Lionesses slide to unlucky defeatThe Lionesses suffered their fourth successive defeat in the WSL 2 but a solid performance will give the team confidence ahead of Thursday’s home match with Watford Ladies.
Manager Alberto Kurti handed debut starts to development team prospect Leanne Cowan and striker Josie Elliot, while Naomi Cole skippered the side in the absence of club captain Dionne Lennon.
In typical fashion Cole led from the front and could have put the Lionesses ahead after just five minutes of the first-half. Sadly, having climbed above the Bees defence to meet a corner, her header bounced agonizingly wide of the mark.
Lillie Billson was the Lionesses' main threat in the first-half and went close to breaking the deadlock when she hit the bar from a tight angle, after shaking off the attentions of Amber Gaylor.
Having dominated the opening half, Millwall were unlucky to find themselves behind on 52 minutes as Gaylor pushed forward and smashed the ball home from 25 yards to give the Bees a shock lead.
The Lionesses responded swiftly and debutant Josie Elliot came close to crowning her first start with a goal after a superb solo run, but unfortunately her finish was just off target.
Determined to record their first victory in 14 games, the Bees defended resolutely, reducing Millwall to a series of speculative long-range efforts that ultimately came to nothing.
Speaking after the final whistle, Lionesses boss Alberto Kurti was at a loss to explain his side’s defeat, saying, “Football's cruel - I don't think we deserved to lose that game. I can't fault the girls, what I said to them was to go out there and play to their potential and they did that today”.
He continued, “It was extremely hard to take but that's football and we will crack on to the next one. Credit to London Bees because they deserved the luck, they are a good, young side.”
London Bees (4-4-2): Harris, Nuttall, Brooks, Beaumont, Chappell, Gaylor, Cooper, Anderson (Huggins 71), Goss, Mallett, Hinchcliffe (Buyugiray 75, Hurley 89).
Subs not used: Davies, Miller, Hopcroft, Samuels.
Red cards: none.
Millwall Lionesses (4-4-2): Quantrell, Cowan, Cole, Davies, Strugnell, Billson, Maple, Agg, McKeag (Lamb 68), Stenning (Albert 62), Elliot (Edwards 89).
Subs not used: Sherwood, Malesevic, Dempster.
Red cards: none.