Gibbons on target as Lionesses share WSL2 spoils
Millwall Lionesses kicked off a busy period of three games in six days with a tough 1-1 draw at WSL2 promotion hopefuls Yeovil Town Ladies.
Fliss Gibbons opened her account for the season to put Millwall 1-0 ahead just before the break, but Yeovil grabbed a late equaliser through Sarah Wiltshire to secure a share of the spoils.
"Our whole commitment, passion and desire was worthy of the three points," said Lionesses manager Rebecca Sawiuk.
"We felt hard done by but I’m sure Jamie (Sherwood – Yeovil manager) will say the same.
"The atmosphere was electric and they brought the game to life, it was end-to-end. I think our players will be disappointed, but the spectators and everyone involved got their money's worth."
It was Millwall who started quickest, Ciara Sherwood hooking a left-footed volley wide in the opening minute. Sarah Quantrill was called into action moments later palming away a corner which threatened to go straight in and then produced a point blank stop from Nicola Cousins.
The Lionesses denied the home side any clear cut chances, though there was a scare after 27 minutes when Helen Bleazard lhad an effort ruled out for offside and then five minutes later Dan Carlton headed a corner off the line.
It was Millwall who scored the all-important opening goal three minutes before the break, Leighanne Robe’s long free kick into the box was met by Gibbons who looped a header over Charlotte Haynes.
The momentum swung the way of the home side after the break and Yeovil pressed hard for an equaliser as Cousins headed against the bar and then shortly after Wiltshire curled an effort that smacked the foot of the post.
A vocal and passionate home crowd pushed their side on and after 74 minutes Bleazard won the ball near the corner flag, rolled a cross to Wiltshire who smashed into the top corner to level things up.
Millwall went straight on the hunt for a winner, Lucy Loomes almost gathering as Hannah Short slipped in her own box, and the striker then having a volley palmed away by Haynes.
Both sides could have won it in the final 10 minutes; Yeovil’s Annie Heatherson was flagged offside as she diverted a shot into the net and Loomes prodded Emily Heaslip’s cross under Haynes, but a defender managed to block it on the line
Players from both teams were out on their feet at the final whistle after a tough contest between two strong WSL 2 sides, and they will do it all over again on Saturday 30th April at The Den as part of a unique double-header with the men's team.
Millwall: Quantrill, Cowan (Cole, 80mins), Fisk, Robe, Strugnell, Sherwood (Hincks, 60mins), Maple (Heaslip, 45mins), Carlton, Wynne, Loomes, Gibbons. Subs: Burr, Cole, Gaylor, Nicol, Babajide, Hincks, Heaslip.
There is little time to relax following this 1-1 draw and the Lionesses are back in action at London Bees this Wednesday.
"The turnaround in the week is tight," added Sawiuk. "Any person in the group could be in the starting XI at the moment – competition is fierce."
Tweets by @MillwallFC