- LCFC Women defeat Blackburn Rovers 3-0 in the Continental Tyres League Cup
- Mackenzie Smith, Connie Scofield and Alieen Whelan all found the net
- Lydia Bedford rotated the side for the clash at The Sir Tom Finney Stadium
- Scoring three goals was one of the most pleasing aspects for the manager
Beating Barclays Women’s Championship outfit Blackburn Rovers 3-0 at The Sir Tom Finney Stadium was the perfect way to begin their cup campaign after a difficult start to the league season.
Switching personnel and the system, Bedford put her trust in youth, starting three Academy graduates, alongside three full debutants, with a further debut for Ellen Jones from the bench in the second half.
“I’m really pleased,” the manager told LCFC TV in her post-match assessment of proceedings in Lancashire. “I think it was a professional performance from the girls from the start.
“We started three of our youngsters who have played in the League Cup last season. They got an opportunity to play again today and across the team we rotated.
They did a fantastic job of getting the lead through Macca (Mackenzie Smith). She’s only 17 and for her to be the first one, you couldn’t have written a better story than that.Lydia Bedford LCFC TV
“We made eight changes and played a different formation to suit those players. That’s obviously a bit of a gamble, but for me, after the few weeks we’ve had, it’s really important to use this competition to give players an opportunity and today we’ve done that.
“There’s a number of players who got minutes having not had many in the league. For us, that’s what the League Cup is for, but equally, at the same time as doing that, you want to take three points and win games. I’m pleased the players have done that.”
Just six minutes into her first start of the season, Mackenzie Smith’s maiden Foxes goal kicked off the scoring and was followed shortly after half-time by another debut strike, from Connie Scofield.
Club captain Aileen Whelan then came on and netted her first for the Club too, to round off a pleasing afternoon in front of goal for a team who are yet to score in three Barclays Women’s Super League games.
Bedford commented: “They did a fantastic job of getting the lead through Macca (Mackenzie Smith). She’s only 17 and for her to be the first one, you couldn’t have written a better story than that. They then made it a done and dusted performance with the goals they brought.
Bedford: First Win Breeds Confidence
Manager Lydia Bedford gives her reaction to LCFC TV after LCFC Women's 3-0 success at Blackburn Rovers in the Continental Tyres League Cup.
“It breeds confidence. Aileen [Whelan] and Connie [Scofield] getting on the scoresheet was excellent and there were plenty more opportunities to put the ball in. It’s great that we’ve had that momentum throughout the game and created those opportunities. For the ball to finally hit the back of the net for us, it’s a good place to be.”
Only leading by one at the break, adding further goals reflected the dominance of Leicester’s display, though they had to be wary of the counter attack to keep a first clean sheet in 2022/23.
The 35-year-old added: “We spoke at half-time about how important that next goal was, whichever team it came for. I think we felt we had a large amount of possession in the first half, but we knew they were a threat on the break. It’s one of their strengths.
“I think it was about going out second half and making sure that we really nullified their threats and built with a little bit more confidence, which the players did, and that's why they got the second goal.
“Then we were able to make changes and Aileen [Whelan] scored the third, so between the group, I think they’ve done a great job.”
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