It was fifth against sixth in the FA Women’s Championship this afternoon as Lewes faced London City Lionesses at The Dripping Pan.
Any chances of promotion are almost certainly out of either side’s reach whilst neither is in any danger of relegation. Therefore, all that really was at stake was bragging rights although, that didn’t mean that the two clubs would hold back.
It was the hosts who drew first blood as they went ahead inside the opening 10 minutes. After some very good interplay down the left flank, the space opened up for Emma Jones to deliver in a wonderful cross to the back post. The first effort was well saved by Shae Yanez but the second rebounded off the upright and fell straight to Ini Umotong to fire into the roof of the net.
The visitors were then level shortly afterwards when Tatiana Saunders and Sammy Quayle blundered, allowing the ball to find Atlanta Primus who fired home the equaliser.
London City Lionesses then had the lead as the ball was laid off to Kallie Balfour who emphatically hammered it first time into the far top corner of the net.
The travelling side were given a golden opportunity to take a two-goal as they were awarded a penalty after Nicola Cousins was deemed to have handled in the area. Alli Murphy had the responsibility of stepping up to the spot but she fired her effort well over, much to the relief of Lewes.
Lewes were then awarded a penalty of their own as Mollie Rouse went down under what seemed like minimal contact. After protestations from the Lionesses, the referee was unmoved and Umotong buried the spot-kick to make it 2-2.
It then seemed like the points would be shared as the game crept towards full-time, however, there was a sting in the tale. A corner in stoppage time was whipped into the Lewes area and it was cleared only as far as Ellie Mason who fired first time through a crowd of players and the ball nestled into the bottom corner. That was virtually the last action of the game as the match finished 3-2 to Melissa Phillips side.
It was a devastating result for The Rooks as they had clawed their way back into the fixture only for the points to be snatched away from them in the final minute. The win now means that London City Lionesses go level on points with Liverpool although, the Merseyside club do have two games in hand following the postponement of their fixture with Coventry United. Still, psychologically it will be a tremendous boost for The Pride who will feel that they should be rubbing shoulders with those at the top of the table.