Paige Bailey-Gayle

Big Victory Over Liverpool For Unbeaten LCFC Women

LCFC Women emerged as 2-1 victors from a thoroughly entertaining FA Women's Championship encounter with Liverpool at Farley Way Stadium on Sunday.
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Goals from Paige Bailey-Bayle and Lachante Paul, before a consolation effort from Jess Clarke, handed the Foxes their second win from the opening four games in 2020/21. 

There were two changes for the home side from last weekend’s 2-2 draw with Durham as Libby Smith and Paul came in for forwards Natasha Flint and Millie Farrow.

City lined up in a fluid 3-5-2 system and were on the front foot from the start, with Paul’s cross missing its intended target, but hitting the post on its way out for a goal-kick to the Reds.

Sophie Barker’s free-kick almost found Ashleigh Plumptre in the area moments later, but the Leicester-born defender couldn’t quite get a touch on it and the moment was lost.

However, the wait for a Leicester opener was over after just 23 minutes as a flowing team move ended with Bailey-Gayle collecting the ball and sending it into the top corner.

It was a fitting reward for the Foxes, who had been on top for much of the opening exchanges, but they could have lost their lead within moments of gaining it.

Kirstie Levell, though, was on hand to make an excellent point-blank save to deny Amalie Thestrup in Liverpool’s only real opportunity of the opening 45 minutes in Quorn.

Leicester thought they had doubled their advantage after the restart when Plumptre got her head on a Charlie Devlin corner, but the officials swiftly waved away claims it had crossed the line.

Bailey-Gayle turned provider on 56 minutes, though, as she threaded a pass through to Paul before the young forward twisted in the spot and curled it past Rachael Laws in the Reds net.

A defensive mix-up quickly saw Liverpool half the arrears, with Clarke seemingly getting the last touch after a goalmouth scramble, but it was City who created the better late chances.

After opportunities for Rachel Furness and Rinsola Babajide for the visitors, substitute Farrow saw a low effort saved by Laws, before Annabel Blanchard also headed over.

The Foxes, though, remained dominant until the latter moments to confirm their second league victory, following successive draws with Sheffield United and Durham.

Major moment…

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Lachante Paul
Lachante Paul

Lachante Paul's second goal in as many games put Leicester on course for victory.

Just as the Reds were starting to exert some pressure on their hosts, Leicester broke before the hour-mark and doubled their lead, putting the game beyond Liverpool.

Lachante Paul's tidy finish - her second goal in as many FA Women's Championship games - ultimately gave the Foxes an unassailable lead in Quorn.

Who impressed?

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Remi Allen
Remi Allen

The midfield was well controlled by Remi Allen for the Foxes.

Central midfielder Remi Allen - wearing the captain's armband in Holly Morgan's absence - was once again impressive, operating as the engine in the middle of the pitch for the home side.

Often breaking up play and recycling the ball efficiently, Allen was a pivotal figure for Leicester, allowing the flair players to express themselves in advanced areas. 

Where does it leave us?

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Paige Bailey-Gayle
Paige Bailey-Gayle

Paige Bailey-Gayle celebrates netting City's opener at Farley Way Stadium.

Leicester are fifth in the FA Women's Championship with eight points from opening four matches - and are one of only three teams to remain unbeaten.

Durham lead the way on 11 points, closely followed by Sheffield United and Liverpool, both on 10, while Lewes have gathered nine points.

Coming up…

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Jonathan Morgan celebrates with Kirstie Levell
Jonathan Morgan celebrates with Kirstie Levell

Manager Jonathan Morgan toasts the success with the players at full-time.

LCFC Women next travel to Hayes Lane to tackle Crystal Palace on Sunday 18 October (2pm kick-off), before another away trip, to London City, on Sunday 1 November (2pm kick-off).

The details…

City: Levell; Barker, Howard, Plumptre; Paul (Flint 90'), Allen (c), Tierney (Everett 70'), Devlin (Blanchard 90'), De Graaf; Smith (Farrow 62'), Bailey-Gayle.

Subs not used: Lambourne, Cataldo, Fergusson, Littlejohn.

Goals: Bailey-Gayle 23’, Paul 56'.

All times BST/GMT.

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