Natasha Flint & Ashleigh Plumptre

LCFC Women Top At Christmas As Flint's Brace Books Blackburn Triumph

LCFC Women will top the FA Women's Championship on Christmas Day after a 3-2 victory over Blackburn Rovers on Sunday - their fifth league success in a row - enabled them to end 2020 on a high note.

City named an unchanged line-up for the fourth consecutive outing in all competitions, with forwards Paige Bailey-Gayle and Lachante Paul sitting just behind Natasha Flint up front in a 4-3-2-1 system.

There was a notable inclusion on the bench, too, as Hannah Cain starred in a matchday squad for the first time since joining the Foxes in the summer after battling back from a string of injuries.

A combative, yet uneventful, game came to life after 17 minutes in Lancashire as Remi Allen threaded an inventive through ball into Flint, who did the rest to put the visitors ahead.

Blackburn were yet to seriously threaten Kirstie Kevell’s goal and, seven minutes later, it was two for Leicester as Bailey-Gayle forced an unfortunate own goal from Kayleigh McDonald.

Emma Doyle did go close for Rovers, after spotting Levell off her line, but City’s shot-stopper was able to get back in time to seize upon the effort from over 30 yards out.

Levell had to be alert to Natasha Fenton’s free-kick before the break also, tipping it round her near post, as Blackburn provided a precursor to their improved second half display.

City remained on top, but their advantage was halved before the hour-mark, as Georgia Walters capitalised on a loose ball in front of the visitors’ penalty area to beat Levell.

Despite the home side sensing a comeback, it was 3-1 minutes later after Bailey-Gayle’s side-footed attempt cannoned back off the post, with Flint breaking free, before beating Alex Brooks with a composed finish.

The Foxes continued to carve out a flurry of chances with Sophie Barker and Charlie Devlin going close, before Bailey-Gayle struck the bar again, although the bounce looked over the line.

The referee was unmoved and Rovers were undeterred. With 15 minutes to go, they were within one goal of Leicester on the scoresheet once more, as Walters curled her second into the top corner from 35 yards out.

City, though, were able to see out the game in a professional manner and, in added time, they also welcomed Cain onto the pitch to make her first appearance for the Club after signing from Everton in the summer.

Major moment...

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Natasha Flint
Natasha Flint

Natasha Flint nets the match-winning goal for the Foxes in the second half.

Blackburn were clearly confident of following their first goal of the afternoon with another – which did indeed follow – but it came after Natasha Flint’s second goal of the afternoon.

When it mattered, Flint demonstrated her coolness in front of goal to net the ultimately decisive goal at Sir Tom Finney Stadium to keep her side top of the table at Christmas.

Who impressed?

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Natasha Flint
Natasha Flint

Another two goals from Natasha Flint helped Leicester over the line in Lancashire.

Not only a rich source of goals for the Foxes, Natasha Flint is a valuable member of the starting XI, linking up play and delivering cross-field passes at every turn.

Naturally, Flint’s goals against her former club will make headlines, and rightly so, but her overall game enabled the visitors to run out as deserved victors, especially with her hold-up play late on.

Where does it leave us?

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Hannah Cain & Liv Fergusson
Hannah Cain & Liv Fergusson

Jubilation for Hannah Cain and Liv Fergusson at the full-time whistle.

LCFC Women are top of the FA Women’s Championship at Christmas. They have accrued 26 points from 11 outings, one more than Durham, who defeated Liverpool, also on Sunday.

Coming up…

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LCFC Women
LCFC Women

LCFC Women will next be in action in the New Year.

LCFC Women now have a festive break before resuming their FA Women's Championship campaign with a home clash against Sheffield United at Farley Way Stadium on 10 February, 2021 (2pm GMT kick-off).

The details...

City: Levell; Smith (Cataldo 61’), Tierney, Plumptre, De Graaf; Allen, Barker (c), Devlin; Bailey-Gayle (Cain 90+1’), Paul (Fergusson 61’); Flint.

Subs not used: Riglar, Howard, Thomas, Everett, Blanchard, Farrow.

Goals: Flint 17’, 58’, McDonald OG 24’.

Leicester City Crest

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