Manager Marc Skinner watched with relief as his team, Birmingham City Ladies, won in a FA Women Super League One match on Sunday against Bristol City Women.
The team had last collected maximum points in the league against Everton on October 1.
The Blues beat Bristol City Women 2-0 at Solihull Moors F.C with goals coming from Aoife Mannion and Charlie Wellings.
The Blues had struggled to convert the chances they created and the absence of England striker Ellen White due to injury appeared to have affected their attack.
Despite a winning start to Everton in their opening match of the top-flight league last year, the Birmingham City recorded a draw and three losses to spiral into the underdogs zone.
Their performance on Sunday however saw them prove they have the potential to be the team their manager dream of.
“We have been able to counter-attack them; we haven’t been able to do that,” Skinner said after the match.
“I want to turn Birmingham City into a team that doesn’t sit and defend and hope that somebody makes a mistake but in the future we can take on teams and go try to win. That’s what I want and the girls know that.
“I am really pleased by their own attitude which I have never questioned and we took chances at the right times and that’s key.”
Birmingham City Ladies victory a moral booster ahead of Chelsea Ladies and Manchester City Women fixture
Skinner’s side has created several goal-scoring opportunities in the previous matches but failed to seal a fruitful finish.
The team has showed great talent with in their league games but the results have not been coming.
This has also been due to the absence of the inspiration of striker, Ellen White.
The England striker was the leading goal scorer of the league in the first month of the season with three goalsand an assist in the 183 minutes she played before her return on Sunday.
Injury saw her missing on game time to maintain what was a good start on the run for the Golden Boot Award.
Manchester City’s Isobel Christiansen is now leading the race. Christiansen banged 6 goals with a single assist in 540 minutes.
The opening 2-1 victory against Everton raised hopes of a good 2017/2018 season.
With the backdrop of a fairytale run of the FA Cup in the previous season that saw the Blues only falling in the finals to Manchester City, their fans were justified to to expect a good run of the 2017/2018 season.
It has not only been frustrating for the fans alone to watch the Blues miss chances in front of goalmouth. Skinner admitted, “the girls have been as fed up as myself.”
The celebration by the fans at the stadium showed just how they had long waited for the break through. The relief on the players’ faces showed how much they wanted it.
“They kept coming and ultimately it was a thoroughly deserved victory. I want a team playing on the front foot and taking the game to the opposition and I think supporters will have seen signs of that,” said Skinner.
After the victory on Sunday the Blues moved two places up the table to leap frog their two victims Bristol City and Everton. This will inject confidence in camp ahead of their upcoming fixtures.
They have an easy away fixture to Yeovil Town Ladies on January 26 before hosting league champions Chelsea and leaders City on February 10 and 21, respectively.
Return of key players: Ellen White and goalkeeper Ann-Katrin Berger
Ellen White has returned from an injury that saw her miss her side’s previous matches with her absence felt upfront.
She was introduced in the last 15 minutes of the game against Bristol and her presence complemented a solid attack.
Experienced German goalkeeper, Ann-Katrin Berger, who left the team in December to undergo cancer treatment is excited to be back at training.
She announced her return to the football ground on twitter this month though unsure how long it will take before she is back between the sticks for the Blues.
— Ann-Katrin Berger (@berger_ann) January 12, 2018
“I think we are not far off from getting Ann-Katrin back into training, which is a massive boost. So, we gonna add more depth to that,” commended Skinner.
“It is the same with her (Ann-Katrin ) and Ellen, the team get massive boost when they see them playing in person. What people may necessarily see when they are on the field is that person, they fill you with the confidence when they come into the room.
“Everybody looks at them like their role models, to have them back in is such a massive boost for everyone. We welcome them back, but everybody needs to step up and take their opportunities when these girls go in.”
Is the victory enough to motivate them for future games?
The confidence that engulfed the Blues camp in the second half on Sunday with Mannion first strike from the spot is something Skinner is relying on to propel his side to a better position in the league.
The Blues boss is convinced “we should be higher than we are in the table and I think we will keep climbing.”
But it is just not the victory that seemed to have motivated the team for future assignments. Skinner acknowledges that the times his troops have risen from the defeat by big teams in the league is testimony of their character and what they need to be Champions in the end.
“The massive experience and learning curve that these girls will have from facing tough opposition and not winning will only lead them to better places in the future and that is what it is all about for me,” he said.
“It’s really important for us, we want to go out there and challenge. We know we haven’t got the budgets of other teams but that should not stop you. It is the love-story of (sic) if you believe long enough and work hard enough then you get the opportunities and that’s what I want to create here.
“I want them to take anybody on and be fearless.”
FA WSL 1 LOG TABLE
|1.||Manchester City Women||6||6||0||0||24||7||17||18|
|7.||Birmingham City Ladies||7||2||1||4||9||13||-4||7|
|8.||Bristol City Women||7||2||1||2||4||19||-15||7|
|10.||Yeovil Town Ladies||6||0||0||6||0||22||-22||0|