Lachante Paul & Shannon O'Brien

Ruthless LCFC Women Hit London Bees For Seven In Barnet

FA Women's Championship leaders LCFC Women were in lethal goalscoring form as they ran out as 7-0 victors over London Bees at The Hive Stadium on Sunday afternoon - securing their ninth league win in a row.

There was just one change to the Foxes line-up which overcame Crystal Palace at Farley Way Stadium seven days earlier, as Remi Allen came in for Shannon O’Brien in Barnet.

City deployed a fluid 4-4-2 system, with Millie Farrow and Charlie Devlin in the attacking roles, and they were greeted by low-hanging sunshine at the home of the Bees for their 15th league outing of 2020/21.

Leicester started eagerly, winning possession in the middle of the pitch, before Allen crossed for Farrow, but the former Reading forward couldn’t get a head on it.

Farrow then flicked an audacious effort narrowly wide of the far post before also breaking through minutes later, but the move was cut short by an offside call from the assistant referee.

Lachante Paul, meanwhile, was also played through by Hannah Cain and, while she was able to stay onside, home goalkeeper Sarah Quantrill raced out to seize upon a heavy touch in the penalty area.

After Bonnie Horwood was denied by Scotland international Sophie Howard's goal-line clearance at one end, Farrow was unlucky not to open the scoring on the counter for the Foxes, but there was Quantrill to smother it.

Farrow had an effort ruled out for offside while Paul skipped into the area, rolled it onto her left foot, and fired a curled attempt just a fraction over the crossbar as the visitors continued to push for an opener. 

Devlin also had a chance, when the ex-Manchester United midfielder cut inside from the right wing and looked for the top corner, but her arrowed attempt lacked the required precision midway through the first half.

Quantrill, on the other hand, needed to make a fingertip save to prevent Cain's low drive from squeezing in at her near post. On 38 minutes, Paul was also unlucky not to get a final touch to Devlin's low ball across the face of goal.

The pressure finally told with four minutes of the half to play as Allen broke down the right channel, crossed for Farrow and City's No.19 did the rest, doing well to convert despite an awkward bounce inside the area.

While pleased to be ahead, Leicester continued pushing before the interval and they doubled their lead, too, when Paul curled home a stylish effort from 20 yards out.

After the interval, there was no letting up from the visitors either as Paul added her second goal of the afternoon, with Quantrill unable to keep out her low effort at the bottom corner.

Natasha Flint and O'Brien came off the bench for City shortly afterwards and they would go on to help the Foxes further assert their authority in devastating fashion at The Hive.

Their fourth goal came as Flint located Paul in a pocket of space and, although her effort was saved, O'Brien was able to convert the rebound and get her first goal for the Club since joining from Coventry United in January.

She was there again, too, to net her second and Leicester's fifth just minutes later before Flint got in on the act with a typically composed finish to make it 6-0, but the Foxes were saving their best for last.

With four minutes remaining, up stepped Dutch full-back Esmee De Graaf to launch a rocket into the roof of the net from around 30 yards out, from the left channel, to sign off a thoroughly enjoyable outing for City.

Helen Ward almost snatched the otherwise untroubled Kirstie Levell's clean sheet in the final moments as her effort rattled the crossbar for Bees late on, but the Foxes left the capital with an impressive seven-goal victory in the bag.

Major moment

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Millie Farrow
Millie Farrow

Millie Farrow opened the scoring and set City on track to a memorable victory.

Leicester had to be patient before the goals started to flow in Barnet with London Bees goalkeeper Sarah Quantrill initially frustrating the visitors at every turn.

However, up stepped Millie Farrow, who herself had been denied several times against Crystal Palace last week, to break the deadlock before half-time and set City on a course to a comprehensive victory.

Who impressed?

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Lachante Paul
Lachante Paul

Yet again impressive, Lachante Paul netted a brace for the Foxes in Barnet.

On a day where everyone excelled for the Foxes in their second biggest win of the season so far, forward Lachante Paul was particularly threatening throughout the afternoon.

As well as her two goals at The Hive Stadium, the young striker was also an essential figure in City's build-up play and choreographed several passes which either led to goals or big opportunities for the guests.

Where do we stand?

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Shannon O'Brien
Shannon O'Brien

Winter signing Shannon O'Brien celebrates one of her two goals for Leicester on Sunday.

City remain top of the FA Women's Championship, level on 38 points with Durham Women, who also won on Sunday. The Foxes have played a game less than the second-placed outfit, however, and have a superior goal difference of +29.

Coming up...

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Esmee De Graaf
Esmee De Graaf

Esmee De Graaf wrapped up the scoring with a sublime effort late on.

LCFC Women’s FA Women’s Championship campaign next takes them to Maiden Castle to tackle second-placed Durham Women on Sunday (12pm GMT kick-off).

The details…

City: Levell; Howard, Tierney, Plumptre (Riglar 75'), De Graaf; Paul, Barker (c) (Fleming 59'), Allen, Cain (Fergusson 75'); Farrow (O'Brien 53'), Devlin (Flint 53').

Subs: Harris, Cataldo, Bailey-Gayle, Smith.

Goals: Farrow 41', Paul 45', 51', O'Brien 64', 66', Flint 68', De Graaf 86'.

Photos: Ed Payne.

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