FA Women’s Championship Preview
Lewes FC Women v Millwall Lionesses
Sunday 17th March KO: 14:00
The Dripping Pan, Lewes
PLEASE NOTE THAT THE MILLWALL v BRIGHTON FA CUP MATCH WILL ALSO BE SHOWN ON TV IN THE CLUB BAR
Lewes manager Fran Alonso says his players ‘cannot wait’ to get back into league action. Lewes host Millwall Lionesses this Sunday in what will be the fourth competitive meeting between the sides this season.
Alonso expects a competitive game against a much-improved Millwall side.
“Millwall are now a better team than they were a few months ago. They have a young, talented squad with a clear style that they execute effectively. They are an organised team, difficult to play through and to break down, but also effective on the counter-attack”
The first encounter took place on the opening day of the season. Lewes ran out 0-3 winners that day with first-half goals from Sammy Quayle, Chewy Carter and Avilla Bergin. Carter and Quayle hit the target again when the two sides met in London in the Continental Tyres Cup.
Millwall took revenge last month, knocking Lewes out of the SSE Women’s FA Cup. The Rooks dominated for 90 minutes but only managed to get the ball in the Millwall net once, and that was chalked off by the officials for a hotly-contested offside. The Lionesses took the win with an injury time goal after Amy Taylor was sent off following a tangle of legs.
“I’m confident this will be a great game and hopefully we will be sharp and clinical, especially in the final third’ says Alonso, alluding to his team’s failure to convert chances in that encounter.
“It’s very important for us to play a good game and to get the three points. This would give us our second win in a row and help us catch the teams just above us in the table.”
It seems ages ago that Lewes visited Bromley FC to take on Crystal Palace under the lights. That night a penalty a-piece from Sarah Kempson and Katie Rood sandwiched a peach of a strike from Jess King to secure a 0-3 win. Read the match report here
That win ended a string of poor results for the Rooks including a 0-2 loss at home to London Bees and a 3-0 loss away to Spurs, both in January.
Millwall Went down by the same score on Wednesday night when they visited Charlton at the Valley. They took down London Bees 3-1 in February after pushing league-leaders Spurs all the way in an agonising injury-time 3-2 loss at the end of January.
Here’s how Millwall lined up on Wednesday night against Charlton. The Addicks ran out 3-0 winners, first-half goals coming from Graham, Gurr and Ejupi.
Look Out For
Evie Clarke leads the goal-scoring charts with 7 goals in 21 appearances so far. She has a wicked long-range shot in her locker and a keen eye for the target. Beth Lumsden is also a fierce striker of the ball, especially from set pieces.
In defence Ylenia Priest has a strong physical presence, whilst Kalani Peart impressed against Charlton with some tough tackling in midfield.
Asked about training and the mood in the camp, Alonso added
“Training has been very good this week. The big win against Crystal Palace has increased the confidence of the group, we can see that in our sessions. We are all in a good mood and looking forward to Sunday.”
And how does Fran and his coaching team manage the big gaps between fixtures?
“It’s difficult to build any kind of momentum, we haven’t had a competitive game for almost a month. On the other hand, that’s given us extra time to develop our playing style without having to adjust to opponents.”
Fran revealed that he has a personal reason for seeing a good performance on Sunday.
“It’s a very special game for me as my family is coming from Spain to watch the game. This is only my second game at the Dripping pan since I took over. Hopefully the fans will show them how amazing the atmosphere here at Lewes FC can be.”
And because this match is on St Patrick’s Day, we’re celebrating by offering every Lewes FC owner a free ‘Black Velvet’ cocktail (Guiness & prosecco). Read more about what we’ve got lined up here.
Tickets for the match: Adults £8, Concs £4, Under 16s FREE. But tickets are cheaper if you buy beforehand, online at LewesFCWomen.com