Sunday 12 March 2017

Quantrill on form though Millwall held at home to Brighton

An inspired display from both keepers ensured Brighton maintained their unbeaten start

FA WSL 2 match
14:00, Sunday 12 March 2017
St Paul's Sports Ground

The goalkeepers were the stars at St Paul’s Sports Ground, with Emma Byrne and Sarah Quantrill keeping the match between Millwall Lionesses and Brighton & Hove Albion to a goalless draw.

An attempted bicycle kick by Millwall’s Ella Rutherford might have been the goal of the FA WSL Spring Series so far had it been on target.

Two handballs from Albion meant two free kicks for Ashlee Hincks, the first went high and the second wide, the only other chances of note.

The start of the game saw Albion maintain the majority of possession, though Millwall looked increasingly dynamic as the first half went on.

Megan Wynne caused trouble in midfield for the home team, but Millwall struggled to convert her frequent tackles into goals.

Some fine footwork from Albion’s Kirsty Barton allowed her a shot on goal but, despite beating two defenders, the strike was an easy save for Quantrill.

At the other end of the pitch, Emma Byrne was equally impressive in goal – getting her fingertips to a superb lob from the Lionesses’ Leigh Nicol in the second half.

It looked as though the match would be decided when Ashlee Hincks was faced with an open goal in the 72nd minute, but her shot was parried once more by Byrne.

Leighanne Robe, Millwall Lionesses defender, said:

“Brighton are a new team in the league, but we sort of knew what to expect. We knew they’d bring the game to us but I thought we dealt with it well.

“We had 21 shots so we have come off frustrated that we didn’t manage to score anything, but I think all in all it was a good battle from both teams.

“Sarah Quantrill has been absolutely amazing for us all season so far and last season as well, hence why she got players’ player of the year. She is pulling off outstanding saves in every single game.

“The Brighton defence were good, they’ve got a good goalkeeper and they weren’t giving up.”

Emma Byrne, Brighton & Hove Albion goalkeeper, said:

“Both teams tried to do the right thing but maybe a few more shots on target were needed.

“We don’t even think about the fact that we’re new in the league because we feel like we should be winning games.

“The last three games we played, we felt we should have won and I think we definitely could have won today.

“That’s the difference in stepping up leagues, you have to take your chances. When you go up to the next league you’ll find if you give the ball away, it will be a goal against you – thankfully it wasn’t like that today.”

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Millwall Lionesses 0

Brighton & Hove Albion 0

Millwall Lionesses (3-4-3): Sarah Quantrill, Leigh Nicol, Jordon Butler, Leighanne Robe, Bonnie Horwood, Ashlee Hincks, Megan Wynne, Georgina Giddings, Ella Rutherford, Amber Gaylor, Billie Brooks

Substitutes: Sarah Kempson for Gaylor 65, Phoebe Read for Giddings 75, Beth Harford for Wynne 84

Substitutes not used: Ocean Rolandsen, Grace Taylor, Leanne Cowan

Bookings: None

Red Cards: None

Brighton & Hove Albion (4-2-3-1): Emma Byrne, Sophie Perry, Laura Rafferty, Vicky Ashton-Jones, Alessia Russo, Kirsty Barton, Kate Natkiel, Lucy Somes, Bronwen Thomas, Amelia Ritchie, Charlotte Young

Substitutes: Ellie Dorey for Thomas 75, Amy Taylor for Somes 80

Substitutes not used: Charley Wilson, Hollie Olding

Bookings: None

Red Cards: None

Referee: Kirsty Dowle

Attendance: 174