To Boo or Not to Boo, THAT IS THE QUESTION?!

Disgruntled fan Credit:


This past weekend saw a topic brought up on social media involving two of the powerhouses of British Ice Hockey in particular, as some home fans turned against their own side and booed them off the ice, following a string of bad results and performances to boot. This, in turn, has led to one of the supporters of the sides in question asking, is booing acceptable? 

Sunday evening saw this subject come to a head, as both clubs were left in no uncertain terms of what their own fans thought about them following their respective home losses. Sections of both supporters of the Sheffield Steelers and Nottingham Panthers had their game ending with a chorus of boos ringing around both Arenas, following their home defeats to Fife in Sheffield and Belfast at Nottingham.

It has become apparent from a lot of Steelers supporters on social media nowadays, that they are clearly far from happy on how their side have been performing so far this season – after seeing them on a current losing streak of late in the league. Sheffield currently sits fifth in the league standings to date and are also six points adrift of Belfast in their conference.

The South Yorkshire club have really struggled against fellow conference rivals Nottingham, Cardiff and Belfast this year, with the Steelers sitting rock bottom in the Erhardt Conference, with only four points in conference match-ups – and lie eight-points behind third places Nottingham, with their bitter rivals having registered twelve points in their conference games too.

Fans have also vented their fury on social media in the direction of three personnel at the Steel City club, with their Head Coach and former player Paul Thompson, along with the senior management duo of Tony Smith and Dave Simms also being called out for the sides poor recruitment this year, and also their apparent lack of effort from the men in Orange on the Ice too.

Sunday night saw the Steelers fans venting their anger after an in-form Fife Flyers side flew into the FlyDSA Arena and saw the Scottish side came out 3-1 winners and had the sound of the horn at the end of the game was met by a loud chorus of boos by the home faithful and had plenty of empty seats from clips posted from the game.

Meanwhile, just 42.4 miles up the M1 (according to Google Maps) the Motorpoint Arena playing hosts to the Nottingham Panthers and the Belfast Giants. The Northern Ireland-outfit beat the hometown side 6-2 and had the hosts also met with loud boos from the Panthers Nation as well.

This time last year the Panthers qualified for the Continental Cup final round in Italy and went on to win the tournament to become the first EVER British side to win it. Much like their foes down the road, Nottingham has also been going through a bit of a bad patch of late and saw the side in ‘Primrose and Black’ only picking up a point from their last four league games with two of those losses coming against conferences opponents, Cardiff and Belfast.

Both sides have been huge forces in British Ice Hockey for some time now and has seen them fighting it out (sometimes quite literally) for league titles and domestic trophies along the way. Both fan bases have high expectations of their team and consequently, both clubs have played with rather large huge chips on their respective shoulders.

So, when that chip gets dislodged by their rivals or other teams within the league, their fans are quick to jump on them and that was pretty evident from this past weekend. The booing from two sets of fanbases was a clear indicator of them not happy and wanting things corrected almost immediately.

Having fans booing their team is nothing new in sports in truth, however, in British Ice Hockey, in particular, it is a rare occurrence. That said, the first time I recall hearing boos and not aimed at an opposing player or team, was way back in the early 2000’s when the club I supported growing up a child, the Manchester Storm, had the first instance of this occurring.

During the 2000-01 season, there was a new coach at the helm following the outgoing and most successful head coach that the Storm ever had in Kurt Kleinendorst, as former Storm boss departed for a scouting job with the New Jersey Devils of the NHL in North America. He was replaced by a coach by coach Terry Christensen who had made his name in College hockey over the pond.

From the off you could tell things weren’t good, with the side playing awful, the coach refusing to connect with the fans which had attendances dwindling by the week, with poor performances on the ice being made worse with players and the coach at loggerheads too, with former player Pierre Allard launching a scathing attack on Christiansen in the local press.

For the handful of games that I attended that season, I recall vividly the side being booed as they skated around the ghost town like MEN Arena as it was then and poor brand of hockey. it was the only time that I can ever recall a home side being booed off their own Ice in over twenty-two years of watching the game in the UK.

‘The Boo Section’ Pic:

In Europe though, booing is seen as acceptable as it is generally in football. If a home side loses or plays badly in front of their own fans, then the players and club will risk the wrath of their supporters and have them booed till out of sight.

For over quarter of a century now watching a range of all different sporting teams in Manchester; whether it is Manchester City, Manchester Storm/Phoenix/Giants, Belle Vue Aces, Sale Sharks or even Lancashire C.C.C and heck, let’s throw in the rare occasion I watched Manchester United at Old Trafford too, we have all been made to get mad or angry with our sporting sides and venting our spleens  at games too.

Based on my own experiences of hearing sides being booed off, then you have been a Man City supporter for as long as I have and went prior to the takeover of the club with the Abu Dhabi Group, then Yes, I am probably one of the better ones to ask about frustrating sides.

From being taken to my first ever game on Boxing Day 1991, right up to the present day, I saw players in sky blue shirts being world-beaters and disaster zones over the years, while also having to take the smooth with a truckload of roughness that would equate to taking some sandpaper to a house brick.

Sports fans are without doubt the most fickle of fans you will find in any walks of life, as the word fanaticism in Latin shortened is ‘Fan’, and the description of the word being states “to be ‘mad, fanatical, furious, raging, enthusiastic and ecstatic” and as a sports fan we all experience those feeling when watching.

The long and short of it I guess is that if you are willing to pay to watch something, say; a sports event, concert, film and even Gladiators back in Roman times I suppose, then you have the right to express your grievances as after all you have paid good money to watch your chosen entertainment.

Another way to look at things is, if fans are debating whether booing is deemed acceptable, then imagine if a team lost 10-0. The losing sides fans should be well within their rights to boo, whistle, jeer or show their frustration at what they watched, especially if their team didn’t show any interest what so ever.

On the flip side of things, if people aren’t allowed to boo and jeer for things when they go bad, then surely when the opposite happens and their side is winning, then the fans shouldn’t be allowed to clap, cheer or celebrate either, as surely that must be wrong too??

Much like in all sports though when a side rediscovers their winning touch again, it will see the negative comments start to fade away and be replaced with optimism – well until those losses start to occur again of course.

I’ll finish this blog off with a link to a clip from Scottish Comedian Fred MacAulay, as he loosely talks about booing in a sense.




Manchester_City_FC_badge.svg   Manchester City        4     Gundogan 14′, De Bruyne 70′, Sterling 80′, 90′
580b57fcd9996e24bc43c4ee   Tottenham Hotspur   1     Eriksen 93′

Another stunning performance by Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City side saw his side move 14 points clear at the top of the Premier League standings with a 4-1 victory over Spurs at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday evening, but that lead could be back down to 11 points should their cross-city rivals United beat West Brom in their Sunday lunchtime game.

City, was without their star man from midweek in David Silva, as the Spanish wizard was absent for personal reasons and saw Ilkay Gundogan coming into the side. For the visitors, they welcomed back England International Dele Alli to their line-up, as the North London side aimed to become the first side in the league this season to beat the runaway leaders at current.

The home side went ahead thanks to a stooping header by Ilkay Gundogan on 14 minutes, as the midfielder was left all alone to head home from a Leroy Sane corner and have an inquest between the Tottenham players on just how he was left open and who was marking the City man.

Kevin De Bruyne then picked out Sergio Aguero out on the left side and had the Argentine running into the visitor’s penalty area and firing a shot on goal, but his effort was palmed away by Hugo Lloris in the Tottenham goal and saw Raheem Sterling picking up the rebound and then blazing over the bar.

City celebrate fourth goal – PIC: BBC Sports

Tottenham struggled to create much that resembled a meaningful attack for much of the first half, but when they did it came from an effort by Harry Kane as the England man tried to curl his shot in at the far corner and saw Ederson beaten all ends up, but thankfully for him and the home side it went past the post.

Minutes later it saw the visitors threatening again, as this time the home side needed to be alert at the back after Danny Rose put a little ball in behind the City back line and saw Ederson reading the danger immediately and had the keeper running off his the line to gather it up. In the dying moment of the half, it saw Ilkay Gundogan then trying his luck from long-range and had Lloris able to make a comfortable save.

The second half saw the visitors lucky to have eleven men still on the pitch after Harry Kane made a poor challenge on Raheem Sterling that was late and forceful and potential to be a leg breaker on his England teammate. The Tottenham man was shown a yellow card for the ‘challenge’ and then soon after saw his fiercely struck shot being saved Ederson, as the Portuguese keeper got a strong hand to push it out of play for a corner.

City’s Belgian wizard in Kevin De Bruyne saw weaving more magic, as his attempted ball for Gabriel Jesus was just slightly taken off course by Eric Dier in the Tottenham defence, as the touch just did enough to put off the Brazilian striker at the last minute.

The home side, could and should have made it 2-0 on 66 minutes, when Leroy Sane picked the ball up on the wing and then made a trademark cut-in from the left and saw the German shooting on goal inside the Spurs penalty box and was denied by the outstretched left hand of Lloris and saw Sterling yet again failing to put in the rebound.

Dele Alli then escaped a clear red card after an awful over the ball tackle on Kevin De Bruyne, and on another day the Spurs and England man would have been heading for an early shower. As it was, he stayed on the pitch but it would be De Bruyne who would have the last laugh, as the Belgian ran took a pass and then a fired into the net through the keeper and past the attempts of Lloris who got a hand to it, but couldn’t keep it out.

Kevin De Bruyne makes it 2-0 – PIC: DailyMail

In the 75th minute, it saw City awarded a penalty after De Bruyne was brought down inside the area by Jan Vertongen and saw Gabriel Jesus being given the responsibility for the spot kick, but the Brazilian saw his penalty coming back off the woodwork into the five yard area and see Sterling putting over with the rebound.

The hosts had Spurs on the back foot with a quick break up field, as Ilkay Gundogan played another nice ball, this time for Leroy Sane, and the German set up Raheem Sterling at the far post after Hugo Lloris had come off his line and made it a simple tap in for 3-0 and gave the home side an extra cushion.

Substitute Bernardo Silva then nearly put City four-nil up on 85 minutes, when another inch-perfect pass by Kevin De Bruyne picked out the Portuguese midfielder on the far side and saw Silva having his effort tipped onto the post by the Spurs keeper. Sterling then had a chance to score his second of the game with a rising shot that needed Hugo Lloris to just tip over the bar, but also saw the other side of the Tottenham keeper minutes later.

Following his fingertip save moments before, the French keeper for Tottenham then made a poor error that was capitalised on by Raheem Sterling as he made it 4-0 when a ball forward by Bernardo Silva got the smallest of touches by Eric Dier as last man and saw Sterling allow it go through the leg of the oncoming Lloris, and have the City man rolling the ball into an open net to just salt into the wounds.

Raheem Sterling lets the ball run on before making it 4-0 – PIC: Reuters

There wasn’t too much that the Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino could do and just saw the Argentine boss stood arms folded and watch on as his side was picked apart in the second half of play.

The visitors had the final say in the match, as a Fernandinho clearance seemed to strike the hand of Christian Eriksen but the Danish midfielder ran at the City defenders and then shot across the are with a low drive that was out of reach for Ederson and gave the visitors a late consolation goal.

When the full-time whistle came, it had Pep Guardiola’s men making it 16 league games unbeaten this season and also 21 home games without defeat since Chelsea last beat them at the Etihad Stadium coming back in early December of 2016.


fbad6-logo_swansea_city  Swansea City  0 – 4  Manchester City  Manchester_City_FC_badge.svg

Manchester City became record breakers for the second time inside a week, as after Pep Guardiola side beat neighbours Manchester United on Sunday to record the best start to any Premier League season, it then saw City smashing record for the most consecutive wins – as they beat Swansea City 4-0 at the Liberty Stadium to record their 15th straight Premier League victory and surpass the previous record set by the ‘Invincibles’ side of Arsenal back 2002.

Following the Derby Day win, it saw all the post-match talk about what happened in the tunnel afterwards; as reports of players brawling, Managers getting soaked with milk and music being too loud for Jose Mourinho’s taste. Wednesday night though saw Manchester City playing all the right notes and were led by their conductor on the pitch, in David Silva.

The Spanish maestro played the home side like a fiddle in the contest, with Silva scoring a brace and had further strikes by Kevin De Bruyne and Sergio Aguero in the dominating win. It saw the home side left to chase shadows for the majority of the time as Pep Guardiola’s men put in a classy performance down on a chilly South Wales evening.

City started the contest and they meant to go on and had Sergio Aguero showings signs of his old self again, with the Argentine striker running at the Swansea defence early on and hitting his effort into the side-netting, but that sent the warning signs to the home side almost immediately.

Fernandinho then struck a perfect volley from the edge of the box that brought out a great save from Lukasz Fabianski in the Swansea goal, as the Polish keeper got down really well to make the save. Jordan Ayew then had the home sides’ first shot on target after ten minutes of play gone in the game, as Ayew fended off a challenge from Nicolas Otemendi to then fire a low driven shot that saw Ederson more than equal to it.

The leaders had found themselves behind the Swansea defence on numerous occasions in the half and just couldn’t turn their shots into goals and despite the efforts of Argentine duo Sergio Aguero and Nicolas Otemendi, both failed to get on the board. Eventually, Pep Guardiola’s men opened the scoring through David Silva with the Spaniard flicking the ball on at the front of the net, as his namesake Bernando Silva put in the cross to help put the visitors one up on 27 minutes.

In the 34th minute, it was 2-0, as Kevin De Bruyne saw his fizzed in free-kick bouncing past the keeper and into the far post to put City in firm control and have the home side looking a beaten side already. Danilo then had a rare effort on goal for the visitors, as the Brazilan defender saw his long-range pop held onto by Lukasz Fabianski and saw only one side in the game.

David Silva and his City teammates celebrate a goal  PIC- Skysports.

A minute into the second half, it saw another chance go begging for City as some good build-up play saw the Silva’s linking up once again and should have been 3-0, as Bernando played in David, and the midfielder somehow managed to miss the target with his curled shot.


Swansea was struggling to repel the Manchester City attacks on their goal and saw another chance heading their way, as Bernando Silva played a little ball to Sergio Aguero whose low shot across goal was saved by Fabianski and almost had the ball coming straight out to the sliding David Silva for a rebound, but the home side was let off the hook.

The visitor’s sublime football has saw them getting praise heaped upon them and saw City netting their third goal on 51 minutes, when Raheem Sterling played a ball into the path of David Silva and the City midfielder just delicately lifted his shot over the keeper and into the back of the net for 3-0 and leave the home side in disarray.

Sterling, then saw his volley on goal being stopped by the Swansea keeper but the flag was already up for offside and wouldn’t have counted anyhow. Aguero then showed his attacking threat again for the away side, as this time he shot just inches past the far post and have the striker looking like his old self again.

Ederson then made a brilliant save to keep the home side out in the 63rd minute of play when a Roque Masa shot had taken a deflection off Fabian Delph and that saw the keeper having to quickly adjust his feet to make a diving save and push the ball away. Sergio Aguero then made it 4-0 for the rampant leaders, and have the club’s record goalscorer taking his tally for the season to ten after a powerful run into the penalty area and fire his shot into the far bottom corner for a tidy finish.

Victory for the Blues meant that they retained their 11-point lead at the top of the table and sees them now facing Spurs on Saturday night in what will be another tough game for City, as the Blues face 3 games inside a week before Christmas arrives.


94b93-manchester_united_fc_crest-svg  Manchester Utd  1 – 2  Manchester City  Manchester_City_FC_badge.svg.png


The Blue side of Manchester took the honours in the 175th Manchester Derby as Pep Guardiolas’ Manchester City side opened up an 11-point gap from nearest rivals United at the top of the Premier League table – as City beat their neighbours 2-1 and set a new English top-flight record in the process with 14 straight league wins to break the record.

It saw the league leaders looking strong from the outset and had Raheem Sterling having the first shot on goal in the match after a neat one-two between himself and Gabriel Jesus, saw the England man firing a scuffed shot at David De Gea in the United goal.

A couple of minutes later it saw the visitors going close once more, when the Brazilian connection of Fernandinho and Gabriel Jesus saw the central midfielder playing a quick ball upfield to Jesus and the striker twisted and turned his way into the United penalty area and had the defenders turned inside out, but his finishing lack quality.

City, then had another chance go begging on 41 minutes gone on the clock, when a Fabian Delph ball was put back into the area and saw Ashley Young missing with a header and had Leroy Sane controlling the ball and then firing his shot toward goal, and needed an important save by the United keeper to stop the away side from going in front.

David Silva opening the scoring – GettyImage

From the resulting corner, it saw the visitors breaking the deadlock through a David Silva goal as Kevin De Bruyne’s out-swinging corner was knocked goalwards by Nicolas Otamendi and saw the ball coming towards the Spanish International and the player nicknamed ‘Merlin’ by City fans put the away side a goal up.

United, who had failed to get into the contest during the opening forty-five minutes of the play, then saw them getting their foot in the door from a mistake by Fabian Delph in which the defender had a lapse of concentration – which in course gave the home side a chance and have Marcus Rashford punishing the visitors to make it 1-1 deep inside first-half stoppage time.

At halftime, it saw Pep Guardiola being forced into a defensive shuffle after losing his captain Vincent Kompany to an injury and saw Ilkay Gundogan coming on to replace the City skipper for the second half. It saw the game a bit more even with the home side looking to come forward a bit more than they had been doing, but City was still on top in the game.

Marcus Rashford netting equaliser – Pic: Sky Sports

The visitors restored their lead from a fortuitous goal by defender Nicolas Otamendi, as once again it came from a set-piece by Kevin De Bruyne and in truth the delivery from the Belgian maestro wasn’t the best, but a woeful clearance by Romelu Lukaku at the back post saw the ball hitting his teammate and coming straight to Otadmendi and the Argentine put City 2-1 in front and had the away fans in the corner going delirious.

Marcus Rashford saw his free kick for the home side just going over the bar from the England youngster, as United looked to find a way back on level terms but the leaders gave nothing away. City then created another good chance that came their way, after Fernandinho and Leroy Sane both combined to see Kevin De Bruyne running at the United back line and saw them standing off before forcing David De Gea into a save, as the Spanish keeper just managed to get a hand on it.

Fabian Delph was almost caught out for a second time in the game, after a Nemanja Matic ball went towards the City man and saw the England International failing to deal with it and that in turn let in Rashford again, but his strike on goal brought a good save down low from Ederson to deny the striker his second of the match.

City celebrating victory at Old Trafford – Pic: BBC Sports

In a week where the pre-match build up was full of soundbites from Manchester United Manager Jose Mourinho, in which he labelled his rivals ‘divers’ – so it was somehow ironic that the home side should have a player booked for diving themselves. City’s Nicolas Otamendi had lost control of the ball in his own area saw and then saw Ander Herrera going over theatrically in the penalty box and claiming a penalty, but instead, he was shown a yellow card and the replays showed it was the right decision.

On 82 minutes, it saw without a doubt the best chance falling the way or United late on as a double-save from Ederson foiled the home side from levelling, after a low driven ball across the face of goal saw Lukaku hitting his shot into the face of the City keeper and then had the Portuguese goalie quickly up to make a brilliant save from Juan Mata and deny them a second.

Deep into injury time, it saw Bernando Silva with a great chance of making it 3-1, but the midfielder managed to overrun the ball too much and see his shot being easily stopped by De Gea. The derby victory for the Blues now sees City moving into a very strong position in the league standings already – but no one that follows the Blue Moon will be counting their chickens just yet.



PrimaryStorm2015Logo-1Manchester Storm  3 – 4 OT Cardiff Devils  130px-Cardiff_Devils_logo.svg

An overtime goal by Sean Bentivoglio helped the Cardiff Devils to gain a small measure of revenge against their opponents the Manchester Storm on Saturday night, as the Devils who had lost 6-1 to the Storm in their previous encounter, saw the visitors taking a 4-3 win in Altrincham to condemn the home side to defeat.

Manchester dominated play for the first half of the opening period, as the Storm put Cardiff under a lot of pressure and saw Ben Bowns in the Devils goal needing to be alert from the off to keep the home side out. Tyson Strachan of the Devils earned himself a spell in the penalty box after he received a two-plus-ten minute call after checking Linden Springer from behind and that saw the home side none too happy with the hit. 

The home side opened the scoring through Dane Byers, as a break down the right wing saw Luke Moffatt playing a beautiful spinning no-look pass back across the face of goal for Byers to get on the end off and slot home for 1-0. Manchester then allowed their emotions to get the better of them, as Dallas Ehrhardt picked up his second roughing call in as many minutes to give the visitors a power play and they cashed in

Gleason Fournier netted his first of two goals in the period, with his first timed at 16:39, as his shot ripped through traffic and into the back of the net for 1-1 and then with Linden Springer sitting for a slashing penalty, it saw Fournier on target again at 19:17 to put the Devils 2-1 ahead and was mostly all the visitors for the second half of the period.

Play in the second period saw the game becoming a bit scrappy at times, as well as slightly bad-tempered, but it wasn’t helped with some poor officiating for both sides by referee Tom Pering who had a poor game. Penalties were given equally, as both teams seemed to automatically have a man in the box if an opposing player was called and seemed for parts of the second period that it was more like a game of 4 on 4. 

Paul Swindlehurst and Dane Byers celebrate a goal Pic: All Sport Photography

After a scoreless second period, it saw Paul Swindhurst tying the game up in the third for 2-2 at 44.48 after play between Matt Beca and Scott Pitt saw the movement of the Great Britain defenseman at the back gate and he was on hand to slam home. Storm nearly got caught out on an expired power play for them, when Cardiff’s Matt Pope stepped back onto the ice and was fed a pass up the middle to which Linden Springer brought the Devils man down and saw a penalty shot awarded.

Thankfully though for the Storm, they failed to score with Mike Clemente denying the Cardiff shooter from retaking the lead. From there on, it saw the home side playing a lot better and getting into some decent positions and pressuring the visiting side.

Cardiff looked to have sealed the game with 2:23 left to play in the period, after the Storm had plenty of chances to clear out of their zone, but the Devils kept the pressure on and had Andrew Hotham firing a low shot that came off the skate of Manchester defenceman Ryan Trenz and ending up in the back of the net.

With the Devils leading 3-2 inside the final thirty-second of the contest, it saw the home side pulling their goalie for the extra attacker and saw Luke Moffatt looking to find a way through and have his shot saved but have the rebound falling near the line and see Dane Byers quick off the mark to tap in and set off a wall of noise for a tied game with 19: seconds left to play.

Overtime saw neither side really getting any clear-cut chances falling their way with more ice at each sides disposal, and was a pretty cautious approach by both teams. The game reached its conclusion at 62:19 when an ill-advised line-change by the Storm, saw Luke Moffatt always struggling to close down Sean Bentivoglio in time and, the Cardiff man scored the game-winning goal which came from another no-look spin pass that was very much like Moffatt’s on the first hosts’ goal.

It saw a second straight league defeat for the Storm now, and that has begun to see a decline in fortunes for the Altrincham based side over recent games and has led to the side slipping down the table from the top spot, to now fifth in the Elite League standings. Next up for Ryan Finnerty’s side is a road game at conference rivals Coventry Blaze on Sunday night, as Manchester could do with starting to pick up points on the road at their rivals.


manchester_city_2016        13




Manchester City Women  2 – 0 Birmingham City Ladies

Manchester City Women booked their place in the quarter-finals of the WSL Cup with a comfortable 2-0 home win over Women’s Super League side Birmingham City Ladies at the Academy Stadium on Sunday afternoon, thanks to first-half goals by Nikita Parris and Claire Emslie as the holders topped the group with a game to play.

The home side was given a boost ahead of the clash with Birmingham, as Manchester City boss Nick Cushing put pen to paper on a new three-year deal that sees him staying at the club till at least 2020. It also saw him forced into a defensive change with Demi Stokes ruled out of the game with a knock that she picked up during England duty, and so youngster Esme Morgan came into the lineup for her debut in the Continental Cup.

After a quiet opening quarter of an hour to the game, in which the game was played mostly in the middle of the park and saw both goalkeepers being spectators. In the 18th minute, it finally saw the deadlock being broken thanks to a goal by Nikita Parri as a through-ball by Jane Ross saw the striker taking a slightly heavier touch than she wanted, but it caused hesitation from Birmingham’s Hannah Hampton in goal and that hesitation allowed the England International to lift her shot over the keeper to put the hosts in front.

Jess Carter had the first opportunity for the away side in the 23rd minute of play, as the defender tried a 25-yard shot from distance and had Karen Bardsley in the City goal more than able to deal with it. City’s Jill Scott then worked herself into space, before she unleashed a low drive that had Hampton beaten all ends up, but saw the ball bouncing inches past the far post and almost making it two.

City was looking comfortable at 1-0 without really getting out of first gear and that saw the home side doubling their lead in the 36th minute of play, when a fantastic ball was put into the area by Esme Morgan – and the ball evaded everyone but the incoming Claire Emslie on the back post, and the Scottish International made it 2-0 with a neat finish.

Emslie could have doubled her tally minutes later when a ball came out towards the midfield dynamo, and the Scot’s fiercely struck shot half-volley ended up hitting the side-netting. Birmingham had the last attack of the half with a Charlie Wellings shot on goal, but the forward shot straight at the keeper and have the home side going into the half-time break 2-0 up to the good.

Claire Emslie makes it two for City – PIC:

In the second half, it saw a pretty quiet forty-five minutes and didn’t see much in the way of goalmouth action compared to the first half. Birmingham has over the last couple of years been a tough nut to crack for the treble-winners, as the hosts were forced to battle hard in which to beat the Blues in the league earlier in the season.

The Solihull-based side created a couple of half-chances from long range, as firstly Rachel Williams saw her shot going wide before Paige Williams had her effort well saved by Karen Bardsley.

Birmingham’s Emily Westwood then suffered an injury for the visitors, when a strong tackle against her by Claire Emslie forced the defender to be helped off down the tunnel and replaced by Kerys Harrop. Izzy Christiansen went close with a header from a corner, as the former Blues player saw her effort scrambled off the goal line and have the visitors clearing their lines.

Yet again for the away side, it saw both Williams testing the City keeper from distance and saw Birmingham the better side in the final quarter of the game. Jane Ross in what turned out to be her last action of the game, saw the Scottish striker putting her header just wide of the target and was subbed for youngster Ella Toone.

Meanwhile, the visitors went close with a Lucy Quinn shot that brought a good save out of Karen Bardsley and soon after it saw an Emma Follis cross into the box almost being turned in by Hayley Ladd, but her shot was turned around for a corner.

From the resulting corner, it saw Kerys Harrop bundling the ball home for the Blues, but much to their dismay, the referee ruled it out for a foul on the keeper and saw the home side preserving their clean sheet. As the full-time whistle blew, it saw City claiming all three points and see them topping their Continental Cup group with just one game left to play, as they travel to South Yorkshire to face Doncaster Rovers on Wednesday night.