MANAGER Marieanne Spacey-Cale explained that Emma Thompson has had to wait for her chance this season after her double-helped Saints Women beat Lewes 2-1 on Sunday.

The Chelsea academy graduate marked her first league start for Southampton FC with a quickfire double at St Mary's.

Relegation-threatened Lewes rallied after pulling a goal back and looked like snatching an important draw but the hosts remained firm to secure all three points.

Speaking to the Daily Echo, Spacey-Cale explained how Thompson has had to develop aspects of her game this season before she could start games.

"She has been knocking on my door for a little bit now. I've told her to keep her head down and keep working hard, which she has done.

"I'm proud of her performance and she will be proud of herself. The players were really behind her to have the start that she had.

"Now it's about getting back to the training ground to continue the work and the push she has had over the last few weeks.

"We knew that she was a really good goalscorer but when you come into a new club you need to learn how that team plays.

"She has worked really hard on retaining possession and her movement so that she isn't just coming to receive but she is going beyond as well.

"She wanted to put in the performance. Her words were 'I just want to enjoy myself,' and I think she's done that."