LCFC Women

London City Triumph Sees Foxes Crowned Women's Championship Champions

LCFC Women's 12th FA Women's Championship victory in a row - a 2-0 success over London City Lionesses at Farley Way Stadium - confirmed their promotion to the FA Women's Super League on Sunday afternoon.
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Knowing three points would be enough for them to wrap up the second tier title, there were three changes to the side which defeated Coventry United last weekend as Lia Cataldo, Charlie Devlin and Remi Allen came in for the Foxes in Quorn.

City carved out an opportunity quickly after the first whistle as Shannon O'Brien advanced down the flank and crossed for Devlin, but the former Manchester United midfielder was unable to find the target from inside the area.

A brave block from Hannah Short denied O'Brien, meanwhile, after nice play from Allen, before Ashleigh Plumptre nodded Devlin's free-kick narrowly wide for the home side.

The Lionesses, though, had a threat of their own, with Lily Agg impressing in particular and it was her pass which found Flo Fyfe midway through the first half, but Leicester shot-stopper Kirstie Levell was able to watch it fly by her far post.

Bennett was there again to frustrate the Foxes, blocking Devlin's shot at goal, before Sam Tierney was felled in the area by visiting goalkeeper Shae Yanez, prompting the referee to point to the penalty spot in the 34th minute. 

Devlin stepped up, but was denied by an excellent, low stop by Yanez, who made amends for her earlier error. Leicester didn't relent, though, and Tierney's forward ball was almost headed into her own net by Short, who was undoubtedly relieved to see it bobble wide.

It remained goalless at the interval, but City carried an increased threat in the second period, which began with Hannah Cain running at goal and arrowing a low drive inches wide of the near post.

Lachante Paul then found O'Brien in the area twice in quick succession and, while her first effort was blocked by Bennett, her second shot whistled wide of Yanez's near post. Not deterred by their lack of fortune in front of goal, Leicester kept going, even as Cain later struck the side netting.

After Devlin's volley was saved well by Yanez, City's reward finally came in the 69th minute as Devlin's free-kick was flicked into the path of Tierney and, although her first effort was blocked on the line, the Foxes' No.3 was there to convert and fire her side into a precious lead.

That strike, Tierney's third of the season, was met by jubilant celebrations, but the Foxes swiftly got back to work and doubled their lead. It came as Esmee De Graaf's cross landed to substitute Natasha Flint in the area and City's top goalscorer powered her 16th effort of the season into the net. 

Although Leicester were keen to add to their tally late on, with Plumptre firing over and Flint being denied by a series of blocks, a 2-0 success was more than enough to see them crowned as champions of the FA Women's Championship and earn promotion to the top tier of the women's game.

Major moment

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Sam Tierney
Sam Tierney

Sam Tierney wheels away in delight after opening the scoring at Farley Way Stadium.

After over an hour of battling with determined opposition, Leicester finally got the opener their efforts so richly deserved through Sam Tierney's close-range effort at the second attempt.

The Foxes had carved out chance after chance in Quorn but Tierney was composed to provide the finish, after just seeing one effort cleared off the line, to send her team-mates into raucous celebrations in the Easter Sunday sunshine. 

Who impressed?

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Natasha Flint
Natasha Flint

Former Blackburn Rovers forward Natasha Flint celebrates her 16th goal of the season for the Foxes.

While unable to break the deadlock until midway through the second half, the entire starting XI and all the substitutes who entered the action later on delivered a fittingly impressive team display on the day LCFC Women sealed the FA Women's Championship title.

Where does it leave us? 

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Esmee De Graaf
Esmee De Graaf

Dutch defender Esmee De Graaf advances down the flank for City.

The Foxes are unassailable at the top of the FA Women's Championship on 47 points from 18 games, 15 of which have been victories, with a goal difference of +35. They lead second-placed by Durham by eight points with two matches to play.

Coming up...

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Jonathan Morgan
Jonathan Morgan

Manager Jonathan Morgan watches on from the sidelines in Quorn.

Liverpool Women are the next visitors to Farley Way Stadium in the fourth round of the Vitality Women's FA Cup on Sunday 18 April (2pm kick-off), before an FA Women's Championship trip to The Dripping Pan to tackle Lewes Women on Sunday 25 April (2pm kick-off).

The details...

City: Levell; Cataldo (Smith 80'), Tierney, Plumptre, De Graaf; Paul (Farrow 86'), Barker (c), Allen, Cain (Fergusson 86'); Devlin (Thomas 80'), O'Brien (Flint 61').

Subs not used: Harris, Riglar, Everett, Fleming.

Goals: Tierney 69', Flint 76'

Leicester City Crest

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