Leicester City Women 4 Lewes FC Women 2
FA Women’s Premier League Cup Semi-Final
Sunday 11th March 2018
Lewes FC Women were denied a place in the FA WPL League Cup final after a disappointing semi-final defeat to a spritely Leicester City side.
Lewes beat the Foxes at this stage last season on their way to winning the FAWPL Plate but the hosts were in no mood for a repeat performance this time around.
The Rookettes were without Leeta Rutherford, Claire Johnson and Georgia Bridges but still looked to be strong enough for another big battle with their rivals from the FAWPL North.
The visitors made a very confident start which saw Amy Taylor inches away from connecting with Avilla Bergin’s right wing cross whilst Sarah Kempson’s half volley was pushed away by keeper Charlotte Clark. From the ensuing corner, Bergin’s back-header was cleared off the line by Hayley James but Taylor was quickest to react, as her looping header sailed over the defence to put Lewes ahead in the 9th minute.
The Rookettes looked very comfortable but found themselves level in the 12th minute when a brilliant run from Leigh Dunmore deep inside her own half, took her past Tash Wells and Vicky Carlton before slotting the ball home under pressure from Rebecca Thompson.
Leicester didn’t even give Lewes a chance to catch their breath, taking the lead five minutes later when Rosie Axten’s deep corner literally fell at the feet of the unmarked Holly Morgan who blasted the ball through the crowded area to put the Foxes ahead.
Lewes responded well with both Kempson and Taylor going close, although no-one was nearby when Clark fumbled Dani Lane’s cross allowing a grateful defender to boot the ball clear. Axten drew a top drawer save from Faye Baker and the Lewes keeper denied the striker again just before the break, this time with her feet at the near post.
It was clear that Lewes needed a big performance in the second half, but things couldn’t have got off to a worse start when, a minute after the restart, Sophie Domingo turned Thompson on the edge of the area before screwing a wonderful finish out of reach of Baker’s dive to increase the Leicester lead.
Lewes were shell-shocked but worst was to come for the visitors when the dangerous Domingo added her second unimpeded from close range in the 52nd minute.
Rebecca Carter replaced Vicky Carleton to add some pace upfront alongside Taylor, whilst Kelly Newton, who was a late replacement for the poorly Rutherford, helped shore up the midfield for Lewes.
Lewes started to ask more questions of the Leicester defence in the closing moments but it was a case of too little, too late, although Kempson’s shot from 40 yards was a spectacular consolation goal in stoppage time. Lewes are back in league action next Sunday when the travel to QPR, kick off 2pm.
Leicester: Clark, Domingo, Nymeon (Moncaster 72), Morgan, Johnson, James, Stewart, May (Greengrass 66), Axten, Dugmore (Mcintosh 84), Crossman. Unused subs: Acton, Brown.
Lewes: Baker, Thompson, McCarthy, Wells, McIntyre, Bergin, Carleton (Carter 55), Owen (Newton 77), Lane, Kempson, Taylor. Unused: Waine