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Lionesses stun Gunners

1 December 2014

Battling Millwall beat League leaders

Griffiths picked the perfect time to grab her second goal of a thrilling encounter, smashing home a free-kick with just three minutes remaining to crown a magnificent performance.

Shauni Griffiths struck a dramatic late winner as Millwall Lionesses came from behind three times to record a sensational victory over current FA WSL Development League leaders Arsenal Ladies at Beckenham on Sunday afternoon.

After an even opening to the match, the home side were unlucky not to gain the upper hand on 18 minutes when Shirvae Edwards beat the keeper with a clever lob from distance, only to see her effort cannon back off the crossbar.

Six minutes later Arsenal's No.10 opened the scoring with a powerful strike off the under side of the bar, after the visitors had pressed the Millwall defence into conceding possession on the edge of their box.

Millwall responded well to going a goal behind with Grace Fisk testing the Gunners' custodian from distance, before Josie Elliott helped Fran Ali's centre into the path of Edwards, only for the keeper to pull off a great save from close range.

At the other end, Lionesses' keeper Lottie Ivison kept the scoreline respectable with a brave block to deny the visitors' No.10 and Shannel Peat went close to equalising at the break with a glancing header from Chantelle Mackie's cross, which was somehow kept out by the Arsenal keeper.

There were more defensive heroics from Naomi James on 53 minutes, as the Millwall centre-half pulled off an excellent last ditch tackle to deny the Gunners a goalscoring opportunity. While at the opposite end Edwards' well struck free-kick was kept out by the visiting keeper.

By now the Lionesses were beginning to dominate the game and twice went close as first Arsenal's No.3 almost diverted a Griffiths' cross into her own net, before James headed just over from a well worked Millwall corner routine.

The equaliser finally arrived on the hour mark as defender Hannah Wheeler rose above the Arsenal defence to head home Edwards dangerous free-kick, but the Gunners were back in front, moments later, as their No.9 slotted home an angled drive from the right of goal.

With 20 minutes remaining Millwall levelled the scores once more, courtesy of a stunning long range effort from Griffiths who found the keeper's far corner with a powerful strike from the left hand touchline.

Just seven minutes later Arsenal regained the lead as an under hit back pass allowed the Gunners No.9 in behind the defence to chip the advancing keeper, but the scores were tied five minutes later as Naomi James headed Millwall level with a bullet header from Griffiths' corner.

The home side then took the lead with three minutes remaining after Arsenal’s keeper had handled the ball outside the area. Griffiths blasted the resulting free-kick straight into the keeper's far corner to pull off a stunning comeback.

In the closing moments keeper Ivison was called into action once more, denying a certain goal from a dangerous one-on-one to secure a thrilling victory for the Lionesses.

Millwall:Ivison, Cowan (Berkeley, 81mins), Wheeler, James, Mackie, Griffiths, Ali, Fisk (Anderson-James, 68mins), Edwards, Peat (Burr, 84mins), Elliott.

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