Umotong strike can't prevent FA Cup defeat for Rooks
Lewes’ Vitality Women’s FA Cup campaign came to an end as a disappointing afternoon at The Dripping Pan brought a 2-1 defeat to Southampton.
The Rooks had the first chance of the game on two minutes, when Sophie O’Rourke saw her shot from close range well saved by Southampton goalkeeper Kayla Rendell.
Two minutes later, Ini Umotong did well to keep the ball in play by the touchline. She then played in a low cross that was just out of Lucy Ashworth-Clifford’s reach.
Mollie Rouse played a dangerous free-kick into the Southampton area that was just out of the reach of the leaping Umotong. Good play from the Rooks allowed them to work some space and play in a dangerous cross. The ball fell to O’Rourke, but she sent her shot over the goal.
On 34 minutes, Lewes won a penalty. Megan Mackey did well to press defender Rosie Parnell and the Rooks’ No.24 was pulled down inside the area to win the penalty. Umotong stepped up to take it but saw her spot-kick saved by Rendell.
Saints made Lewes pay for the missed chance on 39 minutes when they took the lead. A free-kick was crossed in and it dropped to Georgie Freeland, whose dipping effort beat Tatiana Saunders to give the visitors the lead.
Emma Jones had two early chances in the second half, with her first being well saved by Rendell and the second whistling past the top corner.
Just after the hour mark, Umotong brought the game level. Ashworth-Clifford played in a corner and Georgia Timms won the first header which fell to Umotong, who directed it past the goalkeeper from close range. The Rooks continued to press after the equaliser as Ashworth-Clifford hit the crossbar.
However, on 78 minutes, Rachel Panting scored the winning goal for the Saints. Panting fired a first time shot from range to find the top corner and beat Saunders.
Lewes looked for a late equaliser to take the game to extra time but couldn’t beat the Southampton defence. The whistle was soon blown for full-time, meaning the Rooks exit the competition in the Fourth Round.
Lewes: Saunders, Boswell (Quayle 88), Cleverly (C), Hack, O’Rourke, Rouse, Savva (Leek 55), Mackey (Jhamat 88), Jones (Timms 55), Umotong, Ashworth-Clifford. Subs not used: Cheeseman, Lane.
* It's back to Women's Championship action for Lewes this Sunday when they host Leicester (2pm).
Report by Marcus Lee for Lewes FC