Millwall picked up their first points in matchday 3 of the WSL cup away to London Bees in which was a thrilling and nerve racking contest throughout.
Like Last weekend, London Bees rushed into a 2 goal lead and stung the Lionesses. The first came in just two minutes when Destiney Toussaint recived the ball on the right hand side and her cross looped over Grace taylor and found its way into the far corner. Then only 12 minutes later the Bees found themselves 2 ahead when a shot from long range was saved by Grace Taylor but the keeper could only parry the ball in front of Jo Wilson who tapped home from very close range.
LUCK IS A THING!! and its something that Rianna Dean has not been getting recently. The young striker hit the post the woodwork everything but the net in the first 38 minutes. However you can see within the young striker the determination and passion she has and she finally got her reward when she was put through again and again beating the keeper but this time the ball found its way into the net. Not only a relived Rianna Dean but everyone else aswell.
Leigh Nicol then nearly levelled the score going into half time when her long range effort went onto the cross bar. Millwall were starting to find their feet a bit in this game and there was only going to be one time who were going to score in the second half.
Millwall got their second goal 5 minutes into the second half when Ashlee Hincks took the corner, the ball then found its way out to the skipper again following a clearance but this time Hincks smartly curled the ball around everyone and into the far corner. 2-2 GAME ON!!!
Megan Alexander and Ellie Mason both came on for Leanne Cowan and Sammy Booker respectively and the latter scored the third when a delivery into the box found Ellie Mason at the back post who smashed it home to give the Lionesses the lead!!
It then got even better for Millwall when Rianna Deans hard work to get in the box saw her brought down inside the penalty area to give Millwall the chance to have a 2 goal cushion. Ashlee Hincks took the spot kick sending the keeper the wrong way and with just over 15 minutes left the game looked dine and dusted.
However Millwall were to receive a late scare when Viki Wotton was adjudged to have handled the ball inside the area and a penalty now went to London Bees! Paula Howells stepped up but hit the crossbar!! Although Toussaint was able to capitalise on the rebound and turn that home making it a last nervy 5 minutes.
But it was Millwalls day at the Hive just like it was last weekend and they will now take this win onto Sunday where they are back in league action at home to Oxford looking to stay top of the league.
I spoke to Beth Powell after the game after making her first appearance of the season.
Q1) First start this season, how important is it for you at a young age that you are getting first team experience?
Beth: Itss a great experience and good for me as an individual to bring my game on. Ive leanrt a lot from playing with much more experienced girls. Its great to have that oppourtunity to be able to learn off players in the team who are up there at the top of the league. It helps me on and off the pitch and when I do get the chance to step up I know what to expect but idivudally I still have a long way to go.
Q2) A center half that has a lot of potential, How much help are the likes of Billie, Leighanne, Jordan and Georgina?
Beth: They are all great players to leanr off. They all have a lot of experience behind them and are all great players. Being able to train/ watch/ play with them and watch how thye lead on the pitch is definelteyly beneficial and that's where I wanna be.
Q3) What your aim come the end of the season?
Beth: In the development squad we have a great squad this year, we have the potential to finish top 3. I also would love to win the Fa development cup this year! I want to continue to progress with the first team and hoopfully get some more opportunites with them!
Q4) What are the positives from todays performance and where do you feel the team could have done better?
Beth: I think some of the build up play today was excellent moving the ball. Despite being 2-1 down at half time I think we still looked dominant. I think we need to stop going behind when we start the game and start to get some clean sheets behind us. Its great we can pull the wins back from being behind but we wont be able to o this against every team we face.
Q5) Going down 2-0 early on, as a young player do you learn more from it and realise what it takes to dig deep?
Beth: I mean no one wants to go behind but it just shows that there is lots of ability in the team to bring it back! But definitely we do not want to be in that situation again.
Millwall starting XI
Taylor, Cowan (Alexander 52), Robe, Powell, Wotton, Fowle, Booker (Mason 56), Nicol, Horwood, Dean, Hincks (Wynne 81)
Millwall subs not used: Quantrill, Devlin, Giddings
London Bees starting XI
Hobbs (Houghton-Boyle 90), Weston (Fisher 80), Fogarty, Toussaint, Lane, Loomes, Wilson, Howells, Beckett, Huggins, O'Leary (Anderson 70)
London Bees subs not used: Clarke, Brayer, Lalani, Milliken
MSC MOTM: Rianna Dean
Resilience, determination and hard work quite clearly pays off. Rianna proved to be a pain all game for the London Bees defence scoring the first goal on the comeback and winning a penalty in the latter stages of the game.
Photos taken by Ian Randall.