League Cup 3rd round - Millwall Lionesses (H) 3-1 aet

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League Cup 3rd round - Millwall Lionesses (H) 3-1 aet

Post by TonyDart »

Match Report – Dartford 3 Millwall Lionesses 1 aet (1-1 after 90 mins) London & SE Regional Women’s League Cup,
3rd round on Sunday 29th January 2023 at Princes Park, 3G
Weather: Grey, cloudy and cold

Dartford Manager: Connor Dymond, Head coach: Martin McCarthy
Dartford team: Jade Charlton, Charlie Torry, Megan McKeag, Rachel Ahern, Georgie Davis, Adele Pearce, Alicia Adams, Liz Adams, Shauni Griffiths, Nicha Dyett, Emily Vaughan
Subs: Izzy Michalski, Amy Reader, Paris Smith (all used)


Darts battled their way into the League Cup last eight on Sunday when two goals in the space of two minutes from Paris Smith broke the Lionesses hearts.

Still fresh in everyone’s minds was Paris’s winner against the same opposition in last year’s cup semi-final when she bagged the winner in extra time.

On Sunday she did it again, scoring two goals inside two minutes at the beginning of extra time.

The opening spell of this 3rd round cup tie was fairly even but there were some danger signs for the Darts, mainly in the possession and attacking play of Millwall’s number 7. Her control was a joy to watch but she was let down by a lack-lustre first half performance from others in blue around her.

In the 12th minute Jade had to be at her best to keep out a dangerous corner which she gathered high above everyone else. From her kick out the ball reached the half-way line which Lizzie Adams latched on to and played it out to Shauni Griffiths who sent over a gem of a cross which the Lionesses goalie had to be very alert to, just managing to claw the ball out from under the bar.

Three minutes later, Alicia won the ball in midfield and passed up to Emily Vaughan who brought Shauni into play on the edge of the penalty area. She cut inside and her shot struck the bar, rebounding into play where Millwall eventually cleared, but this was a superb effort which had the goalie beaten all the way.

Five minutes later and it was Millwall’s turn to strike the woodwork, this from a free-kick which hit the top of the bar and behind for a goal-kick.

On 24 minutes the Lionesses struck. Great skill and control from their No.7, Otesha Charles outside the area, cut inside and hit a terrific shot that gave Jade no chance, although getting a finger-tip to it. 0-1

Within a minute Darts were level. In the 25th minute a lovely ten-pass move involving, Jade, Charlie, Adele, Georgie, Alicia, Megan and Shauni paid dividends During that passing play Alicia’s ball to Megan McKeag was the one that made the space for Megan to play a neat one-two with Nicha inside the area, and found Shauni who cut inside, shot low and hard with the ball nestling in the back of the net beyond the left-hand post. This was a great team goal. 1-1

The Lionesses had plenty of play and won a series of corners which were all delivered inside the Darts 6-yard box but Jade used her height to great effect in plucking them out of the air or punching to safety.

From another of Jade’s long kicks, the bounce beat the line of defenders and Shauni was able to close in on goal but the Lionesses goalie stood her ground and her shot went inches wide of the left post.

On 40 minutes another low and hard shot from Shauni was just kept out by a desperate save.

HT 1-1

In the second half both sides had chances. A shot from Shauni was missing the target but at the last moment Lizzie was at the back post and only inches away from making that all-important connection with the ball. Then Emily Vaughan headed a centre just a few inches over the bar.

The Lionesses had a shot that struck the crossbar and then produced their best football of the afternoon. Gradually getting a stronghold on midfield they had lots of possession and began to turn the screw for more than just a few minutes and Darts lost their composure and passing skills and a few desperate kicks away were evident.

In the 66th minute Jade kept Darts in the game, standing her ground in a one-on-one situation where the Lionesses striker failed to connect with any accuracy, but this was a real let-off for the Darts.

Gradually though, Darts’ midfielders evened up the game and even produced an effort that could have secured them the tie.

On 87 minutes Megan limped off to be replaced by Amy Reader and with her first touch of the match she nearly sealed a Darts victory. Rachel pumped the ball forward which Lizzie Adams turned onto Paris and then to Shauni. Her shot flashed across the goalmouth and Amy just beyond the far post struck the ball. She had appeared out of nowhere but with the ball coming to her so quickly she couldn’t adjust her stance enough to power the ball home.

Then, in the dying minutes Shauni sent a ball down the line to Paris who chased an almost lost cause but managed to keep the ball in play right by the corner flag. Her cross flew across the face of the goal at cross-bar height and almost went directly in, but fortunately for the Lionesses, it took a flight of safety for the South Londoners.

There was just time for Millwall themselves to have a great chance of winning the tie when their player No 23 found herself chasing the ball with just Jade to beat. Georgie had done her utmost to catch her and was breathing down her neck and had probably done enough to put the striker off, who completely mishit her shot and it went well wide of the target.

FT 1-1

So, into extra-time and no-one could have written the script for the next 60 or so seconds.

A pass reached Shauni on the right, she pulled it back from the bi-line, and it reached just right of the penalty spot where Paris was there to power her shot home to give the Darts the lead for the first time in the match, 2-1.

Spectators had hardly drawn their breath when another chance fell Paris’ way. The ball ended up in the 6-yard box and with the goalie and a couple of defenders desperately trying to clear their line, Paris had the strength to brush them all aside and get the ball over the line for a 3-1 lead. That was a real battling goal from Paris and so well deserved.

This turned into a real battling extra-time performance from the Darts in a game that turned a bit ‘edgy’ with the Lionesses, who it seemed were finding defeat a bitter pill to swallow.

Dartford really muscled it through the rest of the extra time and mastered the Lionesses until they looked quite a dishevelled and well-beaten outfit, completely rocked by Paris’ double strike.

For me, the pass of the day came from Amy Reader. Jade had kicked out well again which found Paris in the centre circle and via a passing movement involving Paris, Charlie, Nicha and Shauni the ball was laid off to Amy. She then played the most exquisite ball that curled over and around the defender into the path of Shauni who took on her defender, left her for dead, and fired in a fierce shot across goal which Paris, at the far post lunged at, needing only a toe on it to push it home, but instead the pace of the ball sent it agonisingly past her.

Some of Jade’s long kicks seemed to work well for Darts on the day and the willingness to chase down every ball served them in good stead and that, above all, was what Millwall seemed unable to handle.

The Darts reward is a home tie versus Dulwich Hamlet, victors over Ebbsfleet Utd, in the last eight of the League Cup on Sunday February 12th

See you all there.

Report by Tony Brown
Photos by Taur Everard
2022-23 v Millwall Lge Cup Paris has bundled in No 2.jpg
2022-23 v Millwall Lge Cup 3-1 aet team photo after.jpg
Last edited by TonyDart on Fri Feb 03, 2023 2:24 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Ring of fire
Posts: 39
Joined: Tue Feb 22, 2022 4:09 pm

Re: League Cup 3rd round - Millwall Lionesses (H) 3-1 aet

Post by Ring of fire »

That was a great league cup win against tough opposition. On to the quarter final, not before a big league local derby v Ebbsfleet this Sunday 3pm!