Millwall Lionesses manager Katie Whitmore said her players could keep their “heads held high” after their 2-0 friendly defeat to Kent Football United on Wednesday evening.
Goals from United’s Charlie Goad and Abi Adewunmi in both halves were the difference at the Efes Stadium.
But Whitmore was pleased with how her side did against a team who play two tiers above.
“I think playing against a tier four club is always going to be a challenge, and I think that is the reason why we do it,” Whitmore said. “We want to challenge our players, we want them to realise that we are capable of doing well against these teams. Yes, we lost 2-0, but it could have been a lot worse.”
Whitmore praised Lionesses goalkeeper Millie Carter, after the seventeen-year old produced a string of quality saves.
“Millie Carter kept us in it quite a lot, a fantastic performance,” Whitmore said. “The girls need to leave with their heads high in the sense that a 2-0 defeat [against a National League side], that’s nothing. Both halves are 1-0, and it just shows how close both halves were.”
Kent dominated possession throughout and were in control of the game for large periods, but Whitmore thought that was more down to United’s organisation and the respect shown to the National League side, rather than her Millwall team being outplayed technically.
“You could really see, for whatever reason, the girls respected Kent Football United a little bit too much for being a tier four side, so they would step off a bit and give them too much time on the ball,” Whitmore said. “ So for me, that is the main message really for them, is that is all we did, we just gave them too much time and we respected them too much for the level that they play at.
“The attackers did press, did well and they came back when we were out of possession, so you can’t ask much more from them in the sense of how much work they put in.
“What we need to remember is that it’s all well and good us talking about individuals, but like I say to the girls, you win as a squad, which they did for the last two weeks, but they also lose as a squad.
“Everyone has put a performance in, everyone has worked hard and I think they need to remember that they are in it together and that they support each other through it.”