Southampton Women beat Birmingham with late breakthrough

Southampton v Birmingham City - Barclays Womens Championship -
Libby Smith (#9 Birmingham) chases down Paige Peake (#24 Southampton). (James Whitehead/SPP)

Southampton edged Birmingham City 1-0 to leapfrog them in the table and climb to fifth place in the Barclays Women’s Championship.

In front of a 1,000-strong crowd at AFC Totton on Monday evening, Katie Wilkinson fired narrowly wide for the Saints, while Blues’ keeper Lucy Thomas saved long-range strikes from Leeta Rutherford and Alice Griffiths.

After the break, Jade Pennock looked set to give City the lead but was thwarted by Megan Collett’s crucial block.

Caitlin Morris was inches over the bar for Saints, while Griffiths actually clipped it with a later effort.

Birmingham’s Louise Quinn headed just wide from a corner and Pennock went close from outside the box.

But it was Saints’ substitute Lucia Kendall who found the net with six minutes remaining, turning Wilkinson’s cross into the bottom corner.

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