Welcome to Princes Park for today's FA Women's Championship game
Here is your complementary e-programme.
and a huge welcome back down to Princes Park after two successive away games it feels good to be back here today.
I trust our visitors players, staff and supporters have had a safe and pleasant journey down from Birmingham. Aston Villa have been on a six game unbeaten run and will come here in high spirits, it is our job today to stop that run.
The last couple of away games against Charlton and Lewes have shown once again that football can be cruel at times and we have been unlucky to come away without any points. I feel that if we can start finishing the chances we are creating then we will get back to winning ways.
Our last few games at home have seen us win games or be in winning positions for vast amounts of the games. It is vital that the team therefore use it to their advantage today.
I'd also like to congratulate Grace Neville and Lucy Fitzgerald on their very much deserved call-ups to the England U19 squad. The two girls have been regular features for the England side this season and it is yet even more signs that our young squad is ever improving and full of quality.
Finally I'd once again like to thank our ever growing support here at Princes Park for the match day atmosphere. With attendances steadily rising over the season, I do not think it's a coincidence that it has coincided with the upturn in our home results. We can't wait to hear the Millwall roar again today from the crowd.
1st Team Manager
SETL is a company which is bringing game changing technology to the financial services. SETL's investors include some of the worlds largest companies such as Citibank, Deloitte, Computershare and Credit Agricole. Each of these investors recognises the potential for SETL to do things differently and in a way which will transform the way that finance works. In pursuing this vision, SETL is not afraid to challenge established positions. To say that something has 'always been done that way' is not a good reason to consider better ways to do things. SETL is very much a challenger. It is a growing team of dedicated individuals who are willing to take on the big companies and organisations. No challenge is unopposed and SETL has had to face opposition who are well resourced and who want to protect their positions.
The Lionesses will face challenges of a similar nature - big clubs with big reputations and big budgets thinking they have a right of way. SETL sees in the Lionesses a spirit which will not be dominated by others, is fiercely loyal to its traditions and will meet those challenges with skill, hard work and determination.
We wish the Lionesses good luck in their game today against Aston Villa. SETL is proud to be a supporter and sponsor of the Lionesses and looks forward to the final games of the season.
Each game, one of the three club captains will update us on how the squad is preparing and how they see the season progressing.
This week it is the turn of defender, Leanne Cowan.
Good afternoon and welcome back to princes park for our penultimate home game of the season! I’d like to extend a warm welcome to the Aston Villa team, their staff and travelling fans. Happy Mother’s Day to all of the mothers who have made the trip to today’s game, we hope you enjoy it and have a lovely day!
Today we face another tough test, playing a team in good form whose league position doesn’t reflect their quality. We’re hoping to bring the energy and work rate from the last few games into today and hopefully it will be an entertaining game full of goals.
I’d also like to take a minute to congratulate Lucy Fitzgerald and Grace Neville on another England U19 call up to play in the euro qualifiers. Well done girls it’s thoroughly deserved!
As always I’d like to thank all of our amazing fans for supporting us and sticking with us till the end of the season. Hopefully you’ll see us pick up some more points in these last few games!
Chris Phillips’ Millwall Lionesses continue to impress and excite as the season goes on and one of the players who displays all of the hard work the whole squad is putting in is Lucy Fitzgerald.
Being an ever-present since the start of the season, it is easy to forget that the explosive and energetic winger only recently turned eighteen at the end of the December last year and her strength, courage and skill on the ball has the fans in attendance at Princes Park on the edge of their seats every game.
Along with Grace Neville, Fitzgerald has been rightly rewarded with a call up to the England Under-19’s squad for the upcoming UEFA Women’s U19 European Championship elite round qualifiers. The two are just two examples of the superb coaching and tutelage of the Lionesses’ backroom team and Fitzgerald has a bright future in the women’s game.
Aston Villa Ladies Football Club was formed in 1973 as Solihull FC. When Aston Villa asked for help in forming a ladies team in 1989, Solihull responded. The club agreed to change their name in 1996 to become the officially recognised ladies team of Aston Villa. In 1998 the Senior Team won promotion to the Northern Division of the FA Women's Premier League.
Also reaching the 1995 League Cup Final. After a few seasons in the Women’s Premier Northern Division finishing mid table Aston Villa took full responsibility of the Ladies team in 2007 and have fully integrated them into the Aston Villa family. The ladies won promotion from the Northern division in 2010-11 season to the National Division, 2011-12, the ladies team finished 3rd in the National division their highest ever finish. Aston Villa won the FA Women’s league cup, 2012-13 in its final year of the winter pyramid.
With players such as Kerry Welsh leading the line and Jodie Hutton in the midfield producing fourteen goals between them in all competitions, Villa will be looking to finish the 2018-19 season in style and eyeing a possible top half finish.
Two of our young Millwall Lionesses, Grace Neville and Lucy Fitzgerald have been called up once again by the England U19s. Full story below:
Rehanne Skinner has named her England U19s squad for the upcoming UEFA Women’s U19 European Championship elite round qualifiers at St. George’s Park.
The 20-player squad will take on Turkey (1pm, Wednesday 3 April), Sweden (1pm, Saturday 6 April) and Italy (1pm, Tuesday 9 April).
At this stage of the tournament, only the nation who finishes top of the four team group will progress to July’s finals in Scotland. All three of the Lionesses’ matches will be played at the national football centre.
Fresh from her time away at the SheBelieves Cup with the senior women’s team, Manchester City forward Lauren Hemp returns and is reunited with eight other players that gained experience together in this phase of the U19 tournament last year.
The team comprises of an increasing number of emerging talent whose performances and involvement in the WSL and Championship has been notable in recent months. Tottenham Hotspur forward Jess Naz returns to the squad and Aston Villa forward Jodie Hutton has been called up from the U18s.
“The team’s preparation leading into this event has involved some excellent opposition in various international tournaments,” said head coach Skinner.
“We have learnt a lot during those experiences and are now looking forward to hosting the UEFA Elite round on home soil at St. George’s Park.
“We face three very different oppositions in this competition and will need to be prepared for those challenges. At this stage of the championship, only one team progresses so it provides a great test for us.
“Hopefully we can progress to the Euro Finals to keep gaining crucial exposure and experience for our future Lionesses and their development. The whole team is looking forward to the games.”
Goalkeepers: Hannah Hampton (Birmingham City), Emily Ramsey (Manchester United)
Defenders: Niamh Cashin (Rider University), Georgia Eaton-Collins (University of Florida), Naomi Hartley (Sheffield United, on loan from Manchester United), Esme Morgan (Manchester City), Grace Neville (Millwall Lionesses), Poppy Pattinson (Bristol City), Olivia Smith (University of Oklahoma)
Midfielders: Lucy Fitzgerald (Millwall Lionesses), Lauren James (Manchester United), Aimee Palmer (Manchester United), Jess Park (Manchester City), Amy Rodgers (Liverpool), Ella Rutherford (Bristol City), Emily Syme (Yeovil Town)
Forwards: Lauren Hemp (Manchester City), Jodie Hutton (Aston Villa), Jessica Naz (Tottenham Hotspur), Ebony Salmon (Sheffield United, on loan from Manchester United)
This season we want you to be our DJ on matchdays. So throughout the season, we want you to send in your song choices that you want to be heard at the game.
It couldn’t be easier to pick a song, so tweet us your choice using #RadioRoar or look out for our Instagram story to request your favourite track. Get your requests in by 5pm on Friday and you could be on our matchday playlist for the next home match at Princes Park.
UEFA, European football’s governing body, has launched a new YouTube channel for its Together #WePlayStrong brand, partnering with a range of the biggest names in the women’s league, to provide a breadth of regular content.
UEFA has recruited some of the biggest names in women’s football to form a dynamic content creator squad for its new-look, always-on Together #WePlayStrong YouTube channel.
The channel will offer a variety of fresh, original content, focusing on themes such as daily insights into players’ routines, funny challenges, beauty and style content, and health and fitness advice, as well as providing a platform for inspiring women and players across Europe, who love football, to share their experiences of the beautiful game.
The #WePlayStrong YouTube channel has been created to cultivate the growing community of girl and women football players and fans, encouraging more to feel proud to play and feel inspired by showcasing confidence and togetherness.
Juventus defender Petronella Ekroth and Shanice Van de Sanden of Olympique Lyonnais have been added to UEFA’s roster of players creating original content for the WePlayStrong YouTube channel. They will join Lisa Evans (Arsenal), Eunice Beckmann (Madrid), Laura Feiersinger (FFC Frankfurt), and Sarah Zadrazil (Turbine Potsdam), whom all provided content to the #WePlayStrong pilot vlog series that generated nearly six million views on YouTube last year. UEFA also announced that world champion freestyle soccer player Liv Cooke will create content for the new video channel.
Guy-Laurent Epstein, director of marketing at UEFA said:
“The #WePlayStrong YouTube channel is a platform designed to inspire girls and women around the world. Our aim is to not only make #WePlayStrong a thriving digital platform, but an inclusive and supportive community."
“Our social media engagement has doubled since the first year of our campaign, and we want to continue to produce content which is entertaining, aspirational and relatable."
“In a world where YouTube plays a huge role in the life of girls and women, we’re proud to have added three more inspiring women footballers to our channel, and we’re looking forward to sharing their professional and personal journeys online.”
The channel is part of UEFA’s ongoing strategy to grow participation of girls’ and women’s football in each of its 55 national associations.
It was a night of celebration and jubilation as Millwall Lionesses recorded their first league win of the 2018-19 Women's Championship campaign against city rivals, London Bees. A first half wonder goal from Annie Rossiter for the home side cancelled out Daisy McLachlan's early finish, before Evie Clarke stole the show with two second half finishes with one of those being arguably goal of the season.
The game started in a lively fashion and there were some heavy tackles flying in from both sides, but it was London Bees who took the lead in the 8th minute when a short pass was laid back to Daisy McLachlan on the edge of the Millwall penalty area. McLachlan connected well and her shot was destined for the top corner as soon as it left her boot, and Rhiannon Stewart in the Lionesses' goal had no chance of keeping it out. London Bees took the lead, but this game would be turned on it's head by a battling home side who displayed nothing but grit and determination.
It was stand-in captain, Evie Clarke, who led from the front and in the 12th minute broke away well from the London Bees defence before cutting the ball back for Annie Rossiter to cross, but the play was stopped well by the visiting side and the danger cleared.
The Lionesses continued to pass the ball around well and in the 17th minute it was Evie Clarke who found herself at the forefront. Expertly bringing down a long ball and linking up brilliantly with Lucy Fitzgerald and Beth Lumsden, the home fans thought that the young forward was away and through on goal, but Lumsden's well thought pass was just too short and cut out at the last minute by the away team.
In the 19th minute, it was the Bees who had a chance to double their lead when Emma Beckett twisted and turned her way deep into the Lionesses half, but her shot did not trouble Stewart in the Millwall goal and her effort went wide at the near post.
Although there was very little goalmouth action to speak of for the following periods of play, the game continued to be a backwards and forwards affair and it was Annie Rossiter who produced a moment of magic to bring the game level. Receiving the ball in the 42nd minute, the young winger saw former Lioness, Sarah Quantrill, off of her goal line and struck a stunning long range effort that sailed over the former Millwall shot stopper. It was Rossiter's first senior goal for the Lionesses and the home side were level going in at the break.
The second half started in the same way as the first and it was the energetic Clarke who continued to cause problems for her former side. Running through on goal in the 58th minute, the young forward would've scored Millwall's second of the game if it was not for Quantrill who rushed out to nullify the danger.
At the other end, Rhiannon Stewart continued to impress on her senior debut, and produced a masterclass of goalkeeping which many would call save of the season at any game of football around the country. Daisy McLachlan was played through on goal in the 61st minute and fans of both sides were expecting the attacker to stroke the ball home to retake the lead, but somehow Stewart managed to get down at the last second and palm the ball from trouble. As the ball ricocheted off of the 'keeper, the supporters' hearts were in their mouths as the follow up looked as though it would be met by a player in an orange shirt, but Grace Neville got to it in the nick of time and cleared the danger.
Inspired by her team mates to keep the score level, Clarke picked the ball up after a long pass upfield in the 70th minute and raced towards the London Bees penalty area. Bearing down on Quantrill's goal, Clarke superbly held off the pressure of the visiting defenders and coolly placed the ball under Quantrill and put Millwall in front. The home bench and fans roared with delight as the young forward wheeled away in celebration with her side.
Eight minutes later, it was Clarke again who was on the score sheet for the home side and her top class finish wrapped the game up for the Lionesses. In the 78th minute, Beth Lumsden launched up a high free-kick towards the far post and it was Clarke who expertly waited for the ball to drop over her shoulder and struck the ball mid-air. The Lionesses fans jumped to their feet in delight as Clarke's effort nestled into the back of the away team's net.
London Bees tried to pile on the pressure in the dying minutes of the game and injury-time, but the resolute defending from the home side was just too much and as the final whistle echoed around Princes Park, the Lionesses roared as they had secured their first league win of the season. Evie Clarke's late strike will rightly get the plaudits and be remembered for a long time, but more importantly, this fixture showed the togetherness that the entire Millwall Lionesses first team, squad and staff have within their ranks and they now have the league victory their recent performances have deserved.
Millwall Lionesses Starting XI:
Stewart, Mackie, Bailes (Ali 64), Priest, Lumsden, Cataldo, Clarke ©, Fitzgerald, Young (Bailey 81), Rossiter (Harford 55), Neville
Millwall Lionesses unused subs: Cowan, Ravenscroft, Stovold, Sansom
London Bees Starting XI:
Quantrill, Johnson, Wilson, Wilkinson, Littlejohn (Will 64), Pickett (Dench), O'Leary, Rolandsen, McLachlan (Loomes 76), Nunn, Wheeler
London Bees unused subs: Toussaint, Gould, N. Gibson
It was a disappointing night for Chris Phillips' young Lionesses as three first half goals saw local rivals Charlton Athletic pick up the bragging rights in this emotional Women's Championship fixture dedicated to the memory of young goalkeeper, Jordan Dawes.
The game started as a backwards and forwards affair and the first chances of the game fell to the hosts in the 6th minute. A good run from Charlotte Gurr saw the attacker breach the Lionesses' back-line and hit a good effort from a fairly tight angle, but the ball trickled wide of the far post. This was followed seconds later by a double effort from outside the penalty area that was blocked well and cleared by the Lionesses' defence.
Charlton again came close to taking the lead after a defensive mix-up in the Millwall back-line in the 10th minute. Confusion between Kalani Peart and Ylenia Priest saw Elizabeta Ejupi break through, but her effort went wide of Chloe Sansom's post.
The action continued to be firmly in the Millwall half and it was Amber Stobbs who was next to try her luck after another defensive mishap in the 16th minute, but her effort was kept out well on the goal line by Chloe Sansom.
The Lionesses had little action in their opposition's goal mouth in the opening exchanges and their first half-chance came in the 22nd minute from Lucy Fitzgerald. The young winger superbly managed to keep the ball in play after it looked destined to go for a goal kick, and managed to lay the ball back to Evie Clarke. But unfortunately for the Lionesses, the pass was blocked at the last minute and cleared from danger.
It was in the 34th minute when the pressure from the hosts finally paid off. Some nice build up play resulted in a weighted ball being played across Sansom's goal. The pass had eluded the Millwall defence, but not Kit Graham on the far post who slid in to put Charlton in the lead. A cool finish from the experienced centre forward.
Stand-in captain and two time Player of the Month nominee, Evie Clarke came close in the 38th minute when she connected well outside the penalty area, but her half-volley could only hit the outside of the woodwork and bounce out for a goal kick.
Half-time may have been approaching, but the hosts continued to apply the pressure and in the 39th minute scored their second goal of the game. Another spell of precise and exquisite link-up play saw the ball land at the feet of Charlotte Gurr at close range, and her driven effort nestled into the back of the Lionesses' net to make it 2-0.
Not to be deflated by the Addicks, Millwall were quick to reply when only a minute Beth Lumsden launched a free-kick towards the Charlton goal in the 40th minute. Katie Startup in the Charlton goal excellently parried the ball onto the bar, but the crossbar came into play again for a second time and kept the ball out before a desperate clearance from the Charlton defence saw the ball away.
The final goal of the half was scored in injury time as Elizabeta Ejupi's strike from distance crept in at Chloe Sansom's near post to secure the host's third and leave Millwall with a mountain to climb.
The second half started in the same way as the first with Charlton being the more dominant and a low cross in the 54th minute was destined to inflict more danger to the Lionesses' defence if it was not for a late block by substitute Riva Casley.
With the points in the bag, Charlton took their foot off the gas and retained possession for the majority if the half. The Lionesses had promising moments such as a delightful piece of skill and shot from Annie Rossiter in the 67th minute, but her effort was blocked well and the danger cleared.
A training ground routine involving a short corner and deep cross from the Addicks saw them come close again in the 78th minute, but the cross was just too deep and flew over the box for a goal.
A late consolation from Millwall looked destined in the 90th minute after Evie Clarke unleashed a goal bound effort from inside the Charlton penalty area, but Startup reacted well and kept the ball out.
The final whistle sounded and the game ended 3-0.
Charlton Women Starting XI:
Startup, Kerr, Coombs, Ritchie, Gurr (Nicol 83), Stobbs (Agg 74), Graham (Clifford 69), Bennett, Maple, West, Ejupi
Charlton Women unused subs: Bailes, Parreno-Espinosa
Millwall Lionesses Starting XI:
Sansom, Mackie, Bailes (Young 45), Priest, Lumsden (Ali 79), Cataldo, Clarke, Fitzgerald, Rossiter, Peart (Casley 45), Neville
Millwall Lionesses unused subs: Harford, Bailey, Stovold, Stewart
Photo credit: Touchline Photography (@TouchlineP)
Millwall Starting XI:
30. Rhiannon Stewart
2. Chantelle Mackie
5. Riva Casley
6. Ylenia Priest
8. Beth Lumsden
10. Lia Cataldo
11. Evie Clarke ©
17. Lucy Fitzgerald
20. Annie Rossiter
28. Fran Ali
29. Grace Neville
Chloe Sansom, Freya Bailes, Gabby Ravenscroft, Ellie Stenning, Michelle Young, Kalani Peart, Georgia Robert
Aston Villa Starting XI:
1. Sian Rogers
3. Asmita Ale
5. Elisha N'Dow
6. Jade Richards ©
7. Alice Hassall
11. Amy West
12. Jodie Hutton
16. Tanisha Smith
17. Sophie Haywood
23. Nadine Hanssen
24. Ashlee Brown
Aoife Hurley, Mollie Gibson, Natasha Baptiste, Ria Elsmore, Alison Hall
The FA Women’s Championship strongly supports recent FA statements that there should be a zero tolerance approach against racism and all forms of discrimination. Accordingly, any form of discriminatory abuse, whether it be based on race or ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, faith, age, ability or any other form of abuse will be reported to The Football Association for action by that Association. (The FA 0800 085 0508/Kick It Out 020 7253 0162)