Leicester City Women Football Club

Season Review Part 1: August

After a positive season in 2016/17 which saw Jonathan Morgan’s side finish 3rd in the Northern Division, reach the FA WPL Plate Semi Final and the Final of the Leicestershire County FA Cup, excitement was building around the football club for the 2017/18 season and what could be over the course of the next 10 months. Having played a number of competitive friendlies in pre-season, Leicester City Women hosted Bradford City on the opening day of the season before travelling to Stoke City the following Sunday.

Rosie Axten in action against Bradford City Women

LCWFC 2 – 0 Bradford City
Date: Sunday 20th August 2017
Competition: FA WPL Northern Division
Venue: Riverside Pavilion
Goalscorers: Rosie Axten ’42, Charlotte Greengrass ’50

Having finished 3rd in the Northern Division in 2016/17, Jonathan Morgan and his coaches recruited well during the summer and the home game against Bradford City saw 7 players making their debuts for Leicester City. Charlotte Clarke, Ria Acton, Paige Stewart, Ellie May and Leigh Dugmore whilst Olivia Mitcham and Imogen Hunt both came off the bench in the second half.

It was Leigh Dugmore who got the first sight of goal, driving a low shot from the edge of the area to force a smart save out of the visiting keeper. Leicester dominated much of the tempo and pace of the game but were made to wait until the 42nd minute to find the breakthrough, Paige Stewart delivered a free kick deep into the 18-yard box and the ball bounced kindly for Rosie Axten to loop the ball over the keeper and into the back of the net.

The Foxes saw that lead into half time and came out in the second half determined to increase their advantage. It took just 5 minutes after the restart for the lead to be extended, Rosie Axten turning provider from the corner flag as a dangerous ball bounced inside the six yard box and defender Charlotte Greengrass was on hand to control the ball before smashing it low into the corner of the net.

City could have extended their lead further throughout the final half hour, but shots from distance failed to properly test the Bradford City keeper.

Having suffered a 4-0 defeat away to AFC Fylde on the opening day of the 16/17 season, Jonathan Morgan was delighted to have got the first three points of the season already on the board.

Leigh Dugmore on the ball away to Stoke City Ladies

Stoke City 1 – 3 LCWFC
Date: Sunday 27th August 2017
Competition: FA WPL Northern Division
Venue: Community Drive
Goalscorers: Holly Morgan (OG) ‘3 | Rosie Axten ’78 ’80, Sophie Domingo ’88

Leicester recorded back to back wins to start the season having come from behind to beat Stoke City Ladies.

The hosts found themselves in front just three minutes into the match as Leicester Captain Holly Morgan diverted a cross into her own goal and the potters could have extended their lead minutes later but for a fine save from Charlotte Clarke.

Leicester pushed and pushed for a way back into the game but for large parts of the first half they struggled to convert possession into chances and Stoke City’s back line defended well. The hosts had a rare attack into the Leicester half moments before the break but Holly Morgan was on hand to clear the danger with a superbly timed slide tackle.

After the game, Manager Jonathan Morgan spoke about the strong words he used in the dressing room at half time, but it seemed to do the trick as Leicester City began pushing higher up the pitch and testing the Stoke City keeper from all angles. The introduction of substitutes Ellie May and Sophie Domingo also proved key as the fresh legs helped Leicester push on further and eventually the pressure paid off as Rosie Axten finally found a way past the home keeper to get the sides level.

Rather than settle for the point, Leicester continued to press Stoke City’s back line and just two minutes later The Foxes found themselves in front as Rosie Axten netted her second of the game with a superb effort from the edge of the penalty area.

Having led for a long period of the match, understandably, Stoke City were disappointed to now find themselves behind, they carved open two good opportunities to bring the scores level again but Charlotte Clarke prevented the first before Hayley James made a great block on the edge of the area.

Leicester then killed the game off with just two minutes remaining, Substitute Sophie Domingo found herself some space inside the area and a well timed ball into the box was finished calmly into the bottom corner to secure a second successive three points for Jonathan Morgan’s side.

August in numbers

LCWFC Goals: 5
Top Goal Scorer: Rosie Axten (3)
League Standing: 3rd