By Frankie Christou
MILLWALL LIONESSES boss Chris Phillips is targeting a first win after the international break against Leicester City following their first point of the season when they drew against Crystal Palace Ladies last Sunday.
Millwall started the Women’s Championship game on the front foot in the opening ten minutes with Gabby Ravenscroft testing Palace stopper Megan Lynch on two occasions, the second a lob that rolled just wide.
Palace opened the scoring minutes later when former Lionesses striker Ashlee Hincks stroked the ball into the back of the net after she found herself unmarked at the back post.
But the hosts grabbed an equaliser in the second half through a brilliant goal from Ravenscroft – the ex-Arsenal striker who followed Phillips to Millwall – who pounced on Lynch’s loose clearance before beating a defender and firing into the top corner for her second of the season.
“I thought it was an improved performance. To be fair I thought for the first time we started the game well, which is something we have been working on and I think we did that,” Phillips said after the game.
“What is frustrating is the goal we conceded because I thought we were on top at that time, if I’m perfectly honest. They played a long ball, which should have been dealt with.
“But I’m happy all round. I thought Gabby’s goal was fantastic. I’ve seen Gabby do that hundreds in matches and in training so it wasn’t a surprise to me that it ended up in the top corner.
“Now we have our first point on the board, we have a couple of weeks off and we will work hard and recover and we’ll be looking to go for our first win in our next game.
“It’s going to be tough because we have a few going away with England, four of them will be away with the national team so we will have to pray they come back healthy. The ones who will be in, I know a few sessions [have been] lined up that they can look forward too.”
After a three-week break, the Lionesses will face sixth-place Leicester City – who lost 4-3 to Lewes last weekend – on October 14 in Dartford.
Phillips added: “They’re another physical side, they had a tough game with their result. We’ll be prepared for them.
“We know they have a couple of dangerous players and we’ll analyse the footage and be ready for them.
“We are five or six weeks behind other teams, this has been our pre-season and I’m still learning and the players are as well.”
Millwall Lionesses have started all five of their competitive fixtures this season with a different formation and a different starting XI as Phillips explained that he is still searching for that winning formula. “I’m still finding out what our best formation is for what suits the group that I have and we will continue to work until I feel that we are there.”
Ravenscroft described her goal. “I saw the keeper near side and I thought I might as well have a pop and it just glided in. She [Evie Clarke] made a good run and took the defender away with her so all eyes were on her which gave me space to shoot.
“The girls are buzzing, we have come so far since the start of the season when we were losing games. Getting a point will boost our morale.”
Image: Millwall Lionesses