Imps 1 Loughborough Lightning 3

Imps 1 Loughborough Lightning 3

City Women ended the 2023/24 campaign with defeat to league runner-ups Loughborough Lightning.

The visitors started with purpose as they knew they needed a win to have a chance at taking the league title away from Sporting Khalsa.

Lauren Purchase curled an effort against the upright before Jade Arber’s great delivery from a corner was powerfully headed into the net by Hannah Langford.

City began to find their footing after the early set-back however, and were keeping Loughborough at bay while also showing more of a threat in the final third.

Tilly Fantom was sin-binned after 35 minutes, reducing the Imps to ten, but City continued to defend resolutely.

Just before the half-time whistle, a defence-splitting ball from Arber allowed Ferne Powell to run clear of the Imps’ defence, with the winger slotting the ball past Poppy Irvine.

After the break Fantom returned to the action and almost pulled a goal back, but her header was flicked wide.

Loughborough made it three through a great move which saw a pass threaded through to Lydia Tilbury-Henry who found the back of the net.

With ten minutes to go, the Imps got themselves on the score-sheet with an audacious effort from Millie Quaintance.

After winning the ball high up the pitch, the ball was launched into the 18-yard box, and with an air of nonchalance, Quaintance stuck out her back-heel to divert the ball over Alicia Grimmond and into the Lightning net.

City pushed to find a second to increase Lightning nerves but ultimately it was Irvine who was called into a great stop at her near post to ensure the result read 3-1.

Imps: Poppy Irvine, Brogan Pugh, Ella Thompson-Moulding, Tilly Fantom, Faith Horner, Millie Quaintance, Neve Hincks, Leah Hardy, Maddi Green, Jemima Footitt, Lucy Farrow.

Goal(s): Quaintance (79)

Lightning: Alicia Grimmond, Georgia Hewitt, Abbey Hateley, Kayleigh Hines, Ferne Powell, Poppy Wright, Jade Arber, Lauren Purchase, Emily Jacobs, Molly Sutherland, Hannah Langford.

Goal(s): Langford (9), Powell (44), Tilbury-Henry (65)