Axten masterclass wins grudge match for Leicester


By Luke Smith

Leicester City Women secured consecutive league wins after a 2-1 victory over Millwall Lionesses thanks to a Rosie Axten brace.

Leicester started the game the brighter side, creating several opportunities to take the lead, with Sophie Domingo and Melissa Johnson both firing wide from one-on-one situations.

But the deadlock was broken against the run of play when Beth Lumsden placed a wonderful curling free-kick into the top corner of the apex, leaving Foxes goalkeeper Demi Lambourne stranded.

The match evened out after the goal, with Leicester winning fewer 50-50s and Millwall exploiting more gaps left in the Leicester midfield. Domingo and Freda Ayisi both tested the Lionesses keeper Chloe Sansome before the first half came to a close.

The second half started much like the first, with Leicester playing the better football and creating more chances, but nothing close to finding the equaliser.

They created more in the second half, playing with more intensity and desire than the first half, and their tenacity was rewarded when Ayisi was brought down just inside the box after a mazy run. Forward Axten stepped up and dispatched the penalty in cool fashion in the bottom-left side of the goal.

Leicester continued to press Millwall in search of a winner, and fifteen minutes from time they were rewarded. Another run from Ayisi drew a foul from the Millwall defence and Axten curled the resulting free-kick across the goalkeeper in expert fashion, striking the underside of the crossbar for good measure.

Although Millwall started to step it up after that, Leicester were largely untroubled and saw out the victory fairly comfortably.

Foxes manager Jonathan Morgan said: “I think our girls showed true grit and determination today. We went in at half time and spoke about what we’re doing right and what we’re doing wrong, and I think the only thing that got us that win today was our resilience which is something we’ve been working on as a team recently.

“I think we need to work on being more clinical when it comes to those opportunities and it would have been a different half time result I think.

“I think our performance in the second half was exactly the same as the first half. We were making chances. Freda was dangerous all the way through, in terms of when we were attacking.”

MILLWALL: Sansom, Mackie, Bailes, Casley, Priest, Lumsden, Ravenscroft, Clarke, Powell, Giddings, Fitzgerald
SUBS NOT USED: Taylor, Auguste, Harford, Charles, Bailey, Harvey
GOALS:Lumsden ‘20

CITY: Lambourne, Fletcher, N Johnson, Morgan, L Johnson (Jackson ‘68), McCue, Ayisi, Nymoen (Cusack ‘64), Axten, M Johnson, Domingo (Dugmore ‘54)
SUBS NOT USED: Greengrass, Clarke
GOALS:Axten ‘61 ‘76


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