A decent crowd, the perfect football weather, Harvey’s flowing once again in the bar. This game had everything, everything except the goals.
This isn’t a new problem for Lewes. Goals have been hard to come by for the women ever since they were elevated to the Championship and now it’s Scott Booth’s turn to try and prise open the floodgates.
As you can see from the table below, Lewes have struggled to get above a goal a game for the past four seasons:
|Season||Games||Goals||Goals per game|
Even when finishing 5th in 20/21, the team scored less than a goal per game, but they finished 22 points behind the leaders. With two goals from our first three games of this season, the hard and obvious truth is we need more goals to match the oft-stated ambition of reaching the WPL.
This game was the very epitome of a goalless draw. Neither side forced the keepers into a save they would stick in their YouTube showreel. The closest either side came to scoring was when the threatening Atlanta Primus walloped one against our bar, midway through the second half. She was substituted moments later and pretty much all threat evaporated.
Lewes threatened most on the break. Player of the match Amelia Hazard charged out of midfield on several occasions, but lacked support when she did. The ever alert Paula Howells made a couple of darting runs down the wings too, but there was little to aim at when she got into the final third. Emily Kraft worked tirelessly up front, but she was isolated and easily marked out of the game by the two Lioness centre-backs.
Yet, if we need work in the final third, there’s little wrong with our defence. It won’t be too long before someone realises Becks McKenna is playing below her level and snaps her up, so like Ollie Tanner with the men last season, let’s enjoy watching her play while we can because she was sensational. Snapping into challenges, always looking to surge forward, tidying up when she needed to.
Hack and Mason have struck up a good understanding, and Amber-Keegan Stobbs had a very solid game, shuttling between the back line and midfield. And that’s not forgetting Sophie Whitehouse, who looks like the safe pair of hands we’ve been missing. She collected every cross with defence-calming authority.
There wasn’t much calm about Lily Agg, however. The Lionesses midfielder was booked midway through the second half for a late challenge on Howells. And when her and Stobbs traded shoves on the touchline ten minutes later, she was invited to break the seal on the Radox in the away team showers.
She took her own sweet time leaving the field, and the game briefly threatened to get away from the referee as the Lionesses’ bench continued to protest. But even when calm was eventually restored, Lewes couldn’t press home the advantage.
Lewes: Whitehouse, McKenna, Hack, Mason, Johnson, Dalton, Hazard, Thompson, Stobbs, Howells, Kraft
Benchwarmers: Longhurst, Copus-Brown, Cleverly, Palmer, Heria, Moore, Angel
Supporters Club player of the match: Amelia Hazard – the Rook who looked most likely to make something happen
Video highlights from Your Instant Replay: