Former Brighton defender Cally Beaumont has proved a big hit in her Super League bow, helping ailing London Bees to their first win for four months and clinching their first clean sheet in 12 games.
Beaumont, who has also played for Portsmouth and Millwall in the FAW Premier League, made her debut on Sunday as London Bees beat Millwall 1-0 to move off the bottom of FAWSL2.
But the rugged 24-year-old defender, who has endured her fair share of injuries in her career, was in the wars again, suffering a serious head injury early in the game, which featured two other former Brighton players, Kim Stenning and Lily Agg.
Despite the heavy knock, she continued to shine, described in the club’s match report as “a reassuring presence in defence” and earning a massive vote of confidence from Bees’ new head coach, Julian Broomes.
It was an auspicious start for Beaumont at the next level up, as Broomes rang the changes in his first match in charge following a dreadful run of results.
Bees had lost 11 games in a row, including a 13-0 drubbing by Chelsea, an 8-1 loss at home to Reading and 7-0 defeats to Arsenal and Doncaster Rovers Belles.
During that run, they conceded 53 goals.
Body on the line
They had not won since the opening day of the season when they beat Oxford United – the team who now replace them at the bottom of WSL2.
And the pair meet tonight in another crucial Super League clash.
Broomes told Sent her Forward: “Cally was tremendous for us, and I have no doubt that was one of the main reasons we won on Sunday.
“She had been training with the Bees before I arrived, but I didn’t realise she wasn’t already one of the squad. She gave me some videos to look at, and to be honest I only had to watch three minutes and I knew she had to go in.
“What she may lack on the ground, with the accuracy of her passing she makes up for with what she does in the air, tracking, tackling and putting her body on the line for the team.
“Her training sessions told me everything I needed to know. I didn’t know she wasn’t part of the squad at the time.”
Broomes was delighted with the performance of the entire team and said Beaumont did exactly what he had asked her to do despite suffering concussion early in the game.
“She played so well she got concussion and is out for up to three weeks. She ran herself ragged. For me, that spells out the kind of player that she is. I’m just hoping that Cally can get well soon and get back into the squad.
“She is going to play a massive part next season.”
The new head coach said the win transformed the atmosphere at The Hive after the dismal run of results that had left the Bees bottom of the league.
But he added: “Our target is to finish as high as we can. We have the full backing of the (Barnet FC) chairman, and I would love to bring European football to the Hive.”
Beaumont told Sent Her Forward: “It was great to open my WSL account for the Bees with a win and a clean sheet, and it’s nothing less than we deserved. The girls worked hard in training the last couple of weeks and I think all the effort and perseverance paid off on the day.”
She added: “I’m gutted to be ruled out of the game tonight, but I know on the back of our win Sunday and with all the hard work the girls have put in… we can get another great result tonight.”