K's Brave but Beaten by League Leading Lionesses
New London Lionesses too good for brave K's
On a freezing cold, but gloriously sunny, day we made the trek across London to the beautiful setting of Regents Park where, fittingly with the roar of lions from London Zoo audible in the background, we took on a table-topping New London Lionesses side fresh from reaching the giddy heights of the second round proper of the Women’s FA Cup.
We were without regulars Nadine Elish, Zoe McLaughlin and Eve McBrinn today but we were still able to count on a squad of 14 players. The first half was a tight affair mainly played in midfield. We were definitely not being outclassed by the Lionesses, though most of the few chances that were created fell to our opponents. The only breakthrough in the half was on 15 minutes when a drilled Lionesses’ cross from the right wing evaded everyone, including Ellie in goal, and ended up in the back of the net. HT 1-0
We were very much in the game as we kicked off the second half, though the strong wind that had favoured the Lionesses in the first half seemed to slightly turn during the break and the helping hand we were expecting from that didn’t materialise. However, five minutes in to the half and the Lionesses doubled their lead to make our job harder, We were still hopeful at this stage though as, despite their generally better movement, the Lionesses weren’t dominating in any way shape or form. Ellie Lourdes in our goal pulled off one really tremendous save tipping a wicked dipping shot over the bar, Ciara Bonner was showing the way in defence winning very challenge and clearing her lines decisively. In central midfield Hanna Robson and Mairead Halliday were battling hard to create a platform that would give us a foothold in the game. However, after 70 minutes a third goal from the Lionesses effectively put the game beyond us. We reshuffled into a more attacking formation for the final quarter of the game and had our best period of the game. Shula Norman had the best chance in this phase racing on to a cross but finding the Lionesses goalkeeper ready to make a stop. Hanna Robson also tested the goalkeeper with a free-kick from outside the box, but eventually the referee blew for full-time. FT 3-0.
We felt as though we were well in this game throughout the 90 minutes which, against the league leaders, is a credit to the ladies. But, in the end, our failure to put the Lionesses goal under enough pressure was our downfall. We can take plenty of positives from this performance however to take into the final quarter of the season in which we need to pick up some points.
Team: Ellie Lourdes, Georgina Wickham, Ciara Bonner, Georgia Coninx, Lucy Potter(c), Charlotte Willis-Sloanes, Hanna Robson, Mairead Halliday, Olivia Watson, Sophia Demetriou, Sarah Sinkins
Subs: Shula Norman, Bethan John, Katie Braithwaite
Player of the match: Ciara Bonner