Lewes suffered a second defeat on the bounce on Sunday as Coventry kept their hopes of remaining in the FA Women’s Championship alive by securing a 1-0 victory over Lewes.
A second-half penalty from Katie Wilkinson was the only goal separating the two sides in what was a frustrating encounter for the Rooks.
It was end to end action with both teams eager to create chances, Lewes had their best chance approaching the 30th minute, a through ball from Georgia Timms found Paula Howells who struck the ball with force but was denied by Coventry goalkeeper, Lucy Thomas.
After Lewes’ opening effort, Olivia Fergusson went on the attack for Coventry and forced Tatiana Saunders into making a skilled low save which kept the scores level at half time.
“We knew they would be on the front foot,” said Rooks interim manager Craig Gill after the game. “We spoke about the need for us to be our usual intensive selves without the ball, and to be composed in possession and to try and play around them, because we knew we have overloads and numerical advantage in certain areas.
“And we did that well at times in wide areas. At half-time we said we’re performing quite well, but we just lacked a little bit in the final third when Coventry switched to a 3-4-3. The message to the players was to try and find that free player and try and use the overload centrally, which we did well at times.”
Unfortunately Lewes just couldn’t find that elusive goal as Wilkinson’s spot-kick proved the difference.
Coventry fighting for survival
Coventry, given their league position and the situation they’ve found themselves in, knew coming into the clash they had to win their last two games to stand any chance of remaining in the league.
Chances for the Rooks came from set pieces, Lucy Ashworth-Clifford playing the ball close to goal from corners but we couldn’t quite convert. At the other end of the pitch Saunders was put to work once more, also denying some dangerous crosses from the Coventry counter attacks.
The subsequent penalty for a foul on captain Wilkinson in the 71st minute came from such a cross, and proved to be the defining point of the match.
Wilkinson’s low strike had Saunders diving the right way but it was just out of reach, as United fought another day in their FA Women’s Championship relegation battle.
‘You make your own luck’
“You can’t be giving teams goals as easy we that (the penalty) and then not create at the other end and expect to come away with winning performances and three points,” said Gill afterwards.
“It’s as simple as that. And it’s something we’ve spoken about in previous weeks.
“We’ve had good performances recently, particularly against Durham. But that Bristol City was a game last time, where we should have converted three times… But you make your own luck and if you don’t convert the chances you don’t get result, you don’t get points.”
Liverpool next up
Lewes host Liverpool at The Dripping Pan on Sunday in their final game, hoping to break their home attendance record for the team.
“On the plus side, looking forward, it’s the last week of the season coming up now. We’ve got a good fixture to end the season to help us out at this point,” added Gill.
“The game is here for the players to prove to themselves that they are not complacent and we are a good team. And, if you look back at results we’ve had throughout the season, we’ve had good results.”
Lewes vs Liverpool
Lewes FC tickets for the game, which kicks off at 14:00 on Sunday, are available to buy now online (at a discount).
Ticket prices online are as follows:
Adults – £11 general admittance online (£12 on the gate)
Concessions – £7 general admittance online (£8 on the gate)
Kids (under 16) – free!
Beach hut for six people – £99
Come On You Rooks!