time goals from Leeta Rutherford and Dani Lane secured a hard-fought win
against a resilient Southampton Saints side at the aptly-named, rain-soaked
visitors, joint top of the FAWPL South West division, defended bravely
throughout, frustrating Lewes despite the home side’s overwhelming attacking
possession and attacking intent. Lewes created chance after chance, thwarted by
a resolute defence, well marshalled by inspired ‘keeper Hannah Haughton.
day when several Premier League teams ran up the numbers against lower league
opposition, Adam Lee’s side showed they were in no mood to roll over for their
higher-ranked hosts. Lewes were on the front foot from the first minute, Amy
Taylor, Rebecca Carter and Danielle Lane buzzing around the Saints back line,
fed by the industrious Katie McIntyre and Rachel Palmer to force a string of
the visitors, Rebecca Davis, Gemma Woodford and Emma Eldridge blocked and
tackled as if their lives depended on it, keeping the Lewes forwards out and
their goal intact for a breathless first half. Despite their best efforts
Lewes’s forwards found a Southampton foot, leg, body or head blocking the
killer pass. HT 0-0
more of the same from the restart, it seemed only a matter of time before the
deadlock was broken. 58 minutes, to be precise, but when it came the goal was
wholly unexpected, for it was Saints, through a brave headed finish from
Sabrina Morris-Manosalva, who took the lead. Meeting a high, in-swinging
free kick, delivered right-footed from the left-hand touchline, the Saints
number five stooped to angle her finish high into the net past Leah Samain.
lead lasted fully five minutes. At last the corner count told, Amy Taylor
rising to meet McInyre’s perfect near-post delivery with a well-directed
header. Ellie Russel managed to get an out-stretched boot to the ball, only to
help it on its way into the far corner. 1-1 (64).
continued to pile on the pressure, Saints battling to repel all boarders. On 78
minutes John Donoghue replaced Bex Thompson and Chewy Carter, adding Claire
Johnson’s pace and Sian Heather’s trickery to his arsenal. Two minutes later
the referee awarded a free kick to Saints just outside the Lewes D. The ball
was blasted straight at the wall, pole-axing Amy Taylor, who needed treatment
for a bloodied nose before making way for Darcey James. Nine minutes of injury
time was still not enough for to find a winner. FT 1-1.
minutes into extra time, Lewes went ahead. Rachel Palmer delivered a high ball
to the front of the six yard box where Leeta Rutherford stole in to turn a
strong header past Haughton. 2-1. Three minutes later another Palmer corner was
cleared to the edge of the area where McIntyre, slightly impeded by the
referee, managed to fire a well-struck shot inches wide.
pressed forward. On 105 minutes Rutherford came within a whisker of adding a
third, kissing the crossbar from 20 yards. Six minutes later the contest was
settled. Yet another corner, again from Palmer’s trusty left boot, was met by
Dani Lane on the charge, heading down and in at the back post. FT 3-1.
manager Donoghue was full of praise for his opponents as well as being pleased
with his own players. “I thought Saints were excellent today, they worked
really hard and soaked up a lot of pressure. We created so many chances
throughout the game, we just needed a bit more composure. I’m pleased with our
fitness and with our progress in the competition.”
recruitment and squad development, he said:
team is still gelling, we see improvements with every game. It’ll take time to
get everyone up to speed and for the players to fully understand each other’s
roles. Vicky (Carleton) came back to us today (from International duty with
Northern Ireland). Sarah Kempson (Portsmouth, WSL Millwall) has joined, she
played with the DS (Development Squad) today, so it’s good that she is getting
some game time. We’re hoping to bring in one more player by next Tuesday.”
return to FAWPL action on Sunday 10th September when Coventry United LFC visit
the Dripping Pan. Kick off 2pm.