Women’s Report: Saints 2-1 Lewes

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Southampton FC Women earned three points at home in a tight Barclays Women's Championship clash with Lewes, thanks to an Emma Thompson brace on Easter Sunday.

With three changes to the side, Saints bounced back against Lewes after suffering defeat at the hands of Blackburn Rovers last weekend.

Lexi Lloyd-Smith, Laura Rafferty, and Emma Thompson took their places in Marieanne Spacey-Cale's starting line-up.

With injuries in the squad, the bench this afternoon also included a quartet of Under-21s players in Kayla Nohasiarisoa, Pupkinya Surin, Sofia Mallon, and Kate Jeffery.

Youngsters Mallon, Jeffery, and Surin earned their first call-ups to the squad.

Spacey-Cale's side looked threatening from the whistle, with the first shot of the match came within a minute through a powerful strike from captain Lucia Kendall.

A stunning pass from Kendall to Ella Morris on the right was then the catalyst for the goal which saw the home side take an early lead.

Morris found Emma Thompson inside the box, who had no trouble slotting it home to give Southampton the advantage.

Thompson doubled the Saints' lead in the 15th minute after Lewes failed to clear a corner, as she stabbed the ball home to notch an impressive brace saw for her first two goals for the club.

Emma Thompson is mobbed by teammates after her second goal.

With Southampton leading comfortably, Thompson searched for a hat-trick.

A long-range shot from the youngster went over the crossbar, and another attempt just moments later was deflected away by Sophie Whitehouse.

Following some brief chaos in the box, the Rooks snatched a goal back in the 39th minute, with Grace Riglar's strike landing in the bottom left corner of goal.

Saints continued to dominate possession as the first half saw out its eight additional minutes, with some intense battles in the midfield beginning to play out.

A strong shot from distance by Kendall struck the crossbar in the 46th minute, with a fast-paced start to the second half highlighting Saints' continued momentum.

A vital save by Kayla Rendell kept Saints a goal to the better, as Aimee Claypole had found herself in a prime shooting position.

Soon after, Lewes looked to strike again, this time from close-range, with Rendell saving the day once more.

Lewes looked close to an equaliser in the 84th minute as they lifted the intensity, but a block from Ella Morris proved essential before Saints could have secured a third goal as Atlanta Primus headed wide.

Saints held out for the win, however, and maintain their third-place position in the table before the league's final international break.

Saints: Rendell, Collett (Wynne 31), Mott, Rafferty, Purfield, Primus, Kendall (captain), Morris, Pike, Lloyd-Smith, Thompson (Griffiths 74).

Subs not used: Haaland, Milne, Griffiths, Nohasiarisoa, Surin, Mallon, Jeffery.

Goals: Thompson 11, 15.

Yellow Cards: Wynne 57, Purfield 61, Lloyd-Smith 68, Rafferty 90+1.

Lewes: Whitehouse, Riglar, Garrad (Hack 79), Hamilton (captain), Farrugia (Blades 63), Olding, Roche (Hazard 45), Godfrey, Hand, Heuchan (Vassell 73), Claypole (Grey 79).

Subs not used: Moore, Cleverly, Vassell, Brasero-Carreira.

Goals: Riglar 39.

Yellow Cards: Hazard 88.

Attendance: 1,853.