Millie Farrow

LCFC Women Top The Table After London Bees Triumph

LCFC Women rose to the FA Women's Championship summit for the first-ever time with a 3-0 victory over London Bees at Farley Way Stadium on Sunday.

After a three-week break from action, there was just a single change in the line-up which defeated Coventry United 9-1 in November, with Charlie Devlin replacing Annabel Blanchard.

It took just seven minutes for Leicester to continue the scoring, too, as Natasha Flint collected the ball on the edge of the area, before arrowing it into the roof of Sarah Quantrill’s net.

Shortly afterwards, Remi Allen found space on the left flank and crossed it low for Lachante Paul, but the Foxes youngster wasn’t able to apply the final touch.

City kept their pursuit of a second going, with Paige Bailey-Gayle firing wide, before Paul was also unlucky from distance, sending an audacious effort over the crossbar.

Quantrill frustrated the home side before the interval, denying Bailey-Gayle, while Allen also sent a chipped attempt over the woodwork, after excellent play from Flint on the flank.

The Foxes’ pressure continued in earnest in the second half. First, Bailey-Gayle’s inviting cross was missed by everyone in the box, before Quantrill then tipped Devlin’s speculative drive over.

It paid off for City just before the hour-mark when Bailey-Gayle rifled home a magnificent, arrowed effort into the top corner, giving Quantrill no chance and Leicester some breathing room.

There was a scare within seconds of the restart, however, when Amelia Hazard's cross narrowly missed Brooke Nunn in front of Kirstie Levell’s goal, but LCFC Women survived and advanced up the pitch.

Millie Farrow, on the other hand, was introduced shortly afterwards – and she was there to get onto the end of a cross to nod the Foxes’ third of the day with her first touch of the afternoon.

It could have got better for City, too, had Ashleigh Plumptre found the target with a glanced header, from Sophie Barker’s corner, in the latter moments, but the job was already complete for the hosts.

Major moment

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Paige Bailey-Gayle
Paige Bailey-Gayle

Paige Bailey-Gayle scored City's second goal of the afternoon.

Despite Leicester’s complete dominance, a one-goal advantage looked perilous as the second half went on, with the Bees likely to mount a counter attack at any given opportunity.

However, any trepidation which City may have harboured fizzled away after Paige Bailey-Gayle’s excellent strike early on into the second half, giving the home side a cushion of two goals.

Who impressed?

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Ashleigh Plumptre
Ashleigh Plumptre

Ashleigh Plumptre was among the standout performers on Sunday.

Leicester-born Ashleigh Plumptre was once again an authoritative and assured presence at the back for the Foxes, helping her side keep another clean sheet.

London Bees opportunities were kept to a minimum at Farley Way Stadium, acting as an invitation for the more expressive attacking players to showcase their talents up front.

Where does it leave us?

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LCFC Women
LCFC Women

LCFC Women have now won four games in a row in all competitions.

LCFC Women climb to the top of the FA Women’s Championship for the first time in their history, a point clear of Durham, who were held to a 0-0 draw by Blackburn Rovers.

The +16 goal difference, meanwhile, is also the strongest in the league after nine outings. City are on 20 points, while Durham have 19, Liverpool sit on 18 and Sheffield United possess 17.

Coming up…

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Natasha Flint
Natasha Flint

Ex-Blackburn Rovers forward Natasha Flint opened the scoring for City.

City travel to Damson Park on Wednesday for a 2pm kick-off against Birmingham City in their final Continental League Cup group stage outing, before heading to The Oakwood next Sunday for a FA Women’s Championship clash with Charlton Athletic (2pm kick-off).

The details…

City: Levell; Smith, Tierney, Plumptre, De Graaf (Cataldo 67’); Barker; Allen (Thomas 75’), Devlin (Everett 75’); Bailey-Gayle (Farrow 66’), Flint, Paul (Fergusson 75’)

Subs not used: Riglar, Howard, Blanchard, Wood.

Goals: Flint 7’, Bailey-Gayle 56’, Farrow 69’

All times GMT.

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