WC: Lewes v Birmingham City
Points were shared at the Dripping Pan as neither Lewes or Birmingham City could break the deadlock
12 September 2023
Lewes and Birmingham City both picked up their first point of the Championship season after a 0-0 draw at The Dripping Pan on Sunday. Both sides were reduced to ten players within minutes of each other during the second half with Katie Dungate being shown a red card for Birmingham and Caragh Hamilton for Lewes.
Lewes’ goalkeeper Sophie Whitehouse made a stunning save near the end of the match to deny Ellie Mason.
Lewes had suffered defeats to Southampton and Durham in their opening two matches of the season whilst Birmingham had lost against Blackburn Rovers and Crystal Palace so both went into this game looking to get their season going.
After a quiet opening 10 minutes, it was Birmingham who had the first effort when Jade Pennock saw her long-range shot easily saved. Lewes’ first attempt came a few minutes later but Grace Riglar headed over from a corner. The Blues next chance came in the 14th minute when after a poor kick out from Whitehouse, Claudia Walker saw a shot blocked by Shauna Vassell before Pennock but the rebound into the side netting.
The first half was interrupted by several injuries that needed treatment and a cooling break in the very warm conditions. The Rooks had the next opportunity when Maria Farrugia went on a powerful run forward from inside her own half, played the ball to Hamilton but she shot just wide and into the side netting. Birmingham had the final effort of the first half when Pennock shot at the keeper.
The Blues Jamie Finn just couldn’t get onto a good cross early in the second half. Lewes had the next couple of chances but Anna Grey saw her low shot easily saved in the 56th minute, then eight minutes later, Farrugia’s long-range free kick dipped onto the roof of the net.
Birmingham’s Dungate was shown a second yellow card in the 66th minute and was sent off. Three minutes later, Hamilton also received her second yellow, and after a slight delay a red card, meaning it was 10v10 for the last 20 minutes or so.
The Rooks had the next opportunity in the 76th minute when Reanna Blades played in Grey but Lucy Thomas rushed out of goal to block the effort. Lucy Quinn saw her effort in the area blocked by a Lewes defender six minutes later.
Three minutes into stoppage time at the end, former Lewes player Mason cut in and from just outside the area hit a shot that was heading towards the top corner of the net until Whitehouse made a brilliant save to keep it out.
There were no more chances as the match finished goalless. The two sides remain in the bottom positions of the early Championship table. Next Sunday, Lewes travel to Bramall Lane to take on Sheffield United, whilst Birmingham return to St Andrews where they will play Charlton Athletic.
Lewes: Whitehouse, Riglar, Cleverly (c), Hamilton, Palmer (Hazard 64’), Pursey (Brasero-Carriera 64’), Farrugia, Grey (Oakley 88’), Vassell, Olding, Mooney
Unused substitutes: Moore, Garrad, Blades
Booked – Hamilton (x2)
Sent off – Hamilton (69’)
Birmingham City: Thomas, Louise Quinn, Lawley, Pennock (Lucy Quinn 57’), Finn (Harris 78’), Harrison-Murray (c), Dungate, Walker (Devlin 78’), Allen, Moore (Agg 57’), Herron (Mason 35’)
Unused substitutes: Clarke, Worsey, Cowie, Banaras
Booked – Pennock, Dungate (x2), Mason
Sent off – Dungate (66’)
Referee – Lauren Impey
Attendance - 501