Coventry City Ladies withstood a second half hammering to claim three points against Leeds City Vixens who are now without a win from their last five matches. The Vixens will look back at a host of missed chances which they failed to capitalise on during a prolonged period of dominance after a poor first half showing at Pingles Leisure Centre, Nuneaton.
Both sides struggled to find any early rhythm but as City got into their stride, the Vixens had no answer to their superior passing and with just 15 minutes gone, City took the lead through their number nine who netted the rebound after Kelly Bevan saved the initial shot. With half an hour gone, the Vixens couldn't keep possession and sloppy passing cost them, this time a clearance from Sarah Dobby left Bevan exposed and it was two nil. It got worse for the Vixens as Becky Kendell was forced off through illness, replaced by Natalie Bruce and minutes later, Camille Clarke was unable to continue through injury and was replaced by Annie Highway.
The Vixens emerged for the second half with new found belief and just five minutes after the restart the Vixens were back in it. The manager's decision to push Vanessa Romero forward, allowing Hannah Spreckley to run the midfield paid dividends as they settled into the game with confidence. Vixens pressure resulted in a corner, which was swung in by the excellent Natalie Hague and Leanne Smith flung herself at the ball, chesting it in to make it 2-1. Not conventional but effective none-the-less.
The Vixens were on top, passing with confidence and creating openings and while they had a number of shots at goal, few really tested the home keeper and despite City sitting deeper and deeper, the Vixens were frustrated as shots were hacked off the line and a killer instinct was lacking. As the Vixens pushed forward in search of the equaliser, City broke and scored twice in the last two minutes.
The score line was a world away from how the match panned out but manager Leon Clarke will take plenty of positives from his second game in charge.
The Vixens today were:
Bevan, Cockerill, Hague, Bird, Paul, Clarke (Highway), Smith, Spreckley, Dobby, Romero, Kendell (Bruce).