Lewes pay penalty against London Bees
The Bees had only won once this season before the visit of the Rooks to The Hive, but they produced a display that belied their lowly position, although they survived a couple of late scares.
After starting brightly, the hosts had a good early chance from a Charlie Estcourt corner, from which Georgia Robert was unable to keep her header down.
An even better opening came when Amelia Hazard got in behind down the left and fired the ball across the face of goal, but Pickett lifted over from close range.
The Bees continued to press after the restart, with Estcourt having a free kick from 30 yards out saved by Lewes goalkeeper Tatiana Saunders.
They finally had their reward after 56 minutes when Pickett was hauled down in the area by Rhian Cleverly and the striker picked herself up to find the top corner from the penalty spot.
Estcourt then had another free kick well kept out by Saunders before Ellie Leek fired a long-range effort wide, as Lewes searched for an equaliser.
They had one big chance in stoppage time, when Emma Jones got in off a mistake by Evie Gane, but Bees captain Sarah Quantrill stood strong to make the save.
And hearts were in mouths on the home bench when Megan Mackey crashed a brilliant effort from outside the area against the bar with almost the last kick.
To follow the action and sign up for The FA Player’s live Barclays FA Women’s Super League coverage visit womenscompetitions.thefa.com London Bees midfielder Nicola Gibson said:“I think when it’s 1-0 it’s always a bit ‘backs against the wall,’ but I do think we dominated for large periods.
“It’s been a long time coming, so a clean sheet and a 1-0 win is something we’re very happy with.
“Lewes this season are very hard to break down and they’ve got a lot of results against good teams, so it wasn’t going to be a game where you’re going to get a handful of goals.
“When you get an opportunity, you need to take it and defend for your lives if you have to.
“We’d been knocking at the door, but we haven’t always been able to get the goals this season, so for us, you can’t ask for much more than a striker putting the ball in the back of the net with a penalty.
“The three points were all that mattered today, however we got there.”
Lewes midfielder Megan Mackey said: “It was in the dying moments of the game, we were trying to get a goal and it came out to me and I just hit it. It just didn’t dip enough.
“It would have been nice if that had gone in, but it is what it is.
“We don’t know if it was a penalty or not, but I thought we just weren’t at the races today.
“We had half-an-hour to come back and we just couldn’t get going, but in the last 15 minutes we dug deep, got in their half, had some chances and it would have been a different game if we’d played like that for the whole 90 minutes.
“We just weren’t playing as a team. We were playing as individuals and we just couldn’t keep the ball.
“One of our strengths has been being good defensively as well and we weren’t really good at that, either.”
London Bees (4-1-3-2): Sarah Quantrill, Florence Gamby, Georgia Robert, Evie Gane, Nicola Gibson, Charlie Estcourt, Mel Filis, Sophie McLean, Brooke Nunn, Amelia Hazard, Lauren Pickett
Substitutes:Marianne Taho for Pickett 80’, Georgie Giddings for Nunn 84’
Substitutes not used: Faye Hazelton, Hayley West, Billie Brooks, Mollie Dench, Tricia Gould
Yellow cards:Hazard 32’, McLean 44’
Lewes (4-4-2): Tatiana Saunders, Sammy Quayle, Rhian Cleverly, Ellie Hack, Sophie O’Rourke, Megan Mackey, Danni Lane, Filippa Savva, Emily Donovan, Ellie Leek, Simran Jhamat
Substitutes:Lucy Porter for Lane 67’, Hannah Griffin for Donovan 67’, Emma Jones for Leek 76’, Paula Howells for Jhamat 76’
Substitutes not used:Laura Hartley, Nicola Cousins, Ellie Noble, Charley Boswell, Katie Rood
Yellow card:Cleverly 55’