Leicester City Women Football Club

Season Review Part 5: December

Having worked their way up to 2nd in the table during November, enjoying a high scoring month with three vital away wins, Jonathan Morgan’s side now faced two crucial cup games in a weather hit December to keep their season on track.

Chorley 0 – 3 LCWFC
Date: Sunday 3rd December 2017
Competition: FA Women’s Cup (2nd Round)
Venue: Jim Fowler Memorial Ground
Goalscorers: Nat Johnson ’12, Leah Cudone ’35 ’53

Leicester City Women’s FA Cup journey for 2017/18 began early in December as they travelled up to Chorley Ladies for the 2nd time this season, having enjoyed a 5-1 win over the Lancashire outfit in September in the FA WPL League Cup.  For this match, LCWFC had strengthened their side with the addition of striker Leah Cudone who had come off the bench against West Bromwich Albion last Sunday, and came into the starting line up for her first start against Chorley.

The Foxes started the game strongly and just four minutes into the game forced the keeper into a fine stop to deny Leigh Dugmore the opening goal. shortly after however, the Foxes did open the scoring, a low free kick into the area from Leigh Dugmore caught out the defence and Shauna Cossens ran onto the ball to fire a low shot in, initially saved by the keeper, Cossens headed the ball back in towards goal where Nat Johnson ran onto the ball and fired home.

Having taken the lead, Leicester kept pushing the Chorley defence to try and exploit the spaces and were rewarded 10 minutes before the break when Ellie May put a perfectly weighted ball into the box for Leah Cudone to get onto the end of and slide the ball home for her first goal for Leicester.

Having been caught out on the break against Chorley last time out, Leicester were wary of the pace that the opposition possessed, but the defence were marshalled well and comfortably dealt with the threat of Chorley Ladies. Leicester could have been out of sight before the break, as they were awarded a penalty after Sophie Domingo was brought down whilst on the charge towards goal. Leigh Dugmore stepped up to take the penalty and saw her initial effort come back off the post, the striker slotted home the rebound, but the goal was ruled out for having not touched another player.

In the second half, quick to make amends for the penalty, Dugmore was on the charge again, a curling shot from the edge of the area was comfortably saved by the Chorley ‘keeper before Dugmore then turned provider, for Ellie May to have a strike, but again the goalkeeper was equal to the effort. Minutes later and Leicester did have their third, Sophie Domingo doing well on the right hand side to evade the challenge of the Chorley defence and find a well placed pass infield to Leah Cudone, the newcomer netting her second of the game with a low effort drilled into the bottom corner.

With just over half an hour left to play, Leicester continued in their search for goals but were unable to make their dominance count further on the scoreboard. The final score of 3-0 enough to see them safely into the 3rd Round draw.

 

LCWFC 3 – 1 Loughborough Foxes
Date: Sunday 17th December 2017
Competition: Leicestershire FA County Cup (Semi-Final)
Venue: Farley Way Stadium
Goalscorers: Sophie Domingo ’16, Paige Stewart ’59, Rosie Axten ’79 | Paige Stewart (OG) ’50

Having been handed a bye into the semi finals after Desford Women withdrew, Leicester City had strong ambitions of reaching the Final for the 11th time in the past 14 years. Standing in their way, was a Loughborough Foxes side who had beaten Leicester in last season’s County Cup Final, with the two sides also recently being drawn out together in the next round of the FA WPL League Cup.

Eager to set the tone for the match, Leicester attacked straight from the off and just 15 minutes into the game the hosts’ found themselves in front. A drilled corner into the box was cleared only as far as Sophie Domingo on the edge of the area, and the England Under 18 striker fired a powerful shot through the body of players and into the net to hand City the perfect start. Things looked to have got even better for Jonathan Morgan’s side just 5 minutes later when Leigh Dugmore thought she’d doubled the lead, only for her shot to clip the outside of the post on its way out.

With half an hour on the clock, Loughborough Foxes began to grow into the game, with two former City players, Becky Knight and Eva Rogers combining well before the latter saw a shot well saved by Scarlett Field. by the 45th minute, it was Leicester who were happiest for the half time whistle to sound, whilst Loughborough Foxes may feel they should have been level having applied plenty of pressure in the final 15 minutes without reward.

Early in the second half, Loughborough Foxes continued pressure finally paid off as a low ball into the box was flicked goal-wards by Becky Knight and unfortunately turned home by City midfielder Paige Stewart to hand the opposition the equaliser. Rather than spurring Loughborough Foxes on to grab the winner, it was Leicester who reacted strongest after conceding, with Leigh Dugmore firing an early warning shot low into the side netting just 90 seconds after the equaliser.

5 minutes later and Leicester were back in front, Rosie Axten’s attempt to switch the ball out wide ricocheted off two Loughborough players before bouncing kindly for Paige Stewart who made amends for her own goal by firing a dipping volley into the back of the net from 25 yards out.

10 minutes from time, Leicester secured their passage into the County Cup Final as Rosie Axten picked the ball up on the edge of the area, twisted her way past two defenders before firing a shot that looked destined for the far corner, only for a wicked deflection off a defender, to wrong foot the keeper and send the ball into the opposite corner of the net.

December in numbers

LCWFC Goals: 6
Top Goal Scorer: Leah Cudone (2)
League Standing: 2nd