Sunday 16th January 2022
London City Lionesses v Sunderland AFC Ladies
FA Women’s Championship
Dartford FC, Princes Park, Grass Banks, Dartford, Kent, DA1 1RT
Tickets & Match Coverage
Tickets: Adults £8, Concessions (Under 18s, Over 65s) £4. Book here, or pay on the gate
Travel: The ground is just off Junction 1b on the M25, and a 20-minute walk from Dartford station. Regular overground trains run from London Bridge.
Coverage: This game will be streamed live for free on the FA Player from shortly before kickoff at 2pm.
Highlights: All the action will be on the FA Player from Monday, including highlights and a full match replay.
Podcast: The Roker Report Lasses Podcast Live will be broadcast live again on Monday 8.30-9.30pm on Twitter Spaces - and it’s now recorded too. Listen in live and join the discussion, or listen back afterwards. Last Monday’s edition is still available.
Listen to this evenings Lasses Podcast Live whenever you like— Roker Report (@RokerReport) January 10, 2022
❄️Frozen pitch at Eppleton
January transfer window for @SAFCLadies
@LC_Lionesses game on Sun
@LiverpoolFCW 6-0 win
✊ @FAWCfans unite#SAFC ❤️ https://t.co/79Jc8RzaU1
After two cancelled games in a row, Sunderland return to action this afternoon for the first time in over a month. The Lasses have taken the opportunity to put in the work on the training pitch in what must have felt like a mini pre-season routine over the last couple of weeks.
Jess Brown was back in training in the new year, there are no new covid-19 cases that we’re aware of and Grace McCatty will be back in the starting eleven for certain as Charlotte Potts who is due to join Swiss outfit FF Lugano at the end of the month, has left the club with immediate effect.
Beginning of a long weekend away to London City. It’s been a fab week of intense training. Grateful to be travelling with a bunch of committed, hard working and loyal group of girls/staff. Long weeks at work and long weekends away ain’t easy but we sure make them fun! #love ⚪️— Keira Ramshaw (@Keys_Safc94) January 15, 2022
Mel Reay gave her regular pre-match briefing to Phil Smith of the Echo on Friday evening, and was confident that we can get at least a point in today’s game:
They’ve got some good players, good experience. It’s going to be tough but it’s who turns up on the day and we’ve seen that a lot this season. I think we’ve only been beaten once on the road this season so we want to take that into Sunday. We’re not happy if we don’t take something from any game, so we’ll all be geared to bring something back ahead of another long trip away to Lewes the weekend after.
London City impressed many Sunderland fans when they came up to Eppleton and won two-nil in early November, and sit third in the league on 19 points, two points behind Durham with a game in hand.
They’re in the same boat as Sunderland in terms of preparations for the game, their match against Watford last week was cancelled and this is their first game of the calendar year. Manager Melissa Phillips spoke about her squad's preparations to the club’s official website this week:
I couldn’t have been prouder of the way that the group prepared, because despite injuries, Covid circumstances, uncertainties with the weather, and the pitch, we continued to add to our game prepare for the match ahead as normal.
We just finished our pre-match Zoom call in preparation to head out to Watford, then we got right back on the call and told everyone it was off. But there’s nothing we can do about that, it’s in the past now, and we keep moving forward together.
Training:✔️— London City Lionesses (@LC_Lionesses) January 14, 2022
Grace and Charlotte have done all they can ahead of Sunday - all that’s left to do is for you to get your tickets. pic.twitter.com/QukqZZp0zO
The numbers say it’s going to be another hard game for the Lasses but we should be competitive, underlining once again there are no easy fixtures in the Championship this season.
London City Lionesses are really strong at home, with an average 2.5 PPG in their four games so far at Dartford this season. They score at a decent rate too, with 2.75 goals per game and their finishing is great too, as this is above their xG of 1.52 in home matches.
Their top scorer is Rhianna Jarrett, who netted late on at Eppleton in the return fixture earlier in the season, with four goals and Karin Muya leads their assist charts with three so far.
Defensively, they’re pretty mean both home and away, conceding a goal a game and ahve an xGA of less than one.
Sunderland, meanwhile, are generally better away from home than when playing at the Stadium of Light or Eppleton. We’ve won 40% of our games on the road, scoring an average of a goal a game and conceding at a rate of less than a goal a game.
Our xG is the same on the road as it is in the north east, 0.86, and is almost identical to our xGA.
It all adds up to explain why Footystats.org has London City as narrow favourites for this one.
League Form... (home and away)
Sunderland AFC Ladies - LWLDL
London City Lionesses - WLWWL
How the #FAWC table is looking after this weekend! pic.twitter.com/EfYPuaBPnf— FA Women's Championship (@FAWomensChamp) January 9, 2022
Head to head...
(All venues, all competitions, including friendlies - London City Lionesses & Millwall Lionesses)
Played - 3
Sunderland Wins - 2
Draws - 0
Lionesses Wins - 1
Sunderland Goals - 8
Lionesses Goals - 2
Last time out...
Sunderland 0-2 London City Lionesses
Girasoli 4’, Jarrett 88’
7 November 2021, Eppleton CW
One to watch... Mollie Rouse
Midfielder Mollie Rouse is perhaps the most high-profile name on their roster of players, having featured in the BT Sports documentary ‘Ultimate Goal’ where she trained in front of the cameras at St Georges Park with the input from some of the top players and coaches in Europe.
This was part of a drive to rebuild her career in England following a disappointing spell in the USA with Louisville Cardinals, but she made the switch to the University of Central Florida where she was played in her natural position, and she eventually graduated in 2020.
Rouse had first came to prominence as part of a midfield due with Georgia Stanway for England in the Under 20 World Cup in 2018, where she won a bronze medal, and all this experience makes her one of the most influential players in the FA Women’s Championship.
Speaking to the club’s website, Rouse was positive about the build-up ahead of today:
It’s been a while since we’ve been on the pitch together but, we’ve had more time on the pitch putting in the strategies and working together and finding our identity in all different areas.
You can never complain about training and preparing as much as we have. So, there are positives and negatives and we’re just raring to go as a team and ready to push on and get a game under our belts.