The Rooks’ FA Cup run was brought to an end on Sunday after goals from Alessia Russo, Vilde Boa Risa and Nikita Parris secured Manchester United’s semi-final place. Reports Maycee Rogers.
The atmosphere at The Dripping Pan was electric on Sunday with a record-breaking 2,801 supporters coming down to show their support.
Lewes started the brighter of the two sides, with Emily Kraft, Nat Johnson and Kirsty Barton causing trouble early on for United’s backline with Maria Thorisdottir having to defend hard to prevent Mary Earps from having to be called into action.
Manchester United took the lead early in the game with an own goal from Rhian Cleverly that wrong-footed Sophie Whitehouse. As Ona Battle nipped down the right-hand side it looked like it had found Russo in the box but in end credited as an own goal to the captain.
Scott Booth’s side defended hard with Ellie Mason blocking Russo at times who tried to fire in a ball across the face of the goal but was cleared away by Mason. Moments later Russo found herself in the space again on the edge of the box and had a go from range, but the ball went straight into the hands of Sophie Whitehouse.
Lewes set into the tempo and rhythm of the game with United controlling and holding the most possession of the ball.
Rebecca Mckenna had a cracking run down the right-hand side all the way to the corner flag but was closed down by Lucia Garcia who conceded a free kick for Lewes.
Amelia Hazard sent in a fantastic delivery from the free kick but was just beaten to the ball by Katie Zelem who just gets their first.
United struggled to create any real chances since their first goal early on in the game, with the Rooks still pressing hard and applying pressure.
Kraft created a flurry of chances just before half-time with a header from Johnson who found Kraft in the space who flicked in the ball which had the potential to be a threat for Mary Earps but the ball just went wide.
Manchester United come out the stronger of the two halves after the restart having the better start and looking more threatening.
Whitehouse was called into action yet again with another massive save, this time from Ella Toone who tried to shoot in a cracking ball from the right-hand side but just found the hands of Whitehouse instead.
The Rooks kept on fighting with Amber-Keegan Stobbs trying to nip the ball away from Vilde Boe Risa and create some chances but was just cut short after a brief collision.
Moments later, Boa Risa grabbed the second goal for United after Battle floated one into the middle of the goal and allowed Boe Risa to find the space and pull of a cracking header past Whitehouse.
Scott Booth’s side showed that they were not giving in with Mason putting Lioness’ Keeper Earps under pressure, allowing Kraft to take full advantage and lift a cracking ball over the top of Earps’ head and into the top corner.
The visitors secured their place in the semi-final with substitute Nikita Parris who managed to flick in a third goal and seal the deal.
Despite not winning today, The Rooks put in a performance to be proud of and have created history.
Come on you Rooks!