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Sheffield United 2-1 London City Lionesses: Lessons learned in South Yorkshire

Sunday saw the London City Lionesses suffer a narrow defeat on the road, at the hands of Sheffield United.

From the outset the Lionesses looked to impose themselves on the game, as they took full advantage of the width of the pitch to stretch the United backline.

The first big chance of the game fell to Atlanta Primus, after Lily Agg combined well with Brooke Nunn to get a ball into the box which found Primus, whose shot was well struck and won the team a corner.

Indeed, said corner would see London City go ahead, as Carly Girasoli was able to rise above the Blades defenders and head the ball down into the bottom corner.

London City didn’t wait to try and push their advantage, as Nunn weaved her way through United defenders, to cut inside and send a curling effort towards goal, which met the crossbar.

Just before halftime, the Lionesses had another good opportunity to double their lead, as Amy Rodgers was brought down in the area, to give London City a penalty.

Primus stepped up to take the kick, hitting it hard and low into the bottom left corner, but the Sheffield United keeper, at full stretch, was able to keep it out.

The second half saw the Lionesses continue to hunt for their second goal, with Mollie Rouse and Rodgers continuing to win the ball back in the middle of the park and set their teammates away.

In one such case, Rodgers was able to play in Shanade Hopcroft who in turn found Primus in the box, who got her shot away, but once again it was well saved by the United keeper.

Hopcroft and Rodgers then combined once again, with Rodgers cutting inside to get her shot away, but the keeper was equal to it.

Despite London City dominating in attack for large portions of the game, the Blades remained dangerous.

Indeed, a darting run by Aleethia Paul and a quick ball into Courtney Sweetman-Kirk saw the home side equalise.

Then, just over 10 minutes later, Watson got the second goal for the Blades, with her effort from outside the box going in off the crossbar.

London City continued to push for the remainder of the game, but it was Sheffield United who held on to take all three points.

Speaking after the game, manager Melissa Phillips had this to say on the performance.

"Credit to Sheffield’s keeper Fran as she made some very good saves to keep our chances out of the back of the net,” said Phillips.

“We create more than enough opportunities in games and if we aren't going to take our chances, we have to minimise opposition threats and I don't think that we did that well enough today.”

Yet, in such games, there are always lessons that can be learned and taken into the next match.

“We allowed the game to become a little too transitional at times, and they're one of the better teams in the league in counter-attacking situations. We can only now hit the training ground and demand a bit more of ourselves, and of each other," said Phillips.

Going forward, it is clear that for Phillips and the rest of the side, the goals remain the same.

“We’ve grown so much as a club and have had some really consistent and dominant performances throughout the Women's Championship season. But we’ve also not been shy of some tough lessons learned and growing pains for areas we can continue to improve. So we will remain focused on our goals.

"We want to finish as high as we possibly can,” said Phillips, “We have to have a hunger and drive to continue competing because we know that it's such fine margins in games where we dropped points.”

London City Lionesses next take on Watford at Vicarage Road! Click the link to get your tickets now and follow the Pride!

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