Report: Albion tame the Lionesses at Princes Park

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Albion secured their place in the Continental League Cup quarter-finals with a relatively comfortable 4-2 victory over London City Lionesses.

By James Hilsum • 11 December 2019

By Kyle Hemsley
Matilde Lundorf celebrates her goal.
  • Albion beat London City Lionesses 4-2 to advance to the Continental League Cup quarter-finals
  • Matilde Lundorf, Ini Umotong, Harley Bennett (own goal) and Emily Simpkins on target for Albion
  • Evie Clarke and Ellie Mason score for London City
  • Hope Powell’s team play Manchester City in the Barclays FA Women’s Super League on Sunday

Strikes from Matilde Lundorf, Ini Umotong, Emily Simpkins and a Harley Bennett own goal saw Hope Powell’s team secure a safe passage into the last eight of the competition, knowing that a win would guarantee progress.

A spirited City side certainly played their part in the contest though, after briefly levelling the scores with Evie Clarke’s highly-contentious penalty and Ellie Mason’s well-taken shot from distance.

By Kyle Hemsley
Aileen Whelan in action against London City Lionesses.

Powell spoke about her desire to mix up the squad before the game and made six changes to the side that lost 1-0 to Tottenham Hostpur on Sunday, reintroducing 16-year-old Libby Bance into the line-up following her assured performance against London Bees in the last match of the competition.

The first chance of the game fell to City when Vanessa Susanna strode forward down the left flank and picked out Annie Rossiter, and the latter’s effort forced Sophie Harris into a comfortable save.

But Albion broke the deadlock through Lundorf in the 18th minute, as the Dane met a Fliss Gibbons cross at the far post and fired past Lucy Thomas to score her first goal for the club.

Powell’s team passed the ball around with relative ease at that point against a City team that became increasingly camped in their own half as the game wore on.

By Kyle Hemsley
Albion celebrate Matilde Lundorf's first half goal.

Aileen Whelan was next to try her luck for Powell’s team at the end of a free-flowing move with a long-range shot that flew just over the crossbar, in what was a relatively straightforward first half for the Seagulls.

The task became anything but straightforward within a minute of the restart, when referee Abigail Byrne inexplicably pointed to the penalty spot after Simpkins seemingly made good contact with the ball in a challenge on Rossiter.

Clarke sent Harris the wrong way from the resulting spot-kick, with Albion’s players and coaching staff still in bemusement at the decision.

But the scores weren’t level for long, and Umotong restored the visitors’ advantage with 52 minutes played with a tap in at the far post from Amanda Nilden’s cross.

By Kyle Hemsley
Sophie Harris saves a shot from Annie Rossiter.

Albion made their lead more secure in the 69th minute in rather fortuitous circumstances, as Thomas fumbled Lundorf’s cross and saw it hit Bennett before rolling over the line.

Powell’s side were in complete control from that point and added a fourth through Simpkins nine minutes later, after the midfielder turned in a cross at the near post.

The hosts did have the last word though, and they scored a second courtesy of Mason’s long-range strike to leave the final score at 4-2.

Albion will now turn their attention to what will be their final match of 2019 in a Barclays FA Women’s Super League encounter away against Manchester City on Sunday.

ALBION: Harris: Lundorf, Le Tissier (Williams 63), Kerkdijk, Gibbons; Simpkins, Bance, A. Whelan; Natkiel, Umotong (Le Garrec 76), Nilden.

SUBS NOT USED: Walsh (GK), Barton, Bowman, Connolly, Green.