Lewes tame London City Lionesses to claim first league win

Lewes picked up their first win of the FA Women’s Championship season as Ini-Abasi Umotong’s early strike was enough to beat London City Lionesses 1-0.

Tuesday, 14th September 2021, 1:55 pm
Updated Tuesday, 14th September 2021, 1:56 pm
Ini-Abasi Umotong wheels away in celebration after netting for Lewes against London City Lionesses. Picture by James Boyes

The Rooks have had a tough start to the season with defeat to Bristol City and a Covid-enforced postponement against Charlton but bounced back in style in front of their home support.

Umotong needed just four minutes to get the game’s first and only goal to seal all three points for Lewes.

London City Lionesses had come close to opening the scoring when striking the woodwork just minutes into the contest.

But that proved to be the early wake-up call Lewes needed in front of their vocal support, going down the other end and finding the back of the net.

Freda Ayisi played an exquisite through ball to release Paula Howells, who breached the Lionesses defence and had a run on goal.

Howells cut inside the last defender and her strike cannoned off the post before the ball fell perfectly into the path of Nigerian international Umotong, who had the simplest of tasks to tuck home the rebound.

That was a second goal of the FA Women’s Championship season for Umotong, who is already showing just how big an asset she is in the second tier.

Lewes were close to doubling their lead when Izzy Dalton’s wicked free kick from the left-hand side was wonderfully tipped onto the bar by London City goalkeeper Shae Yanez on the stroke of the break.

Clear-cut chances were limited in the second half with Lewes unable to kill off the contest.

But with the Lionesses unable to fashion many of their own attacks, the home side held on for three vital points, with relief palpable from fans and players alike come the final whistle.

Lewes manager Simon Parker said: “It was great to get the win, we showed a different side to ourselves than the previous week.

“Last week we didn’t necessarily perform that well and didn’t show the character that we usually do. So it was great today that when things were not going our way that we could grind out a result and show a good bit of resilience.

“I’m really proud of the character. The players have been fantastic, they gave us some hard decisions on who to play in the week.

“The fans being here, and how vocal they were and how much they got behind us, really helped.”