Lewes swarm to victory over London Bees
Megn Mackey’s second-half winner secured Lewes a 2-1 win over London Bees in the FA Women’s Championship, writes Mitul Samji.
Sophie Quirk’s equaliser midway through the first half cancelled out Evie Gane’s deflected own goal that gifted Lewes the lead.
But Mackey’s finish gave Lewes all three points and ensures London Bees remain bottom of the table heading into the closing stages of the season. Lewes, for their part, are up to fifth spot.
Lewes broke the deadlock in the early stages when an inswinging corner was deflected into her own net by the unfortunate Gane. The hosts could have doubled their lead shortly after thanks to some great play from Ini Umotong, squaring the ball to Danni Lane, whose effort was cleared off the line.
At the other end, London Bees’ Brooke Nunn had a close-range effort that went straight into the hands of Tatiana Saunders. But the Bees equaliser wasn’t long in coming, with Quirk curling an effort into the bottom corner.
Simon Parker’s side found their rhythm as Lucy Ashworth-Clifford – constantly playing a pivotal role in the Lewes attack – found Sophie O’Rourke. She crossed for Emma Jones, and her effort went straight at Faye Hazelton. Just before half-time, the London Bees goalkeeper then produced a string of excellent saves from Ashford-Clifford and Umotong to keep her side on terms.
Lewes’ eventual winner came six minutes into the second half when Mackey looped an audacious effort from out wide over Hazelton and into the net.
In the closing stages, Lewes continued to chase for their third goal, but Katie Rood’s close-range effort palmed away by Hazelton.
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Lewes manager Simon Parker said: "I thought we were good in moments, with a lot of chances went to the final third and a lot of touches in the box.
“A lot of opportunities to score, but we didn't take all of those. There were a few moments in the first half where we lost control and started to feel sloppy.
"London Bees are a good side, especially on the transition but it was their game plan today to win the ball and hit us early. When they did that, it did cause us issues.
“After those moments when we were poor and gave a lot of chances, we finished the half strongly and seem to regain a bit of control.
"We just had to be careful on the ball, keep that focus and concentration especially when we have the ball at the back, we can't keep giving to their midfielders and spring attack on us.
“If we are around the box, don't be afraid to shoot. To be fair, Megan Mackey's goal is an example of it."
Lewes (4-3-3): Tatiana Saunders, Rhian Cleverly, Danni Lane, Ellie Hack, Emma Jones, Charley Boswell, Ini Umotong, Lucy Ashworth-Clifford, Sophie O’Rourke, Megan Mackey, Mollie Rouse. Substitutes: Filippa Savva for Lane 64, Georgia Timms for Jones 80, Katie Rood for Mackey 80, Nicola Cousins for Ashworth-Clifford 90. Substitutes not used: Sammy Quayle, Simran Jhamat, Ellie Leek, Zahra Cheeseman