Leicester City Women Football Club

Season Review Part 2: September

Leicester City Women headed into a busy September after back to back wins in August, The Foxes faced three league fixtures as well as progressing through two League Cup ties scoring 5 against both Chorley Ladies and The New Saints Ladies in the early rounds.

Chorley Ladies 1 – 5 LCWFC
Date: Sunday 3rd September 2017
Competition: FA WPL League Cup (Determining Round)
Venue: Jim Fowler Memorial Ground
Goalscorers: Laura Walker ’12 | Sophie Domingo ’18 ’26, Olivia Mitcham ’32, Rosie Axten ’81, Kim Farrow ’83

Leicester City Women got their league cup campaign underway with a 5-1 victory over Chorley Ladies. Having lost at this stage last season, in a 1-0 defeat to Newcastle United, Manager Jonathan Morgan named a strong side to take on the Lancashire side.

The match didn’t get off to the best start for The Foxes with the host’s taking the lead inside the opening 15 minutes. Leicester recovered however as Sophie Domingo pulled the visitors level just 6 minutes later, Olivia Mitcham did well to win the ball back from the Chorley keeper before laying it back to Leigh Dugmore who unselfishly put the ball on a plate for Domingo to open her account for the season.

8 minutes later and Leicester had turned the game around, Sophie Domingo again getting on the ball inside the area and calmly slotting into the back of the net to double both hers and Leicesters tally for the day.

Once The Foxes took the lead, there was no looking back as they took a strong hold on the game 10 minutes before the break when Olivia Mitcham got her first goal in Leicester colours, Leigh Dugmore again providing the assist as she beat two defenders into the penalty area before pulling the ball back for Mitcham to side foot the ball past the keeper.

Late into the second half, Leicester extended their lead as Rosie Axten and Kim Farrow both found the back of the net from the edge of the penalty area and set up a trip to newly promoted The New Saints Ladies at the end of September.

LCWFC 1 – 2 Middlesbrough
Date: Sunday 10th September 2017
Competition: FA WPL Northern Division
Venue: Farley Way Stadium
Goalscorers: Leigh Dugmore ’21 | Ellie Dobson ’19, Emily Scarr ’81

Jonathan Morgan’s side suffered their first defeat of the season at home to Middlesbrough. The Foxes started brightly cause the ‘Boro defence problems in the early stages but without breaking the deadlock. It was the away side who took the lead first when Ellie Dobson curled in an impressive effort from the edge of the area.

The Foxes took just two minutes to level the scores up, Rosie Axten did well on the right hand side to beat two defenders before crashing a shot against the underside of the crossbar, Leigh Dugmore was on hand though to calmly control the ball and slot home the equaliser.

The game was short of clear cut chances, early in the second half, Sophie Domingo went close with a half chance but it was well saved by the Middlesbrough ‘keeper. The two sides looked destined to share the points until the visitors retook the lead 10 minutes from time after a deep free-kick into the box which The Foxes failed to clear and Emily Scarr pounced to secure all three points for the away side.

LCWFC 2 – 2 Nottingham Forest
Date: Sunday 17th September 2017
Competition: FA WPL Northern Division
Venue: Farley Way Stadium
Goalscorers: Nat Johnson ’25, Leigh Dugmore ’68 | Samantha Conroy ’20, Natasha Hudson ’62

Having suffered defeat to Middlesbrough last time out, Leicester headed into their first East Midlands Derby of the season looking to get back to winning ways. A new look Nottingham Forest side was struggling for consistency under new Manager Graham Abercrombie but it was the visitors who struck first when Samantha Conroy turned home a low cross into the box to give the visitors the lead.

After a slow start, Leicester upped the tempo with both Leigh Dugmore and Rosie Axten testing the keeper from the edge of the penalty area but Becky Thomas comfortably dealt with both attempts.

5 minutes after falling behind, Leicester found themselves back on level terms after a superb strike from Nat Johnson, [Later voted the 2017/18 Goal of the Season] the City midfielder picked the ball up just inside the Forest half and had plenty of time and space to pick out the top right hand corner, the ball crashed down off the underside of the bar bounced inside the goalmouth before being scrambled away but the goal was given by the Assistant Referee and Leicester were level.

The game petered towards the half time whistle with neither side finding much space to get a clear cut shot away, the visitors thought they’d taken the lead inside stoppage time but an excellent goal-line clearance from Holly Morgan denied the visitors after a well worked corner.

Shortly after the hour mark, Leicester found themselves behind again as Natasha Hudson curled an effort low into the corner from just inside the 18 yard box after a lapse in concentration from the City defence.

Again The Foxes pushed for a way back into the game and were rewarded with a perfect opportunity just 5 minutes later. Leicester were awarded a penalty for a foul on Leigh Dugmore, the City striker stepped up to take the penalty and converted it with a low shot into the bottom corner to restore parity.

Both sides pushed for a winner but to no avail, as Jonathan Morgan’s side had to settle for a point after twice coming from behind but feeling they created enough chances to earn all three points.

Derby County 1 – 1 LCWFC
Date: Wednesday 20th September 2017
Competition: FA WPL Northern Division
Venue: Mickleover Sports
Goalscorers: Andi Bell ‘6 | Sophie Domingo ’90

Leicester’s final league game of September was their first midweek match of the season as they made the short trip to Mickleover to take on a Derby County side who had lost their last two matches 1-0 having won on the opening day of the season.

Leicester started the stronger of the two sides but were unlucky to find themselves behind after just 6 minutes when Andi Bell pounced on a loose ball inside the Leicester half and side footed the ball past Charlotte Clarke to give the hosts the lead.

Straight from the restart Leicester looked to find a way back into the game, some resolute defending denied both Leigh Dugmore and Paige Crossman from netting an equaliser before the half time break.

In the second half, Leicester Manager Jonathan Morgan made a triple substitution in the hope of getting something out of the game, Shauna Cossens, Sophie Domingo and Olivia Mitcham all came on just before the hour mark and it was the latter who had the first chance of the second half, heading a City corner just over the bar.

Heading into the 90th minute it looked like Leicester would be leaving empty handed until some great work from Paige Stewart picked out Olivia Mitcham for her to head the ball into the path of fellow substitute Sophie Domingo who calmly took the ball into her stride before slotting past the oncoming keeper to spark jubilant scenes on the touchline.

 

 

Unfortunately for the Foxes, there wasn’t enough time to go in search of the winner and Manager Jonathan Morgan again spoke about missed chances as the Foxes dropped to 4th in the table following their third game without a win.

The New Saints 2 – 5 LCWFC
Date: Sunday 24th September 2017
Competition: FA WPL League Cup (1st Round)
Venue: Park Hall Stadium
Goalscorers: Kimberley Bebbington ’58, Charlotte Canlett ’61 | Leigh Dugmore ’16, Nat Johnson ’35 ’72, Olivia Mitcham ’52, Sophie Domingo ’90

Leicester’s final match in September saw them travel to newly promoted side The New Saints. Having enjoyed a bright start to their life in Midlands Division One, they looked to put pressure on Leicester early on with Michelle Pasco driving an early effort at goal but it was well held by the City ‘Keeper Erin Hannah.

Leicester grew into the game slowly but took the lead inside the opening 20 minutes as Leigh Dugmore pounced on a loose ball and slotted into a near empty net to open the scoring.

10 minutes before the half time whistle, Leicester City doubled their lead as Dugmore turned provider, pulling the ball in field for Nat Johnson who made no mistake from close range to extend the Foxes’ lead.

Early in the second half, Sophie Domingo was unfortunate not to see an impressive effort go in from the edge of the area as she beat the defender for pace before firing a shot over the oncoming keeper only to see it come out off the crossbar, Olivia Mitcham was on hand though to turn the ball home and put Leicester City into a commanding 3-0 lead.

Despite Leicester seemingly dominating the match, the hosts were awarded a penalty just before the hour mark which Kimberley Bebbington stepped up to take and fired a ruthless shot into the top corner. At 3-1, this sparked the hosts back into life and three minutes later they found themselves right back in the game as Charlotte Canlett reduced the deficit to just one with half an hour still to play.

The Foxes however retook control of the game and 15 minutes from time, Nat Johnson rose highest from an in swinging corner to head home and restore Leicester’s two goal cushion. The goal came at the perfect time to knock the confidence of The New Saints and seal Leicester’s progression into the 2nd round.

There was still time for one more goal in the game, as Sophie Domingo netted a 90th minute goal for Leicester after some good work from substitute Imogen Hunt who played a perfectly timed ball into the path of Sophie Domingo who fired it first time past the oncoming keeper and into the back of the net.

September in numbers

LCWFC Goals: 14
Top Goal Scorer: Sophie Domingo (4)
League Standing: 5th