Match Report From Vicky Brown
Birmingham City Ladies v Fulham Ladies 4th Round FA Cup
Fulham Ladies won 0 - 5
Fulham travelled to Birmingham for the 4th round of the FA cup with an eagerly awaited match, following Birmingham's win over Doncaster Belles in the League cup semi-finals a week previously.
The Whites are now due to play Birmingham on 7th April at Wycombe Wanderers in the League Cup final so the FA cup match was due to be an exciting game.
Both teams were unbeaten this season, with each leading their respective Northern and Southern Division Leagues.
The pitch conditions were difficult due to the rain and mud, which made for a tough game even before the team's started. Fulham struggled to play their normal game under the circumstances and were unable to keep up their passing game as the ball was constantly sticking in the mud.
Fulham started off well despite this, with most of the possession. Despite not creating many scoring opportunities, they were able to win several corners. The only goal in the first half came 30 minutes into the game, after a corner from Margunn Haugenes, which Sanchia Duncan then headed into the goal.
In the second half, Fulham changed their usual tactics to play more direct passes towards the opponents' goal. This had a positive effect within ten minutes of restarting. The second goal came after a long pass from Kim Jerray-Silver that opened up the Birmingham defence, leaving Marianne Pettersen to face the goal keeper on her own. She scored from six yards, with a left footed shot into the centre of the goal, having beaten the keeper.
Marianne Pettersen got her brace, using her shoulder to punch the ball in behind the keeper from Rachel Unitt's well taken corner in the 64th minute, taking the score to 0 - 3.
In the 72nd minute, Rachel Yankey found herself with only the goal keeper to beat after a long pass from Katie Chapman. As she went to shoot, she was taken down with a foul tackle by a Birmingham defender. Yankey was awarded a penalty which was taken successfully by Margunn Haugenes to bring the score up to 0-4.
Two minutes before full time, the goal keeper failed to clear the ball after a poor back pass. Margunn Haugenes intercepted the clearance and sent a cross to Marianne Pettersen who headed the ball into the far corner for goal number 5.
Gaute Haugenes, Team Manager, commented after the 0 - 5 win:
"The girls worked hard under difficult circumstances. They were tired from Wednesday's game when we beat Arsenal 3 - 2 in a thrilling league cup semi final. Our fitness and professional attitude have now taken us into the 5th round of the FA cup without too much trouble. Having said that, Birmingham City are certainly a team to look out for and have some excellent results behind them. They were well organised in defence and I was particularly impressed with Faye Cardin , Katie Ward and Eniola Aluko. Our league cup final against them in April should be an exciting game."
Goal scorers: Sanchia Duncan (30) Marianne Pettersen (56, 64, 88) Margunn Haugenes (72)