Lewes 5-1 Blackburn Rovers
FA Women’s Championship
Sunday 18 August
Marcus Lee reports
Lewes got their Championship season off to a great start with a 5-1 win over newly-promoted Blackburn Rovers.
Lewes looked to dominate the early stages of the game and their pressure nearly paid off on two minutes when Zoe Ness found Jess King in the box, but her shot was well saved by Danielle Hill in the Blackburn goal.
Six minutes later Lewes had another chance and again it was King. Filippa Savva managed to find the striker in the box, but this time her shot was tipped on to the bar and the ball was cleared away.
Blackburn’s first chance of the half came on 18 minutes, but the shot took a deflection and went just wide of the Lewes goal.
Blackburn were playing a high-pressing game, making it difficult for the Rooks to play out of defence, but Lewes finally opened the scoring on the half hour mark through Emma Jones. Dani Lane received the ball from Lewes keeper Baker in a tight position but dribbled through the Blackburn midfield and played a sublime pass to Jones. The welsh striker then made a driving run through the Blackburn half and fired a shot hard and low to beat Hill. 1-0 Lewes.
However, the lead didn’t last long. Three minutes later Lewes gave the ball away cheaply on the edge of their box and Flint managed to win it and take a shot that deflected over Baker who was powerless to keep the effort out. On 38 minutes Blackburn had another chance, this time Serena Fletcher fired a shot that hit the post, much to Baker’s surprise.
In the closing seconds of the first-half Katie Rood almost gave Lewes the lead. A free kick was swung in and Rood managed to get a good connection but could only hit the bar.
It didn’t take long for Lewes to take the lead in the second half.
King found herself unmarked in the box and a great low cross allowed her to tap in a goal that had been coming. 2-1 Lewes. Just before the hour mark Blackburn looked to level the game, but Baker made a great reaction save. On 65 minutes Ness thought she had her first goal for the club, only to be denied by the linesman’s flag for a very close offside call.
However, nine minutes later Noble came off the bench to score Lewes’ third goal. Rood pulled the ball back to the edge of the box and Noble fired a great curling effort to beat the goalkeeper. And on 85 minutes Noble got her second and Lewes’ fourth with an incredible long-range free kick that sailed over the keeper’s head. Then only two minutes later Emily Donovan, also on as a substitute, got in on the act with a shot into the bottom corner after she won the ball back in the Rovers penalty area, giving Lewes the best possible start to the campaign.
Final score: 5-1
Lewes Starting XI: Baker; Boswell, Hayes, McIntyre (C), Quayle, Savva (Noble 56), Lane, Rood (Peters 82), King (Donovan 70), Jones, Ness
Subs not used: Foster, Taylor, Cleverly, Jones
Yellow Card: King 32,
Blackburn Rovers Starting XI: Hill; Taylor, Holbrook, Davies (Jones 68), Fenton, Jordan (C), Flint (Thomas 58), McDonald, Fletcher, Redman, Stewart
Subs not used: Jukes, Charlton
NEXT HOME MATCH: 2pm, SUNDAY 8 SEPTEMBER v Crystal Palace