Lewes FC Women battled to a strong win against a
physical QPR side on a pitch more suited to beach soccer than the Women’s Premier
League on Sunday.
With Kylie MCarthy unavailable, Amy Taylor stepped
in the central defence, Charlotte Owen joining Kate McIntyre and Sarah Kempson
in midfield in place of the injured Leeta Rutherford. Lewes started well, Danielle
Lane working hard in the centre, flanked by Vicky Carleton and Avilla Bergin
with Rebecca Carter leading the line.
Rangers, fresh off the back of a ten-nil
thumping at the hands of West Ham, had clearly worked hard on defence, getting
bodies back in numbers, restricting Lewes to long-range efforts, Kempson, Owen
and Lane trying their luck from distance without troubling former Lewes ‘keeper
When McIntyre connected from closer range
her sweetly struck shot buried into a Seun Odeniyi’s midriff. Lane, busy and in
a rich vein of form, found space to drive a cross deep to the back post.
Kempson, for once not surrounded by three players, found room to shoot, Dolbear
and Hennessey combining to block the effort.
With ten players behind the ball for most
of the first half Rangers were forced to clear long, meat and drink to Lewes
stopper Faye Baker who didn’t have a save to make in the game.
When Elly Maggs did break she found Amy
Taylor in no mood to let her run, the poacher-turned-game-keeper showing great
strength to force the Hoops’ number ten wide.
Lewes broke through on the half-hour with a
curious goal. Rangers cleared Kempson’s in-swinging corner to Owen who headed
back into the mix. Carter climbed higher than her marker to head the ball
backwards. It spun off the post and crossed the line before Dolbear hooked it
With little to do in defence, Tash Wells
drove forward, playing a one-two with Carter before sending in a low cross
towards Carleton who her marker, her shot beating Dolbear but spinning wide of
Lane, never out of the game for long
despite taking what appeared to be a swinging arm to the face, set up Carleton
on the stroke of half-time. Dolbear rushed out to meet Lane as she raced into
the box, riding another hard challenge that might have felled a lesser player.
Carleton pulled away from her marker to volley Lane’s cross into an unguarded
net. HT 0-2
The second half saw more of the same.
Lane’s header beat Dolbear but landed on the roof of the net, Carter almost
pounced on a short back-pass. Kempson released Lane with a pass only for Amy
Glynn to make a fine sliding challenge.
Wells, still charging forward, found Lane
who headed on for Carter, her attempted Alan Gilzean thwarted by Dolbear and
the assistant’s flag. At last QPR saw some possession, driven on by the
energetic Maggs, Kempson booked for pulling her back in midfield. Glynn fed
Maggs but her pass towards Hogan was cut out by Taylor.
Lewes countered. Kempson slid another
clever pass in behind the Rangers back line. Carter, clearly offside and nowhere
near play, stopped to allow Lane to chase in, yet the flag was raised. Martino
Chavannes replaced the tiring Glynn with Dominika Netschova just shy of the
hour. It was Lewes who benefited, Lane finishing a fine move, turning in a
smart cut-back on the right on 59 minutes. 0-3.
Rangers redoubled their efforts but found
no way past Thompson and Taylor. John Donoghue changed things up, Lane and
Carter replaced by Georgia Bridges and a welcome return for Tammy Waine, Taylor
moving forward to allow Waine to take her place at centre back.
QPR produced their best move of the
match, Ogle and Hogan create the shooting change for Hogan, off-target. Hogan
and Maggs were taking the fight to Lewes, Wells in hard to break up another
attack. As the game became increasingly physical, so Lewes showed their mettle,
Bergin, Taylor, Owen and McIntyre clearly relishing the challenge.
Kempson made way for Fliss Love. Amy Taylor
made several strong runs late on but Rangers held on to limit the damage. FT
Lewes manager John Donoghue was pleased
with the result as well as another clean sheet. ‘That’s four in a row where we
haven’t conceded. Rangers obviously struggled up front without an out-and-out
striker but they made us work for it. I was pleased with our work-rate, it
stands us in good stead for the challenge to come.’
Lewes travel to title-contenders C&K
Basildon on Sunday in a match that promises to be as tough as any this season.
Lewes will be ready.
MvP: Charlotte Owen. Increasingly
influential alongside her skipper, like those around her showed she can mix it
when called upon to do so. It could as easily have gone to Lane, Bergin,
Carleton or McIntyre. A solid, professional team performance.
Opposition player of the match: Avilla
Baker, Thompson-Agbro, Wells, Taylor, McIntyre, Kempson, Carleton, Owen,
Carter, Lane, Bergin
Subs: Waine, Love, Bridges, Newton