Last-gasp winner from Rianna Dean tames the Lionesses 3-2 in thrilling Championship encounter
Rianna Dean scores the winner against Millwall Lionesses. Photo: Wu's Photography
Rianna Dean scored a last-gasp goal to send Spurs Ladies four points clear at the top of the WSL Championship in a thrilling 3-2 win against Millwall Lionesses.
A quality finish from Sarah Wiltshire gave the Lilywhites the lead in the first half, but Evie Clarke found an equaliser for the home side just before the interval.
Spurs’ substitute, Emma Beckett scored her first goal for the club late into the second half, and it looked to be the winner until an intense spell in stoppage time saw Millwall level once again through Beth Lumsden.
Right at the death, a diligent Dean slotted the ball past Chloe Sansom to seal three points in a dramatic finale at Princes Park as the Spurs Ladies’ camp erupted.
Manager Karen Hills made one change to her starting line-up as Angela Addison started ahead of Bianca Baptiste in attack, and Josie Green was named on the bench, after missing two games through injury.
Wiltshire fired the away side in front after 35 minutes with another glorious goal to add to her growing collection. On this occasion, the forward had Megan Wynne to thank for a superb cross into the area, before she looped her volley into the top corner.
Millwall looked a different side to the one that Spurs beat 8-0 back in October at Theobalds Lane. A minute before the break they responded through Clarke, who made a dangerous run past Renée Hector to slot the ball beyond Chloe Morgan into the bottom right corner.
Despite piling the pressure on in attack, Spurs struggled to find a way through Millwall’s stubborn defence, but with six minutes to go, their luck changed when Beckett buried a header at the near post from Jenna Schillaci’s corner.
The home side weren’t giving up without a fight, and they found another equaliser through Lumsden in the 91st minute as she headed in Lucy Fitzgerald’s free kick.
But the action didn’t stop there with Spurs determined to leave Dartford three points better off. With only a matter of seconds left to play, one last cross in from Wynne found Ashleigh Neville in the area, who exquisitely flicked it into Dean’s path, before she poked it past Sansom to secure a vital victory.
Goals: Millwall Lionesses - Evie Clarke 44, Beth Lumsden 90+1 Spurs Ladies – Sarah Wiltshire 36, Emma Beckett 84, Rianna Dean 90+5
Referee: Aji Ajibola
Venue: Princes Park Stadium (Dartford FC)
Millwall Lionesses: Chloe Sansom, Leanne Cowan, Ylenia Priest, Grace Neville, Lia Cataldo, Beth Lumsden, Georgie Giddings (Annie Rossiter 70), Fran Ali, Michelle Young (Kalai Peart 82), Lucy Fitzgerald, Evie Clarke.
Substitutes not used: Rhiannon Stewart, Chantelle Mackie, Sofia Stovold
Spurs Ladies: Chloe Morgan, Ashleigh Neville, Jenna Schillaci ©, Renee Hector (Josie Green 66), Jess Naz, Sophie McLean, Coral-Jade Haines (Lucia Leon 82), Megan Wynne, Angela Addison (Emma Beckett 66), Rianna Dean, Sarah Wiltshire.
Substitutes not used: Emma Gibbon, Anna Filbey, Bianca Baptiste, Anne Meiwald