Women’s football round-up: Palace keeper blames defeat on “first-game nerves” and Lionesses overpowered by Lewes

BY RICHARD CAWLEY

Goalkeeper Megen Lynch put Crystal Palace’s 2-0 home defeat to Leicester City down to “first-game nerves”.

The Eagles kicked off life in the FA Women’s Championship with a loss at their Bromley home – with goals from Melissa Johnson and Holly Morgan.

Hannah Mckenzie clipped the top of the bar with a header from Kallie Balfour’s corner.

Hope Nash and Freya Holdaway both made goal-line blocks for Palace to prevent a heavier defeat.

Lynch also denied Sophie Domingo in a one-on-one encounter. The Eagles shotstopper said: “We’re in a new league this season and I think first-game nerves just caught us.

“Finding out we were going to be in this league just two months ago was difficult, but with the players that we’ve bought in – and the way we’ve gelled – we do expect better of ourselves.

“We’ve got pretty much a new team, so we’ll see where we go from here.”

There was also no happy start to league action for new Millwall Lionesses boss Chris Phillips as he saw them lost 3-0 at home to Lewes  Women.

The visitors were cruising by half-time with goals from Samantha Quayle, Rebecca Carter and former Charlton Athletic Women player Avilla Bergin.

Phillips, who replaced Lee Burch in the summer, has brought in 22 new players.

But Lionesses were behind after just two minutes when Quayle bundled home.

Carter’s exquisite finish made it 2-0 before Millwall keeper Grace Taylor palmed away another effort on goal.

Bergin did get a third for Lewes and she almost caught out Taylor again with a deft chip in the second half.

Phillips said: “The message at half-time was that we have to find ways to play. Teams will come and they will press us, which is okay, but we have to find ways we can play around them.

“These girls are good when they play the game on the floor, so they have to show the courage.

“That’s what I spoke about, having that courage to play in those situations.”

“The third goal was well-worked, so I can give them credit for that. We could have done better for the first two.”

Crystal Palace Ladies are at home to Chelsea FA Women in the FA Continental Tyres Cup on Sunday (2pm). Millwall Lionesses head to West Ham United Women in the same competition.

To follow all of the action during the season and to buy tickets; visit www.ticketstores.co.uk/fawsl

IMAGE BY TARA HOOK

South London News