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London Bees 1 (Gaylor 52) Millwall Lionesses 0
London Bees moved off the bottom of the FA WSL2 table with a 1-0 victory over Millwall Lionesses at The Hive on Sunday, to claim their first win since the opening day of the season and bring an eleven-game losing streak to an end.
A stunning second half strike from Amber Gaylor was enough to decide the contest, as new Head Coach Julian Broomes oversaw the Bees' first victory in over four months in just his first game in charge.
With Lucy Loomes, Paula Howells and Imogen Riches all on international duty whilst attending an England Under-19s Development Camp, Broomes gave a debut to new Development Squad player Cally Beaumont at centre half with Sydney Hinchcliffe also being deployed as a lone striker.
It was the visitors who had the first real chance of the game on 16 minutes, although in truth it came from nothing. Lillie Fenlon-Billson collected the ball from a throw in before spinning her marker and attempting an audacious shot from near the right hand touchline that clipped the crossbar on its way over.
The Bees responded well however, and carved out their first opportunity three minutes later when Sydney Hinchcliffe turned the defender and played through Dawn Mallett to race clear. The Bees' captain then picked out Megan Goss in the box but the winger's shot was deflected narrowly wide for a corner.
In an very even contest, it was Millwall who were next to go close when Josie Elliott shot powerfully on the turn from just inside the penalty area, but goalkeeper Sophie Harris got down well to save.
The Bees were late to emerge for the second half following an extended team talk from Julian Broomes, but whatever the new manager said clearly had the desired effect as his team took the lead just seven minutes after the interval.
It was Amber Gaylor who got the all important goal, showing great persistence on the left-hand side to win the ball back and smash a fierce shot high into the net from the edge of the area.
There was a moment of panic for the Bees on 67 minutes when Beaumont, a reassuring presence in the heart of the home side's defence throughout, slipped and allowed Elliott to race through on goal. However, having done all the hard work the Millwall striker dragged her shot wide of the near post.
Fenlon-Billson went close during three minutes of added time with another audacious shot from 30 yards out, but with the ball curling goalwards Sophie Harris did well to claw the ball away for a corner.
It proved to be the last moment of concern for the home side as they held on to claim their first win in fifteen games and move three points clear of Oxford United, who come to The Hive on Thursday with the Bees looking to secure back-to-back wins.
London Bees: Sophie Harris, Anneka Nuttall, Samantha Chappell, Amy Cooper, Billie Brooks, Cally Beaumont, Amber Gaylor, Rebecca Anderson (sub Katherine Huggins 71mins), Megan Goss, Dawn Mallett, Sydney Hinchcliffe (sub Selin Buyukgiray 75mins (sub Aoife Hurley 89mins)). Subs not used: Emma Davies, Laura Miller, Shanade Hopcroft, Hannah Samuels.
Millwall Lionesses: Sarah Quantrill, Leanne Cowan, Naomi Cole, Kylie Davies, Frankie Strugnell, Lilli Maple, Lily Agg, Lillie Fenlon-Billson, Kim Stenning (sub Cherrelle Albert 62mins), Meaghan McKeag (sub Stevie Lamb 68mins), Josie Elliott (sub Shirvae Edwards 89mins). Subs not used: Ciara Sherwood, Snezana Malesevic, Jade Dempster.
(Report by www.fawsl.com)
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