London City completed a season sweep over Birmingham City, with Karin Muya firing the Lionesses to an all-important win in the Barclays Women’s Championship.
Nikita Runnacles’ squad found themselves on the back foot in the first-half, with Christie Murray rattling the crossbar from an early free-kick and Claudia Walker testing Shae Yanez from distance.
However, the Lionesses flew out of the blocks at the start of the second-half and immediately placed Birmingham City under pressure.
Muya raced down the flank immediately after the restart, beating two defenders on the dribble before crossing into the penalty area to Shanade Hopcroft.
While Hopcroft’s shot was initially blocked, it fell kindly for Muya to poke London City into the lead.
The Lionesses, who replaced Grace Neville with Lucy Fitzgerald at the break, played with confidence in the minutes that followed.
Muya was a constant threat in the wide areas, with London City winning the possession battle and pressing aggressively after the break.
Runnacles turned to her bench for the second time of the afternoon with a quarter of an hour left to play, with Hopcroft and Ewens replaced by Atlanta Primus and Kyra Carusa.
London City’s impact players had the desired effect, helping the team over the line to secure three vital points in the race for promotion.
“I told the players at half-time that they were still in this even though it wasn’t pretty,” said Runnacles at full-time. “It shows how fired up this group is that they scored so early in the second-half. They find a way to finish the job, no matter how it looks or what it takes.”
Defender Hayley Nolan added: “I’m absolutely buzzing. It wasn’t as pretty as we would’ve liked but it was a great team performance. We worked really hard for each other, scored our goal, and then defended really well to keep the clean sheet. We’re delighted.”