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Reaction: Smith encouraged by second-half performance

Lauren Smith saw City’s second-half performance against Crystal Palace as a positive and something to build on when they return to action against Lewes.

They ran Crystal Palace close in Sunday’s FA Women’s Championship season opener at Hayes Lane, but they lost out 4-3 despite halving the deficit twice.

Smith’s side were 4-1 down not long into the second half but after Mel Johnson’s goal, Simran Jhamat and Aggie Beever-Jones scored to make it a tense finish as the hosts just about held on.

Despite the result, City’s head coach was pleased to see her side battle back valiantly.

“We tried a few things out but they didn’t come off for us,” she said. “We caused our own problems but we’ll review that as staff, especially the first half. The players showed they can come back in that second half, that they’ve got that bounce back ability. We showed chance on chance on chance, so that’s the biggest positive.

“This is a huge change from last year in terms of the day in, day out, we’re all doing things a bit different. The players need to trust each other more and they will. They showed more of that in the second half.”

Smith went on to thank the travelling supporters for making the long journey to South London and she can’t wait to have more fans back for City’s first home game of the season against Lewes on Sunday (September 5th, 3pm KO).

“It was great to have the fans here, to have them around us and I’m really looking froward to having a crowd at home like Crystal Palace had here,” she said. “A great thanks goes to the travelling fans because we heard them, especially when we started to get on top they were louder than the home fans at times! So a big thanks goes to them as well.

“Now there’s a lot to work on this week but we showed positives as well. We know what Lewes are about so we’ll lose those nerves and we can go straight into our groove, as we saw in the second half here."

Up Next

Smith's side will welcome Lewes to the High Performance Centre in their first home fixture of the 2021/22 Championship season on Sunday, September 5th (3pm KO).

The two sides played out an entertaining 2-2 draw when they last met in mid-August as part of their pre-season preparations. 

Supporters are encouraged to pre-purchase their tickets for the fixture and take advantage of the reduced prices for online purchases. City Women are also delighted to announce that if you purchase tickets online you'll be entered into a competition to win a behind-the-scenes tour of the HPC for two people ahead our next home fixture against Durham on Sunday, September 26th. 

BUY YOUR TICKETS HERE

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