Natasha Flint & Lachante Paul

Sublime LCFC Women Hit Coventry For Nine

LCFC Women delivered a simply stunning performance to record a 9-1 victory on Sunday as they blew rivals Coventry United away in the FA Women's Championship.

Manager Jonathan Morgan named an unchanged starting XI from the 1-0 success over Lewes a week ago, while ex-City defender Georgia Popple lined up for Coventry against her former side.

Inside the opening three minutes, despite an encouraging start, the Foxes were stunned as Max Gauntlett arrowed an inch-perfect rocket beyond Kirstie Levell and into the top corner from 30 yards out.

Paige Bailey-Gayle and Natasha Flint both saw efforts blocked as Leicester looked for a swift reply and, with just 10 minutes on the clock, it came for the visitors, after tidy play from Remi Allen.

City’s No.8 collected the ball from Bailey-Gayle in the area, cutting it back across goal for the onrushing Lachante Paul, who calmly took a touch before picking her spot in Olivia Clark’s net.

A guilt-edged opportunity to complete the turnaround passed the visitors by shortly afterwards, too, as Ashleigh Plumptre headed over from six yards, but it wouldn’t be long until they did take the lead.

More industrious work from Bailey-Gayle afforded her the room to locate Flint in the area and the former Blackburn Rovers forward made no mistake with a powerful drive into the roof of the net on 18 minutes.

Leicester didn’t drop their intensity, though, as a smart stop was needed from Clark to deny Allen from chipping the Coventry ‘keeper, who tipped the former Reading midfielder’s effort over.

As the visitors continued to surge forwards, Paul got her second when she cut inside and sent a deflected effort, off Anna Wilcox, into the net, before Flint followed suit by registering her second of the afternoon too.

It came courtesy of yet more composed play from Allen, who took her time to thread the eye of a needle with a perfectly precise pass through to Flint, who typically finished well.

That meant City went in at the interval with a three-goal advantage, but it only got better and better in the second period for the visitors, who had added another goal to their tally by the 47th minute.

It was scored by the impressive Bailey-Gayle, whose performance deserved a goal, as the youngster collected Plumptre’s pass and ran at goal, cutting inside on the right channel and picking out her spot in the far corner.

After another chance came and went for Allen, the composed central midfielder finally got her goal just before the hour-mark after she capitalised on a defensive mix-up with a simple finish.

The goals kept coming, too, when Sophie Barker’s corner – quite remarkably – flew through the six-yard box, evading Clark, and ended up in the back of the net to make it 7-1 to the fantastic Foxes. 

When Allen was felled in the area by Gauntlett, meanwhile, up stepped Republic of Ireland international Ruesha Littlejohn, a second-half substitute, to open her account for Leicester form the penalty spot, sending Clark the wrong way.

The final touch of gloss was applied to the scoreline by Millie Farrow as she also struck with seconds to spare, sending a powerful drive into the net late on to wrap up a truly memorable afternoon for LCFC Women.

Major moment

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Lachante Paul
Lachante Paul

Paul quickly got Leicester back on level terms before the visitors asserted their dominance.

It took City just seven minutes to reply to Max Gauntlett’s opener for Coventry, a sublime effort which nonetheless came completely out of the blue for the home side.

Some sides may have allowed their heads to drop after conceding so early, despite an encouraging start, but this Foxes outfit simply got down to work and equalised through Lachante Paul’s cool finish.

Who impressed?

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Paige Bailey-Gayle
Paige Bailey-Gayle

Youngster Bailey-Gayle was impressive throughout the afternoon in Coventry.

So often a key figure in City’s many forays into Coventry’s final third, Paige Bailey-Gayle was in top form at Butts Park Arena, never allowing the home side’s defence a moment of peace.

While Bailey-Gayle was her typically industrious self, Remi Allen also shone for the Foxes on a day in which the whole starting XI and substitutes delivered excellent displays.

Where does it leave us?

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Ruesha Littlejohn
Ruesha Littlejohn

Littlejohn added her name to the scoresheet, from the penalty spot, in the second half.

Leicester climb to second in the FA Women’s Championship, one point behind Durham, while they also, perhaps unsurprisingly, boast the best goal difference in the league of +13.

Coming up…

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LCFC Women
LCFC Women

The Foxes have now won their last three matches in all competitions.

City travel to Damson Park on Wednesday to conclude their Continental League Cup Group E campaign against Birmingham City (7:30pm kick-off) before tackling London Bees at Farley Way Stadium in the FA Women’s Championship on Sunday 6 December (2pm kick-off).

The details

City: Levell; Smith (Cataldo 61’), Tierney, Plumptre, De Graaf (Everett 66’); Allen, Barker (c), Blanchard (Thomas 63’); Bailey-Gayle, Paul (Farrow 63’); Flint (Littlejohn 61’).

Subs: Lambourne, Riglar, Howard, Morgan.

Goals: Paul 10', 36', Flint 18', 38', Bailey-Gayle 47', Allen 58', Barker 60', Littlejohn 65', Farrow 88'

All times GMT.

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