Manchester City eased into the quarter finals of the Continental Tyres UK Cup with a comfortable 2-0 win at home to Birmingham City
City’s names just 15 players in the matchday squad, including three goalkeepers, that saw them field a make shift back four with Emse Morgan making her full debut at right back with Abbie McManus switching to left back. Karen Beardsley returned in goal to make her third appearance of the season.
The deadlock was broken on 18 minutes when a terrific through-ball from Jane Ross on the turn released Nikita Parris one-on-one before her touch deceived Hannah Hampton in the Birmingham goal allowing her to lift the ball over her from the edge of the area.
The goal awoke City who went close again with a good move through the middle before Jill Scott drilled an effort just wide of the Post from 25 yards out.
The only Birmingham chance of note in the first half came on 23 minutes when Jess Carter rifled an effort safely into the hands of Bardsley.
City doubled their lead on 36 minutes when Morgan advanced down the right and delivered a terrific cross along the six yard box, which just evaded the waiting Ross and Izzy Christiansen but not Claire Emslie who drilled it behind Hampton at the far Post to give the home side a comfortable two goal lead at half time.
Birmingham came out for the second half determined to not allow the game to get away from them without a fight as Rachel Williams fires over from 25 yards before Paige Williams forced another comfortable save from Bardsley with a long range effort.
Birmingham continued to create long range efforts none of which troubled Bardsley in the City goal.
City’s first chance of the second came on 69 minutes as Claire Emslie forced a terrific save out of the 17-year-old Hampton before Scott fired over from the narrowest of angles
Birmingham’s best chance of the game came on 83 minutes as Lucy Quinn forced a good stop low down to his right from Bardsley. The visitors eventually found a way through as they turned home a corner but referee Lindsey Robinson blew for a foul on Bardsley.
From there the game petered our as City secured their place in the quarter finals with a game to spare.