Lincoln United Women vs Loughborough Lightning

Lincoln United Women crashed out of the Women’s FA Cup on Saturday, losing 1–2 to Loughborough Lightning.

Chris Funnell’s side came into the match in great form, winning all five of their league games so far and sitting top of the East Midlands Regional Premier League. They were also yet to concede a goal in the FA Cup this season.

Loughborough came into the match in equally good form as they sat top of the FA Women’s National League Division One Midlands, a step above The Whites, and were therefore favourites going into the game.

However, form went out the window as it was FA Cup First Round action that awaited at a gloomy Ashby Avenue, Lincoln were hoping to better their best finish in the competition when they reached the second round in 2021/22.

An impeccably observed minutes silence preceded any football, as it was The Whites closest home match to Remembrance Day.


It was a bright start by Loughborough, but they failed to create anything clear cut in the opening minutes despite having most of the possession.

The Whites however were the ones who broke the deadlock on 7 minutes, an in-swinging corner dropped perfectly for Francesca Wilson to strike a powerful shot into the bottom corner and give her team a perfect start.

Loughborough responded well to going behind, Zynia Delglyn had a close-range effort that Amy Wood tipped round the post just moments after Lincoln had gone in front.

There was a heart in mouth moment for White’s goalkeeper Amy Wood as she fumbled a corner after 15 minutes, luckily captain Chloe Hodgson was on hand to clear before a Loughborough player could convert the opportunity.

Lightning continued to dominate despite the score line and Jessica Collyer had a golden opportunity to level things up, clean though on goal she was denied by a mix of Wood and Hodgson who were already having to pull out some exceptional last ditch defending.

The Whites were still trying to create chances of their own with rare forays forward and winger Betsy Thomas had a golden opportunity to double their lead from just five yards out, she volleyed onto the Lightning post.

Annie Ward was then the latest Lincoln United defender to put in an excellent challenge as she denied Collyer a chance to go through on goal after half an hour.

A looping Ellie Gilliatt header was well pushed over the bar by  Lightning keeper Grimmond after a long ball that got Lincoln up the pitch.

Eventually the pressure paid off and the equaliser came for Loughborough in the 38th minute, a delightful Hateley corner met the unmarked captain Kayleigh Hines who headed with power into the top corner, leaving Wood no chance.

A threatening looking strike from 25 yards sailed just over the Lincoln united crossbar as Loughborough pushed to get ahead before the break. The Whites though held out and went in level at the halfway mark.

Lincoln United Women vs Loughborough Lightning
Lincoln United Women fall to defeat at Ashby Avenue


The second half got underway in similar fashion to how the first ended with Loughborough on the front foot. A Hines free kick being the biggest threat early on.

Betsy Thomas was The White’s main outlet on the counter, she pounced on a misplaced Lightning pass to give herself a shooting opportunity but slipped at the vital moment and shot well over.

However, on the hour mark Loughborough Lightning finally got themselves in front though Abbey Hateley. A perfect ball across the face left her free at the back post and she cleverly cut back onto her right foot and slotted past the goalkeeper.

The Whites grew into the half and had a period of sustained possession but failed to create many clear-cut chances, a Gilliatt free kick which looped onto the roof of the net was the most threatening to the Lightning defence.

It was a tightly contested and scrappy half with very few opportunities for either side, it had become a bit of stalemate despite The Whites needing a goal to revive any hopes of progressing.

Thomas, who continued to be the main danger for The Whites, again broke down the left but shot straight at the keeper.

Loughborough threatened to beat the high Lincoln line on a number of occasions, but captain Hodgson was marshalling the line well to catch the Lightning strikers with the offside trap.

A late goalmouth scramble gave Lincoln United hope, but the Loughborough defence stood strong to clear and see it out for a hard fought victory and a place in the second round of the women’s FA Cup.

Lincoln United Women 1-2 Loughborough Lightning:

A tightly contested affair with very few chances that was decided by two moments of quality from Loughborough Lightning winger Abbey Hateley.

A first half corner and second half finish were the deciding goals, and she was at the centre of both.

Lincoln United defended resolutely but ultimately lacked the quality to get back into the match once falling behind. Their focus will switch back to their promotion push in the league.