Championship: Brooks stands strong to keep Birmingham at bay

A general view of Birmingham City's St Andrews Stadium
A general view of Birmingham City's St Andrews Stadium on March 16, 2024 (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)

The great wall of Alexandra Brooks stopped Birmingham City from winning a first home clash since January, but a draw was enough to end their two-game losing streak.

The Blackburn Rovers goalkeeper had an inspired performance alongside her defence. Rovers are now unbeaten in their last three games and are a comfortable spot in the table.

Starting XIs

Birmingham City

Thomas; Herron, Louise Quinn, Lawley, Holloway, Harrison-Murray, So-hyun, Moore, Yu-ri, Smith, Lucy Quinn

Blackburn

Brooks; Richards, Coan, Silcock, Hutchings, Robertson, Williams, Chandarana, Toland, Hornby, Shepherd

First half

The game started with a lot of pressure from Birmingham, with Choe Yu-Ri forcing Brooks into an early save. The Blues came close to opening the score from two Lucy Quinn near-Olimpicos. Two corners from the striker hit the crossbar directly, but stayed out of the net.

The first half played out with Blackburn attempting to get out their half by playing out of the back. However, Rovers could not generate offence, often giving the ball straight back to Birmingham. The Blues, for their part, could not punish or create any clear-cut chances either.

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Second half

The second half carried on in the same vein as Blackburn stood firm in the face of Birmingham’s pressure. In the 57th minute, Libby Smith rifled a shot from a cleared corner, to which Brooks was equal. It seemed like crosses were the game and set pieces were the name if Birmingham was to get an opener.

Jade Moore almost slid in a shot after a cutback in the 80th minute, and Lily Agg had two point blank shots again saved by Brooks. Nothing could get past her. Blackburn did not look like a team who have conceded 25 goals this season.

Blackburn almost hit the Blues with a late smash and grab. In the 90th minute, they countered from a Birmingham corner and Chloe Williams was set through on goal. However, her shot was straight at Lucy Thomas, who made the easy save. Birmingham’s goalkeeper did not have much work to do on the day, with Williams’ effort being her strongest test.

Alas, the game ended 0-0. The result leaves Blackburn in seventh, level on points with sixth-place Sheffield United with a game in hand. Birmingham City sit firmly in fifth, six points behind Charlton with two games in hand. However, if they want to finish in the top four, Darren Carter’s side must improve their finishing.

Next up

Birmingham play host to Lewes, who currently sit 11th in the table. Blackburn will host third place Southampton, who are locked in a fierce battle for promotion, only one point behind leaders Sunderland.

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