London City Lionesses 3-0 Lewes
FA Women’s Championship
Sunday 27 October
Princes Park Dartford
The signs weren’t good when kick off was delayed by nearly ten minutes for what seemed like a wait for a very long Queen track to finish over the tannoy.
And the first ten minutes of the match lacked rhythm too as both sides tussled for control. After 15 minutes Lewes had their first real chance when a long free kick from Caitlin Hayes was controlled by Zoe Ness but the subsequent shot sailed over the goal from 25 yards out. A minute later London City’s corner kick found its way out to Flo Fyffe who similarly failed to test the Lewes keeper from distance. The Rooks had their own corner on 20 minutes but Hayes was adjudged to have pushed a London City defender as Noble’s cross came over. Three minutes later, Powell found Donovan in the London City box with a fine long-range cross but she was given offside. Both sides were trying their luck with shots from distance, as Poppy Wilson saw her own effort head well over in the 26th minute.
Lewes’ best chance of the half and arguably of the match fell to Dani Lane as she ran into the box for another excellent pass from Powell, but her shot from ten yards out was comfortably held by the keeper. Despite the home team’s physical approach, the first yellow card was surprisingly given against the Rooks’ gifted midfielder Filippa Savva in the 30th minute. The free kick came to nothing but this turned out to be a warning for a similar incident just 8 minutes later when what looked like a 50/50 tussle form possession in midfield was deemed to be a foul by referee Melissa Burgin. Leanne Cowan stepped up to take the free kick, but as the ball was cleared it only got as far as the Lionesses’ ever-lively Ellie Mason who jinked past three Lewes defenders before slotting a low, hard shot past stand-in Rooks keeper Laura Hartley who was stepping up from the Development Squad due to an injury to Regular keeper and Captain Faye Baker.
Lewes continued to shoot from range, a deflected shot from Noble in the 40th minute bouncing harmlessly through to Lucy Thomas in the London City goal. The second yellow of the game was shown to Rooks defender Caitlin Hayes who, again, appeared to simply come off best in a strong tackle. This time the free kick found its way through to Evie Clarke who saw her shot from just four yards out brilliantly saved by Hartley, only to then also see the assistant referee’s flag go up for offside. The pressure continued in the Lewes box as the whistle went for half time. 1-0 to London City.
The lack of Queen music saw the second half begin on time and it was Lewes who began the liveliest. Katie Rood was breaking through down the left flank and one such raid in the 50th minute saw an excellent ball into the box for Zoe Ness, but the keeper was quick to claim the ball. Another smart interchange between Powell and Donovan also so the Rooks go close but without testing Thomas in goal. Manager Fran Alonso looked to change things up as he introduced Charley Boswell for Emily Donovan 20 minutes into the half. But disaster struck just four minutes later as Ness unflinchingly challenged for a loose ball in the box and went down in agony. A very long stoppage ensued with Ness finally being stretchered off and ultimately taken to hospital for treatment. Jess King came on as Ness’s replacement. A promising start to the second half had been disrupted and the Lionesses were able to take back the initiative. After a period of concerted pressure, London City won a free kick 15 yards in from Lewes’ right corner flag. The kick was whipped in and met full square by Ejupi who had only been on as substitute for a few minutes and her header from two yards out was unstoppable. 2-0.
The Rooks continued to press and were perhaps unfortunate to see a great break down the Lionesses’ right called offside before the ball could be crossed in. In the fourth minute of stoppage time, London City won a corner on Lewes’ left and this time the ball was met by the head of Hannah Short who had lost her marker and planted the ball firmly to Hartley’s right giving the young keeper no chance. 3-0.
Still the Rooks came but a final effort from Ava Rowbotham from 30 yards out was harmlessly deflected into the keeper’s waiting arms.
Final score 3-0.
LEWES NEXT HOME MATCH:
Lewes v Chelsea
Saturday 2nd November, 2pm
FA Women’s League Cup
Tickets available now at: https://www.tickettailor.com/events/lewesfootballclub2/297714
Adults £10 (£9 online)
Concs £5 (£4.50 online)
Under 16s FREE