Molly Pike

Late Villa Goal Leaves LCFC Women Empty-Handed

Aston Villa snatched a last-gasp 2-1 victory over LCFC Women from their Barclays FA Women's Super League encounter at Pirelli Stadium on Sunday.
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Forced into one change from the team that defeated Brighton & Hove Albion last weekend, manager Lydia Bedford opted to bring Natasha Flint back into the starting XI in place of Freya Gregory, who was ineligible to play against her parent club.

Missy Goodwin also missed out on being named in the matchday squad through injury, but Connie Scofield and Paige Bailey-Gayle returned to the bench for the first time this year.

Villa had claimed all three points when the sides met in Walsall on the opening day of the season and started the brighter of the two sides with Alisha Lehmann seeing a shot deflected over inside two minutes.

A double save from Demi Lambourne kept out Anita Asante from the resulting corner, but Leicester’s goal was about to be breached for the first time. Another corner from Maz Pacheco was whipped into the six-yard box and the ball diverted into Leicester’s net via the unfortunate Molly Pike.

Leicester were keen to respond quickly. Sam Tierney crossed for Jess Sigsworth, who had to adjust her body to connect, heading straight at Hannah Hampton in the Villa goal. Her second effort also had to be saved, while Flint’s left-footed shot was comfortable to claim.

The away side looked to gain control of proceedings through Laura Blindkilde’s long-range effort, which was dealt with by Lambourne, while former Fox Remi Allen flicked a shot narrowly wide from Lehmann's cross.

It was City who created the first big opportunity of the second period, however, as Flint beat the offside trap and raced through on goal, only for the forward to fire narrowly wide of the far post.

And more pressure was applied from Flint’s through ball, which Shannon O’Brien flicked towards goal, though Hampton managed to get a hand to her effort before also blocking Sigsworth’s follow-up.

In a sign of things to come, Ashleigh Plumptre headed wide from Abbie McManus' floated free-kick, before the equaliser finally arrived with just under 15 minutes to play.

Jemma Purfield's in-swinging corner wasn’t dealt with by Hampton, who couldn’t prevent the ball edging over the line and handing City a route back.

Either side could have won it in the frantic closing stages and, after Bailey-Gayle was introduced, Pike’s deflected effort had to be punched away by Hampton. At the other end, Ramona Petzelberger fired over the crossbar.

Tierney then came within inches of beating the Villa ‘keeper, sliding in to meet O’Brien’s cross, but England international Hampton was able to hold on.

The hectic tempo continued and, with everything to play for, both teams worked hard to find another way through. Sigsworth headed Pacheco’s corner off the line, while Plumptre’s fierce long-range strike, from 35 yards out, had Hampton worried momentarily.

But as the clock ticked into the final of the three added minutes, it would be the Villans who won it when the ball was played across for Lehmann, who calmly slotted it past Lambourne and into the bottom corner, giving City no time to respond.

Major moment… 

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LCFC Women

Jemma Purfield registered her first LCFC Women goal, but it wasn't enough for a share of the spoils.

The hosts looked on course to take a valuable point from the contest thanks to Jemma Purfield’s leveller, until that injury-time winner from the visitors snatched away the three points.

Who impressed?

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Natasha Flint

Natasha Flint returned to the starting XI for the first time in 2022.

Leicester had shown great character to get back on terms with 13 minutes to play and it was an all-round improved second-half performance that got the home side back in contention.

Where do we stand?

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Shannon O'Brien

It turned into a frustrating afternoon for the home side.

City remain 11th in the league standings, on six points from 13 matches, with a two-point gap to Birmingham City at the foot of the table.

Coming up… 

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LCFC Women

The Foxes have seven days to prepare for their next outing.

A trip to Tottenham Hotspur awaits in the fourth round of the Vitality Women’s FA Cup on Sunday, in a 2pm kick-off at The Hive Stadium.

The next Barclays FA Women’s Super League fixture comes from St. Andrew’s Stadium as the Foxes make the journey to face Birmingham City on Sunday 6 February (2pm kick-off).

The details…

City: Lambourne; Howard, McManus (c), Plumptre; Howard, Tierney, Pike, Purfield; Sigsworth, Flint (Bailey-Gayle 79’), O’Brien.

Subs not used: Harris, Brougham, Zajmi, Barker, Scofield, Robinson, Devlin, Grant.

Goal: Purfield 77’.

All times GMT.

Leicester City Crest





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