Birmingham City Women determined to build on performance with interim boss Darren Carter

Blues were beaten 3-2 by a last-gasp Manchester City goal on Sunday, but the performance pointed towards a turnaround in fortunes under new manager

<p>Lauren Hemp of Manchester City Women is tackled by Harriet Scott of Birmingham City during the Barclays FA Women’s Super League match at St Andrew’s Trillion Trophy Stadium on December 12, 2021 (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)</p>

Lauren Hemp of Manchester City Women is tackled by Harriet Scott of Birmingham City during the Barclays FA Women’s Super League match at St Andrew’s Trillion Trophy Stadium on December 12, 2021 (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)

Birmingham City Women will head into this weekend’s pivotal clash at Leicester City with renewed hope in their battle to escape relegation from the Women’s Super League despite a spirited display ending in an agonising defeat against star-studded Manchester City.

In their first match under the management of interim boss and former Blues men’s midfielder Darren Carter, the home side twice took the lead at St Andrew’s, only for former Birmingham striker and England Lionesses record scorer Ellen White to break royal blue hearts with an 89th-minute winner.

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However, centre-back Louise Quinn believes the performance shows the team are more than capable of pulling clear of danger in the second half of the campaign under the influence of Carter and Blues Women stalwart Marcus Bignot, who has returned to the club to assist Carter as coach.

She said: “I’ve never been so proud to be in a Blues shirt! It’s bitter-sweet as we should have got points from that game but the team performance was unbelievable and the Bluenoses were class.”

Khadija Shaw of Manchester City Women runs past Rebecca Holloway of Birmingham City Women during the Barclays FA Women’s Super League match at St Andrew’s Trillion Trophy Stadium on December 12 (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)

What else happened at the latest Birmingham City Women match against Manchester City?

After Veatriki Sarri’s fine run was abruptly brought to a halt by a foul in the penalty box, Christie Murray’s resulting 28th-minute penalty put Blues ahead , only for them to be pegged back by Georgia Stanway’s stunning 25-yard strike six minutes later.

The rejuvenated home side were in no mood to let their illustrious visitors take charge though and restored their advantage six minutes before the break when good persistence from Rebecca Holloway created the opening for captain Quinn to fire into the roof of the net.

Players pay their respects to Arthur Labinjo Hughes during the Barclays FA Women’s Super League match between Birmingham City Women and Manchester City Women at St Andrew’s Trillion Trophy Stadium on December 12 (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)

Lauren Hemp’s header drew the north west outfit level for a second time just before the interval and many observers were left fearing a second half onslaught from the visitors.

This did not materialise though and Gemma Lawley and Libby Smith headed and shot narrowly over the bar respectively as Blues threatened to take the lead for the third time.

The missed chances proved costly as White met Khadija Shaw’s cross with one minute of normal time remaining to leave Birmingham still with a solitary point after nine games.

However, they remain above bottom side Leicester City who were beaten 4-0 at Arsenal, leaving the bottom two facing up to a crunch clash against each other to end 2021.

Darren Carter interim manager of Birmingham City Women during the Barclays FA Women’s Super League match against Manchester City Women at St Andrew’s Trillion Trophy Stadium on December 12(Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)

What’s coming up for the Birmingham City Women?

Blues, who visit London City Lionesses in their final FA Women’s Continental League Cup group match on Wednesday (7pm), then visit the Foxes on Sunday (2pm) for what promises to be an enthralling encounter in the fight for survival.

Looking ahead to the clash, confidence has clearly been restored in the Blues camp.

Forward Smith said: “It was a great performance and we deserved more! Thanks to the fans for your continued support, stick with us, the points are coming!”

Experienced Scottish attacker Murray said: “Big effort from everyone – grit, desire and loads of positives to take from the game. We keep building!”

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