Lewes claim win over champions Leicester to end home season on high
FA Women’s Championship champions Leicester City suffered an upset at the hands of Lewes as Ini-Abasi Umotong’s penalty proved the difference between the teams at The Dripping Pan.
Umotong slotted home from the spot on 20 minutes to seal a 1-0 win for The Rooks in their final home game of the season after Lucy Ashworth-Clifford was brought down in the box.
Leicester had a series of chances to equalise in the second half but despite their best efforts, Jonathan Morgan’s Foxes were unable to avoid a rare away defeat.
City were given a guard of honour by the hosts before the game but that was where the niceties ended at The Dripping Pan as Lewes enjoyed a bright start to the contest.
Umotong was the first to threaten the Leicester goal early on but saw her effort deflected behind before Ashworth-Clifford was denied by visiting goalkeeper Kirstie Levell.
The Rooks had another chance on 17 minutes when an error in the Leicester backline presented Megan Mackey with an opportunity, only for midfielder to fire her shot over.
But the home side did not have to wait much longer for the opening goal as they were handed a penalty on 20 minutes when Ashworth-Clifford was brought down in the box.
Umotong stepped up to convert from the spot and give her side a deserved lead but the goal woke the champions from their slumber as they came close to equalising before the break.
Hannah Cain almost got on the end of a Remi Allen free-kick before Sophie Barker had an effort at goal comfortably saved by Tatiana Saunders just before the half-hour mark.
Saunders also denied Libby Smith from close range on 34 minutes as Umotong’s penalty remained the difference between the two sides at the half-time interval.
Leicester continued to pile the pressure on Lewes at the start of the second half, with Smith firing wide from just inside the area before the hosts cleared the subsequent corner.
Natasha Flint then blazed over the bar from outside the area before being denied by Saunders moments later after taking down a high ball, spinning and firing towards the bottom corner.
The visitors made several changes as they pushed for the equaliser but Lewes almost doubled their lead on 84 minutes when Ashworth-Clifford weaved her way into the Leicester box.
She found Filippa Savva in space in the area but the substitute’s effort on goal was blocked on the line from close range as Leicester kept their hopes of salvaging a point alive.
And there was time for one more Leicester chance in time added on as Flint pounced on loose ball following a scramble before missing the target in a dramatic finish.
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Lewes (3-4-3): Tatiana Saunders; Charley Boswell, Rhian Cleverley, Ellie Hack; Sophie O’Rourke, Mollie Rouse, Ellie Leek, Megan Mackey; Georgia Timms, Ini-Abasi Umotong, Lucy Ashworth-Clifford. Substitutes: Filippa Savva for Leek 75’; Danielle Lane for Mackey 75’; Simran Jhamat for Timms 90+4’; Samantha Quayle for Ashworth-Clifford 90+5’. Substitutes not used: Zahra Cheeseman