Thompson’s late strike snatches all three points for Lionesses
Coventry United 0-1 London City Lionesses
London City Lionesses’ Kenni Thompson came off the bench to strike a late winner at Coventry United and keep her team's FA Women’s Championship title hopes alive.
A resilient United, bottom of the table, looked to have earned a point as the game went into the last ten minutes with the two sides locked in stalemate.
But the Bermudan midfielder dramatically found the net with a brilliant hit, just three minutes after manager Melissa Phillips introduced her to the action.
Coventry couldn’t find a response in the dying minutes, as the capital-based club claimed a second win of the New Year and stay seven points behind league leaders Liverpool with a game in hand.
Although the two teams sit at opposite ends of the division, this was an extremely tight contest at Butts Park Arena.
United started brightly when the ball fell kindly for Freya Thomas inside the area but Lionesses goalkeeper Shae Yanez made a smart save.
Striker Katie Wilkinson who scored the last time Coventry picked up a point in the league, also looked lively, but couldn’t force Yanez into action when she dragged her shot wide.
The visitors' best opening in the first half came when Carly Girasoli narrowly headed Mollie Rouse’s header just over Olivia Clark’s crossbar.
After the break, Clark did have to react to an opportunity, finger-tipping Lucy Fitzgerald’s looping cross behind for a corner.
Although the Lionesses began to turn up the pressure, it looked like Coventry had ridden the storm. That was until Thompson’s late show from the bench as she snatched a potentially vital win.
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Coventry United (4-3-3) : Olivia Clark, Natalie Johnson, Mollie Green, Natalie Haigh, Alanah Mann, Katy Morris, Charlie Estcourt, Destiney Toussaint, Freya Thomas, Olivia Ferguson, Katie Wilkinson ©.
Substitutes: Fran Orthodoxou for Thomas 71, Becky McGrother for Johnson 87.
Substitutes not used: Lucy Thomas, Hayley Crackle, Andria Georgiou.
London City Lionesses (4-3-3) : Shae Yanez, Carly Girasoli, Alli Palisch, Amy Rodgers, Lucy Fitzgerald, Wiktoria Fronc, Atlanta Primus, Harley Bennett ©, Karin Muya, Mollie Rouse, Jamie-Lee Napier.
Substitutes: Hayley Nolan for Girasoli 46, Rina Jarrett for Fronc 60, Brooke Nunn for Napier 78, Kenni Thompson for Palisch 78.
Substitutes not used: Melis Mehmet, Lily Agg, Annie Rossiter, Jessica Sarah Gray.
Goals: Thompson 81
Bookings: Nolan 90+1
Referee: Sophie Dennington
Coventry United manager Jay Bradford said: “I thought it was actually a very good game.
“I thought we were unlucky. We played really well and, if you compare that to last week’s performance, we looked a different team.
“That is the team I want to manage and a team I think we can be proud of.
“They (London City) are a very good side. They are well-oiled and that is credit to the staff there. We stopped them running in-behind which I know they are very good at.
“I took a great strike to win them the game. We could do a little better in terms of getting up to the ball, but it was a great finish.
“It was either going to finish 0-0 or a wonder-strike would win it.”