By Jeff Burnige at St Paul’s
Millwall Lionesses are now the only survivors from the London & South East Regional Women’s Football League left in this season’s Women’s FA Cup after their young side, featuring four players eligible for the under-18s, comfortably defeated local rivals Bromley 2-0 in the second round at St Paul’s last weekend.
There was a first-half tap-in for top-scorer Emma Whitter from Shannan Drewe’s cross, and later a Drewe clincher from Whitter’s through-pass.
In Monday’s draw, live-streamed on Instagram, the Lionesses were pitted away to Moneyfields, who are currently fourth in the FA Women’s National League Division One South West, the fourth tier, one tier above Millwall.
Attendances are growing at St Paul’s, which the Lionesses share with Fisher, and the crowd enjoyed watching as sixth-tier Bromley fought extremely hard, but could rarely penetrate Millwall’s strong defence, even when stalwart Sophie Chapman had to be replaced by seventeen-year-old Melissa Jones after eighteen minutes.
Hope Welsh switched to centre-back, and Jones slotted in at right-back. Chloe Burr was back in the starting line-up in midfield, and youngster Ellen Napper was given a start on the right, replacing the injured Liv McGregor.
Whitter’s opener came on 28 minutes, after the Lionesses had struck post and crossbar in early attacks.
After the interval, Burr fired narrowly over following a pass from seventeen-year-old left-back Emel Huseyin and then Whitter uncharacteristically missed the target when one-on-one with Bromley goalkeeper Megan Taylor. Drewe hit the post again, before on 86 minutes she fired home left-footed to make it 2-0.
The Lionesses were made to fight for the win by a highly-motivated Bromley side, who were well-supported by their large following, but Grace Seely and Ella Bailey were tireless in midfield and kept Millwall in control.
Joint-managers Alex Russell and Adam Rowland now hope to be back to somewhere near full-strength for the third round when they take on their Portsmouth-based opponents.
This Sunday, the Lionesses travel to Aylesford in the league for a 3.30pm kick-off.