Women's Continental Cup: Arsenal win after late Ellen White strike

Arsenal's Ellen White

A late goal by England striker Ellen White gave holders Arsenal a 2-1 home win against Birmingham City in their Continental Cup group game.

The result comes four days after opening their Super League campaign with a 4-0 drubbing by Liverpool.

Birmingham led through England striker Rachel Williams's 49th-minute penalty, but Gemma Davison quickly equalised.

White's 88th-minute winner took the below-par Gunners level with Lincoln at the top of the group.

And manager Shelley Kerr, after seeing her team get back to winning ways, said: "The girls responded well from the Liverpool defeat.

"They couldn't wait for this match to come round and in spells we did really well. We left it a bit late for the winner, but I felt we deserved it."

With the hosts below their best, Birmingham created the better of the early openings as both midfielder Melissa Lawley and Williams sent efforts narrowly wide.

Arsenal winger Danielle Carter forced Blues goalkeeper Mary Earps into a 24th-minute save from a well struck long range drive.

But a minute later, Gunners keeper Emma Byrne had to stretch to touch Williams's curling 25-yard shot on to the crossbar.

The Blues continued to edge the game and went ahead when Williams, after being fouled by defender Ciara Grant, struck in the resulting penalty.

But it took the home side only two minutes to draw level, and quite a goal it was following a half-cleared Kim Little corner.

Davison drilled the loose ball against the far post, Grant headed the rebound on to the bar and from that second rebound Davison fired home a 15-yard shot.

Birmingham almost regained the lead on the hour, midfielder Jade Moore driving in a 20-yard effort that the diving Byrne turned past the post.

But Arsenal were improved following their goal and went close to taking the lead when captain Steph Houghton curled a shot just wide.

And two minutes from time they made sure of victory when White rose to meet Carter's cross and loop a header over Earps and into the roof of the net.

The Gunners now need only a draw from their final group game, against Bristol Academy next week, to ensure they go through to the semi-finals.

Meanwhile Birmingham, Continental Cup runners-up to the Gunners in each of the last two seasons, must beat Lincoln to guarantee a place in the last four.

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