In the second match of the Lionesses’ 2022/23 Conti Cup campaign, London City was defeated by Women’s Super League side, Brighton and Hove Albion 2-1 at Princes Park.
Despite a spirited effort toward the end of the match where the Lionesses created multiple quality chances, London City dropped just its second contest of the season in all competitions.
The Lionesses began the game on the front foot, firing in a plethora of crosses into the box, but none of them found the left of a London City player to deflect it goalwards.
The Seagulls responded, asking the Lionesses questions in the backline, but it was the composure of the stable London City defense that kept Brighton out of the net early.
Following the 20’ mark, Amy Rodgers tried to catch the Seagulls’ goalkeeper off guard with a long-range shot, but it ended up wide of the right post.
In an energetic affair early on, the visitors would find the breakthrough first. Norwegian attacker, Elisabeth Terland slotted home a right-footed shot in an empty London City net to give the top-flight side the one-goal advantage in the 35’.
The Lionesses’ attempts to equalize before the end of the first 45 minutes came up just short and heading into the dressing room, the Seagulls held the slim lead.
Right out of the gate in the second half, London City came out with a new energy, making three substitutes to spark the Lionesses in the attack.
Just eight minutes after the beginning of the second 45 minutes, substitute Karin Muya received a precise pass from Rodgers, and fired it home past the Brighton goalkeeper to put the contest back on level terms.
A little over 10 minutes after the Lionesses came out of the half on a mission, the Seagulls took back the lead through its captain, Victoria Williams. Her powerful header rippled the net and put London City back in the same position it was in 13 minutes prior, down by a goal.
The Lionesses remained focused on forcing penalties, with 25 minutes left in the match.
The persistence of the London City attack was evident as the chances, and pressure continued to ramp up as the 90’ mark edged closer.
Lily Agg came on at the half and attempted to spark the Lionesses’ to their second goal of the afternoon. The Irish international came close twice within the final 13 minutes, striking the post, and firing a shot just over the crossbar.
London City was relentless, and with seven added minutes on the clock, the Lionesses put it all out there on the pitch to convert that coveted second goal.
London City ended up falling just short of snatching a point away from a top-flight side but became the first team since Chelsea in late October to limit the Seagulls’ shots on target to under five.
The Lionesses return to the Women’s Championship next weekend to take on Southampton in a critical clash between two teams fighting for that top spot at the end of the season.
Head Coach, Melissa Phillips
"By far the best we’ve matched up against Brighton. We managed their attacking transition really well which makes us even more disappointed to concede the goals we did.
"The game opened out in the second half and thought we asked far more questions of their back line and goalkeeper.
"A few really good lessons that will humble us and that we can take into our league pursuit."