Blackburn Rovers 0 – 3 Lewes
Ini Umotong, Rhian Cleverly and Danielle Lane were all on target as the Rooks won 3-0 at Blackburn Rovers.
It was the hosts who had the early chances. A free-kick caused danger in the Lewes area on six minutes, but a defender was there to make an important block. Sophie O’Rourke was then required to intercept a through ball to stop the attack a minute later.
Despite the early pressure from Blackburn, the Rooks scored the opener 11 minutes into the first half. A clever free-kick routine allowed Mollie Rouse to pass the ball to Umotong, the striker was dragged down in the area and the referee pointed to the spot. Umotong stepped up to take the penalty and made no mistake, as she slotted the ball into the top corner.
Lewes piled on the pressure after the goal. Lucy Ashworth-Clifford played in a dangerous cross on 18 minutes to win the Rooks a corner, which unfortunately came to nothing. Only minutes later the winger put in another good cross, this time trying to find Katie Rood, but it was just cut out before the New Zealand international could reach it.
On 25 minutes the Rooks doubled their lead. Ashworth-Clifford played in a free-kick and the opposition failed to clear the first header. Cleverly was first to the second opportunity and her headed effort clipped the post and went in.
Blackburn almost pulled a goal back on 33 minutes when a goalmouth scramble forced Tatiana Saunders into making a vital save.
Five minutes later Lewes had a corner that fell to Nicola Cousins who played a cross back into the box, but Alex Brooks did well in the Blackburn goal to tip out of Georgia Timms’ reach.
Rovers had an early chance at the start of the second half, but Saffron Jordan saw her shot blocked. Then three minutes into the half Saunders made another great save to deny Blackburn.
The hosts did have the ball in the net on 58 minutes, but the flag was raised for offside against Jordan. Aimee Hodgson had a chance for Rovers seven minutes later but sent the shot over Saunders’ goal.
It was on 69 minutes when the Rooks scored their third goal to seal the win. Lane picked up the ball just inside the Blackburn half and drove towards the opposition defence. The midfielder beat the defenders to fire a low shot into the bottom corner, finding the back of the net.
Saunders was needed again 10 minutes later when she came off her line quickly to close down Jordan and make the save.
In the final minute of the 90, Megan Mackey won a free-kick in a dangerous position, but Emma Jones’ effort was blocked. The full-time whistle was eventually blown, securing the three points for the Rooks.
Lewes: Saunders, Boswell, Cleverly (C), Cousins, O’Rourke, Timms (Lane 60), Rouse, Cross (Leek 74), Rood (Mackey 85), Umotong (Jones 85), Ashworth-Clifford (Jhamat 74)
Subs not used: Quayle, Hack, Savva
Goals: Umotong 13, Cleverly 26, Lane 69
Yellow card: Cousins 40
Blackburn Rovers: Brooks, Jukes, Coan, Richards, Newsham (Fletcher 46), Fenton, Doyle, Embley (Hodgson 46), Hughes, Walters (Johnson 72), Jordan (C)
Subs not used: Bradley, McDonald, Dean, Boydell, Montgomery
Yellow card: Richards 71