The FA Women's Super League
B'ham City WomenBirmingham City Women1Arsenal WomenArsenal Women2

Birmingham City Ladies 1-2 Arsenal Ladies

By Tony LeightonWomen's football reporter
Women's Super League: Arsenal climb table after Birmingham win

Arsenal moved into the top half of the Women's Super League as their revival continued with a 2-1 win at Birmingham.

Casey Stoney and Freda Ayisi were the Gunners scorers, but referee Amy Fearn was the centre of attention following two controversial decisions.

The Football League official sent off Birmingham coach Marcus Bignot when he contested a 48th-minute decision.

And 60 seconds later she awarded Blues a penalty - only to change her mind after consulting her assistant referee.

It was tough on Blues, who had enjoyed most of the possession and went close to taking a 12th-minute lead through midfielder Remi Allen's angled shot.

But they went behind when central defender Stoney volleyed home her third goal in as many games following a 23rd-minute Shinobu Ohno corner.

Birmingham hit back hard and did not deserve to behind at half-time - and were then denied two equalising chances straight after the interval.

Allen was clear of the Arsenal defence and driving into the penalty area when Fearn awarded the home side a free-kick for an infringement seconds earlier.

Karen Carney
Karen Carney's goal was too late to affect the outcome of the game

And as Bignot, dismissed for his loud protest at the decision, made his way to the stand Allen went down under a penalty area challenge by winger Rachel Yankey.

Hopes of a spot-kick leveller were destroyed when Fearn changed her mind.

Then a simple chance was wasted by Allen, the unmarked midfielder shooting straight at keeper Emma Byrne from eight yards.

That miss proved costly when Ayisi hit the decisive second goal, sending a 15-yard shot in off the post from striker Ohno's 70th-minute cross.

Blues pulled a goal back through a Karen Carney penalty five minutes into stoppage time, but it was too little too late for the team third in the table.

The result meant that Arsenal, who were bottom of the league with no wins after their first four matches, have won four and lost only one of the last six.

If they can now beat leaders Chelsea on Thursday, it would set up an interesting run-in to the end of the season under new manager Pedro Martinez Losa.

The Spanish coach, set to take charge in mid-September, would take control of the last three matches with his team in with a chance of challenging for a top-two finish and a Champions League place.

As It Stood

1Chelsea Women10622149520
2Liverpool Women1053294518
3B'ham City Women9522128417
4Arsenal Women104241211114
5Man City Women9405611-512
6Bristol City Women83141312110
7Notts County Ladies814345-17
8Everton Women8026515-102
View full The FA Women's Super League table

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