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Millwall Lionesses suffer SSE Women's FA Cup exit

21 March 2016

Sawiuk's side lose out to Reading Women

Millwall Lionesses faced their toughest test to date in this season's SSE Women's FA Cup against Reading Women on Sunday and were ultimately undone at Wycombe's Adams Park ground with the WSL 1 side running out 2-0 winners.

Lucy Loomes who had the Lionesses' first effort with a volley on the turn which didn't have enough behind it to trouble keeper Grace Moloney.

Rebecca Sawiuk's side produced a smart move in the 24th minute when Francesca Strugnell combined with Lilli Maple, who played Loomes in down the right channel, but the young forward pulled her shot wide of goal.

Helen Ward caused trouble for the Lionesses not long afterwards, playing a dangerous low ball across the box and moments later breaking through behind the defence, but Sarah Quantrill raced off her line to smother.

The home side were growing in confidence and early on in the second-half Ward, harshly judged offside earlier on, broke through with Quantrill having to race out to make the save once more.

Despite some resolute defending from the Lionesses, the deadlock was broken just after the hour mark as Emma Follis raced into the box, skipped past Leighanne Robe before pulling the ball back for Jade Boho-Sayo to fire into the roof of the net.

Reading doubled their advantage 12 minutes later as Follis again got behind the back four, this time rounding Quantrill herself and shooting past the recovering Naomi Cole on the line.

Lauren Bruton could and maybe should have made it 3-0 moments later but shot over.

As Sawiuk's side looked for a way back into the game, substitute Rinsola Babajide beat Kirsty McGee on the right flank and pulled a dangerous ball into the box which Reading failed to clear, but Maple's hooked shot bounced off the post.

Unable to trouble Moloney's goal much further in the dying moments, the Lionesses SSE Women's FA Cup run came to an end.

But despite the defeat, Sawiuk was quite rightly pleased with the efforts of her players, who proved stubborn opposition for the WSL 1 side.

"The performance, the attitude, the overnight preparation and the organisation were executed very well," she said.

"That is, in my opinion, Reading's strongest Xl. We frustrated them and dictated what they did. I'll make sure the girls know how happy I am."

The Lionesses' WSL 2 campaign starts this Thursday away at Oxford United Women, following by their home opener against Everton Ladies next Saturday.

Millwall Lionesses: Quantrill, Strugnell, Cole, Robe, Brooks, Carlton, Maple, Sherwood, Wynne, Gibbons, Loomes. Subs: Gaylor, Cowan, Babajide, Nicol, Mallett

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