A Katie Wilkinson penalty saw Coventry United take their FA Women’s Championship great escape down to the last day with a hard-fought and impressive victory over mid-table Lewes FC.
The first half was a hotly contested affair with the home side starting better and nearly taking the lead in 90 seconds, but Olivia Ferguson couldn’t get her effort on target after Elisha N’Dow’s squared ball.
A competitive 25 minutes followed, with the most notable effort coming again from Ferguson for Coventry on 16 minutes, narrowly missing from a difficult angle after a lofted through ball, though this would set the stage for the rest of the half.
Ferguson would find herself coming close again on 31 minutes, only just failing to get round Tatiana Saunders in the Lewes net with her effort just a minute later being saved, Coventry’s best effort of the half.
A volleyed effort from N’Dow for Coventry on 36 minutes would be the last major action of the half, with the embattled hosts on top and hoping to be more clinical after the break.
The second half was largely uneventful until the 69th minute when Coventry were awarded for their momentum with a crucial penalty that was powered home a couple of minutes later thanks to captain Wilkinson, whose effort gave Saunders no chance after a great performance from the Lewes keeper up to this point.
With no notable chances after this point, the most significant being a Mollie Green free-kick for Coventry that went well-wide, the hosts managed to resist any Lewes pressure and gain perhaps the most important three points that any team in England will gain this weekend.
This victory makes what seemed impossible more than possible for Coventry, with a winner takes all clash at Watford next week awaiting them, whilst Lewes will question their lacklustre performance, with them hoping to end the season on a high next Sunday when they host champions Liverpool.