Saint’s secure Victory in Final game of the Season

By Sam Morley from Saint Mary’s

Rianna Dean comes back from injury to secure the three points for the Saints.
Southampton came out 3-1 winners against London City Lionesses as they embarked
on their last home match of the Championship season.

The Saints made one change following their 2-1 win against Lewes, as Alice Griffiths
came into the side for Megan Collet. It was a warm welcome back to the matchday
squad for Saints forward Rianna Dean, following an injury-hit last couple of seasons.

Having not played for three weeks, Saints were looking to end their home campaign with
a victory.

It was a sunny but cold afternoon at St Mary’s Stadium and Southampton made a bright
start to the game. First real chance for the home side as a shot from distance from the
birthday girl Atlanta Prime was parried out by the City keeper.

A positive Saints start paid off in the 15th minute, as Ella Morris made a great run down
the right-hand side and placed an inch perfect low cross into the box for Molly Pike to
score her 5th goal of the season.

London City responded well to going behind, applying pressure on the Southampton
defence, earning consecutive corners. However, the home side were ruthless in front of
goal, with Emma Thompson scoring her 3rd goal in two matches with a faint flick,
doubling the lead in the 25th minute.

Pike was constant threat on the left-hand side in the first half. She burst down the wing
again, cutting inside and hitting the crossbar with an excellent strike.

A comfortable half for Southampton meant they took a 2-0 lead into the break.
The away side made 2 substitutions at the start of the second half as they looked to find
a way back into the game.

Pike was played through with a wonderful through ball from the Saints skipper Lucia
Kendall, but she couldn’t convert the chance. The hosts were building some momentum
again in the second half.

City had earnt themselves a corner which was taken short, and a shot from the edge of
the box was blazed over. A scramble in the box minutes later was eventually cleared by
the home side, as City upped the pressure.

First yellow card of the game was for City player Emma Mukando, with a late foul on
Pike. The following free kick was shot narrowly wide from the number 14.

The away side managed to get themselves back into the game in the 71st minute, with a
shot thundered into the roof of the net at the back post from Leanne Cowan.

The game swinged since the goal, and Danielle Carter found herself in shooting range,
but her shot was saved by Kayla Rendell in the Southampton goal.

Rianna Dean was welcomed back onto the pitch as she replaced Thompson.
Just when the game was looking nervy for the Saints, a loose ball at the back meant
Dean was through on goal and the forward made no mistake as she rolled the ball into
the net. A relief for the substitute, following her injury struggles.

The game ultimately petered out in the remaining minutes, with Dean’s goal killing City’s
momentum. It finished at St Mary’s Stadium – for their final home game of the season –
Southampton 3-1 London City.

Despite the three points, Southampton’s small promotion hopes faded with Crystal
Palace victorious. However, a record league attendance for the season gives the Saints
something to be proud of in their last home outing.

Southampton FC Women: Kayla Rendall (GK), Ella Morris, Milly Mott, Lucia Kendall (C),
Laura Rafferty, Lexi Lloyd-Smith (Peplow 79’), Molly Pike (Kraft 79’), Emma Thompson
(Dean 68’), Alice Griffiths, Atlanta Primus, Jemma Purfield
Substitutes: Rosie Parnell, Chloe Peplow, Rianna Dean, Megan Wynne, Benedicte
Haaland, Emily Kraft, Isabel Milne, Pupkinya Surin, Sofia Mallon

London City Lionesses: Grace Moloney (GK), Emma Mukandi, Megan Campell, Lois Joel
(C), Lucy Fitzgerald, Danielle Carter, Lottie Lindstom (Satchell 71’), Maddie Wilde
(Neville 45’), Ruesha Littlejohn (Groves 45’), Leanne Cowan, Chantelle Boye-Hlor
Substitutes: Grace Neville, Izzy Groves, Tinaya Alexander, Hermione Cull, Paige
Satchell, Corinne Henson, Grace Jarret, Niamh Farrelly

Referee: Ruby Sykes
Assistant Referees: Richard Fullicks, Flyinfollwa
Fourth Official: Chloe-Ann
Match Attendance: 3,416