Another strong defensive display from the Lionesses helped them to earn their third consecutive clean sheet.
Sharing the points, it could have been all three as the Lionesses missing an early second-half penalty and the match finished goalless against local London rivals London Bees.
The Lionesses held off the early pressure from the Bees and attempted to open up the game after a great ball over the top from Alli Murphy to Juliette Kemppi however it was intercepted by the Bees keeper just in time.
The best chance to break the deadlock in the first half came in the 23rd minute. After a clever freekick from the Lionesses, Atlanta Primus turned her effort wide from inside the penalty area.
The Lionesses continued to apply pressure to the Bees’ defence. In the 32nd minute Lionesses forward Primus tested the Bees keeper who managed to save the shot comfortably.
For London Bees, they looked threatening on the right with Melissa Filis a lively presence adept at finding space, but unable to conjure anything meaningful in the final third.
The second half started with a bang as the Lionesses were awarded a penalty within a minute of the restart when Primus went down under the challenge of Billie Brooks. Lily Agg stepped up but agonisingly blazed her spot-kick over the crossbar.
The Lionesses continued to put the hosts under pressure and Lee Burch's side had to stay defensively resolute to prevent a goalmouth scramble from crossing the line with Sarah Quantrill forced to claw an effort away from her top right corner.
It was the Lionesses pressing for a winner in the final stages, but equally the Bees were looking threatening on the counterattack as Charlie Estcourt and Nicola Gibson had shots well blocked with just over ten minutes left.
Bees substitute Lauren Pickett then came ever so close to a spectacular winner in the 83rd minute, but her ambitious strike from distance came back off the bar.
In added time the Lionesses had one final chance to get all 3 points when a ball in behind the Bees defence fell to Kallie Belfour who managed to get a shot off which went narrowly wide.
Head Coach’s Reaction
Lionesses Head Coach Mel Phillips said “I don't think the missed penalty changed our approach; I think we had the better of the ball in our attacking half for the entire half. It's just about executing the game plan in the final third to create more quality chances."
“We have to create our own luck and I won't knock the girls for effort. They want it, they competed. It's just we talk a lot about the finer details and the discipline within that and ultimately that's the fine margins that the final third comes down to."
“We’ll take the lessons that we’ve learned from this game. We’ll reflect and move into that game but ultimately, I think it's quite clear that we have to refine our ability to break another team down.”
Next Sunday the Lionesses face Blackburn Rovers.
“Blackburn's another defensively resolute team so we know that it will be a similar type of challenge and we have to execute things that we work on day in day out in training”, concluded Philips in her post match comments.
London City Lionesses midfielder Poppy Wilson commented “Obviously we can take the positives from the game."
“We'll take the clean sheet, but it's disappointing that we didn't do more because we are better than that performance and we're looking to next week to improve and hopefully take the three points. We created the momentum late on, but we needed to do that earlier in the game. We need to start with that intensity, which is disappointing, but we'll take the positives."
"It was physical, but we need to recognise that and play our own game. We need to learn from each game and take it into the next one to get three points. We'll take individual positives, but ultimately the most important thing is taking three points and we didn't do that here."
SETL Player of the Match – Poppy Wilson
London Bees (4-2-3-1): Sarah Quantrill; Evie Gane, Billie Brooks, Georgia Robert, Flo Gamby; Nicola Gibson, Charlie Estcourt; Brooke Nunn, Sophie McLean, Melissa Filis; Marianne Taho
Substitutes: Lauren Pickett for Taho 53, Sophie Quirk for Nunn 69, Amelia Hazard for McLean 70, Tricia Gould for Filis 85
Substitutes not used: Hayley West, Bonnie Horwood, Mollie Dench, Faye Hazelton
London City Lionesses (4-3-3): Shae Yanez; Ali Murphy, Harley Bennett, Hannah Short, Grace Neville; Hayley Nolan, Poppy Wilson, Lily Agg; Lucy Fitzgerald, Juliett Kemppi, Atlanta Primus
Substitutes: Liz Ejupi for Fitzgerald 58, Kallie Balfour for Primus 66
Substitutes not used: Hope Smith, Leanne Cowan, Ylenia Priest, Freda Ayisi, Annie Rossiter, Flo Fyfe, Lilly Pursey
Bookings: Bennett 37
Referee: Georgia Ball