Lincoln United Women hosted Loughborough Lightning in the first round of the FA Cup on Remembrance Sunday. A large crowd gathered at the Sun-Hat Villas and Resorts Stadium and a moment’s reflection was held for Armistice Sunday prior to kick-off.
7 minutes into the game Lincoln took the lead as a corner saw the ball drop to Francesca Wilson on the edge of the box, who smashed her half-volley past the keeper to make it 1-0.
Searching for the equaliser, Lightning made chance after chance but were denied by a combination of good saves and excellent defending from Player of the Match, Annie Ward. However, the visitor’s work would pay off in the 38th minute as a corner from Abbey Hateley found the head of Captain Kayleigh Hines who fired her effort into the top-right corner, 1-1.
The second half got underway with the same intensity as the first. Lincoln had a chance to put themselves back in front as Betty Thomas was slipped through on goal, her looping effort just too high.
However, the visitors would put themselves ahead in the 61st minute as Hateley took a perfect first touch with her left foot onto her right and smashed home to put Lightning 2-1 up.
The next big chance of the game came as Lincoln United broke in on goal in the 86th minute, but Thomas was denied by a good save from Grimmond in the Lightning goal. Lincoln continued to press as a volleyed attempt from Alice Hayes in the 88th minute sailed high over the bar.
After 8 minutes of added time at the end of the game, the referee called a close to an exciting matchup, visitors Loughborough Lightning running out 2-1 winners in what had been a very competitive matchup.
Player-coach Katie Davison reflected this frustration, she said “We’re a fairly tall and robust side, so conceding a goal from a corner was not good enough.”
“Loughborough are an entire division above us and currently top of that league – I think we gave them a good game”, she said.