Jonathan Morgan named an unchanged team from the 2-1 Continental Tyres League Cup win at Durham in midweek for the visit of the Toffees to Pirelli Stadium, with goalkeeper Demi Lambourne starting in the Barclays FA Women’s Super League for the first time, in place of the injured Kirstie Levell.
Everton enjoyed large spells of possession in the opening stages without testing Lambourne, though Toni Duggan was inches away from getting on the end of Claire Emslie’s teasing cross when she was left unmarked inside the six-yard box.
While at the other end Jess Sigsworth almost connected with Jemma Purfield’s out-swinging delivery from the left flank, but Danielle Turner was able to get a vital touch to turn the ball away from danger.
Leicester then came even closer to breaking the deadlock with the game’s first shot on target. Molly Pike cross was met by Esmee De Graaf, who diverted a header towards goal, but Sandy Maciver managed to claim the ball.
There were shouts for a Leicester penalty just after the half-hour mark when Sigsworth appeared to be brought down in the area, but referee Lucy May waved away the protests.
Lambourne soon produced a smart diving stop to deny Kenza Dali, who had raced into the box and got a shot off from a tight angle, before Rikke Sevecke headed over from Dali’s corner. Lucy Graham then pulled a shot wide after springing the offside trap, in the last action of the first period.
Leicester started the second half on the front foot and when De Graaf’s looping effort was only parried by Maciver, Sam Tierney was close to diverting the rebound home.
A series of Everton opportunities followed, as Jean-Luc Vasseur’s side tried to crank up the pressure on City’s backline. Lambourne, though, was in inspired form and Leicester’s No.1 kept out Valerie Gauvin from close range after she was teed up by Dali. She then also stopped Duggan from netting her first league goal of the campaign, pushing the strike away with a strong palm.
Natasha Flint was introduced on 73 minutes, replacing midweek goalscorer Shannon O’Brien, as the hosts looked to find a winner themselves. But it would be the Toffees who found the route to goal, via a substitute, with just under 10 remaining. Magill picked up the ball from fellow substitute Hanna Bennison and rounded Lambourne, before slotting the ball into the empty net.
The Foxes pushed for a response with captain Sophie Barker teeing up Sophie Howard to strike, but her attempt flew over the crossbar, ahead of Bennison searching for a goal of her own and curling an effort wide of the target.
There was one final Leicester opportunity in stoppage time from Abbie McManus’ long ball, which Flint was able to control and fire towards goal, but her shot was agonisingly inches over the crossbar.
City battled away in Burton but were unable to find an elusive goal.
Leicester looked well set for a first league point of the season but just like at Brighton a week ago, the Foxes conceded a late goal which ultimately proved to be the winner.
It was a solid WSL debut from Leicester's No.1.
Demi Lambourne kept City in the game with several impressive saves and was the standout performer in Burton on her top-flight bow.
Where does it leave us?
LCFC Women are still searching for a first top-flight victory.
Leicester remain at the foot of the Barclays FA Women’s Super League standings without a point from the opening eight games of the season.
The Foxes will look to bounce back after the next international break.
It’s Continental Tyres League Cup action up next for the Foxes as they travel to Leigh Sports Village to face Manchester United on Sunday 5 December (12pm kick-off).
Leicester then return to Barclays FA Women’s Super League duties on Sunday 12 December when they visit Arsenal in a 6:45pm kick-off at Meadow Park.
City: Lambourne; Tierney, McManus, Plumptre, Howard, Purfield, Pike, Barker (c), Purfield; O’Brien (Flint 73’), Sigsworth, De Graaf.
Subs not used: Harris., Brougham, Smith, Bailey-Gayle, Grant.
All times GMT.
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