Tonight see’s the London City Lionesses back in action, as they prepare to take on Lewes FC Women, following the postponement of last month's fixture.
Heading into the game, the Lionesses will be looking to repeat the performance they put in at Princes Park, Sunday before last, when they ran out 2-0 winners over local rivals Charlton.
Looking back on the result, for manager Melissa Phillips, the result and the performance were both important in showing the determination of the side, following a difficult run.
“It was a really tough run because we didn't pick up as many results as we would have liked,” said Phillips, “We’d not had a stint like that in the season, where we really experienced some of those growing pains.
“We had to take a hard look at some of our habits, and where we could be better. Credit to the group, it's not easy to finish the last game of a stretch of six on a high, but it was probably one of our best performances in terms of the determination we showed.”
“It was an up and down few weeks,” said winger Jamie-Lee Napier, “we've had some results that have gone our way and some against us, but I think that's only made us stronger and brought us closer together as a group.”
With the team being such a young side, for Phillips, experiences on the pitch, both good and bad, are crucial in the development of the players.
“We've had some incredibly bright spots throughout the season,” said Philips, “and a few very good results against top sides.
"We had a very tough draw in both Conti cup and FA Cup but put in fantastic performances against the likes of Arsenal, West Ham and Birmingham.
“Ultimately, it's just all experiences that we add to our belief bank as a very young group to take into next year and more importantly, to take into the final three matches.”
Such experiences are vital and for Napier, have helped her develop and grow as a player over the course of the season.
“If I look back to the start of the season, I think I've grown massively in confidence since then, and that's a credit to everyone I have around me at the Club pushing me to be a better player and a better person every day,” said Napier.
“That confidence has been what’s allowed me to play in multiple positions and just do a job for the team. So I'm hoping to keep adding that to my game and just keep growing in confidence and then hopefully adding some goals and assists along the way.”
Heading into Thursday night, Napier is going to need that confidence when her and the rest of the Lionesses come up against Lewes, a team that have made things tough for the side on previous occasions.
“When we played them at their place they played some really attacking and direct football, and on that day we weren’t at our best,” said Napier.
“But I think we’re grown so much since then, we’ve prepared really well and everyone is hungry to go and get the three points.”
Indeed, for Phillips, it’s clear that, like with Charlton, this game represents an opportunity to show just how much the side have grown, when compared to the fixture at the start of the season.
“When we played them back in early September, it was a really transitional goal and they scored early, just after we’d had a big opportunity ourselves,” said Phillips.
“We weren't at our best on the day, so we're looking forward to having that game back and having it at home.
“Coming into Lewes, we know we have to match and raise the bar again with our work ethic, grit and determination. Lewes have some potent attacking threats in their front line that we're going to have to manage and be very sharp with.”
London City Lionesses kick-off against Lewes at 7 o'clock tonight! Click the link to get your tickets now!