New manager Lydia Bedford’s first home game in charge could not have gone much better as goals in each half from Sophie Howard and Sam Tierney ensured the Foxes would move off the bottom of the table at Christmas.
Two changes were made from the team that lost to Arsenal as the suspended Jemma Purfield was replaced by Molly Pike and Abbie McManus returned to the defence following injury, with Georgia Brougham making way.
McManus was straight into the action as her free-kick made its way through to Howard, whose header was saved by Blues goalkeeper Marie Hourihan inside the first minute.
Scotland international defender Howard would then find the net on 18 minutes with a superb curling strike that nestled into the far corner, giving Leicester the advantage.
The away side also had opportunities, with Jade Pennock’s effort finding the roof of the net with five to go until the break.
Leicester, though, were able to hold their advantage at the break, with Shannon O’Brien creating the final opportunity of the half, weaving into a shooting position and finding Hourihan equal to her effort.
Birmingham came out strong for the second half and the first goalmouth action saw Veatriki Sarri’s corner headed onto the top of the net by Blues captain Louise Quinn. Rebecca Holloway’s inviting cross was then flicked towards goal by Pennock, but it once again landed over the crossbar.
Brougham came on for skipper Sophie Barker and, within 10 minutes of her arrival, the Foxes had a crucial second goal. Pike’s corner was met by Tierney and she was able to divert her header past the Blues ‘keeper.
At the other end, Holloway fired over, a sign that the away side were not giving up yet, but they were now leaving gaps at the back which Leicester looked to exploit. Firstly O’Brien and Sigsworth broke free, but were unable to capitalise, with Hourihan standing strong to save the forward’s effort.
Charlie Devlin was then introduced late on, twisting and turning to create space for a shot which didn’t have enough power to beat Hourihan, but by then the points were already in the bag, sending the majority of the 2,124-strong crowd home happy.
Sophie Howard wheels away after curling in the opener.
The first goal was huge for Leicester’s confidence and, once they had it, via Sophie Howard’s neat finish, they never looked like relinquishing the advantage, adding a second through Sam Tierney to make the game safe.
A strong defensive display helped to earn the team's first shut-out of the campaign.
It’s very difficult to pick out just one player from what was an accomplished team performance at both ends of the pitch. The backline, led by strong displays from Ashleigh Plumptre and Abbie McManus gave a strong base, while it was two fellow defenders who found the net.
Where do we stand?
Sam Tierney celebrates scoring her first goal of the season.
Leicester move up into 11th place in the WSL standings, overtaking Birmingham City thanks to those first three points of the campaign.
The Foxes tasted victory on Filbert Way for the first time in the top-flight.
Leicester are not in Barclays FA Women’s Super League action again until 2022, meeting Reading at Select Car Leasing Stadium on Sunday 9 January (2pm GMT kick-off).
City: Lambourne; De Graaf, Tierney, McManus, Plumptre, Howard; Barker (c) (Brougham 64'), Pike; O’Brien (Devlin 88’), Sigsworth, Flint.
Subs not used: Harris, Bailey-Gayle, Zajmi, Robinson, Grant.
Goals: Howard 18’, Tierney 74’.
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