Birmingham ran out 4-0 winners on a chilly afternoon at Mulsanne Park that can only be described as a bad day at the office for Richard Cooper’s side.

It seemed to be a bright start for Nettleham when Lucy Farrow’s early chance saw the ball curled from the edge of the 18-yard-box, but Birmingham’s keeper was equal to the shot.

Birmingham opened the scoring when their winger – Bryan – was left in plenty of space on the right and was able to direct the ball straight into Olivia Clark’s goal.

They then doubled their advantage when the ball was squared across goal and met by Painter who delicately tapped in.

Just on the brink of half-time, Birmingham made sure they left no stone unturned as they bagged a third.

Nettleham Ladies in action against Birmingham & West Midlands.
Photo: Daniel Breslin

Swiftly after the interval, Birmingham made it four-nil when their midfielder released a thunderbolt into the top-left-corner from distance, leaving Clark with no chance of stopping it.

Brooke Osbourne made her debut for Nettleham – playing at right-back – and she showed great glimpses of why Cooper brought her to the club.

The full-back broke-up play very well down the right, making vital interceptions and challenges, but also showed endeavor going forward.

Highlighted by the scintillating run she made down the wing, skipping past a handful of Birmingham players in the process, before winning a throw-in close to the corner flag.

On her debut, Nettleham manager, Richard Cooper, said: “I thought she was excellent today and that she was the stand-out player to be honest.

“She looked very sharp although she’s not match-fit as she hasn’t been playing a lot recently, but I was really impressed with her.

“I think there is a lot more to come from her, she’s got good quality and reads the game well and is a tenacious player.

“She’ll give us a variety of options in different positions which is always a bonus with a small squad of players.”

Osbourne’s brilliance and the team spirit from Nettleham wasn’t enough to forge anything out of the match and means they now finish 2018 in defeat.

Reflecting on the match, Cooper added: “We got what we deserved today – absolutely nothing.

“We just weren’t at it today and we were quite poor and lethargic and as well as that our decision-making wasn’t good enough.

“Really, we just weren’t at the races and that could be because we’ve had a week without a game, which meant we lost that continuity after beating Burton Albion the last game.

“We beat them comfortably, had a break, and then came into the game today and we never really got at it.”