Birmingham City Ladies 0-0 Reading Ladies: The Blues move up to third despite goalless draw

The Royals are made to wait for their first win of the season, as they shared the spoils at the Autotech Stadium.

Birmingham City Ladies 0-0 Reading Ladies: The Blues move up to third despite goalless draw
Birmingham City's Melissa Lawley is tackled by Kayleigh Hines of Reading (Image Source: The FA)
Birmingham City Ladies
0 0
Reading Ladies
Birmingham City Ladies: Baggaley; Mannion, Westwood, Carter; Harrop, Potter, Peplow (Moore, min.45), Stringer (Brazil, min.80), Lawley; Ayisi, Wellings (Allen, min.45)
Reading Ladies: Earps; Jane, McGee (Davis, min.75), Bartrip, Provan; Stobbs, Haines, Rowe, Follis; Walkley (Bruton, min.59), Fletcher (Scott, min.72)
REFEREE: Wayne Barratt
INCIDENTS: The match was played at the Automated Technology Stadium. 395 spectators

It was a drab affair in Solihull on Thursday night, as Birmingham City and Reading played out a nil-nil draw.

The newly-promoted Royals continued their win-less run in the league, as the Blues moved up to third. But, neither team deserved the three points at the Autotech Stadium.

First half of few chances

Birmingham City have been in good form of late, picking up tight victories over both Notts County and Doncaster Rover Belles. They most notably held recent FA Cup winners Arsenal Ladies to a well-earned draw in their last FA WSL 1 league fixture. 

The Blues ended last season as the league's lowest scorers and they have continued in the same fashion, only managing to score four in their last six matches.

The home side started the brighter of the two teams and had a handful of chances to take the lead in the opening quarter, with the first opportunity falling to Jo Potter. Charlie Wellings fed the ball to the England midfielder who tried to take it around Reading keeper Mary Earps, Potter went down under Earps' challenge but no foul was given and the referee waved away the Blue's penalty appeals.

Melissa Lawley was the next City player to try and break the deadlock, she broke free on the edge of the box before unleashing a curling effort which flew high over the bar.

The Royals have found life tough in the top flight, prior to this match they have collected just two points in their first five matches and are yet to record their first win in WSL 1.

Reading caused more of a threat towards the end of the first half, Emma Follis providing their best effort. Kayleigh Hines sent a dangerous ball into the area for arguably the best player on the pitch to attempt a speculative volley - Follis' strike fell straight to City keeper Sophie Baggaley, who was fortunate that the Reading players were slow to react as she fumbled the subsequent save.

Parker pushes for the win

Birmingham made a double change at the start of the second half, replacing Wellings and Chloe Peplow with the more experienced duo of Jade Moore and Remi Allen. David Parker hoped to increase the tempo and add more drive in midfield, in order to get their second home win of the campaign so far.

However, they didn't make the start the City manager would have hoped for. The Birmingham keeper's decision making had been called in to question on numerous occasions throughout the course of the match and Baggaley was again close to conceding minutes after the break. The 19-year-old hesitated as Reading played a long ball over the top. Stobbs was quickest to the ball, but just as she was about to put Reading in to the lead, City left-back Kerys Harrop slid in with a last ditch challenge to prevent the Royals going ahead.

As the substitutes settled in to the flow of the game, Freda Ayisi had numerous goal-scoring chances. The former Arsenal forward couldn't get the ball out from under her feet on her first opportunity, allowing Reading keeper Earps to take control. Ayisi saw her flicked header fly inches shy of the far post just moments after.

At the other end, Jess Carter produced a game-saving challenge to deny Follis. The England Under-19's defender was deservedly named player of the match at the final whistle.

Both teams take a point from tonight's proceedings, but Kelly Chambers' side still continue on their hunt for victory.