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Women's Football News
London Bees 2 (Goddard 50,82) Millwall Lionesses 1 (Ayane 62)
London Bees recorded their first win of the 2015 WSL 2 season with a 2-1 victory over Millwall Lionesses at the Hive.
A fine display, especially in the second half, led to a deserved three points to lift Bees off the foot of the table and condemn the Lionesses to their second successive defeat after a seven match unbeaten start.
Millwall started very brightly and carved out four good efforts on Imogen Riches' goal in the first ten minutes. Ashlee Hincks had two efforts saved and set up Megan Goss for a shot also well saved by Riches. Paula Howells had the hosts first effort on target on 14 minutes and Bees grew into the match from then on. Although Hincks went very close again on 21 minutes, shooting just wide from a right wing cross, Bees had more and more possession, moving the ball fluently at times to work openings.
Amber Gaylor was very involved in the Bees midfield and Andria Georgiou was always looking to shoot from distance. Her best effort flew just wide of Sarah Quantrill's goal from 25 yards on 24 minutes. As half time approached, Bees' best move of the half saw Gaylor clear on the left and her cross just evaded Gemma Fraser on the far post.
The restart was dramatic, Quantrill tipping away a Georgiou shot at full stretch within a minute, then Bees grabbing the lead on 50 minutes. A header by Gaylor from a Paula Howells cross crashed down off the underside of the bar but Goddard was on hand to drive home the loose ball.
Another Howells cross almost brought an instant second with Georgiou's looping header being pushed away by Quantrill, again at full stretch as Bees dominated. Fraser was agonisingly close to adding to the hosts' lead, but Quantrill was quick off her line to foil the striker.
Totally against the run of play, the Lionesses equalised on 62 minutes when keeper Riches allowed Rosella Ayane to steal the ball from a routine clearance and neatly finish. Millwall briefly threatened to turn the game completely and Ayane netted again but was adjudged to have been offside.
Bees regained their composure as the match entered the final twenty minutes with Howells having an excellent second half on the left side of the attack. Gaylor and Goddard were very involved in linking play and Bees put together a number of slick passing moves which kept Millwall at full stretch.
Finally the home team got their reward with a superb first time effort from Goddard on 82 minutes, looping a shot over Quantrill from the edge of the area.
Inevitably the game became stretched as Millwall sought an equaliser. Goddard sliced a good opportunity wide, then Ayane did the same at the other end when her pace allowed her to beat the home defence. In fact, that chance apart, Bees saw out time really well, holding the ball up in the Millwall half and winning free kicks and corners to run the clock down very effectively.
Returning home after four away fixtures, Bees took full advantage to give their season a lift going into the mid-season break. The crowd of 302 must surely have been impressed by the quality of much of the play in an entertaining encounter.
London Bees: Imogen Riches, Billie Brooks, Jade Dempster, Aoife Hurley, Katherine Huggins, Paige Wakefield, Ashleigh Goddard, Andria Georgiou (sub Rebecca Anderson 67mins), Paula Howells, Amber Gaylor (sub Lucy Loomes 85mins), Gemma Fraser. Subs not used: Bethan Davies, Sydney Hinchcliffe, Samantha Miller, Stephanie Hicks, Selin Buyukgiray.
Millwall Lionesses: Sarah Quantrill, Leanne Cowan (sub Jordan Butler 77mins), Dionne Lennon, Naomi Cole, Frankie Strugnell, Lilli Maple (sub Lily Agg 61mins), Danielle Carlton, Megan Goss (sub Rinsola Babajide 64mins), Lillie Billson, Rosella Ayane, Ashlee Hincks. Subs not used: Francesca Ali, Ciara Sherwood.
(Report by Patrick Higgins)
Photos by www.jamesprickett.co.uk:
(top) Ashleigh Goddard (grounded) scores London Bees' opening goal
(middle) Megan Goss under pressure from Paula Howells
(bottom) Gemma Fraser plays the ball away from Rosella Ayane
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