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Match Report: London City Lionesses secure league status despite Southampton defeat

Updated: May 15

London City Lionesses fell to a 3-1 defeat against Southampton at St. Mary’s on Sunday [21 April], despite a Leanne Cowan strike that halved the deficit in the second half.

The Saints scored twice before the break, with Molly Pike and Emma Thompson firing Marieanne Spacey-Cale’s side to an early advantage.

London City established a foothold in the match in the remaining minutes of the first half, forcing Kayla Rendell into action shortly before the break.

Grace Neville and Izzy Groves replaced Maddi Wilde and Ruesha Littlejohn at half-time, with both playing a key role in the Pride’s second-half resurgence.

Neville, returning from the calf injury she sustained on international duty in February, made a series of key defensive plays to shut the door on Southampton, while Izzy Groves provided the secondary assist on Cowan’s strike.

With the Saints’ backline stretched, Groves played an inch-perfect, defence-splitting pass to Danielle Carter, who drilled the ball towards the back post for Cowan to riffle home in the 72nd minute.

Rianna Dean curtailed hopes of a late comeback nine minutes later, capitalising on a defensive third turnover and beating Grace Moloney one-on-one.

Results elsewhere were sufficient to guarantee London City’s place in the Barclays Women’s Championship for next season, with the Pride signing off from the campaign at home on Sunday [28 April] against Lewes.

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