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Watford 1-0 London City Lionesses: London City fall to narrow defeat at Vicarage Road

Sunday saw the London City Lionesses suffer a hard fought 1-0 defeat away to Watford.

Coming into the game, the Lionesses knew it would be a tough afternoon, with the Golden Girls playing their first game at Vicarage Road, and clearly buoyed by the support.

From the first blow of the whistle, the pattern of the game was immediately clear, with London City dominating possession from the outset, and the home side content to try and absorb the pressure.

London City didn’t have to wait long for their first opportunity, with Shanade Hopcroft being played in in the box, controlling it and getting her shot away, but the Watford keeper was equal to it.

City kept creating chances, with Lily Agg a constant threat in and around the box, getting on the end of a Katie Kitching cross, but it was well covered by the keeper.

Half an hour in, and the Lionesses were continuing to dominate, with Hopcroft again having a good chance to get the team in front, after Jamie-Lee Napier sent in a first time cross, which was flicked on by Agg into the path of Hopcroft, whose shot was blasted towards goal, but was just saved.

Going into the second half, London City continued to keep the pressure up on the home side, with chances from Agg and Rodgers coming close to getting the Lionesses ahead.

Yet, with half an hour to go, Watford got their noses in front, counter-attacking London City, with Chiara Meola’s shot just getting past Shae Yanez.

City’s heads didn’t drop though, with the team immediately on the hunt for the equaliser.

A good chance fell to Mollie Rouse, who got a shot off first time from a Kenni Thompson cross, but it was just wide of the post.

Rouse continued to be a danger in the second half, getting another good shot away from outside the box, but again it just curled wide.

An intense final 10 minutes ensued, but in the end, the home side held on to take all three points.

Speaking after the full-time whistle, manager Melissa Phillips had this to say on the result:

“We’re disappointed,” said Philips, “we controlled large amounts of possession and ultimately conceded on a counter-attack and unfortunately that’s football.

“It was far from our best performance; we need more urgency, we need more determination and that starts in training.”

Whilst some might look at the table and see London City in the top half, for Phillips, the standard goes beyond that.

“We want more of ourselves,” said Phillips, “We've sat in second place for so long throughout the season and that's not easy to do but it’s even harder to stay there and maintain it as the season winds down.”

“That's where the real grit comes from, and without that grit, unfortunately it's very easy to drop places in the table.”

Next up for the Lionesses, it’s back to Princes Park to take on Lewes.

“We’ll have to raise our level going into the Lewes game,” said Phillips, “this game has to light a fire under us, and we have to go out there and assert ourselves more than we did today.”

The London City Lionesses next take on Lewes at Princes Park at 4:30pm! Click the link to get your tickets now!

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