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London City Lionesses 1-0 Sheffield United Women: City dig in to maintain unbeaten home record

It was a Women’s Football Weekend to remember for the London City Lionesses, as they ran out 1-0 winners against a determined Sheffield United side.

Going into the game, City had the momentum, with the Blades winless in their last four Championship matches, and the home side unbeaten at Princes Park.

From the first blow of the whistle, the Lionesses showed their dominance, keeping the ball with ease and switching the play regularly to try and create space in their steadfast back line.

The first chance of the match came when Karin Myua played a through ball to the on running Jamie-Lee Napier, who managed to get her shot away, but the keeper got down low to keep it out. It gave United a glimpse into the pace that City had in their attack.

This dominance in the first half continued with Muya and Napier, aided by the through balls of Atlanta Primus, continuing to be a thorn in the Blades’ backline.

Yet Sheffield United did grow into the game, with a few speculative efforts in the first half requiring keeper Shea Yanez to be alert.

Indeed, at the beginning of the second half they showed just how dangerous they can be, with one looping ball over the top playing in Courtney Sweetman-Kirk.

Yet through the combined efforts of Yanez and SETL Player of the Match Harley Bennett, she panicked and sent her shot wide.

The second half continued in much the same way as the first, with City continuing to enjoy the bulk of possession.

The breakthrough came 20 minutes into the half, through a corner from Amy Rogers, which was fumbled by the Blades keeper into her own net.

However, the Blades soon came fighting back. One free kick into the box nearly caught out the City backline, bouncing awkwardly and landing at the feat of a United forward. But once again Yanez took command and averted the danger.

With ten minutes left on the clock it looked like the Lionesses had been able to seal the victory with another goal.

It was Mollie Rouse who started the move, winning the ball back on the halfway line and playing in Muya, who carried the ball forward before switching it to Primus, who weaved her way into the penalty area before switching it to Anne Rossiter, who was ruled just a fraction offside.

In the end it mattered little, as City held on for the last few minutes to claim all three points and move up to second in the table.

Speaking after the final whistle had blown, manager Melissa Phillips had this to say on the opposition.

“Sheffield United are a very good team, they don't concede a lot of goals, they're organized, they work hard, and they’ve caused a lot of team’s problems.

“It's one of those games where you really do have to grind it out. The things that we were trying to do came off in moments and our girls just kept to that game plan.

“We had a couple opportunities where we probably could've been a little bit more clinical in the first half. But ultimately, it's another resilient performance by the group.”

Indeed, this resilience was needed by the team to overcome such a determined opponent, who gave away so few chances. For Phillips such a performance was the source of great pride.

“The best part about this team is that week after week, we get better and better, and we keep growing with lessons learned from what each game brings about our style of play and our identity. We just value humility and hard work which we bring that energy to training sessions each week,” said Phillips.

Yet this was not a by the numbers game week, with the FA’s Women’s Football Weekend shining a stronger spotlight on the women’s game.

We love women's football weekend,” remarked Phillips, “it's a great opportunity to broadcast all the growth and the professionalism that's happening within the Women's Championship and the Super League.

“It's fantastic to be live all weekend and we're excited to see more and more of that with the exposure of live streamed games in the Super League, it’s been a fun weekend following all the results.”

Speaking of the WSL, the next game on the calendar sees City take on top division side Brighton Ladies in the second group stage match of the Continental Cup.

“It's always a great challenge to play against a top Super League opposition,” said Phillips, “and Brighton have been in great form throughout the first half of the Season.

“We faced them in pre-season and for us it's about learning more about ourselves and testing ourselves against that quality of opposition.”

For the London City Lionesses, the next home game of the season is on Wednesday the 15th of December against Birmingham City Women. Click the link to book your tickets now!

London City Lionesses: Yanez (GK), Fleming (Rouse), Primus, Muya , Fitzgerald, Bennett (C), Napier, Fronc, Jarrett (69' Rossiter), Rodgers, Girasoli

Subs not used: Neville, Thompson, Nunn, Pedersen, Short, Pursey, Mehmet



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