Izzy uses her head to take the trophy

Macclesfield Express - - MOTORS -

AS well as mak­ing a child­hood dream re­al­ity Izzy Chris­tiansen carved out her place in cup his­tory with the only goal of the fi­nal.

The Rainow mid­fielder popped up to head in Manch­ester City’s win­ner as they broke Arse­nal’s stran­gle­hold on the women’s game, as well as a three-year dom­i­nance of the Con­ti­nen­tal Cup.

The fi­nal, at Wy­combe Wan­der­ers’ Adams Park ground, saw City cap their first sea­son with the trophy, with Izzy turn­ing in a cross from Krys­tle John­ston after an hour of dead­lock.

“Ob­vi­ously it’s a bril­liant achieve­ment and on a per­sonal note I was de­lighted to get the win­ning goal in a cup fi­nal,” said the 23-yearold.

“I re­mem­ber sprint­ing into the box, just try­ing to get my­self in there, and it went out wide so I had to ad­just a lit­tle bit but I got there and man­aged to get to Krys­tle’s cross.

“My first re­ac­tion was to look for the flag, to see if I was off­side, but when it wasn’t up it was the best feel­ing.

“I’d not thought about scor­ing dur­ing the game, not un­til then any­way, but I’m de­lighted.”

Izzy joined Manch­ester United’s Un­der-10s as a promis­ing young­ster and made the switch to Ever­ton where she broke into the first team and made her Cham­pi­ons League bow.

A move to Birm­ing­ham brought more Euro­pean ex­pe­ri­ence and an FA Cup win­ner’s medal in 2012.

She joined the City team for their first sea­son, which be­gan in Fe­bru­ary.

And although Izzy and her City team-mates were dis­ap­pointed with a mid-ta­ble fin­ish in the Women’s Su­per League, they at least had a say in where the ti­tle went.

City’s win over Chelsea saw Liver­pool win the league by the mer­est of mar­gins.

“We beat Chelsea in the last game,” added the cup win­ner – and United sup­porter.

“If they’d won that match they’d have been cham­pi­ons but we won 2-1 and that meant Liver­pool won it on goal dif­fer­ence, by one goal.

“I support United, I scored the win­ner for City in the fi­nal and my team helped Liver­pool beat Chelsea to the league – it’s all a bit ran­dom, isn’t it?

“I sup­pose I’ve been through a few mixed emo­tions when you look at it like that!

“We’re dis­ap­pointed with our fi­nal league po­si­tion, we think we should have been up there, we beat Liver­pool and in the games against Arse­nal we took points off each other so we knew that fi­nal was go­ing to be dif­fi­cult.

“It could have gone the other way, they had a lot of pres­sure but we made the most of the chances we had.

“We’ll try to make sure we’re chal­leng­ing next sea­son, we’ll be ex­pect­ing bet­ter of our­selves.

“And we’ll be out to de­fend our cup as well, so why not aim for a dou­ble?”

That’s all to come in 2015 but City’s women will con­tinue train­ing un­til Novem­ber then take a month off over Christ­mas be­fore re­turn­ing for pre-sea­son in the New Year.

And as well as club suc­cess, Izzy is still in the mix for in­ter­na­tional hon­ours, hav­ing made her full Eng­land de­but.

She was a key part of the Un­der-19 squad that won the Euro­pean Cham­pi­onship in Be­larus in 2009 and was called up to a train­ing camp in La Manga at the start of the year.

Caps for the Un­der-15, Un­der-17, Un­der-19, Un­der-20 and Un­der-23 sides are in the bag, and although she’s now been back in the Un­der-23s Izzy has cap­tained the side, an ex­pe­ri­ence which is sure to help fur­ther her am­bi­tions for suc­cess with the Three Li­onesses.

It’s been a nat­u­ral pro­gres­sion for a player who made the 2008 Un­der-17 and 2010 Un­der-20 World Cup squads and helped Great Bri­tain win gold in the last year’s Sum­mer Univer­si­ade in Rus­sia.

“I got called up to the se­nior team in Jan­uary,” she con­tin­ued. “I played three games, we won against Swe­den and Norway but lost to Ja­pan.

“I’ve not been back in the team but I’ve been back play­ing in the Un­der-23s and I’ve been cap­tian, which is a great hon­our.

“And I’ve def­i­nitely not given up on play­ing for the se­nior team more.

“I’ve been play­ing wide for most of this sea­son, and I pre­fer be­ing in the mid­dle, right in the thick of it.

“I hope I can get more call-ups, we’ll have to see what hap­pens from here.”

The car, which is built and main­tained by Si­mon at his Au­tolink Ser­vices base in Chea­dle Hulme, is a replica of the cars run by the Ford works teams in the late 1970s and early 80s.

Si­mon (right of pic­ture) and Shaun (left) are sup­ported by their loyal ser­vice crew – all from Mac­cles­field – Tom Oliver, An­drew Wilson, Ben­jamin Wright and Vicky and Megan Mor­gan, who all give up their time to help out in all sorts of weather.

Si­mon and Shaun will be back in ac­tion next month for the Neil Howard Memo­rial Stages at Oul­ton Park on Novem­ber 8, but this time they’ll be com­pet­ing against one another.

Both will be be­hind the wheels of Es­corts, Si­mon a MkI and Shaun a MkII, which should make for a fas­ci­nat­ing per­sonal contest.

They’re hop­ing to com­pete in the full BTRDA Cham­pi­onship next year, which con­sists of six rounds, and they are look­ing for spon­sor­ship from lo­cal busi­nesses.

Any­one who can help the pair is asked to call Si­mon on 07968 111845.

AP Photo/Jon Su­per

●● Izzy and the City women’s squad pa­rade the Con­ti­nen­tal Cup at the Eti­had Sta­dium ahead of the men’s team’s win over Spurs

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