MPs join journalists in first women’s conference football match
Former sports minister Tracey Crouch captained the team.
Former sports minister Tracey Crouch led a team including MPs and journalists in the first ever women’s party conference football match.
The Conservative MP captained the cross-party UK Parliamentary Women’s Football Club as they suffered a 4-2 defeat against Lewes FC Women’s Vets on Sunday.
Coached by former Chelsea and England winger Karen Carney, players included Labour MPs Anna Turley and Rosena Allin-Khan, along with political reporters.
After taking a 2-1 lead in only their second ever game, their goal scoring came to an end when ex-England goalkeeper Rachel Brown-Finnis swapped her coaching duties for a stint in the nets for Lewes.
But PWFC founder Jo Tanner was upbeat about her team’s performance.
“The game was amazing,” she said. “It’s the first ever game, so we’re well chuffed.
“It was a really well-balanced match, so we were a bit disappointed with the result.”
“This was a big deal to get the first women’s football match off the ground.
“It’s been a really big deal. It’s been really positive.”
Ms Tanner said the team, who have been training for 18 months, have been offered other matches.
“It’s not just about one game at conference,” she said.
“We want to keep this momentum up. I think it will be good if we can pull another match off.”
The game followed in the tradition of the annual Labour Party conference match between male MPs and Westminster journalists.
On Sunday, the so-called Lobby XI took an early lead against a team including former Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy and Stephen Kinnock, before conceding two, then coming from behind to seal a 3-2 victory.