Foxes were back at home for their last match before lockdown. It was a appearance this season for Nicki Russell as she got the call up after scoring a hattrick for development the week prior.
The home side got off to a strong start with multiple opportunities in the first 5 minutes putting Boro on the back foot. But Boro were able to strike first against the run of play.
Foxes ramped up the pace to try and get an equaliser with shots from Cooper and a corner from Steele cleared by the Boro defence. Sharpe was called into action at the back as she produced a strong block to stop the square ball for Boro. Mcgrother linked up well with Russell to produce multiple chances but the assistant referee had their flag up.
Halfway through the first period, Young went agonisingly close as her shot from close range went over the bar. Whilst down at the other end Burlo was forced to make a brave dive down to the Boro strikers feet to collect the ball.
Just before the break, Steele whipped in another corner which connected with Mcgrother’s head but the ball goes just over the bar. At half time Foxes trailed by one goal but with plenty of positive chances!
Boro started the second half strong forcing two great saves from Burlo to deny them doubling their lead. Walters put pressure on the Boro midfield as she created a chance that was blocked by the Boro defence.
Foxes were caught out by a couple of early offside calls from the referee but continued to try for an equaliser. Russell forced a poor clearance from the oppositions keeper but it was not enough to score from. Steele continued to put in some great balls from set pieces but also in play. A through ball through to Walters was inches away from perfect.
Burlo continued to clean up as a back pass fell short. She ran out and chipped it over the Boro players foot and calmly played out. 20 minutes into the second half Foxes made their first substitution with Miller coming on to replace Young.
The defence was called into action action as Boro kept pushing for a second goal, but Burlo was there once again as she produced a great 1v1 save. Sharpe received treatment after taking an elbow to the face and Sime was replaced by Lowe.
Miller started to make an impact in the middle producing a great turn to shake of the Boro player. Russell and Mcgrother linked up again in attack as Mcgrother’s shot just goes wide. Boro were on the back foot as Steele whipped in a ball and Mcgrother connected but they were able to clear it off the line. Steele had a go herself and forced a great save from the Boro keeper.
Foxes make their final substitution of the game as Sharpe goes off and is replaced by Matthews. Walters continues to work hard on the right wing battling against her defender. Her hard work is rewarded as she chases after a loose ball and the cross is met by Mcgrother who puts it in the back of the net with only 3 minutes of normal time remaining.
In the dying minutes Lowe produces a brilliant tackle to break up a Boro attack and Matthews had a shot from range that goes wide of the goal. After thinking they had rescued a point in the dying minutes Boro score again after quickly taking a free kick in Foxes half and the shot swerving out of the way of Burlo.
A heart breaking defeat for Foxes against table rivals Middlesbrough sees them stuck at the bottom of the table as the league pauses during a national lockdown.