Leicester City Women Football Club

Leicester City v Crystal Palace Ladies



Leicester City Women fell to a disappointing 3-2 defeat to Crystal Palace Ladies despite fighting hard to draw level from 2-0 down late inside the second half.

The first half rarely threatened to burst into life with both sides limited in the chances they created. It was the visitors who did create the first opening with winger Fran Ali forcing Demi Lambourne into a good save before Holly Morgan cleared away the rebound.

At the other end, Fiona Worts and Libby Smith combined well on the right hand side before Worts’ shot from the edge of the area was blocked and cleared.

The Foxes restricted Palace’s January signing Gemma Bryan to shots from distance in the first half but the Eagles’ leading scorer did look to catch Demi Lambourne out with an effort from distance but in the end it was comfortable for the keeper to collect.

Leicester City’s best chance of the half came in added time, when Worts and Smith combined again, Worts provided the flick to set Libby Smith through on goal but the youngster failed to control her shot and saw it harmlessly over the bar.

The second half took little over ten minutes to spark into life, whilst Jonathan Morgan was contemplating a substitution at 0-0, Nikita Whinnett broke through for the visitors and calmly slotted the ball past Lambourne and into the back of the net via the foot of the upright.


The hosts did make changes, with Sophie Domingo, Freda Ayisi and Melissa Johnson all coming on after an hour, and whilst they did add the desired impetus for the Foxes, they fell further behind just four minutes later when a defensive error allowed Gemma Bryan a tap in from just three yards out following good pressing from Ashlee Hinks.

The three Leicester substitutes clicked into gear and Melissa Johnson forced Lucy Gillett into a good stop just minutes after Palace’s second goal but it was full back Hayley James who would start the comeback, Johnson and Freda Ayisi played a lovely one-two on the edge of the area before Ayisi slipped the ball through to James, the defender taking the time to compose herself before slotting the ball home.

Little over five minutes later and Leicester City were level, Sophie Domingo picked the ball up from a loose pass and drove towards goal with options left and right, she opted for Leigh Dugmore to her left hand side and Dugmore showed great experience and composure to fire her show viscously into the back of the net to restore parity.

From there on, it looked like the momentum was with Leicester and still with fifteen minutes to find a winner, Hayley James was set free inside the area again but the full back was well closed down before she could get a shot away.

Despite dominating much of the last half hour, the hosts were undone by a searching ball over the top looking for Gemma Bryan, City keeper Demi Lambourne came out to make the clearance but was unable to get enough contact on the ball and Bryan was left with a simple task of slotting the ball home from the edge of the area to restore the lead.

The Foxes pushed everything forward for the last half hour looking to find a way back into the game but Palace had learnt from their earlier mistakes and weren’t likely to let victory slip from them again. The visitors saw out the final ten minutes to seal a vital three points at the foot of the Championship.

The Details

CITY: Lambourne, James, Morgan, Greengrass, Franklin-Fraiture, N Johnson, Thomas (M Johnson 60), Dugmore, Axten, Smith (Domingo 60), Worts (Ayisi 60)

SUBS NOT USED: S Clarke, Jackson, Nymoen, Brown

GOALS: James 68, Dugmore 74

CRYSTAL PALACE: Gillett, McRoberts (Collins 79), Nuttall, Holdaway, McKeag, Mackenzie, Georgiou, Hinks, Ali, Bryan (Chandler 85), Whinnett

SUBS NOT USED: Haydock, Sherwood, Nash, Salgado

GOALS: Whinnett, 58, Bryan 64, 84

Who impressed?

Both Leicester City full backs dominated a half each, in the first half Ella Franklin-Fraiture was at the heart of anything created for the Foxes whilst defensively she was on hand a number of times to make blocks or crucial interceptions including one near goal-line block to deny Gemma Bryan the opening goal. In the second half, it was Hayley James who shone, providing plenty of outlet for the home side with her advanced positioning as they looked to get back into the game and it was James’ goal which sparked Leicester City’s comeback with a calm finish.

Where do we stand?

Jonathan Morgan’s side stay sixth following the defeat, they remain just one point behind London Bees in fifth whilst they are eight points behind Wednesday night’s opponents Manchester United.

Where next?

There’s an immediate chance to put this game behind them for Leicester City as Manchester United Women make the trip to Farley Way Stadium on Wednesday night. The match is sure to be a tough encounter for the Foxes and fans can secure their tickets for the clash at lcwfc.com/shop.


Date Time League Season Attendance
10/02/19 14:00 FA Women's Championship 2018/19 428


Farley Way Stadium
Farley Way, Quorn, Loughborough LE12 8TS, UK


Leicester City2
Crystal Palace Ladies3

Leicester City

Player Position Goals Assists Yellow Cards Red Cards
Demi LambourneGoalkeeper0000
Ella Franklin-FraitureDefender0000
Holly MorganDefender0000
Charlotte GreengrassDefender0000
Hayley JamesDefender1 (68')01 (52')0
Nat JohnsonMidfielder0000
Freya Thomas 9Midfielder0000
Leigh DugmoreForward1 (74')01 (68')0
Fiona Worts 11Forward0000
Libby Smith 7Forward0000
Rosie AxtenForward0000
Serena ClarkeGoalkeeper0000
Freda Ayisi 15Forward01 (68')00
Melissa Johnson 17Forward0000
Sarah JacksonDefender0000
Nicole NymeonMidfielder0000
Sophie Domingo 26Forward01 (74')00
Rachel BrownDefender0000