Lionesses Outgun Canons
Great teamwork and fluid passing defeat Chichester in opening league match
LEAGUE: Sussex Girls Development League
HOME TEAM: Chichester Canons 0
AWAY TEAM: Lewes Lionesses 1 (Hall)
Lewes Lionesses kicked off their league campaign with a convincing 1-0 win away to Chichester Canons on Saturday. In the same fixture last season the Lionesses suffered one of their heaviest defeats, but this was a team transformed with every player making a vital contribution to ensure the win.
From the first minute Lewes played fluent passing hockey. Defenders Gina Owalobi and Lola Lazzati linked up well with Kate Brown and Hannah Chevassut on the wings, while Afra Hussain’s penetrating runs often put Chichester on the back foot. Many a cross was put into the D but the home team packed their defence and repeatedly kept Lewes out.
At the other end, Chichester attacked with confidence but the Lionesses’ midfielders Lara Clayson and Emily Chevassut harried the Chichester runners and broke up many of the opposition moves. On the occasions Chichester broke through the midfield, Libby Youngman was on hand to make the vital tackle.
The defence was so robust that goalkeeper Olivia Wiles did not have to make a single save from a Chichester shot, although she showed sharp reactions to kick out a wayward backward pass.
Despite the Lewes pressure, as the game moved into the second half fears grew that the Lionesses may not get the win their play deserved. A robust Chichester defence combined with the Lionesses’ propensity to make one pass too many in and around the D made a goalless draw look the likely result.
But the Lewes goal finally arrived with ten minutes to spare. It came from what was probably their most flowing move of the match: Kate Brown and Hannah Chevassut linking up with Afra Hussein who passed across the D for Rosie Hall to smash in at the left hand corner.
In a match played in a friendly spirit against a strong opposition, the Lionesses’ tireless effort and buoyant team spirit won through. The lionesses next match is against Burgess Hill on Sunday (23rd Sep).