmingham City sign-off from the 2021/22 Barclays FA Women's Super League season in style at the home of their city rivals.
The Interim Women's Head Coach made a single change from the side that faced Manchester City in the North West on Wednesday night. Lucy Quinn returned to the starting XI in place of Libby Smith who was one of nine substitutes available.
The visitors started quickly and went within inches of opening the scoring inside three minutes when Jade Pennock hit the crossbar. Veatriki Sarri set an attacking tone from midfield and her drive forward saw the ball released to Pennock who controlled instinctively before hitting the bouncing ball over Hannah Hampton but onto the woodwork.
That set the tone for the early stages and Blues went one better with their next effort to take the lead. Again Pennock and Sarri combined, with this time the latter trying her luck from a cross-shot and seeing the attempt deceive a fumbling goalkeeper for the lead.
Carter's team then had the ball in the back of the net for a second time, only for Sarri's effort to be deemed offside before some fine defensive work from Harriet Scott and a strong hand of Emily Ramsey denied the hosts.
Further chances fell the way of the opposition as the first 45 went on, although none of these significantly threatened Ramsey until on the stroke of half-time. Rachel Corsie, courtesy of a Emily Gielnik dummie, delivered a defense-splitting pass for Ruesha Littlejohn but the Blues 'keeper was alert to smother the ball.
HALF-TIME: Aston Villa 0-1 Blues
Until the hour mark, second-half action was at a premium as both sides did well to nullify any attacking threats before Blues nearly doubled their advantage. Sarri released substitute Libby Smith and after squeezing the ball past Anita Asante, Pennock's strike was blocked by a sprawling Hampton.
This brought the game back to life and the away team had to survive a mini-siege on their goal. Both Scott and Skipper Louise Quinn put their bodies on the line, with the bar also denying Rachel Corsie.
Then in the 71st minute, the travelling Bluenoses were grateful to Ramsey as she flew to her right and pushed a long-range Littlejohn shot away from danger.
Birmingham, then had their own spell of pressure, being intent on causing problems from the flanks. Both Sarri and Jamie Finn delivered well from the left and right respectively, each centre just crying out for a decisive royal blue connection.
Sarri made it two goals in three Second City Derby matches when she struck what proved to be the winning goal, finding the net from a wide-angle against Blues' near neighbours.
Blues conclude the campaign with a big win that takes them onto a season total of 11 points and secures local bragging rights.
Aston Villa (4-2-3-1): Hannah Hampton, Sarah Mayling, Anita Asante (Meaghan Sargeant 90), Rachel Corsie, Mayumi Pacheco, Ruesha Littlejohn, Laura Blindkilde Brown, Ramona Petzelberger, Chantelle Boye-Hlorkah (Chloe Arthur 57), Alisha Lehmann, Emily Gielnik (Shania Hayles 57).
Substitutes not used: Sian Rogers, Elisha N'Dow, Jodie Hutton, Olivia McLoughlin, Sophie Haywood, Evie Rabjohn.
Booking: Asante 45.
Blues (3-4-1-2): Emily Ramsey, Harriet Scott, Louise Quinn (captain), Veatriki Sarri, Lisa Robertson, Christie Murray, Jade Pennock (Emily Whelan 79), Jamie Finn, Lucy Quinn (Libby Smith 54), Gemma Lawley, Abi Cowie.
Substitutes not used: Marie Hourihan, Cecilie Sandvej, Sarah Ewens, Lucy Whipp, Eleanor Ryan-Doyle, Abbi Jenner, Louanne Worsey.
Referee: Rebecca Welch.