With so many big games going on I felt spoilt for choice with where I should spend the opening day. I had thought about going to see my local side, Portsmouth, take on one of the league favourites in Watford. Or maybe check out the big London derby between the Bees and Lionesses. I opted for the short journey east to watch everyone’s second favourite team, Lewes take on newly promoted Blackburn Rovers.
Lewes opened the scoring through Emma Jones. The Wales forward dribbled unchallenged deep into the Rovers half before unleashing a low drive from distance which beat Hill.
I ventured to the bar to treat myself to another pint of Gun Brewery’s Vermont pale ale but as I was there I heard a loud groan. I turned around and saw that Rovers were celebrating. Serena Fletcher’s shot deflected over Faye Baker who was left with no chance.
The first half finished 1-1 and I’d say that it was just about a fair result. Both sides will have gone into the changing room believing that they were capable of a lot more. Too often the Lewes forwards were left isolated as the defence and midfield sat deep. I felt that if Fran Alonso’s side were a little more adventurous going forward then they would reap the rewards.
It was the home side who grabbed the all important second goal through Jess King’s close range strike came after some great work by Katie Rood on the left wing. Once this goal went in the Rooks never looked back. Alonso introduced Ellie Noble for her debut and it didn’t take her long to make her mark. Her beautifully curled shot from the edge of the box put the result beyond doubt.
In the closing minutes of the match Lewes managed to score their fourth and second for Noble with a lovely free kick from about 25 yards out. The ball lobbed over Hill as got caught flat footed. While the blustery conditions won’t have helped she will have gutted to have conceeded from that distance.
The five star performance was confirmed when Emily Donovan, also on as a substitute, converted the fifth after a dejected Rovers failed to clear.
I spoke with Shannon Moloney, Charley Boswell, Dani Lane, assistant coach Simon Parker, the whole team were absolutely buzzing. The only thing to dampen their mood was the news that Durham scored late to clinch top of the league on alphabetical order after their 5-1 win over Leicester City.
With regards to Blackburn Rovers, they will have gone back to Lancashire slightly frustrated as they will have believed that they were capable of more. I felt that they faded in the last twenty minutes but overall there is a good team there and under Gemma Donnelly‘s leadership I believe that they will grow into this league and pick up points.
As ever, it was a fantastic day at The Dripping Pan and I cannot wait to go back as soon as possible. If you’ve never been but you are curious then I thoroughly encourage you to go down and check out the amazing work that they are doing at the club.
Lewes: Baker; Boswell, Hayes, McIntyre (C), Quayle, Savva (Noble 56), Lane, Rood (Peters 82), King (Donovan 70), Jones, Ness
Subs not used: Foster, Taylor, Cleverly, Jones
Blackburn Rovers: Hill; Taylor, Holbrook, Davies (Jones 68), Fenton, Jordan (C), Flint (Thomas 58), McDonald, Fletcher, Redman, Stewart
Subs not used: Jukes, Charlton