FA Women's Premier League - Lewes 4 Argyle 1
ARGYLE Ladies lost their opening fixture of the FA Women’s Premier League as Lewes overpowered an inexperienced Pilgrims side in the second half.
The score was goalless at the break, but a sudden salvo by the home side created a gap which Argyle were never able to bridge.
The ladies went into the game full of confidence, having won all their pre-season friendlies, but were missing three or four key players. The youthful looking Argyle (average age 20yo) gave as good as they got in a goalless first half with Ellie Dorey, Kayleigh Brown and Emily Mousley all going close to giving Argyle the lead at the break.
However, within five minutes of the restart Argyle were 2-0 down courtesy of some sloppy defending at two corners headed home amid goalmouth scrambles by Charlie Carter and Kelly Newton respectively.
Kayleigh Brown got Argyle back into the game in the 63rd minute with a stunning strike into the top corner from 20 yards and Mousley almost equalised two minutes later after being put through by Dorey but was thwarted by a last ditch tackle from Carter.
With Argyle pressing hard for an equaliser, Lewes restored their two goal cushion in the 75th minute in controversial circumstances. As the home side’s lively winger Cherelle Khassal raced through on goal she collided with Michaela Phillips with the Argyle keeper taking a kick in the head. When the expected referee’s whistle didn’t blow, Khassal picked herself up and rolled the ball into an empty net.
Player of the match Khassal added a late fourth for Lewes when she again raced clear to slot the ball home in the 85th minute, which made it look more one-sided than it actually was, although in fairness, Lewes had been marginally the better side throughout and deserved their win.
Argyle manager Kevin Taylor was pleased with the overall performance of his young team, but disappointed with the manner of the goals conceded, in particular the two corners, considering they had been worked on in training during the week.
Lewes away was always going to be a tough opener, bearing in mind the players they have recruited from Brighton during pre-season, but overall, despite the score line there were some positives to take forward, when hopefully Taylor will have some of his more experienced players back in contention for places.