Lewes Ladies 1 QPR Ladies 2
The Dripping Pan, Lewes
Sunday 28th February FAWPL
Lewes were left to rue a series of missed first-half chances as QPR dug out a hard-won victory at the Dripping Pan. After a late start due to traffic congestion, Rangers struggled to find their feet as Lewes took an early grip on the game.
Emma Plewa, back after a long injury lay-off, started brightly, working well with Lane and Heather. Five minutes in one such move saw Plewa wriggle free inside the D. She steadied herself before calmly slotting home past the advancing Caldwell. 1-0 (5)
Natasha Wells, Danielle Lane and Plewa continued to cause the visitors problems down the Lewes right. Despite QPR’s physicality Lewes matched their effort, Hayley West leading by example as she closed down the big threat of Whitter. The R’s 17 got fed up with West’s close attendance, moving across to the right, only to find Rachel Palmer in similarly mean mood.
Rangers, a strong, biting wind at their backs, looked to test Dolbear from range, but efforts from Fogarty and Wilson were well off target. On 37 minutes Plewa got away on the left, pulling back cleverly for Larkin who skewed her shot wide. Lewes stayed on top without creating too many clear chances, taking their slender advantage into the changing rooms. HT 1-0
After the break Rangers had clearly sorted themselves out, tearing into the Lewes midfield and, in spite of a vicious wind still driving in from the east, pinned the home side in their own half. Lewes defended bravely, West continuing her display from the first 45, ably supported by Palmer and Carter. Every Lewes counter-attack was repelled with interest, Rangers finding their passing range with unerring accuracy.
West and Carter continued to bite into challenges, one tackle from West deemed to be illegal. Fogarty’s free kick was met on the six yard line by Danielle Puddefoot who powered her header past Dolbear. 1-1 (71)
Lewes brought on Lock for Plewa, the tall striker given a half-chance within a minute, Rangers closing ranks to keep her out. Lewes pressed, Lane and Wells working hard to set up attacks, but it was Rangers who looked more likely as time and again they turned defence into attack with quick, incisive passing.
With ten minutes to go Lewes brought on Walder for Larkin, Rangers Netshova for Odeniyi. On 84 minutes another Lewes corner resulted in a chance for Rangers, Natasha Wells racing back to do just enough to put Whitter off as she seemed certain to score. Lane raced onto the clearance but, as for Rangers’ strikers in the first half, the wind took the ball off her toes and the chance was gone.
Following a delay for treatment for McIntyre, caught badly as she completed a long pass, Palmer’s free kick was cleared, setting up yet another counter in stoppage time. McIntyre cleared, but a speculative shot back in seemed to catch Dolbear in two minds. Unsure of the flight, she punched high, R’s skipper Maggs first to react, slotting home from close range. 1-2 (90+)
There was no time to respond. For the second week in a row Lewes were denied in cruel fashion after controlling much of the play. Dolbear was inconsolable at the end but it would be harsh for any one player to carry the burden of this defeat. The team did not take their chances in the first half and did not create enough in the second.
Rangers hung in there when the pressure was on and took their chances as they fell. Lewes get a chance to put things right next Sunday when they travel to Plymouth Argyle.
MvP as voted by match sponsor Direct Mortgage Group: Hayley West
Lewes: Dolbear, West, Carter, Palmer, Newton, Heather, Larkin, McIntyre, Wells, Lane, Plewa
Subs: Capon, Walder, Louise-Joseph, Lock
QPR: Caldwell, Lopes, Odeniy, Denny, Dempster, Maggs, Layton, Wilson, Puddefoot, Fogarty, Whitter
Subs: Netshova, Humble, Coles