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London City Lionesses 2:1 Watford FC Women: Another strong Princes Park Performance

Updated: Jan 8, 2022

Princes Park was the scene of another remarkable comeback this Sunday, as the London City Lionesses came from behind to triumph 2-1 against Watford Women.

It was a cagey affair from the outset, with the visitors happy to sit back and let City try and pass it through their lines.

As such, the bulk of the chances for the Lionesses came from the seemingly never-ending stream of corners.

Charlotte Fleming had a great chance to bring City ahead after 20 minutes, when a deflected corner dropped to her outside the box. But her well struck effort was well covered by the keeper Georgie Ferguson.

It was the same story when a chance outside the box fell to Jamie-Lee Napier, who’s strike was again saved by Ferguson. With half an hour gone, it seemed a question of when, not if, City were going to take the lead.

The first half continued in much the same fashion, with Watford content to let London City have almost complete possession.

Then, with a few minutes left, Kenni Thompson was able to weave her way through the Hornets defence, to pick out SETL Player of the Match Amy Rodgers in the box. Yet under pressure to get the shot away quickly, she was unable to keep her effort down.

The second half started in much the same way as the first had ended, yet Watford were no longer content with City having so much off the ball, and they began to press in the midfield.

With an hour gone, a freekick courtesy of Thompson was only inches away from giving City a deserved lead, but the Watford wall did its job.

But then, just five minutes later, Watford made City rue all those missed opportunities. A mix-up at the back saw the ball break to the away side, with their captain Helen Ward capitalising on the mistake to get a shot away into the bottom corner.

With 25 minutes left on the clock, the Lionesses had it all to do.

Yet despite going down, the pressure from City continued, with an equaliser looking increasingly more likely as the minutes went on.

And sure enough, after beating her marker, Karin Muya was able to pick out a game changing sub in Brooke Nunn in the box, who never looked like missing.

The corners continued to come for City, yet Ferguson continued to be a dominating force in the box for the visitors.

But then, with less than 10 minutes left on the clock, Mollie Rouse picked out the run of Anne Rossiter, who looked up and struck it beautifully into the bottom right corner, to complete another remarkable comeback.

Speaking after the final whistle, manager Melissa Phillips was delighted by the strength of character her team showed:

“Every time we've gone one nil down in the recent matches, we see a different fight and resilience out of the group, which is what ultimately has been propelling us to our successes. We all want to see that across the 90 minutes.

“But you can never knock the squad for trying because they definitely compete. We've created enough opportunities to put teams away and just need to capitalize on our chances. We always know we can score a goal, it’s just about consistency within the ebs and flows of the game.”

Such a strong togetherness in the squad is made all the more remarkable by the number of new faces in the dressing room this season. But for Phillips, the unity within the side is something she gets to witness every day in training.

“Despite 11 new faces coming into the group,” she said, “they’ve gelled incredibly quick during preseason and they're a really tight knit group. They’re humble, they're hungry and they're hard-working.

“Ultimately, we are driven to win the league and to keep pushing to get as close as we can to the top, but that always starts with the process we have in our team room, and what we do on the training pitch every day.

“We've got a team where we know everyone's ready for their moment and everyone's capable.”

Such a sense of togetherness will be essential if London City are going to overcome one of their toughest challenges yet, when they take on WSL side West Ham United Women in the Continental Cup this Wednesday night.

“It's all about belief,” remarked Phillips, “we talk about that after the match, how we have to believe in ourselves and back ourselves the way that we do when we go a goal down.

“We want to compete against WSL sides, and we competed against them in pre-season. So, I think we are all ready and looking forward to the opportunity.”

Whilst West Ham will undoubtedly prove to be a very different opponent to Watford, the belief and team spirit that is fostered from such a performance will certainly stand them in good stead for Wednesday night.

London City Lionesses: Yanez (GK), Fleming (Rossiter 59', 81), Girasoli, Rodgers, Jarrett (Rouse 59'), Napier, Bennett, Muya, Fitzgerald (Fronc 73'), Primus, Thompson (Nunn 59', 75)

Subs not used: Gray, Pursey, Mehmet

London City Lionesses take on West Ham United Women at 19:00 at Princes Park on Wednesday the 13th of October. Click here to get your tickets now!



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