LCFC Women

The Numbers Behind LCFC Women’s Maiden Top-Flight Season

A successful first campaign in the top-flight saw LCFC Women retain their Barclays FA Women’s Super League status for a second year.
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LCFC.com provides a statistical overview of the 2021/22 season, as the Foxes competed at the top table for the first time in their history following promotion as champions from the FA Women’s Championship…

1 – Barclays Manager of the Month

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Lydia Bedford
Lydia Bedford

Worthy recognition for Foxes manager Lydia Bedford.

Former England youth coach Lydia Bedford came in as manager in December 2021, taking over a team bottom of the WSL and without a point. By mid-February, she had steered the team to four wins, including back-to-back triumphs over Birmingham City and West Ham United, leading to her being named as Barclays FA Women’s Super League Manager of the Month.

3 – Top goalscorers

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Natasha Flint & Shannon O'Brien
Natasha Flint & Shannon O'Brien

Flint got the ball rolling with the first goal of the campaign at Banks's Stadium in September 2021 and O’Brien would soon follow suit.

A trio of players finished the campaign with three goals to their name. Forward Natasha Flint notched City’s first-ever WSL goal at Aston Villa on the opening day of the season and would go on to score again against claret-and-blue opposition when she netted the opener versus West Ham United during a 3-0 victory at Pirelli Stadium. A strike against Manchester United in the Continental Tyres League Cup takes her overall tally to 24 goals in 52 Leicester games.

Shannon O’Brien was a shining light for the Foxes last term and took home Player of the Season at the End of Season Awards. Making her England Under-23s bow during the campaign, the forward scored the winner against Brighton & Hove Albion while also finding the net in cup successes at Tottenham Hotspur and Durham – the latter of which was chosen as Goal of the Season.

An unlikely candidate for top scorer, central defender Sophie Howard managed three goals in three different competitions. Her header at Manchester United steered City to a 2-2 draw in the League Cup, while a sublime extra-time chip against Tottenham saw the Foxes through to the FA Cup Fifth Round. The opener against Birmingham on Filbert Way was crucial to a maiden WSL triumph.

4 – Clean sheets

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Demi Lambourne
Demi Lambourne

City's No.1 made important contributions to confirm WSL survival.

Goalkeeper Kirstie Levell started the season in fine form, leading to her nomination for October Player of the Month, but was unable to help steer City to their first points in the division.

The Foxes came within seconds of securing a draw at Brighton & Hove Albion in mid-November, before an injury-time winner from the hosts, a game which marked the end of Levell’s season, due to injury.

In stepped Demi Lambourne, who would go on to be named Players’ Player of the Season at the Club’s End of Season Awards following a string of impressive performances between the sticks.

After two penalty saves ensured the Foxes beat Manchester United on spot-kicks in the Continental Tyres League Cup in early December, the former Oxford United shot-stopper maintained a shutout at home to Birmingham later that month to record the team’s maiden WSL win.  

She repeated the feat at King Power Stadium in January, keeping out Brighton to seal back-to-back home victories. A 3-0 success against West Ham followed the subsequent month and safety was almost secured with a goalless draw on Filbert Way against Reading, when Lambourne made a crucial injury-time save.

7 – Summer signings

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Abbie McManus
Abbie McManus

McManus played in the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup and featured in the UEFA Women's Champions League for Manchester City before joining the Foxes.

Seven players arrived at Belvoir Drive over the summer of 2021, including Lionesses centre-back Abbie McManus, who has 17 senior England caps to her name.

Another arrival from Manchester United was forward Jess Sigsworth, while former and current England youth internationals Jemma Purfield and Molly Pike also made the move to Leicester. They were joined by former Birmingham City trio Georgia Brougham, Connie Scofield and Abbi Grant.

28 – Joint-most appearances

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Sam Tierney
Sam Tierney

Celebrating one of Tierney's two goals during the campaign.

Five outfield players featured in all-but one of City’s Super League fixtures across the season (21), but two made a squad high 28 appearances in all competitions. Sam Tierney, naturally a defender, was a consistent performer in the middle of midfield, notching two goals – in the home victory over Birmingham and against Everton. Only suspension prevented her from featuring in all 22 WSL matches.

Another defender by trade, the recently departed Esmee De Graaf slotted in as a wing-back and even a winger on occasion as she became one of the first names on the teamsheet. Her solid performances in the league were matched in the cup competitions. Like in 2020/21, the Dutch international’s only goal of the season came in victory at The Hive, this time against Tottenham in the FA Cup. 

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