Lewes FC interim manager Craig Gill believes his team are getting closer to stringing together a perfect 90 minutes of football following the narrow defeat to Crystal Palace last weekend.
The Rooks went into the break 1-0 up at Palace and looking commutable in possession, but were overturned in the second half at Hayes Lane.
The 3-1 defeat came just days after a convincing 2-0 victory over Sunderland where Lewes dominated for large periods of the game before having Freda Ayisi sent off.
And Gill believes his side is capable of controlling games for longer periods of time – and is banking on an even better performance against Blackburn this Sunday.
“The players have responded superbly to the defeat at Crystal Palace last Sunday,” says Gill.
“We played exceptionally well I thought in the first half and probably as good as we’ve played since I arrived. We executed our gameplan exceptionally well, both with and without the ball.
“We created numerous chances and as I said straight after the game, we probably could have three three or four up at half time.
“That wasn’t to be. We went in with a 1-0 lead and Crystal Palace came back out, changed the formation to a 4-3-3.
“We’re used to playing against that and it wasn’t really an issue for us, but we weren’t able to capture that intensity and quality with the ball in the second half.
“We could have gone 2-0 up but instead found ourselves 2-1 down, and we fought really hard to equalise but the goal didn’t come.”
Palace shortcomings addressed
Looking ahead to the weekend, where Lewes will face a Rovers team they beat 1-0 at the Dripping Pan back in October, Gill adds: “That said the players have responded superbly well, as they generally do.
“They’ve got a great resolve and resilience in the group. They’re a fantastic bunch and I told them that again this week. They attitude is second to none and their application is superb.
“So, Wednesday’s session was particularly strong. We worked on a few things that we recognised from the Crystal Palace second half.
“We addressed those and we go forward now into the Blackburn game with great enthusiasm and confidence.
“If we can replicate the first half against Crystal Palace for the whole of the game against Blackburn then hopefully we’ll return with a favourable result.”
Focus on Rovers
Blackburn host Lewes on Sunday having only just ended a five-gaming losing steak in the FA Women’s Championship with the 0-0 draw at Watford last month.
Since then they lost to Durham 3-1 in the Women’s FA Cup fourth round, where boss Gemma Donnelly handed January signings Maria Francis-Jones, Tara Bourne and Luana Zajmi their debuts.
And Lewes may well need to keep their eye on the trio during Sunday’s noon kick-off.
“I thought Maria looked lively (vs Durham), she’s inexperienced at this level which we knew, and she’s got loads to learn but one of the great things about her is that she’s wanting to learn,” said Donnelly talking on the Blackburn Rovers website.
“Really happy with Tara in midfield, I thought she offered us energy and has got quality on the ball and particularly in the second half I thought she looked really comfortable combining with Tash.
“Luana had quality on the ball and had composure in abundance and it was really unfortunate that we had to take her off and we’re hoping her ankle injury isn’t too serious, but I was really pleased with her contribution.”
Blackburn Rovers Ladies vs Lewes FC kicks off at noon on Sunday 6 February at Sir Tom Finney Stadium. Tickets for the game start at £8 for adults and £4 for juniors. Family tickets are available for £20.