Sophie Barker

LCFC Women Toast Their Crowning Moment On Filbert Way

LCFC Women finally got their hands on the FA Women's Championship trophy following a 4-0 victory over Charlton Athletic as the Foxes made their debut at King Power Stadium on the final day of the 2020/21 league season.
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There were four changes to the Foxes' starting line-up a week after travelling to Lewes Women, with Sam Tierney, Esmee De Graaf, Charlie Devlin and Lachante Paul coming into the side on Filbert Way for the hosts, who were afforded a Guard of Honour before kick-off by the Addicks.

City's first chance of the day came after just five minutes as top goalscorer Natasha Flint charged forward and offloaded it to Hannah Cain, who dragged the ball across goal and into the path of Devlin. Eartha Cumings, however, was there to make a decent low save at her near post for the visitors. 

On 11 minutes, meanwhile, a short free-kick came to Cain and she located Flint's run in the area. Leicester's No.20 wasn't able to get there, but Cumings had to bravely beat Tierney to the ball, while Lois Heuchan's clearance came to Remi Allen. The Leicester-born midfielder's effort, though, was off target.

Leicester's early dominance continued, too, when Allen won possession and gave it to Flint, who fed Paul on the right flank. While the 18-year-old was unable to find the top corner, firing over, the pressure was building on Charlton. 

De Graaf, on the other hand, made a run into the area on 19 minutes, getting on the end of Paul's cross, nodding narrowly wide of Cumings' far post. The best opportunity of the game came midway through the half as Flint side-stepped her marker and crossed for Devlin.

The goal was open for City's No.7, but she couldn't quite get there to open the scoring on Filbert Way.

Leicester finally got their reward on 26 minutes, though, as Devlin offered up a sprinkle of stardust on the flank, sweeping past Angela Dunbar-Bonnie, before laying it up for Flint to flick the ball into the net, off the post, for her 17th goal of the season - and LCFC Women's first at King Power Stadium. 

Devlin added her second assist of the afternoon shortly afterwards as well as the former Manchester United Women midfielder threaded a smart pass through to Cain, who calmly dispatched it into the roof of the net for the flying Foxes.

It was 3-0 to City before the interval, too, as Cain galloped upfield and switched it to Paul on the right wing, before getting it back and nodding past Cumings to cap of an excellent opening 45 minutes for Leicester on their King Power Stadium debut. 

After the break, Sophie Barker's short corner was chipped into the area by Allen and flicked on by Flint into De Graaf, but Cumings was there to palm it away from danger for the visitors. Allen and Paul, on the other hand, both had efforts from distance, but were unable to get enough power on them.

Second-half substitutes Freya Thomas and Liv Fergusson also linked up to create a fourth for the home side with 18 minutes remaining, but the latter couldn't quite get on the end of the former's low ball into the penalty area. 

An inventive pass from Shannon O'Brien, meanwhile, found Flint on the right flank, however Olivia Smith was there to cut out her cross into the area. O'Brien then leapt highest in the area to get a header onto Barker's corner. The former Coventry United forward couldn't keep it down, though.

With eight minutes to go, shot-stopper Demi Lambourne came off the bench, replacing Kirstie Levell, to make her first appearance of 2020/21 after battling back from a long-term injury, to a rapturous applause from the home dugout. 

There was still time for a fourth goal for Leicester as Flint's pass into Fergusson was inadvertently sent into her own net by Shanna Vassell with eight minutes to play on Filbert Way. In added time, Flint's low rocket needed to be tipped around the post by Cumings, before Libby Smith's effort was blocked too.

A 16th victory of the season was a fitting end to a record-breaking term for the Foxes, who at one point won 12 games in a row in the Championship, and next season will compete with some of the best players in England in the Barclays FA Women's Super League.

Major moment...

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LCFC Women

The Foxes toast a magnificent season by lifting the FA Women's Championship trophy at full-time.

With a 16th league win of the season sealed on Filbert Way, the moment LCFC Women players and staff have been looking forward to since promotion was booked on 4 April finally arrived at full-time as the trophy was formally presented to the FA Women's Championship champions.

First, Leicester City Ambassador Emile Heskey delivered the trophy to its plinth. After medals were distributed to the squad, Sophie Barker and Remi Allen - two players to have worn the captain's armband this season - hoisted the second tier title to the heavens for the Foxes.

Who impressed?

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Charlie Devlin & Natasha Flint

The provider, Charlie Devlin, congratulates Leicester's first goalscorer of the day.

Former LCFC Women, Liverpool and Aston Villa star Chloe Jones, speaking on LCFC TV, said: "It would have to be Tash Flint. She's been involved in everything. She starts play, drops in deep, and she scores goals. She's been brilliant for Leicester today."

Where do we stand?

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Jonathan Morgan

Manager Jonathan Morgan provides instructions from the sidelines at King Power Stadium.

LCFC Women finish the 2020/21 campaign top of the FA Women's Championship by a margin of eight points, ending the season with a tally of 50 points. Their goal difference of +38 is also the best in the second tier. City won 16 of their 20 matches during the campaign.

Coming up...

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Hannah Cain

Hannah Cain leaps for joy after doubling the Foxes' tally.

Before the summer break, the Foxes travel to Leigh Sports Village on Sunday 16 May to tackle Manchester United Women in the fifth round of the Vitality Women's FA Cup (12pm BST kick-off).

The details...

City: Levell (Lambourne 82'); Howard (Smith 71'), Tierney, Plumptre, De Graaf; Allen, Devlin (Thomas 53'), Barker (c); Paul (Fergusson 71'), Flint, Cain (O'Brien 71').

Subs not used: Riglar, Cataldo, Fleming, Farrow.

Goals: Flint 26', Cain 31', 39', Vessell OG 85'.

Leicester City Crest

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