Nicholls Still Upbeat

15 November 2013 12:05
City Ladies Boss On Draw At Keynsham Coventry City Ladies manager Craig Nicholls is still remaining upbeat, despite watching his team concede a late equaliser to struggling Keynsham Town, in the only FA Women's Premier League Southern Division match of the weekend.

Not only did the draw bring their four-game winning streak on the road to an end, but they also missed the opportunity to cut the gap on league leaders Gillingham to a single point.

 “Sunday was a difficult day for the group,” admitted Nicholls. “But 13 points out of 15 away from home is top, top form so we can't complain.

“We didn't hit the heights of our previous games, but a run like we have had has to come to an end. It's still not a loss though, which is a positive.”

After falling behind to Leanne Lapham’s opener, Hayley Ladd restored parity on the stroke of half-time by crashing in her second goal in four games. Ex-England international Rachel Stowell found the net to give the hosts a 2-1 lead, only for Destiney Toussaint to equalise almost immediately after the restart.

Ashleigh Neville came off the bench to fire the Sky Blues into the lead, but the visitors were denied all three points by Vera Bernabé’s injury-time strike.

Keynsham were considered one of the more straightforward opponents in the Sky Blues schedule, having picked up just three points from seven league games prior to Sunday’s game. Conversely, Coventry have been in scintillating form in recent weeks, winning four of their last five league games preceding the trip to Somerset, scoring 12 goals in the process.

Despite dropping the points, Nicholls had a brighter outlook after the game and reserved special praise for midfielder Hayley Ladd, who has played a vital role in Coventry’s rise up the table in recent weeks.

Ladd, who has 17 caps for Wales, will miss the game against Charlton Athletic on Sunday 24th November if she is called up to represent her country in the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup qualifier against Montenegro.

“Over the last few weeks Hayley has been excellent,” said the Sky Blues boss. “Her role within the team is vital and I'm trying to get her further forward than where she sometimes plays with Wales.”

The Sky Blues face a break this weekend, with FA County Cup and FA Women's Premier League Cup ties taking place across the country, before returning to the Bedworth Oval to take on the Addicks a week later.

Source: Coventry MAD