Leicester City clinched the FA Women’s Championship title after a hard-fought 2-0 win over London City Lionesses on Easter Sunday.
The Lionesses made it tough for the league leaders including a great save from Shae Yanez
which denied Leicester from scoring from the penalty spot.
In a game where Leicester had the opportunity to win the league title, the opening 10
minutes were tightly contested with defences on top.
The Lionesses managed to cause problems for the Leicester defence when Alli Murphy
played a great ball over the top to Kallie Balfour in the 13th minute.
Lionesses’ midfielder Flo Fyfe fizzed an effort narrowly wide in the 25th minute after some
neat play from Lily Agg.
The Foxes were awarded a penalty in the 33rd minute after Lionesses goalkeeper Yanez was
adjudged to have punched Tierney whilst attempting to clear a corner.
But Yanez instantly regained her focus and made a fine save to deny Charlie Devlin from 12
The Lionesses continued to frustrate Leicester. After the restart, Leicester’s Lachante Paul
managed to break into the box and square the ball to Shannon O’Brien but Lionesses’
captain Harley Bennett blocked the shot.
The Foxes broke the deadlock in the 66th minute. A free-kick routine straight off the training
ground saw Sam Tierney fire a rebound into the bottom corner after her first attempt was
With 15 minutes to play, substitute Natasha Flint netted her 16th goal of the season to
double Leicester’s lead and settle the outcome.
The Lionesses continued to challenge the Leicester defence as Juliette Kemppi struck a long-
range effort that tested Kirstie Levell on 80 minutes.
MOMENT OF THE MATCH
A fantastic save low in the bottom right corner from Yanez prevented Leicester from taking
the lead in the first half.
Yanez then caught the follow-up cross, stopping the Leicester City attack.
HEAD COACH’S REACTION
London City Lionesses Head Coach Melissa Phillips said: “Huge congratulations to Leicester
City, they’ve had an unbelievable season. They’re an incredibly difficult team to play against in the way that they attack so a well-deserved promotion for their side.
“Games are won and lost over small details, so I don’t think the penalty had any deciding factor in the game, but it’s great that Shae (Yanez) can come up with a huge save and I’m proud with the way my team competed and responded from there.
"We know we can play with them and that showed in our last result against them. I thought we organised well, we made it tough for them and made it incredibly difficult to break down – that’s the first game in a while we’ve lost by more than one goal, so I’m incredibly proud with the way we make it difficult on teams to break us down.
"Ultimately, they scored on the second phase of a set-piece and then they scored a brilliant goal for their second, so I commend them for their performance but also I’m really proud of the way my team competed and defended.
“There are always positives to take from the match and I think that you look at our
remaining fixtures against Chelsea and Liverpool to close out the year. We test ourselves
against the best and ultimately that’s where we want to be.
“We’re going to let this feeling fuel us for next season because that’s our goal, that’s our
ambition. It’s great to test yourself and learn about yourself from each of these matches."
London City Lionesses captain Harley Bennett said: “First half we very much brought the
game to them and had really good phases with one or two touch. I think we were in the
“Questionable penalty but we always back Shea to save it and that spurred us on to go on and win and I think we had good chances, but two really well-worked goals and I give credit where credits due.
“It’s tough to see a team celebrate winning the League when that's where you want to be, but that just has to spur us on to be there next year and compete.
“In both games we played them, we’ve played really well. We seem to play better against the top sides that come and play against us. That gives us the motivation to go and do it ourselves next year.
"Looking ahead to the FA Cup clash against Chelsea next weekend, Bennett said “We want to get tested against the best teams and Chelsea are unbelievable. For us, it’s just a chance for us to go and prove ourselves again and play against good players. That’s what you want to do."
SETL PLAYER OF THE MATCH: Shae Yanez
Leicester City (4-5-1): Kirstie Levell; Sam Tierney, Lia Cataldo, Esmee De Graaf, Ashleigh
Plumptre; Charlie Devlin, Remi Allen, Shannon O’Brien, Sophie Barker; Lachante Paul,
Substitutes: Natasha Flint for O’Brien 61’, Libby Smith for Devlin 83’, Freya Thomas for
Cataldo 83’, Millie Farrow for Paul 87’, Liv Fergusson for Cain 87’
Substitutes not used: Sophie Harris, Charlotte Fleming, Aimee Everett, Grace Riglar
Goals: Tierney 68’, Flint 75’
Bookings: Tierney 23’
London City Lionesses (3-5-2): Shae Yanez; Hannah Short, Harley Bennett, Grace Neville; Alli
Murphy, Lily Agg, Hayley Nolan, Lucy Fitzgerald, Flo Fyfe, Kallie Balfour, Atlanta Primus.
Substitutes: Juliette Kemppi for Fyfe 61’, Annie Rossiter for Balfour 85’
Substitutes not used: Nina Wilson, Chantelle Mackie, Poppy Wilson, Ylenia Priest, Freda
Ayisi, Lily Pursey
Bookings: Agg 66’
Referee: Georgia Ball