Millwall Lionesses go on their travels away this weekend, as we make our up to Farley Way Stadium to face Jonathan Morgan’s Leicester City.
Chris Phillips’ side entered 2019 with a 3-1 away defeat against Crystal Palace and the Millwall Head Coach will be eager to put this right and put out a performance which the club can be proud of. Leicester find themselves in 5th place and have had a good start to the season so far with five wins and one draw to their name.
The reverse fixture earlier in the season saw a close and tight affair, with two goals from the Foxes cancelling out a beautiful first-half free-kick from Beth Lumsden. Although the Princes’ Park side are still yet to record a victory in the 2018-19 campaign, the improvements week-on-week and the performances in the league and cup last year from the Lionesses is showing that they will be a tough opponent for their hosts on Sunday.
Chris Philips has been rightly receiving plaudits this season for persisting with the use of young and upcoming players and one of those who is showing phenomenal amounts of potential is Lucy Fitzgerald on the wing.
The young attacker has been a revelation for the Lionesses and the fans always know there will be a moment of brilliance and excitement when she has the ball at her feet and attacking the opposition defence. With stand out performances in the league this season against the likes of London Bees, Crystal Palace and Arsenal in the Continental Tyres League Cup, Fitzgerald has proven to be a vital player so far and a crucial member of the first team.
Playing with an air of confidence and ability that is well beyond her years, the 18-year-old will be keen to continue her development in the Women’s second tier under the tutelage of Chris Phillips and the Millwall coaching staff.
Leicester City have not looked out of depth since their second place finish and promotion from last season’s FA Women’s Premier League Northern Division and although they aren’t in the hunt for a promotion place this year, a mid-table finish is more than achievable and a good return for a good season so far.
Being founded in 2004, the Foxes are one of the newer sides in Women’s Football, but in their short history they have already experienced more promotions and relegations than sides who have been established for a lot longer. After four successive promotions, Leicester were promoted to the top tier in 2004, but a turbulent spell in the early 2010’s saw the Midlands yo-yo between the divisions.
With Jonathan Morgan taking the reins at the club in 2014, a second placed finish last season and successful application to the Women’s Championship for the 2018-19 season, Leicester are a well organised and a difficult opponent to beat. With players like Melissa Johnson, Rosie Axten and Fiona Worts leading the line with their thirteen goals between them this season, this will be a stern test for the Millwall Lionesses.
Team: Leicester City WFC
Competition: Women's Championship
Venue: Farley Way Stadium
Date: Sunday 13th January