This Sunday sees the Lionesses get set for their second London derby in as many weeks, as they get set to face Charlton Athletic at The Oakwood.
Charlton will be heading into this match with the goal of building momentum, following their 0-2 win away against Championship newcomers, Southampton.
A first half penalty converted by Emily Simpkins, followed by a strike by Melissa Johnson just after half time, was enough for the Addicks to get all three points on the opening day.
The game saw many names in both the starting 11 and on the bench, from the contingent that arrived in the summer.
Key arrivals such as Emily Simpkins, Lucy Watson and Sian Rodgers, to name just a few, have been brought in to help push the East London side up the table, and improve upon their 5th place finish last season, their first since turning professional at the start of the season.
Indeed, when the Lionesses face them on Sunday, it will be against a side much changed from the one that they beat 2-0 at Princes Park back in March, thanks to a brace from Karin Muya.
And with the game being Charlton's first at home this season, Head Coach, Karen Hills will be hoping her side can channel the energy of their supporters in what is going to be a highly charged 90 minutes.
Sarah Ewens and Karin Muya linking to try and break though the Palace back-line
London City Lionesses
For the Lionesses, Sunday brings with it a chance to apply the lessons learned in the opening day defeat to Crystal Palace.
The battle against Palace in front of a packed Princes Park, was a hard fought 90 minutes for the players, but one which will have installed in the side a sense of determination to immediately bounce back.
Speaking on the contest at Princes Park, goalkeeper Shae Yanez said:
“Going into the game, we knew that it was going to be a really tight and scrappy contest, especially with it being the first game of the season and everything up in the air.
“So it was unfortunate not to come away with the three points, but we learned a lot of lessons about ourselves, and we’ll just use this to light our fire and tune-up those tiny details.”
Indeed, with the number of new players recruited this summer, fine-tuning will be a natural part of the team's development. But in Yanez’s eyes, the impact from them is already clear to see.
“I think all the new signings have made a tremendous impact, and we’ve just been blown away by how quickly we’ve all come together, and for me that’s always the most important thing about a team.”
That speed of adaptation can be put down in no small part, to the role of captain, Harley Bennett, and Yanez, her co-captain.
“I’m very grateful to be co-captaining with Harley again this year,” said Yanez, “we both bring different things to the table, and I think that’s important to the team.”
“Coming off from last year, I'll just be looking to continue impacting each individual's life, whichever way possible, so it’ll all be about continuing to build those relationships.”
Head Coach, Melissa Phillips, in the warm-up ahead of the clash with Palace
Head Coach, Melissa Phillips
Speaking ahead of the game on Sunday, Head Coach, Melissa Phillips had this to say:
“We have a very challenging set of opening games, both derby matches, and we know Charlton will be another test for us.
“They are coming off the back of a solid first game and will be their opening match at home so we know the focus required to go on the road and build off the lessons learned from our match at the weekend.
“The palace match was exceptionally high level from both a physicality and tactical sense.
“So we certainly take confidence in the performance and chances created, now it's a matter of raising our bar again during the week and executing on the weekend.”
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