Millwall Lionesses took their unbeaten league run to 15-games after beating Durham Women 3-2 at St Paul’s Sports Ground on Sunday.
The game began in a scrappy fashion with both teams looking to get the early goal and settle any nerves. This resulted in most of the football being played in the middle of the pitch with no real clear cut chances.
After 20 minutes Millwall finally made the breakthrough. Leigh Nicol picked the ball up 30-yards from goal, striking a shot first time which clipped the underside of the bar and crossed the line to give the midfielder her first goal of the season.
Going in at half time the Lionesses were leading the game 1-0, but it could have been a higher scoring half had both sides taken more of their chances.
Two minutes in to the second half Millwall doubled their lead. Ashlee Hincks whipped in a great free-kick to the front post which was met by the head of Billie Brooks who nodded in to the back of the Durham net.
Durham got themselves a goal back in the 51st minute. Beth Hepple was played through on goal and kept her cool to calmly finish past Sarah Quantrill in the Millwall goal.
The Lionesses restored their two-goal lead thanks to captain Hincks. From just outside the 18-yard box Millwall had a free-kick in a dangerous position. Instead of crossing the ball, Hincks decided to go for goal and Helen Alderson could only fumble the ball in to her own net.
Rianna Dean almost got herself on the score sheet after she cleverly ran in behind the Durham defence and calmly finished past Alderson. However, the linesman adjudged Dean to be offside in what appeared to be a very tight call.
Durham cut the goal deficit back to one in the 85th minute. Jordan Atkinson came off the bench and four minutes later gave Durham a lifeline after getting past three defenders and putting the ball in to the back of the Millwall net.
The referee’s whistle blew not long after and Millwall had claimed a well-earned and hard fought three points.
The win sees Millwall Lionesses remain in second place but does mean they are now six points clear of third place Durham and fourth place Brighton & Hove Albion.
Speaking to Rising East after the game, Georgie Giddings spoke about the team’s performance: “A lot of it was probably more so the grit and determination that we showed as a group. We came together really well, we defended when we needed to, cleared the lines and got rid of the ball.”
Millwall Lionesses’ next game is a home tie against Women’s Premier League side Coventry United Ladies in the SSE Women’s FA Cup next Sunday at St Paul’s Sports Ground.