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HomeSportFootballSeven-up has Millwall Lionesses fizzing ahead of south London FA Cup derby

Seven-up has Millwall Lionesses fizzing ahead of south London FA Cup derby

After three defeats to start the season, Millwall Lionesses made it seven consecutive wins with their 3-1 victory over Dartford at St Paul’s last weekend.

Amy Nash and Chloe Burr scored in the first half and Molly Hawkins added a third with nine minutes left to lift Millwall up to third in the London & South East Women’s Regional Football League Premier Division table.

The Lionesses started slowly and Dartford had the ball in the net early on only for an offside flag to spare the hosts.

Goalkeeper Chrissie Wiggins had already denied the Darts and Milan Shakespeare-Simms was then in the right place to head off another threatening attack from the visitors.

Jack Wheeler’s side took the lead against the run of play in the nineteenth minute when Nash curled in a corner that went directly into the net.

There was little fortune involved in Millwall’s second of the afternoon in the 28th minute. Alyssa Miranda played a brilliant first-time ball into the box from the left and Burr superbly lobbed home.

The Lionesses again started the second half slowly and this time were made to pay as Dartford pulled a goal back through Emily Vaughn.

Millwall tightened up but the visitors were still a threat from set-pieces and had chances to force an equaliser.

But the hosts ensured they would take all three points from the clash when substitute Hawkins scored at the second attempt after her first effort had been saved.

Only Fulham in second, who like Millwall are on fifteen points from eight games but with a plus-20 better goal difference, and runaway leaders Ashford Town, who have 22 points, are above the Lionesses in the table.

Five of the Lionesses’ wins in their current streak have come under Wheeler.

“Really pleased with the performance of the girls, they really dug in,” Wheeler told reporter Eamonn Barclay after the game. “It wasn’t necessarily about playing too much football, it was more about doing what we needed to do, especially after going 2-0 up at half-time, and seeing the game out.

“I thought they put in a professional performance. They all stuck together and got the three points, which is a massive three points against a very good Dartford team. They’ve always been up around the top of the league, it shows the potential we’ve got here at Millwall Lionesses.”

Emily Stanley spoke recently about how the side have improved since Wheeler took charge.

She said: “I think the main factor is the mentality of the team. When [current assistant] Alex Russell and [goalkeeping coach] Greg Mcalinney took over [as caretakers] they changed the atmosphere with the team and Jack has reinforced that positivity and togetherness.

“We’re so gelled as a team we just want to win for each other.

“I think that our confidence is building but we’re not arrogant about how well we’re playing. We’re focusing on improving as a team and, right now, we’re the underdogs – but everyone loves a good underdog story.”

Millwall are in action in the first-round proper of the FA Cup this weekend. South London rivals AFC Wimbledon from the FA Women’s National League Division One South East – one tier above the Lionesses – are the visitors to St Paul’s in Rotherhithe on Sunday. Kick-off is 2pm.

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