Welcome to Princes Park for today's FA Women's Championship game
Here is your complementary e-programme.
Welcome everyone to Princes Park - The Lionesses' New Den. It is great to see so many new faces here today and especially our younger fans.
My fellow directors and I would like to extend our welcome to Durham's directors, management team, players and supporters, all of whom have travelled quite a considerable distance for today’s fixture.
We are returning to our wonderful stadium for our match with Durham. It has been a pleasure to play here so far this season and a massive credit should go to the stadium managers and the grounds staff who have always prepared a wonderful playing surface for our women to play on. It was one of the contributing factors in choosing Princes Park as Chris and the management team were determined to play on natural grass.
I am thrilled that our latest signing has finally been announced and we can officially welcome Fran Ali back into the pride. Having originally been at Millwall since the age of 12, Fran has since had spells away in America and closer to home with most recently, Crystal Palace. Having a more experienced head around the dressing room will be great, but selfishly I can't wait to see her have an impact in midfield on the pitch. She is a Millwall type player through and through and will hopefully show the crowd what she is all about.
Lets get behind our Lionesses and roar them to victory - be loud and encouraging. Every person in the stands today back every single player in blue on the pitch and keep at it until the final whistle sounds. Its in all of our interests to do so.
Off the pitch we are working hard to increase our sponsorships and support of the girls through increased attendance. We are happy to welcome groups, local schools and clubs to all of our matches. Indeed we are thrilled to welcome pupils from Upton Primary School and Old Bexley CofE Primary School. If you would like to sponsor any aspect of the club, individual players or the match ball, for example, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
We are an ambitious club and looking to grow. We have wonderful plans for the future and first class staff on board, from top to bottom and left to right. We will do things differently - we are different. We will be novel and we are forward thinking - but we know that our players and our community are our greatest assets. We will always do the right thing and our entire team is dedicated to make that happen.
We always will play pride, passion with our community at heart.
Enjoy the game!
to the Lionesses' Den for our game against Durham. I trust their players, staff and supporters have had a pleasant journey down south and wish them a safe journey home.
I’m glad to be back to action after a two week break. We’ve had a few away with England over this period but the team have been in working hard and trying to improve on our last performance against Villa.
I saw good energy and work rate from my team that day and am looking for more of the same today. We’ve also managed to strengthen the team with the addition of Fran Ali. Following her departure from Crystal Palace, she came and trained with us and I felt her ability and experience would help the team in a number of ways. She fitted straight in with the group.
1st Team Manager
Our opponents come here today following an emphatic victory against Lewes and currently sit 4th in the league. I would also like to congratulate my opposite number, Lee, on his recent manager of the month award. Much deserved. Durham have always been know for their physicality, however after watching the tapes of their games, they have now become a very good possession based side that look to build from the back. It will be another great test for my team.
As always my team will show the 'Pride of a Lioness' when they go out on the pitch today, showing passion for the club and the Millwall community. So the last thing from me is to say “let’s go to work” and I hope you enjoy the game.
Thanks as always for you fantastic support and I hope you enjoy today’s game.
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 Durham. SETL is proud to be a supporter and sponsor of the Lionesses and looks forward to a successful season.
We are delighted to welcome Francesca Ali back to Millwall Lionesses. A player at Millwall since starting in the RTC aged 12, Fran went on to represent Millwall during many successful campaigns before seeking fresh challenges in America and then back in England with other clubs including, most recently, Crystal Palace.
A tenacious and tough tackling midfielder, Fran also loves to have the ball at her feet and will always be open for a pass. This is something that manager Chris Phillips will see her fit right in to the system and style of football that he is trying to instil in the squad.
Fran also links back up with Ellie Stenning, who she has known their time at Crystal Palace. It won't be just Ellie who is excited to see Fran, with an incredibly young squad age, Fran will add some maturity and experience into the team.
Fran comes straight into today's squad to face Durham Women and hopefully you, the fans, will get to see her in action. See what she had to say when Michael Avery sat down with her just after she had signed.
Durham are the visitors for today's home game with Millwall Lionesses. The Wildcats are in fine form and find themselves near the top of the Women's Championship in fourth place.
The Lionesses come into this game looking for their first victory of the season and although Millwall tasted defeat in their recent away game with Aston Villa, Chris Phillips will take great confidence after seeing his side produce an attacking and spirited display.
There is an air of excitement around the side at the moment with the recent signing of Fran Ali from Crystal Palace. The battling midfielder returns to the Lionesses and along with her experience brings additional tenacity and skill to the middle of the park.
After signing in the summer, Ylenia has started all 3 competitive games so far for Millwall, and at the age of only 16, seems to be settling down in South London pretty well.
The defender has shown high levels of maturity for her age and will continue to grow this season, especially under the influence of Chris and Pedro.
Ylenia is one of many youngsters, in fact the average age of this team is around 18, The club clearly have long term plans and Ylenia wants to be part of them plans, It's certainly got the potential to do well in the coming future and Ylenia believes it is only a matter of time before the wheel starts to turn in favour of Millwall.
"The team and the club are definitely working towards a long term plan, and with time I’m confident that we’ll be up amongst the best in the women’s Championship."
With multiple rotations in Millwall's backline already, Ylenia has been paired up with different team mates each week, something she understands will take time to gel with each team mate but is excited to pair up with whoever starts alongside her. The young defender has said she will play her game the same way, no matter who she is with and shows just how much good competition there is for places.
"It always takes time to gel with your partner at the back so things like communicating more and covering each other better are examples of certain things that may be adjusted slightly. Personally, I don’t change my playing game at all I just might need to communicate more with players in new roles."
Durham Women will put their unbeaten record on the line this weekend as they make the journey to Millwall Lionesses.
The Wildcats are yet to lose in the FA Women's Championship this season and are full of confidence after a stunning performance during the 5-0 triumph over Lewes in their last outing.
But Lee Sanders' side will face another stern test of their credentials when they make the journey to Dartford on Sunday afternoon.
Our last meeting with Durham came in April of this year, where they became the first team to beat Millwall in over a year. Strikes from Zoe Ness and Emily Roberts either side of an Ellie Mason leveller proved enough for Durham, who sealed an important three points.
Speaking before the game, Becky Salicki said: "We're a team, we're all together and we're a family. We go into single game and give everything no matter what. And if we do that then we should get results."
She went on to say, "It's a lot of confidence and a lot of togetherness as well. I think the way we've come together this year, we aren't as big a squad as last year and having everyone together has shown on the pitch."
Once again, we say a warm welcome to our visitors today and safe travels on the long journey to their team and fans.
After our recent defeat to Aston Villa, Chloe was still positive and saw improvements. "We’re obviously disappointed we didn’t get the result we wanted, we came into the game looking to improve in areas, especially after the last two performances and I feel even though we didn’t get the result, we can look at it as a positive individually and collectively as a team and take that into our next game."
Chloe also credited the response from her team mates and on another day feels they would have got something from the game. "We came into the game after the last two games which were disappointing and the response that we needed to bring as a team was there on Sunday, we picked up from the last two games where we lost our heads quite early on after conceding. So then to keep our heads up for a long period was good and we kept fighting until the end and we had chances but unfortunately on the day we couldn’t put them away but the positives we have created these chances and on another day we may have got something."
Both Chloe and Grace have seen first team minutes this season and Chloe was quick to give plaudits to Grace, who has made it stiff completion for the number one spot. "Grace is a quality keeper and we are both here to improve each other and if we can do that then that’s what we want. It’s difficult being a keeper because only one of us can play meaning the other is unlikely to feature at all but Grace and myself don’t take it to heart when we aren’t involved but we are here to fight for that one position and at the end of the day it’s the bosses choice."
Chloe believes the international break will allow the team to get better and gel better as a team. "With the international break we have got to keep our heads down and work hard in our week off and then go again against Durham. It’s one of those things where we have got to re group. It was an improvement on the last two games but now we focus on the next one. We need to focus on the areas today that perhaps didn’t go well and then look at potential areas that we can exploit Durham."
After two back to back 8-0 defeats Chloe admitted it was hard to take especially as a keeper. "It’s always hard to concede as a keeper and even harder coming back off an 8-0 defeat but at the end of the day if I can do my job in goal and the outfield players do their job then hopefully we can blend them together and put in a good team performance."
Villa's second goal was a good counter attacked and Chloe was impressed with the response from the goal but admits the team were deflated from that goal. "The second goal did deflate us slightly. It the girls showed great character today and we didn’t stop fighting until the end. If you look at last week you could argue there was a bit of lack lustre in our performance but today I honk the girls done themselves proud in terms of the performance and fighting until the end, yes we didn’t get the result but there are positives to take from it. "
As you’re cheering on your team in the FA Women's Championship this weekend, you’ll see the players wearing rainbow laces. How come?
Well, between 17 November and 2 December, players, coaches, referees and fans will show their support for LGBT people involved in football during this year's Rainbow Laces week.
While it’s great to see so many people in football lacing up their Rainbow Laces for these two weeks, Stonewall continue to offer support for anyone who wants to challenge attitudes in sport all year round.
Get your team, your colleagues and your classmates involved, use Stonewall’s Rainbow Laces toolkit, pick up laces, and inspire your community to be good allies to LGBT people.
If you are the target for abuse and feel the need for someone to speak to, then there are a number of ways to get help from The FA and organisations like Stonewall. You can also report any concerns directly to your club, County FA or to The FA or Kick It Out.
"It's great to see UK sport banding together in the biggest ever show of support for LGBT people in sport," said Stonewall's director of sport, Kirsty Clarke.
"Whether you're into cricket, darts, rugby, football or athletics, your sport is taking part and lacing up."
Clarke is urging all sports fans to pick up a pair of Rainbow Laces and, by wearing them in their shoes, boots or trainers, take the campaign message to as many people as possible.
"It can't just be the national bodies making this statement," she added. "We need every sports fan to do the same and commit to stand up as an ally to LGBT people in their sport and beyond."
"What that action looks like is simply being a good team-mate and taking responsibility for making LGBT people feel welcome. Not only can you show your support, you can challenge chants or insults about LGBT people, or report abuse, whether that's online, watching live sport or taking part."
"So many sports wanted to take part this year, we had to extend the campaign from a week to three weeks and that just shows what an appetite there is for positive change across the sporting world."
In a show of our support, you will see the players, coaches and backroom staff all lacing up for our games against Durham and Manchester United. You will also notice that our social media has had a rainbow makeover to show our support.
Before kick off a minute's silence took place to show our respect for those who lost their lives for next weekend's Armistice Day; Lest we forget. The minute's silence was also in respect for the tragedy that occurred at the King Power stadium.
Pride and passion was put back in Millwall's performance on what was a truly emotional day for everyone. After two back-to-back 8-0 defeats, most would have predicted Villa walking the game expecting Millwall to be very down, but the Lionesses did Millwall proud yesterday with 110% effort on the pitch in an attempt to win their first match. However, despite their best attempts it wasn't enough and goals in each half saw Millwall suffer their sixth defeat of the season.
Millwall started very brightly in the game and so too did the hosts. The two teams who have been struggling in the bottom two ahead of today's game knew just how much a win would mean for not only confidence, but in terms of league standings. An early chance arose for Millwall when striking duo Evie Clarke and Gabby Ravenscroft broke free, but Evie was unable to get on the end of the pass. It was a good start for the away side and Millwall were doing well.
The hosts had chances of their own early on. A few crosses evaded everyone and players at the back post not quite connecting with the ball, but Millwall were holding out well. With Villa slowly growing into the game, Chloe Sansom did well to hold onto a stinger of a shot but Villa eventually made the breakthrough just before the half an hour mark. Kerri Welsh headed home a good cross from Hollie Gibson and the header was too powerful for Sansom in the Lionesses goal. It was heartbreak for Millwall after some really good attacking play so far.
For the remainder of the first half it was very much a back-to-the-wall performance with Millwall trying to keep the score at just 1-0. Villa were not allowing Millwall much time on the ball and it was becoming very frustrating for the Lionesses. Chloe Sansom once again had to make some very good saves to deny the hosts a two goal lead, but as the first half whistle blew it was a much better performance from the players. They were still in this game if they could just create that one chance that would lead to that all-important goal.
The second half got underway and once again it was Millwall who started very brightly and nearly leveled almost immediately when awarded a free kick twenty yards from goal. Beth Lumsden, who scored a great free-kick against Leicester, stepped up but this time couldn't steer the ball on target as Millwall continued on the front foot. Despite the pressure and the willingness from the players, they then conceded a second against the run of play when West picked up the ball on the right and her effort from long range went straight into the right top corner. Villa now found themselves in a two-goal lead and Millwall now had it all to do with forty minutes left.
What happened from this goal though just showed how much every player wanted to play for the shirt. Forty minutes of relentless attacking, creating numerous opportunities in search of two goals that would mean everything to the team, the side just refused to be beaten down and charged and peppered Aston Villa's goal. Lucy Fitzgerald and Teni Charles showed some nice link up play down the right and were causing Villa problems with crosses into the box and on another day Millwall may have a had a draw.
The introduction of Lia Cataldo and Annie Rossiter showed the quality the side really have. The duo really added an attacking presence going forward and were creating opportunities for themselves and their team mates. Gabby Ravenscroft continued to cause all kinds of problems up top, firing shots goal-bound. The Villa 'keeper was holding onto all shots well as Millwall started to become frustrated, but kept on going until the end.
The game didn't have long left and Gabby Ravenscroft once again got herself into a really good position, but her shot flew wide of the near post. This allowed Villa to re-organise and settle their nerves as they knew they were only minutes away from their first league win of the season. Long balls continued to rain into the box from Beth Powell as Millwall hoped a bit of luck would fall on them in the closing stages. However, it wasn't to be and the result may not show it, but every player left everything they had on the pitch and on another day, the scoreline may have been turned around completely.
Millwall Lionesses Starting XI:
Sansom, Cowan, Powell, Priest, Charles, Giddings, Bailes (Rossiter 61), Fitzgerald, Lumsden (Cataldo 61), Clarke (Auguste 76), Ravenscroft
Millwall Lionesses unused subs: Taylor, Wilkinson
Aston Villa Starting XI:
Rogers, Gibson, Ale, N'Dow, Richards, West, Hassall, Haywood (Hutton 57), Hall, Welsh, Hanssen
Aston Villa unused subs: Aguirre, Elsmore, Gane, Smith, Brown, Warner
Millwall Starting XI:
13. Chloe Sansom
3. Leanne Cowan ©
6. Ylenia Priest
9. Gabby Ravenscroft
10. Lia Cataldo
11. Evie Clarke
12. Beth Powell
14. Georgie Giddings
17. Lucy Fitzgerald
18. Michelle Young
24. Asanteni Charles
Subs: Caitlin Hartshorne, Freya Bailes, Jasmine Auguste, Beth Harford, Annie Rossiter, Francesca Ali
Leicester Starting XI:
Player Name ©
Subs: Player Name
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)