Charlie Devlin

LCFC Women Off To A Flyer In FA Women's Championship

LCFC Women made a perfect start in the FA Women's Championship with a 3-0 opening day victory over Blackburn Rovers Ladies at Farley Way Stadium on Sunday.
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Manager Jonathan Morgan offered debuts to Kirstie Levell, Sam Tierney, Esmee de Graaf, Sophie HowardRemi Allen, Sophie Barker, Millie Farrow and Natasha Flint as City deployed a flexible 3-5-2 system.

Following a two-minute’s applause for key workers and all those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020/21 campaign got underway in Quorn six months after 2019/20 was curtailed.

City’s first chance came on eight minutes as Charlie Devlin’s cross was headed clear into Tierney’s path, but her effort, with the outside of her boot, flew just over the bar.

The Foxes were vibrant, brave in the challenge, and ambitious with their play and they got their due rewards after 18 minutes as Tierney was the provider for Devlin once again.

Her through ball into Leicester’s No.7 was perfect and Devlin did the rest, slotting a tidy finish past Fran Bentley in the Rovers net to give the home side an early lead.

After a drinks break, Paige Bailey-Gayle – last season’s top goalscorer – hit a powerful effort just wide, while Farrow was unlucky from close-range for the Foxes.

Flint, on the other hand, had the chance to net against her former club just before the break, but her attempt was high and wide of Fran Bentley’s net.

Leicester were limited to half-chances in the opening stages of the second half as Allen was among several players to try their luck from distance.

Their chances of starting 2020/21 with a win were boosted just before the hour-mark, though, as Saffron Jordan was dismissed for Blackburn after a second bookable offence.

Bolstered by the arrivals of Ruesha Littlejohn, Annabel Blanchard and Libby Smith from the bench, the Foxes began to enjoy a greater share of possession later on. 

Their patience paid off, though, with 20 minutes still to play, as Flint marked her first appearance for the Club with a brilliant half-volley to make it 2-0 to City.

Another first-time effort from the edge of the area followed for Flint as the former Blackburn forward announced her arrival at Farley Way in some style to wrap up the points.

Major moment

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Charlie Devlin
Charlie Devlin

Celebrations after Charlie Devlin opens the scoring for Leicester early on.

Scoring the first goal of any season is a big moment but Charlie Devlin's opening effort kick-started what promises to be a particularly exciting year for the Foxes.

As the Club embarked on its maiden campaign as a professional outfit, they needed a positive start, and Devlin's composed finish gave them the platform to earn just that.

Who impressed?

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Natasha Flint
Natasha Flint

Former Blackburn forward Natasha Flint was impressive on her maiden outing in City's colours.

Making her Leicester debut against her former employers, Natasha Flint was clearly keen to make an impression at Farley Way Stadium.

Flint was afforded a chance in the first half which went awry, but when two came her way later on, she capped off a fine display with a duo of well-executed strikes.

Where does it leave us?

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Remi Allen
Remi Allen

Midfielder Remi Allen has an effort on goal in the second half.

The Foxes end the first day of action in the FA Women's Championship second in the table, just below Sheffield United, who beat London City 4-1 on Sunday.

Coming up...

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Natasha Flint
Natasha Flint

Esmee de Graaf congratulates Natasha Flint on her first effort for the Foxes.

City next travel to Proact Stadium to tackle Sheffield United in the FA Women's Championship next Sunday afternoon (2pm kick-off).

On Sunday 27 September (2pm kick-off), Leicester host Manchester City in a rearranged Women's FA Cup Quarter-Final.

The details

City: Levell; Morgan (c), Howard, Tierney; De Graaf, Allen, Barker, Devlin (Blanchard 75'), Bailey-Gayle (Littlejohn 75'); Farrow (Smith 82'), Flint

Subs not used: Lambourne, Everett, Paul, Fergusson

Goals: Devlin 17', Flint 70', 82'

All times BST.

Leicester City Crest

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