Ellie Mason’s last-gasp goal saw London City Lionesses claim a dramatic and entertaining 3-2 win over Lewes in the FA Women’s Championship.
Lewes’s Ini Umotong scored her first goal for the club to give the home side the lead but two goals in four minutes from Atlanta Primus and a brilliant Kallie Balfour strike changed that.
Umotong converted a penalty in injury time that looked to have earned Lewes a point, but Mason poked home in injury time to give the Lionesses a third straight victory.
The Lionesses started on the front foot with Primus almost beating goalkeeper Tatiana Saunders at her near post in the 7th minute.
Against the run of play, Lewes capitalised as a whipped Emma Jones delivery was first met by Lucy Ashworth-Clifford before Umotong calmly eased the ball into the roof of the net.
The Lionesses’ response was emphatic, as they struck twice in quick succession.
Alli Murphy instigated the equaliser, her teasing delivery was not cleanly grasped by Saunders and Primus made her pay for the error, lashing the ball hard past the stricken keeper in the 22nd minute.
And, just 5 minutes later, Balfour delivered the game’s moment of outstanding quality.
Lily Agg made a nuisance of herself in the penalty area and as Lewes dithered in clearing the ball, Balfour unleashed a spectacular half-volley that Saunders could do absolutely nothing about.
In the 45th minute and the break looming, the Lionesses almost extended their lead when Juliette Kemppi nearly flicked the ball into the net from Primus’ cross.
In the second half the Lionesses continued to push for more goals and almost got their third when Murphy blazed over from the penalty spot. As Umotong calmly slotted home eight minutes from time, it looked as if Murphy’s miss would be costly.
But the Lionesses defender Mason delivered Valentine’s Day heartbreak for Lewes in the dying moment of the game. On her return from injury Mason saved the day, and secured all three points for London City, when she snuck home a bouncing ball from a corner.
London City remain in 5 place but equal on points with Liverpool in fourth, who have a game in hand.
MOMENT OF THE MATCH
Kallie Balfour is a proven goal scorer at Championship level, but she will have struck few sweeter than the Lionesses’ second goal of the day.
HEAD COACH’S REACTION
London City Lionesses Head Coach Melissa Phillips said: "We squeaked that one out. It ended up being a much more emotional game than we had anticipated."
“We haven't conceded a goal or two goals in a while and I'm just incredibly pleased with the way that we responded after going a goal down and then being equalised on. The group is always hungry, and that just continued to shine through today."
“This team just continues to show so much character in how they’re growing and how they’re challenging themselves together, and they never sway from that. That’s always going to help us create long-term success."
“We still believed at 2-2. That’s something that is really foundational in our group, and that’s belief. We talk about continuing to believe good things are going to happen and putting in the work to match."
“We take so much pride in being difficult to play against."