Welcome to Princes Park for today's FA Women's Championship game v Crystal Palace Ladies FC.
Here is your complementary e-programme.
View from the Chairman
Welcome back to the 'New Den' Princes Park. My fellow directors and I, would also like to welcome, the directors, staff, management and supporters of our close rivals Crystal Palace.
Its been an eventful couple of weeks since we were last at home, but those of you who follow us will know that our performances, so far this season have not yet been rewarded with a victory. However, those of you in the 'know' will clearly see the great strides our girls are continuing to make both individually and as a team. I am not going to mention any names, save to say - you know who you are. All the players can take great heart in their performances against top opposition. It is only by challenging themselves that one can reach those higher standards.
We as a team, off the pitch, have great confidence that the girls will close any gaps, as they continue to push themselves. The team will hold its own and and more against the very best and in time, with the courage and quality these girls have, will be rewarded with victories on and off the pitch. With 3 games in 7 days, both teams will no doubt feel the effects of that schedule, but as professionals we cannot expect anything but the highest standard from our opposition - and we must match that.
With that said, we are looking for a great game today, with both teams putting in their all.
Lets enjoy the game and lets hear the Lion Roar.
View from the MANAGER
Welcome to the staff, players and supporters from Crystal Palace Ladies FC and another thank you and welcome back to all the fantastic supporters of Millwall Lionesses FC.
I’d also like to thank the businesses and individuals that have sponsored our players, it’s greatly appreciated. I think there are a few still available, so if you’ve been thinking about it please contact email@example.com
It’s been a hard two weeks for my young side since our last meeting here at Princes Park, but true to the Millwall spirit my players have kept the energy and enthusiasm in training and have been working hard to improve with every session and match performance. I think this has shown on the pitch in each match. The Lewes game was a very physical introduction to Championship football for my players, the cup game verses West Ham gave them an opportunity to play against full time experienced professionals and I feel the London Bees game showed we can compete with one of the better teams in the league and on another night we would have at least got a point, maybe even all three.
We have to look at where we are though compared to other teams. With the changes at the club over the summer it left us probably around 4-5 weeks behind the other teams in terms of our preparation for competition. Saying that I’m seeing this team learn and learn quickly. They are understanding the concepts I’m trying to teach them and little by little implementing them into our games.
Today we have another London derby and from watching Palace they will bring a physical and direct style of play. It’s another chance for my team to test themselves against an older and more experienced side. These are perfect learning opportunities for my players. Many of them currently play for the England youth teams and games like this will help prepare them for strong international matches and tournaments in a way that I don’t see from playing in the current academy system. I think the England youth coaches are also seeing this by giving call ups to Annie Rossiter and putting Lia Cataldo on standby for the age group above the one she qualifies for. I’d also be very surprised if Ylenia Priest, our 16 year old defender, doesn’t receive a call up soon too. Our on pitch results may not have been what we wanted, but this is proof that our concept is working and gives me the confidence to stick to the philosophy and plan, outlined by the board and Director of Football, and that the results will come.
I’ve also been working hard looking at what levels this league offer. I’ve watched tapes of all the teams and managed to watch all but two of the teams live. My honest opinion is that the league this year is a forgone conclusion as one team has invested considerably more than others, I think it’s actually more than all the other 10 teams combined. It does raise the question of why they didn’t opt to go straight into the top division? But that’s not my business or anything I can effect. I then see Spurs, Durham, Lewes and Bees competing for the final promotion spot. Again being honest I think Spurs will take it due to the money they’ve also invested. So our challenge is to compete with the rest this season. I think I’m fortunate that the board have put no pressure or expectations on me or my team and I wanted to explain to you the fans exactly where I see us and what I see us doing this year. We have to remember that less than 6 months ago this club was on the verge of collapse and I’m extremely grateful that the new board came in, rescued the club and gave me the opportunity to build a fresh team here. The players I’ve found are young, hungry to learn and they put an unbelievable amount of time and effort into this club whilst managing school, uni or work life. These girls are here because they want to play for the Lionesses, they want to make the Millwall fans feel proud of them and they desperately want to produce results for you.
So get behind the girls today, let them hear that Millwall roar and let’s see what we can achieve together.
Thanks as always.
1st Team Manager
ABOUT OUR SPONSOR
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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 Crystal Palace. SETL is proud to be a supporter and sponsor of the Lionesses and looks forward to a successful 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 midfielder, Georgie Giddings.
Hello and welcome to Princes Park, the new home of Millwall Lionesses.
Firstly, myself and the girls would like to extend a warm welcome to our visiting team and supporters.
We have been very busy since our last game here and today sees our third game in 8 days. It has been a very busy period and a lot of lessons learned in a short space of time. West Ham as you would expect of a full time professional team, possess a lot of quality from back to front and if you show too much respect to oppositions who possess the ability they have, they will punish you. After a difficult first 15-20 minutes and conceding 3 goals, the girls grew into the game and I think it was probably the first time individuals showed a bit of desire and the fight strongly linked to that of Millwall Lionesses, taking pride in the badge. As a young squad we switched off in the second half and of course at that level we cannot afford to do so and West Ham scored a fourth to finish the game 4-0.
Wednesday night away to London Bees was a big disappointment for us. For the first time we seemed to be together as one and competing as a collective. More players showed that Millwall fight to pull a goal back demonstrates the sheer desire to want to compete at this level. We were unfortunate to concede in the 87th minute but had we of dealt with the set piece inside the first 5 minutes then we would have earned ourselves a 1-1 draw against an established and respectable team.
We have an extremely young squad and only four/five players with regular WSL/WC experience so the biggest challenge we have is to bring everyone on to the same page and to ensure they can develop through experiences. As I said, it’s a huge learning curve for a lot of the girls and game by game we are taking positives. Results haven’t gone our way, but you can be sure we fear nobody, we will work hard and we will compete to the final whistle today!
We hope you enjoy the game.
Millwall take the positives of Wednesday's defeat to London Bees into Sunday's game against Crystal Palace as Millwall go in search of a first league point at the third time of asking. The Lionesses suffered a 2-1 defeat at The Hive on Wednesday night after a late strike from Lauren Pickett ensured the hosts claimed their first win of the season and broke a few Lionesses hearts, who thought they had done enough to get at least a point from the game. Crystal Palace have lost their first two games as well, both sides needing a win on Sunday.
Crystal Palace were another side that came up from the third tier last season and are new to the FA Women's Championship, For Millwall this game will be massive as they will look to get one over their local rivals and claim a huge 3 points. Two Millwall players in the summer left to join Sunday's opposition, Both captain and vice captain Ashlee Hincks and Jordan Butler joined the eagles and have both had a decent start at their new club and it seems the duo have settled in early. For Millwall however, The Lionesses saw Ellie Stenning come their way, the competitive midfielder has had to put in a shift at center back recently and has performed very well there, a credit to her versatility.
Millwall have only found the back of the net 3 times this season in their 4 games while Palace have only netted 3 in 5, It's clear both haven't really got going in front of goal as of yet and both will see Sunday as a good opportunity to get some more goals and push themselves up the table. Millwall have conceded 13 goals in their first four games, averaging just over 3 goals conceded a game, something they will be looking to sharpen up come Sunday.
Chris hasn't named an unchanged side after 4 games into the competitive season but may have thoughts this time round, the side played well on Wednesday and played a lot better, Despite the result, the performance had definitely improved, so Chris may try to keep the balance by keeping the same squad. However players that didn't play or came on as a sub like Annie who impressed when she came on, will be chomping at the bit to start.
Naturally brought in as more of an attacking option, Ellie Stenning put in a shift at centre back for the Lionesses so far this season. Ellie is a tenacious tackler and a hard worker on the ball and off of it. Playing against her former side in Crystal Palace, Ellie will be looking to get one over her former side and help get Millwall's first clean sheet.
Ellie had a rather impressive performance against West Ham last Sunday after her, Beth Powell and Lenny Priest really had a good game and hence kept their place in the starting XI last time out against The Bees, after another good performance against The Bees, Ellie will be looking to start against her former side.
It's a massive game for both sides Sunday and even bigger for Ellie who hopes she can prove her old side wrong and be on the right side of the game, in hope of a Millwall Lionesses victory.
Crystal Palace haven't had the ideal start to life in the FA Women's Championship. Two defeats on the spin for the eagles wouldn't have been the way the team would have wanted life to start , but will look to improve and get some points when they make the short trip to Dartford on Sunday.
Two players that will need no introduction to the Millwall team this Sunday is former players Jordan Butler and Ashlee Hincks, as previously mentioned above, the two have started life well at Palace, looking to carry on their ripe form from last season's success with the Lionesses. Both spent a fair amount of time at Millwall and were crucial in the success and growth of the club, now with the eagles, focuses are now with helping the Eagles succeed this season.
Crystal Palace who made the jump from the third tier last season, will look to get their season underway this Sunday as they hope to beat South London rivals Millwall. Both sides have 0 points after 2 games, but Palace will want to start with a win on the road.
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.
Interview: Ylenia Priest
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.
After 3 defeats on the spin now, Ylenia knows there is still more work to do on the training ground, but believes the squad are definitely going in the right direction. "The girls have stuck together as a group this week and we’ve had a chance to reflect on the few matches and improved on certain aspects during training. We haven’t let the results of the three previous games affect our spirits and I’m positive that we will come back stronger."
A young defender with such a bright future, Ylenia has had to get used to a lot of variation already this season, the defender was in a backline with Ellie Stenning for the visit of Lewes, who is not naturally a defender, but Ylenia coped with it well and didn't allow the nerves to get the better of her. "To be playing first team for Millwall Lionesses at my age will always be a very proud moment for me and it gives me huge pride every time I pull the shirt on each week. I always believe nerves are a good thing before matches and they make sure that I’m focused and ready to go. It’s also never easy for someone to play a new position for the first time so I have to credit Ellie for doing such a good job in last weeks game."
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."
After starting the first 3 matches, Ylenia will be hoping this is just the start in what is a very long winded season, The defender has impressed so far as she looks to ensure she is one of the first names to be on the team sheet and she believes the game time she is getting will only make her a better player. "It’s very important for me to be getting first team minutes and experience, as it’s a huge opportunity to grow and develop as a player whilst being able to compete against some of the best strikers in the country."
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.
SPONSOR A LIONESS
West Ham United 4-0 Millwall Lionesses (Conti Cup)
3 goals inside the first 15 minutes saw the Hammers run out winners in Match day 3 of the Continental Cup.
A quick blaze from the hammers saw them have a comfortable advantage early on as they looked to punish Millwall at every opportunity they had. It only took West Ham 4 minutes before they got their first when De Graff found space from close range as the forward was able to simply poke home and give West Ham the lead.
It got worse for Millwall not long later when the Hammers doubled their advantage, Visalli hit the ball perfectly on the edge of the box as she smashed the ball past a helpless Chloe Sansom and gave West Ham some breathing space over Millwall. It was very good play by West Ham who countered and punished any Millwall mistakes on the pitch, Millwall, who were struggling feet in the game, now had a two goal deficit in front of them.
West Ham were showing their class and proving a point to the rest of their league that they made business as they dominated possession and made it 3 only 4 minutes later. This time it was Kmita who found the back of the net, 3-0 down after 5 minutes it looked game set and match for West Ham who posed a real threat going forward and showed good composure on the ball and at the back.
Millwall hadn’t really got going early on and were made to pay, West Ham continued to press and move the ball forward as they looked to extend their 3 goal lead. The wingers for West Ham were delivering good balls into the box for the striker, causing a danger to Millwall for a lot of the game. The back three of Millwall did well to steer clear plenty of crosses, but the quality of the West Ham side made it a very hard task to defend against and to stop them getting chances away.
Despite being 3 goals behind Beth Powell, Ellie Stenning and Lenny Priest as the back 3 were playing well including some brave sliding challenges and some real proper Millwall defending. It was very much a back to the walls performance by Millwall who looked to avoid West Ham getting any more goals.
The first half continued of constant West Ham pressure as they looked for a fourth, the home side saw their shots blocked and canon off of the bar as Millwall refused to concede again. A first half which saw a dominating display by West Ham ended as Millwall looked to recoup and go again in the second half.
The second half saw Millwall show much more composure on the ball and were much improved in their organisation at the back. Chris had clearly got his message to his players at the break and wanted them to show a bit more structure. While Millwall still failed to get any real chance at the West Ham goal, it was certainly a much improved display and the plan of Chris Phillips was showing more and more.
Millwall continued to defend well and aim to stop West Ham getting that all illusive 4th goal, however despite some very strong and brave defending, the Hammers eventually had 4, with only 8 minutes to go, De Graff made it 4 and got her second of the game, as the side from East London gained 3 more points in the Continental Cup group.
A painful lesson for the Lionesses who look to now bounce back on Wednesday night in another London derby against London Bees in hope to get on the board and start collecting some points.
Millwall Lionesses Starting XI:
Sansom, Mackie, Priest, Stenning (Bailes 78), Powell, Auguste, Lumsden, Clarke, Fitzgerald (Giddings 51), Rossiter (Young 70), Ravenscroft
Millwall Lionesses unused subs: Cowan, Cataldo, Charles
West Ham Starting XI:
Spencer, Longhurst, Hendrix (Sampson 61), G.Flaherty, Percival, Reichardt, De Graff, Visalli (Simic 64), Lehmann, Ross, Kmita (C.Flaherty 57)
West Ham unused subs: Moorhouse, Kiernan
POST MATCH | Chris Phillips
POST MATCH | Beth Powell
London Bees 2-1 Millwall Lionesses (FAW Championship)
A late strike from Pickett broke the Lionesses hearts last night as the game looked destined to end all square.
The hosts started very brightly and with their first attack of the game found the back of the net. After initially winning a corner, the ball fell at the back post for Beckett who smashed it past Chloe Sansom, as she rushed off with joy after putting the hosts ahead inside the first minute of the game.
It seemed as if it would be another very slow start from the Lionesses, but it wasn't to be. From the goal the team had switched on and started to play some very good football in the midfield and dominated possession in spells. Chances were still not falling for Millwall, but the play was good and as Chris urged his players on, it was only a matter of time before a chance would fall for the visitors.
The hosts, however, did not let up as the game became very even, with both sides having a good amount of the ball. Neither side were able to do anything dangerous with the ball to cause any problems for the opposition.
The Lionesses continued to show good spirit, and were eventually rewarded after a mistake at the back by the Bees allowed Lia Catalado to pick up the ball. Masterfully placing the ball beyond Sarah Quantrill, Lia scored both her's and Millwall's first goal of the league season, something that would give the side huge confidence going into half time.
The second half got underway and Millwall wanted to keep the mentality they showed in the first half and take that into the second, as they went in search of their first league win of the season. Both sides were trying to play to their strengths, but at the same time neither could get any real control in the game and dictate the play like they would have wanted to. Toussaint constantly looked dangerous for the hosts down the right but struggled to find anyone in support.
The arrival of Georgie Giddings in the side definitely helped the side and there was a massive difference in composure and confidence on the ball. After serving her 2 game ban and coming off the bench against the Hammers on Sunday, this was her first start of the season and Chris had full praise for her performance after the game, as the experienced midfielder motivated the younger players.
Lenny Priest impressed at the back for Millwall again. At only 16 years of age, the level of maturity shown by the centre half, you'd think she'd been playing for years: straight into a tackle and not hide from anything. Priest is growing into a top Millwall centre half, especially around the influence of others.
The hosts thought they nicked it with 10 minutes to go, however the goal was chalked off after a foul on the Millwall keeper Chloe Sansom. It was a decision not taken well by the hosts, but they would get another chance late on.
With minutes remaining, the game looked as if it would end all level and the two teams who tasted defeat on the opening day of the season would split the points at the Hive, but this was not to be the case. It was joy for the Bees and heartbreak for Millwall as Pickett unleashed an unstoppable curling effort goal-bound that went past a diving Chloe Sansom and into the far corner as scenes of joy and celebration erupted at The Hive.
Tough to take but more importantly another step in the right direction for the Lionesses who go again on Sunday against local rivals Crystal Palace n search of a first win of the season.
Millwall Lionesses Starting XI:
Sansom, Cowan, Priest, Stenning, Powell, Cataldo (Rossiter 66) , Lumsden, Clarke, Fitzgerald, Giddings, Ravenscroft (Young 84)
Millwall Lionesses unused subs: Taylor, Mackie, Auguste, Charles, Bailes
London Bees Starting XI:
Quantrill, Johnson, Wilson, Toussaint, Lea, Lane, Davy (Pickett 61), Littlejohn, Howells (Forman 88), Beckett, Will (Gould 86)
London Bees unused subs: Rolandsen, Gibson, Nunn, Dench
POST MATCH | Lia Cataldo
HIGHLIGHTS | Goals
Millwall Starting XI:
13. Chloe Sansom
2. Chantelle Mackie
6. Ylenia Priest
9. Gabby Ravenscroft
10. Lia Cataldo
11. Evie Clarke
12. Beth Powell
14. Georgie Giddings ©
15. Jasmine Auguste
16. Ellie Stenning
17. Lucy Fitzgerald
Subs: Grace Taylor, Freya Bailes, Beth Lumsden, Annie Rossiter, Asanteni Charles, Sara Guzowska
Crystal Palace Starting XI
Subs: Jade Davenport, Jade Keogh, Hope Nash, Ria Collins, Megan Chandler, Shanell Delgado, Leesa Haydock
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)