FAWNL Northern Premier Division Round-up: Reds end Burnley’s unbeaten run

Burnley Women 0-1 Nottingham Forest Women

The Reds made it five wins in a row to end Burnley’s unbeaten league run.

Despite several chances at both ends, the game was goalless at the interval.

The breakthrough eventually came in the 73rd minute when Precious Hamilton latched onto Rayner’s pass in the box and slotted home her 19th goal of the season to give Andy Cook’s side the advantage.

With roughly 20 minutes on the clock, the scores remained unchanged at the final whistle, leaving Burnley’s boss Matt Bee to rue his side’s lack of urgency to get back into the game.

The result sees Forest move up to third while Burnley drop to fourth. However, Burnley can move as high as second if they take maximum points from their games in hand.

Attendance: 127

Hull City Ladies 3-6 Middlesbrough Women

Eleanor Dale and Tyler Dodds both scored braces to help Boro seal a 3-6 victory in a thrilling contest at Dransfield Stadium.

On a day of Remembrance, the ground fell silent as everyone paid tribute to our fallen brave and Donna Nickolay, the former Hull City player, who sadly passed away recently.

Tyler Doods opened the scoring after just six minutes as she received the ball on the right-hand side of the box and fired home at the near post to give the visitors the lead.

It was short-lived however as the Tigresses roared back less than two minutes later to restore parity through Katie Thompson. A quick break from Hull found its way to Thompson, who cut inside and struck the ball past Wareham to make it a goal apiece.

Eleanor Dale reestablished Boro’s advantage in the 19th minute as the striker punished City for giving her too much time and space in the area.

With half an hour on the clock, Emma Brown’s headed effort hit the bar and bounced over the line to give Boro a two-goal cushion.

The Tigresses pulled one back six minutes later as Helen Lynskey struck brilliantly to round off an excellent team move and make it five goals from five different scorers at the break.

Three goals in the opening 18 minutes of the second half for the visitors ended the game as a contest.

Emily Scarr scored Boro’s fourth of the game in the 53rd minute with a driven effort past Cooke into the bottom corner.

Minutes later and Tyler Dodds took advantage of being given too much time and space in the box to score her second of the game. Finishing calmly to extend Boro’s lead further.

Eleanor Dale bagged her brace, and ninth goal of the season, in the 64th minute to effectively end the game as a contest. Dale finished neatly after a pass put the striker through one-on-one with Megan Cooke in the City goal.

Emily Smith scored the game’s final goal in the 66th minute to reduce the deficit to three, but a mad 15 minutes proved to be a defining period, with the game ending 3-6.

The result sees Boro complete back-to-back cup and league victories over Hull to move up to sixth in the table while the Tigresses are left rooted to the foot of the table.

Attendance: 279

Stoke City Women 3-0 Fylde Women

Chloe Jones’ side bounced back from last weekend’s defeat to see off Fylde and move up to second place in the FAWNL Northern Premier Division.

Roisin Kivel gave the Potterettes the perfect start after converting Hyde’s low cross to give the hosts an early advantage.

McCoy almost doubled Stoke’s lead minutes later, before finding the back of the net after 27 minutes. A first-time pass from Hunt found Faye McCoy on the edge of the box, who controlled the ball and smashed it past a helpless Jess Carberry to make it 2-0.

The game was put to bed in the 89th minute when Abby Hunt picked up the ball on the right-hand side, cut inside managing to evade several players and dispatched the ball past Carberry from outside the box.

The result was just exactly the response Stoke needed and sees the Potterettes move up to second while Fylde remain ninth.

Attendance: 104

Sunderland Ladies 3-1 Loughborough Foxes

The Black Cats marked their homecoming with a comfortable victory to extend their winning streak to eight in a row.

Sunderland didn’t have to wait long to make the breakthrough as 16-year-old Neve Herron received the ball, cut in and dispatched an effort that curled into the top corner to repay Mel Reay’s faith and give the Black Cats an early lead.

The hosts continued to threaten but had to wait until the 36th minute to get their second of the game. Charlotte Potts combined with Jess Brown, whose first-time cross was brought down and expertly finished by in-form Galloway to give Sunderland a two-goal cushion.

Three minutes after the restart and Bridget Galloway was on hand to extend the lasses’ advantage to three when she beat everyone else to meet Keira Ramshaw’s cross at the near post to find the back of the net with her head.

With the game drawing to a close, Rogers forced a save from Claudia Moan before grabbing a late consolation goal for the visitors in the 88th minute, showing composure to round Moan and find the back of the lasses’ net.

It was a near-perfect homecoming for Reay’s side who sit seven points clear at the top of the table while Loughborough are currently 7th.

Attendance: 278

How things stand

FAWNL Plate Round-up: 2nd Round takes shape

The First Round of the FAWNL was due to have been completed weeks ago, with teams confirmed, the Second Round drawn, and the final 16 sides dreaming of glory.

But it was a case of another weekend, another Sunday where clubs found themselves battling the elements to ensure they, and the tournament, could finally progress to the next stage. Thankfully, all three scheduled games were successfully played, leaving just one place in the last 16 to be confirmed when Leafield Athletic travel to Leicester United next weekend.

After bowing out at the first hurdle of the FAWNL Cup, all six teams were given a bye in the Preliminary Round of the FAWNL Plate competition setting up the weekend’s ties. AFC wimbledon travelled to Brislington, Oxford welcomed Norwich to Court Place Farm, and Leeds faced local rivals Bradford City.

Dons make it six on the bounce

With potential weather disruptions looking likely, Brislington made arrangements for the game to be played at The AJN Stadium, home of Keynsham Town Ladies.

It has been a tough season to date for the Bristol side who are still without a win in the league, however they’d enjoyed their two most positives results of the season in recent weeks, first beating Bishops Lydeard Ladies in the County Cup, followed by a 1-1 draw with Buckland Athletic to earn their first point of the season.

Their opposition, AFC Wimbledon, travelled to Keynsham with their tails up having enjoyed a rich vein of form that sees them currently sitting third in the table after winning their last three league games to make it five on the bounce in all competitions.


Charlotte Flood almost opened the scoring for the visitors after 25 minutes when she connected with an O’Callaghan cross, but her headed effort was well saved by Vicky Powell.

The Dons came closer still shortly after, this time through Sian Wylie, before making the breakthrough five minutes before the interval. Wylie, involved once again, played Georgia Heasman through to score a tap-in and give Wimbledon the lead heading into the break.

After a more purposeful start to the second half, the hosts restored parity after 56 minutes through Paige Sawyer. The Brislington striker netting for the seventh time this season.

The score remained all square until Katie Stanley started and finished a move from midfield to regain the lead, and eventual winner, for the visitors just over 10 minutes from time.

Full-time: Brislington 1-2 AFC Wimbledon

The victory sees Wimbledon extend their winning run to six games in all competitions. And with recent results of 1-2, 1-2, 3-1, and 1-0, while they aren’t necessarily big wins in terms of numbers, a solid backline that has only conceded more than one goal on two occasions this season (out of 12 games) ensured they don’t have to be. They have developed a winning habit that should serve them well going forward.

AFC Wimbledon’s reward for progressing to the next round of the FAWNL Plate is a trip to Devon where they will face one of the favourites of the competition, Plymouth Argyle.

Clinical U’s progress to Second Round

The U’s welcomed Division One South East side Norwich to Court Place Farm in a game that provided both sides with the opportunity to bounce back following losses last time out.

Oxford has enjoyed a mostly positive campaign that sees them three points and 12 goals better off than the same state last season in the league. However, in their most recent outing against Gillingham, the clinical U’s that had scored 27 times in their previous three games were nowhere to be found, failing to take chances against a Gillingham side who applied their game plan effectively to secure the points.

Currently ninth, with two wins from a possible nine, Norwich’s season has largely mirrored that of last season which saw them finish in tenth place. With a divisional gap and several absentees that included current top scorer Aimee Durrant, the young canaries side travelled to Oxfordshire with nothing to lose; experience and a potential cupset to gain.


After an initial effort for the visitors, Oxford opened the scoring within the opening seven minutes, Sophie Baker’s effort somehow evading Hope Armstrong’s grasp to find the back of the net.

United struck again less than ten minutes later to double their lead when Carly Johns worked space down the right and crossed to provide a perfect opportunity for Cheryl Williams, Williams making no mistake from close range to score her fifth goal of the season.

Captain Millie Daviss halved the deficit for the visitors after 20 minutes, showing great vision and technique to lob Paris Sercombe from distance.

Unphased by the setback, the U’s restored their 2-goal lead shortly after from 12 yards. Johns committed and wrong-footed a defender who brought the Oxford winger down in the area, prompting the referee to point to the spot. Williams stepped up and converted the opportunity to make it 3-1.

Provider turned goalscorer when lively winger Carly Johns found herself in acres of space and the composure to finish, slotting home to extend the U’s lead to 4-1 heading into the break.

The visitors experienced a good few moments during the opening 45 minutes, finding space in promising areas, but were unable to create anything clear cut for the likes of Chelsea Garrett to really test the United goal.

Second-half underway, and it was the home side who struck again when Williams completed her hat-trick in the 56th minute an audacious finish. Through on goal, Oxford’s number ten opted to scoop the ball over an on-rushing Armstrong to give the U’s their fifth goal of the afternoon.

Hope Armstrong performed several very good saves to deny Williams and Allen, before Sims uncharacteristically missed a header from close range.

United grabbed their sixth through Moore following a flowing move, before substitute Georgia Timms added a seventh for the home side within minutes of her introduction to the game. Armstrong pulled off a spectacular save to deny McLachlan, but was unable to prevent Immy Lancaster from adding an eighth following a corner.

Full-time: Oxford United 8-1 Norwich City

Coming off the back of a disappointing performance, the U’s were back to their clinical best and must now look to take that forward with them into their next games, knowing that complacency and inconsistency in a competitive league will mean they fail to match their ambitions. United now face a familiar opposition, Watford, in the next round.

Norwich showed good spirit, never gave up and never let their heads drop. They applied themselves fully and conducted themselves well throughout the entire 90 minutes. Some teams may have become visibly frustrated, but to their credit, that didn’t happen. It was always going to be a tough task for the Tier 4 side, and injuries coupled with the divisional gap proved to be too much for the Canaries on this occasion.

Hunt brace sinks rivals Bradford City

Currently fifth, with a game in hand that could potentially lift them as high as third, The Whites welcomed local rivals Bradford City Thorp Arch looking to bounce back from recent league and cup defeats against Barnsley.

It has been a difficult season for Bradford, with their solitary win coming on the opening day of the season against Durham Cestria, and the weather wreaking havoc on their schedule, it had been 3 weeks since City last played a competitive fixture heading into Sunday’s game.


After a series of chances that saw Leeds hit the woodwork and Bradford’s Aimee Routledge produce a good save to deny the home side, the breakthrough finally came after half an hour when a superb Cath Hamill cross was met by Abbie Brown at the back post to slot home.

Ten minutes later and Bradford were on level terms through an unfortunate Jodie Hunter own goal.

Two quickfire goals gave Leeds a 2-goal cushion less than ten minutes after the restart. The first courtesy of top scorer Rebecca Hunt from close range after 53 minutes, before Cassidy struck an effort low from 25 yards two minutes after the restart to make it 3-1 to the home side.

Brown was fouled in the area in the 63rd minute prompting the referee to point to the spot. Up stepped Hunt who fired past Routledge to score her eighth of the season, and Leeds’ fourth of the game, to effectively put the tie to bed.

There were further efforts on goal for the Whites and the introduction of Bradford’s top scorer Falone Sumaili added some impetus going forward for the visitors, but the scores remained unchanged, finishing 4-1.

Full-Time: Leeds United 4-1 Bradford City

A pleasing win for the Whites sees them rebound after back-to-back defeats against Barnsley. Leeds have been drawn against Northern Premier side Nottingham Forest in the Second Round of the FAWNL Plate. But before that, they travel to Stockport County in the league next weekend, followed by another meeting with Sunday’s opponents, and an exciting game in prospect against inform Durham Cestria.

Bradford must down themselves down as they head to Bolton on Sunday, before welcoming Leeds to Eccleshill United Sports Club in league action.

FAWNL Plate Second Round

FAWNL Division One South East Round-up: Dons move up to third

With most FAWNL teams involved in cup action, just three games were played in the FAWNL Division One South East this weekend.

Unbeaten AFC Wimbledon hosted Norwich, AFC Basildon were back at home to entertain Cambridge United and fifth-place Enfield travelled to bottom side, Kent Football United.

AFC Basildon overturn deficit to secure 3 points

After beating Phoenix Sports in the FA Cup and knocking a strong Southampton Women’s side out of the FAWNL Cup, AFC Basildon began the month perfectly and hoped to take that momentum into the league.

They welcomed Cambridge United to Canvey Island, a side that has only managed one win in their previous ten outings; their solitary victory coming against Kent Football United. Most recently though, they faced Norwich in a league and cup, earning a point away from home before getting knocked out of the FA Cup.

Despite controlling the ball for large parts of the half, and an early Abela attempt at goal, it was visitors who took the lead through Blanchflower after 36 minutes. Kelley Blanchflower netting for the fourth time this season for United.

Cerys Adams restored parity after 65 minutes when she bundled in an effort following a corner.

The turnaround was complete shortly after, and once again it was Adams for the home side, striking brilliantly to complete her brace and give AFC Basildon the lead.

Scores remained unchanged as the ref blew his whistle to conclude the game, the Essex side earning another comeback victory to secure a hard-earned 3 points.

AFC Basildon 2-1 Cambridge United

The result doesn’t see any positional changes for either side, but strengthens The Blues’ grip on sixth-place and extends their winning streak to three games. United remain 10th.

Both teams return to cup action next weekend with Cambridge hosting Maidenhead United at the Premier Plus Stadium, while AFC Basildon have business with another Cambridgeshire side, Cambridge City, in the FA Cup.

The Dons move up to third

AFC Wimbledon’s league season has been somewhat understated, and while the focus may remain on Billericay and the Tractor Girls at the top of the division, the fact remains that The Dons are currently unbeaten – a feat only managed by 7 (of 71) FAWNL sides. They welcomed seventh-place Norwich looking to build on a cup win against Cambridge United last time out.

After a somewhat back-and-forth opening 30 minutes, Helen Ogle and Katie Stanley combined to provide for Liz O’Callaghan to give The Dons the lead.

But despite continued pressure from the hosts, it was the Canaries who struck next, equalising five minutes before the interval through Kathryn Stanley. A low driven shot past Ferguson made it 1-1 heading into the break.

There would be one final twist before half-time however when O’Callaghan lobbed Hope Armstrong to score her second of the game and restore the home side’s lead in the 43rd minute.

With just under an hour on the clock, The Dons extended their lead to two goals when Katie Stanley’s cross was met by the head of Hannah Billingham to make it 3-1.

With a few opportunities, but no further goals for either side, the game ended 3-1.

AFC Wimbledon 3-1 Norwich City

The win sees The Dons secure their fourth consecutive win to leapfrog Leyton Orient into 3rd place, while Norwich remain 7th.

Next up, both teams embark on the road to Wembley as Wimbledon travel to Enfield, while Norwich face high-flying Ipswich Town in the FA Cup.

Enfield win on the road

Currently fifth, Enfield came into the game in decent form having won 3 of their 5 most recent matches, with wins coming against Harlow Town, Actonians, and Islington Borough. They also recently managed to take Southern Premier side Yeovil Town to penalties in the FAWNL before losing 4-2 in the shootout.

Hosts Kent Football United currently find themselves pointless at the foot of the table having only won once this season, but those involved with the team have noted continued improvements in recent weeks heading into Sunday’s game.

After a goalless first half, Enfield struck twice to secure victory on the road. The first courtesy of Hannah Baptiste three minutes after the restart to open her account for the season, followed by a second from Tia Bailey in the 53rd minute to earn all 3 points for Town.

Kent Football United 0-2 Enfield Town

The result means no changes in the league table for either side; Enfield remain fifth, while Kent occupy 12th place. But the return of captain Tash Moloney and continued signs of improvement noted from their manager and Becky Mackley give Kent definite cause for optimism going forward.

“Loads of positives and improvements have been evident in recent weeks and I have every confidence in this group we will get the win next week.”

Sam MacNeil – Manager, Kent Football United.

How things stand

Southampton Women’s FC vs AFC Basildon Women Match Report

South East met West as AFC Basildon came from behind twice to knock Southampton Women’s FC out of the FAWNL Cup.

With the weather wreaking havoc across the country, claiming many games in the process, a waterlogged Romsey Town pitch meant a late change of venue, Southampton Women’s doing well to secure an alternative to ensure the game was played.

The visitors made just one change to the side that saw them secure a comfortable 8-2 victory to progress into the next round of the FA Cup, while Southampton Women’s, who have enjoyed a very strong season to date, made five changes to their starting eleven.

Southampton got the game underway amid damp and windy conditions in Basingstoke.

The opening exchanges were evenly contested, with both teams creating chances, the ‘keepers and their backlines besting their attacking counterparts to keep the game goalless.

An early Southampton free-kick came to nothing and Yeates was denied by some resolute defending before Turner was unable to test Kite at the other end.

Further chances were created, but once again Kite and Bolland came out on top, Vokes first denied brilliantly by Blues’ shot-stopper, followed by saves from England’s U19 Rose Kite to maintain parity after 25 minutes.

With Southampton looking to exploit space down the wings, the ball found its way to Emily Wernham whose precision defence-splitting cross was met by Vokes to prod the ball into Bolland’s net giving the hosts the lead in the 29th minute.

Shortly after Rose Kite pulled off an incredible save, before Basildon eventually levelled through a fantastic Holly Turner strike from 20-yards just before the interval.

The referee blew his whistle to conclude the first half with the score one a piece.

Half-time: 1-1

Blues made a tactical adjustment at half-time, switching to 4-4-2; a decision that proved to be immediately effective for the Essex side.

The opening 20 minutes of the second half was mostly controlled by Basildon, winning aerial battles and pressing from the front limiting Southampton’s options to play out from the back, frustrating Kite when looking to distribute.

Turner, playing with confidence and proving difficult for Southampton’s backline to handle, cut inside on her left foot before unleashing a powerful shot that was met by a huge Kite hand, an unbelievable save to keep the scores level.

But for all the Blues’ hard work, it was Southampton who survived the early pressure and started to get a foothold in the game to begin to create chances of their own.

After 25 minutes of the second half, Southampton looked to have restored their lead through Lauren Clark before Mollie Debell cleared the ball off the line, the defender showing great awareness and dexterity to deny a certain goal.

Moments later and Laura Vokes connected with Samuels’ cross to score her, and Southampton’s, second goal of the afternoon.

Rose Kite did brilliantly to tip the ball onto the bar but was helpless to prevent Sophie Spencer-Webb from following up, the 17-year-old side-footing the ball into the back of the net to restore parity once again in the 78th minute.

With fewer than 10 minutes remaining, the referee adjudged a Basildon player to have handled the ball in the area and pointed to the spot.

Jane Yeates stepped up and struck the ball well, but Bolland was equal to it – a superb save to keep things all square late on.

Into the 91st minute with extra-time looking likely, substitute Courtney Clarke swung in a dangerous corner that looped high into the air and fell to a Basildon player, who managed to bundle the ball into the back of the net through a crowded six-yard box.

Full-time: 2-3

AFC Basildon progress to the Second Round of the FAWNL League Cup.

Post match thoughts

  • An excellent game of football, an emotional back-and-forth, and plenty of drama. Other than a dog or squirrel on the pitch, I’m not sure what else the game could’ve had. Cup football at its finest!
  • My Player of the Match was Holly Turner. If it wasn’t for the heroics of Kite she would have scored more, but her general play caused Southampton’s backline a lot of problems. Lots of energy, backed her ability to create chances, and contributed with a goal of her own.
  • Although five goals were scored, both keepers did exceptionally well, pulling off a number of very good saves. Rose Kite was Southampton’s best player in my opinion. Very impressive performance.
  • AFC Basildon showed a lot of spirit and fight to get back into the game twice, and eventually go on to win it. Heads didn’t drop. For a team as young as Blues’ that has gone through – still going through? – a transition period, they genuinely impressed me. Especially against a strong and experienced Southampton team.
  • Ref was so-so.

Barnsley Women’s FC 5-1 Bradford City Women


Barnsley Women extended their unbeaten run for the season after running out 5-1 victors over Bradford City Women in the 2nd Qualifying Round of The Women’s FA Cup.

The two sides have already met once in the league with the Reds putting five past Bradford, without reply, away from home back in September, and it was a similar story this time.

After a cagey opening 15 minutes, Kath Smith broke the deadlock with a beautifully hit effort from 25 yards, that nestled in the bottom corner.

One quickly became two as, less than 10 minutes later, Lissa Woodhouse slotted the ball through, in the clear, to Amy Woodruff who buried past the keeper after beating the offside trap.

The Reds shifted up a gear, and with half time approaching, scored another two goals in two minutes. Good work from Sophie Bell down the right allowed her to fizz a crosss across the face of goal, and Amy Woodruff was on hand to turn it goal-bound for her second of the afternoon.

Lissa Woodhouse made it four when she got in between the Bradford centre halves and looped the ball over the onrushing goalkeeper.

Early pressure from Barnsley in the second half was counteracted from Bradford. Zoe Roberts scored from a free kick in a dangerous area.

However the Reds put the game to bed not long after. A recycled Lindsey Tugby free kick was headed home by Sophie Bell from close range.

Reds’ Assistant Manager, Andy Glossop, said: “Really good result. To win 5-1 in the Cup is always something we’ll take. We didn’t start the game as quickly as we wanted, but we grew into the game and to take four goals into half time was fantastic.”

FAWNL Southern Premier Division Round-up: Captain Cole scores goals

Six games were due to be played at the weekend until FC Rain intervened, holding the division to a 3-3 draw.

Of those that survived the weather, current league leaders Crawley Wasps hosted Oxford United, in-form Plymouth travelled to Milton Keynes, and Yeovil welcomed Welsh side Cardiff to Dorchester.

Wasps sting U’s to remain top

In their second meeting of the season, Oxford travelled to Crawley in hopes of avenging an earlier cup defeat.

The U’s began the more positive team, with Hines narrowly missing from range, and then volleying an effort over the bar, before Faye Rabson was inches away from latching onto Charlotte Owen’s cross at the other end.

Both sides continued to create chances, and Charlotte Owen was once again involved for Crawley, this time pulling her shot wide of the target from 15 yards.

Oxford came close through a set piece when Megan Stow was inches away from turning the ball into her own net following Williams’ free-kick.

Ultimately though, it was 45 minutes of frustration as both sides failed to capitalise on good chances.

United broke the deadlock six minutes into the second half, Sims rising above everyone else to meet Williams’ corner to give Oxford the lead.

Crawley was awarded a penalty in the 58th minute when Hines was adjudged to have fouled Rabson in the box, Naomi Cole firing low past Watson from 12 yards to restore parity.

Two further goals in quick succession for the home side would turn the game on its head, the first through Rabson after 58 minutes, followed by a Darcy James header three minutes later, the Wasps’ number 5 getting the best of the U’s defence to convert from a corner.

Frankie Gibbs was sent off after she lashed out, hitting Cheryl Williams in the face.

With ten players and little time remaining, Wasps were able to remain resolute and secure 3 points.

The win strengthens Crawley’s lead at the top, while condemning title rivals Oxford to their first league defeat of the season.

Crawley Wasps 3-1 Oxford United

Attendance: 125

Argyle make it five on the bounce

For the second time in as many games over 1,000 supporters flocked to Stadium MK to support The Dons as they welcomed high-flying Plymouth.

Plymouth opened the scoring after 20 minutes, Rebecca Dandridge breaking the line before finishing calmly past Kirby to give the visitors the lead.

Southern Premier top scorer, Natasha Knapman, doubled the Pilgrims’ lead four minutes later, finishing to give Argyle their second of the day, and Knapman’s eleventh of the season.

The deficit was halved after 37 minutes when Katie Middleton inadvertently headed the ball into her own net following a corner.

Plymouth began the second half at a blistering pace and found the net within minutes, Helen Bleazard finishing excellently to retore a two-goal lead.

Jessie Jones made it four for the visitors just before the hour mark, a thunderous effort beating Emma Kirby from 25-yards to almost certainly secure the points for Argyle.

MK Dons were unfortunate not to find the net during the second half, but it was a clinical Plymouth side that would extend their lead even further, Kayley Lane finishing in the 89th minutes to make it five in a row for Plymouth.

With 5 goals on the bounce, finding the net 26 times in the process, Argyle has gone from looking like dark horses to genuine contenders.

MK Dons 1-5 Plymouth Argyle

Attendance: 1,109

Honours even in Dorchester

Yeovil began the season with great promise but were winless in four weeks heading into Sunday’s fixture against an in-form Cardiff side who had strung together 5 victories in a row.

Sarah Wiltshire was unable to convert from the penalty spot in the 22nd minute, putting her shot wide for the scores to remain level.

Five minutes later and Cardiff took the lead through Gwen Davies’ calm finish following excellent build play from Grace Horrell.

Aldridge almost levelled for the hosts, before Katie Jones made no mistake after Cardiff failed to deal with a corner, Jones smashing the ball into the net from eight yards to draw level.

The game concluded with the scores even, a result that isn’t ideal for either team as they looked to keep up with the division pace-setters.

The result means Cardiff occupy 3rd place, while Yeovil sit 5th in the FAWNL Southern Premier Division.

Yeovil Town 1-1 Cardiff City

Attendance: 229

How things stand

FAWNL Northern Premier Division Round-up: Black Cats remain unbeaten

Photo: twitter.com/AdamReapa

Six games were due to be played at the weekend until FC Rain intervened, holding the division to a 3-3 draw. Frustration for everyone involved, but especially Burnley who last played a league match over 3 weeks ago.

Of those that survived the weather, current league leaders Sunderland travelled to Forest, Huddersfield hosted The Rams and Stoke made the trip to Boro.

Black Cats remain unbeaten

Two in-form sides met when Sunderland travelled to the Midlands to face Andy Cook’s Nottingham Forest.

In terrible conditions at Eastwood, Forest took the lead after only eight minutes, Precious Hamilton finding the net for the eleventh time this season to give the hosts the lead.

However, the lead lasted less than ten minutes as Grace McCatty’s effort was deflected past Aguirre following a corner to restore parity.

A quarter of an hour later and the turnaround was complete when a spectacular 25-yard effort from Barker found the net to give Mei Reay’s side the lead after 30 minutes.

Further chances were exchanged, with both teams failing to find the net again until the 79th minute when in-form Bridget Galloway hit the target, curling an effort from the edge of the box into the top corner to give the Black Cats a two-goal cushion.

It proved to be too much for Forest who were unable to get back into the game.

The result means Sunderland remain top of the league with 16 points after 6 games, a 1-1 draw with Middlesbrough the only blemish on their otherwise perfect record.

While Forest currently occupy 7th place after their 3 game winning streak was brought to an end. It has been a tough run of fixtures for The Reds having played the top 3 sides in their last five matches.

Nottingham Forest 1-3 Sunderland

Attendance: 278

Stoke maintain pressure at the top

Stoke headed to the North East hoping to make it three wins in a row against a Boro side looking to bounce back after a series of defeats.

An onslaught of rain could have easily claimed another fixture, but full credit to Middlesbrough who arranged a late change of venue to enable the game to take place.

Kelsey Richardson provided the perfect start for the visitors after just four minutes, a precision strike from 25 yards nestling into the top corner to give Stoke the lead.

Chances fell to Stoke’s Tanisha Smith and Boro’s Eleanor Dale during the first half, but both ‘keepers were equal to their efforts to keep the score 0-1 at the interval.

The game recommenced, and once again the ‘keepers were more than holding their own, Abby Hunt was first denied by Laura Wareham after being put through on goal, followed by a smart save from Charlotte Clarke stop Emily Scarr’s effort from drawing Middlesbrough level.

Stoke extended their lead in the 78th minute courtesy of a Hollie Gibson free kick. Gibson demonstrating great technique to evade the wall and find the bottom corner.

Three minutes later and Richardson ended the game as a contest, scoring her second, and Stoke’s third of the game. A fine team move finished calmly past Wareham.

Emily Scarr scored a late consultation goal for the hosts, but with a minute remaining on the clock, it wasn’t enough to change the outcome.

The result sees Stoke secure their third win on the bounce to apply pressure at the top of the table, while setting up an all-important clash with league leaders Sunderland on Sunday.

Contrasting fortunes as Boro are compounded to a fourth straight defeat after a promising start to the season.

Middlesbrough 1-3 Stoke City

Attendance: 30

Terriers bounce back

Despite defeats for both teams last time out, Derby came into the game with a good away record having all three of their last games on the road, while the Terriers’ home record was just as good, with league leaders Sunderland inflicting their only loss on home soil.

Ellie Gilliatt gave Derby an early lead after her effort bested Lauren Joyce to find the roof of the net.

Huddersfield drew level just before the half hour mark through Ellie White’s clever flick inside the six yard box.

Laura Elford completed the turnaround three minutes later, lobbing Leah Kellogg from distance to give The Terriers the lead heading into the break.

Huddersfield doubled their lead in the 67th minute, captain Kate Mallin demonstrating great composure to round the ‘keeper before finishing neatly.

Substitute Moniquie Watson pulled one back for Derby, but any momentum was quickly quashed minutes later, Mallin once again the scorer for The Terriers in the 72nd minute.

Kate Mallin completed her hat trick and put the result beyond doubt with just over 5 minutes remaining, firing low into the corner to help the Yorkshire side secure all 3 points.

A pleasing win for Huddersfield, and an equally disappointing result for the Ewe Rams who have been very honest with the assessment of the game.

With no positional changes in the table, Derby remain 6th, while Huddersfield occupy 3rd place just behind Stoke and Sunderland who are due to play at the weekend.

Huddersfield Town 5-2 Derby County

Attendance: 137

How things stand

FAWNL Northern Premier Division Round-up: Top cats

With a number of teams either involved in cup ties or not scheduled to play, only three games took place in the Southern Premier on Sunday; Sunderland travelled to Huddersfield, Middlesbrough and Derby both looked to close the gap on the top 3, while Stoke looked to return to winning ways when they visited Loughborough University Stadium to face Foxes.

Sunderland come from behind to go top.

The big one.

The Black Cats travelled to Huddersfield in a game that pitted two sides, who could only be separated by goals scored at the top of the table, against one another.

Huddersfield made the perfect start. With only 3 minutes on the clock, Ellie White gave the Terriers an early lead, capitalising after Sunderland failed to clear.

However, Huddersfield was unable to build on their fantastic start, and the visitors looked more likely to score next. Galloway, who had already found the net in every game this season, tested Olivia Clark in the Huddersfield goal after 19 minutes.

Despite pressure and chances, it took until the 46th minute for Sunderland to restore parity, captain Keira Ramshaw taking advantage of a handling error to draw level.

Katie Barker and Grace McCatty both scored within three minutes to complete the comeback and give the Black Cats a two-goal cushion with 20 minutes remaining.

Bridget Galloway scored her eighth goal of a season, rounding off a fantastic second-half performance by Sunderland, and ended the game as a contest in the 80th minute.

The result sees Sunderland summit the table having taken 13 from a possible 15 points. Huddersfield fall to second place, with Burnley sitting in third with 10 points and a game in hand over both teams above them.

Huddersfield Town 1-4 Sunderland

Attendance: 86

Rams raid North East to move third.

Both sides came into the game looking to bounce back from defeats and, with a number of teams around them not in league action, exert pressure on the teams currently above them in the table.

Derby started the more positive side, forcing saves from Boro ‘keeper Sammy Leigh, before breaking the deadlock after 15 minutes, Sophie Domingo firing into the bottom corner from the edge of the box to give the visitors a deserved lead.

The Rams thought they had doubled their lead after 35 minutes but was adjudged to have been offside.

Tyler Dodds drew the hosts level just before the interval, an unfortunate Kellogg spilling a routine catch to allow the Boro winger to score.

An hour into the contest and hosts almost reversed their fortunes to take the lead following a quick break, Dodds’ effort forcing a fine fingertip save from Kellogg.

Derby restored their lead with less than 15 minutes remaining, a ball into the box found Rai, whose cross was met by Hannah Keryakoplis to score her sixth goal of the season.

The contest was settled late on after Emma Brown turned the ball into her own net giving Derby a two-goal advantage.

The result sees Derby bounce back from defeat to move up to fourth, while Boro fall two places to sixth after back-to-back home defeats.

Middlesbrough 1-3 Derby County

Attendance: 82

Hall secures points for Potters.

Foxes started the season an emphatic 3-7 win which saw them top the table, but with no wins and only one goal since – while results may not be indicative of performances – they are on a bad run and currently sit 10th. Their opposition, Stoke, has also experienced a blip recently after back-to-back league defeats, a disappointing setback after taking maximum points from their opening two games.

There was some nice play from both sides, but neither was able to break the deadlock in a half that saw very few genuine goal-scoring opportunities.

Within minutes of the restart the visitors took the lead, a fluid passing move culminated with a Kelsey Richardson defence-splitting through ball to Ali Hall, who showed great composure to slot it past Amy Burle.

Familiar patterns soon returned, with both sides showing intent and having their moments, but ultimately unable to carve out any clear cut chances; defenders and keepers once again coming out on top or forcing shots from distance.

Abby Hunt combined with Smith late on to create an opportunity just inside the box, possibly the best chance of the game other than the goal, but Hunt was leaning back as she struck the ball and fired over.

Shortly after, Knight almost benefited from a high press.

A hard fought win for Stoke sees them return to winning ways, while Foxes suffered a fourth consecutive league defeat.

Loughborough Foxes 0-1 Stoke City

Attendance: N/A

As things stand.

FAWNL Division One North Round-up: Rampant Reds remain top

Rampant Reds remain unbeaten, while Bradford are left without a win since the opening day of the season.

Barnsley began the more positive side, making good use of the pitch and putting the home side under large amounts of pressure before making the breakthrough in the 27th minute, Sophie Bell connecting with a corner to find the net through a crowded area.

Despite several more chances Barnsley were unable to extend their lead before the break.

The Reds’ second and third goals of the game came in quick succession, the first courtesy of another corner converted by Sophie Bell in the 54th minute, followed by a Darcie Greene goal three minutes later to open her account for the season.

0-3 up and Barnsley weren’t finished yet, this time provider would turn goal scorer, Melissa Woodhouse turning in the rebound after her initial effort struck the post to make it 0-4 with 20 minutes remaining.

With the points already secured the visitors would add a fifth deep into injury time as Hornsey beat the offside trap and calmly finished to round off an impressive afternoon’s work for the league leaders.

Bradford 0-5 Barnsley

Attendance: 30

Division One North newcomers climb to 3rd in the table.

Following an opening day defeat at the hands of Bradford, Cestria rebounded quickly, recording a series of good results heading into Sunday’s game against bottom of the table side, Stockport County.

Erin Nelson opened the scoring after a weaving solo run left her one-on-one with Williams, Nelson finishing emphatically into the bottom corner to give Durham the lead after 41 minutes.

Durham doubled their lead within a minute through Dannika Purdham, netting her third of the season.

Cestria was made to wait for their third goal of the afternoon, a break after 85 minutes finished neatly by substitute Lily Crosthwaite from the edge of the box put Durham 0-3 ahead and effectively ended the game as a contest.

Substitute Chloe Ryan then added a fourth within minutes of being on the pitch, before Lauren Robson rifled home another from distance to make it 0-5 to the visitors.

Stockport County 0-5 Durham Cestria

Attendance: 20

Leeds bounce back after tough run to earn 3 points.

Leeds took the lead in the fourth minute through a fine Rebecca Hunt strike from 25 yards.

After a closely contested back-and-forth opening half-hour, Holly Findlay doubled the hosts lead, connecting with a Shannon Durkin cross after 32 minutes.

Leeds almost increased their advantage further but were denied by an incredible save from Rachel Darbyshire.

The second half began much more evenly.

Donaghue pulled one back for Chorley after receiving a through ball, rounding Wattam, and slotting it in off the post.

There were a number of chances for both sides, but neither side was able to capitalise.

Leeds’ victory was their first since the opening day of the season, while Chorley continue their run of narrow defeats.

Leeds United 2-1 Chorley

Attendance: 80

Feds victorious as Armies clash at Druid Park.

Carla Lee was inches away from breaking the deadlock after her long-range effort cannoned off the bar and into the grateful arms of Newcastle ‘keeper, Grace Donnelly.

Efforts from Newcastle’s Longcake and Feds’ Mortimer were denied by smart saves.

Amelia Panayi scored the Fed Army’s first of the game and her first for the club after 35 minutes, a cross from Pope, helped on by Lee and finished by Panayi gave the visitors the lead.

Four minutes after the restart and Liverpool Feds extended their lead after Lee latched onto a Clark through ball before finishing into the bottom corner.

The referee pointed to the spot in the 63rd minute after Griffiths was adjudged to have been fouled, but Lee was denied by the woodwork.

Two minutes later and Feds would have their third of the game after good work from Griffiths saw her cut the ball back to Mortimer to calmly finish.

Substitute Paige Cole put the result beyond doubt in the 77th minute following a good run and smartly taken goal.

The result means it’s back-to-back wins for Feds, while Newcastle suffer contrasting fortunes with back-to-back losses.

Newcastle United 0-4 Liverpool Feds

Attendance: 124

Honours even in Yorkshire.

After an evenly contested opening 20 minutes the first chance fell to Owens, Katie Kefford equal to the effort in the Brighouse goal.

Emma Dobson conceded an unfortunate own goal to give Norton the lead, turning the ball into her own net after failing to deal with Nyci Thorns’ cross.

Brighouse pegged the visitors back ten minutes later, in-form Laura Bartup scoring 6th goal of the season to draw level just before half-time.

Bianca Owens scored 5 minutes after the restart to restore Norton’s lead.

Minutes later, and Owens came close again, Kefford and Dobson combining to keep the score 1-2.

Brighouse restored parity once again, Chloe Wild finding the net with less than 10 minutes remaining.

Kefford would be hero once more before the referee blew his whistle to bring an end to the game.

Brighouse Town 2-2 Norton & Stockton Ancients

Attendance: 48

How things stand.

FAWNL Southern Premier Round-up: Yeovil retain top spot

Credit: Sheena Booker

Yeovil Town 3-0 Chichester City

Yeovil maintain their perfect start, while Sadie Blakely’s Chichester are left still searching for their first win of the season.

Despite a number of chances for the home side, Chichester remained resolute until substitute Erin Bloomfield broke the deadlock, poking the ball into the net to give the Glovers the lead in the second half.

In form Sarah Wiltshire would then grace the game with a superb strike, scoring her sixth of the season, and Yeovil’s second of the day to make it 2-nil.

Alridge put the result beyond doubt when she was found in space by Bloomfield, making no mistake to put the home side 3-0 up.

Yeovil’s flawless start to the season continues: played 3, won 3, scored 19, conceded 0, and most importantly, still top of the league.

Attendance: 250

Crawley Wasps 4-0 Hounslow

Hounslow stung by Wasps as Crawley’s fine form continues.

After a few early misses, Wasps made the breakthrough in the 12th minute when Hounslow failed to deal with a corner, Charlotte Owen forcing it over the line to give the home side the early advantage.

Despite mounting pressure, and a great one-on-one opportunity to extend their lead, Crawley were made to wait until the 66th minute to score their second when an attempted shot fell kindly to Webber who managed to slot it past the keeper.

Five minutes later and Cole made it 3-0 from the penalty spot, the keeper guessing the right way, but unable to keep it out.

Carter rounded off the day’s scoring in style, good work from Ledezma-Viso was met by a stunning strike to end the game as a contest in the 76th minute.

Crawley have started this campaign in the same manner as they spent the vast majority of last season: winning.

Attendance: 121

Keynsham Town 1-2 MK Dons

The Dons overturn deficit to beat newly-promoted Keynsham.

Justine Lorton gave the hosts the lead after 30 minutes.

Dons drew level just before the break, McShane’s cross was met by a thumping Anya Kinnane header to restore parity heading into half-time.

MK Dons had the opportunity to take the lead from the penalty spot, but were denied by a brilliant save.

Leah Littlechield and Jade Bell combined to demonstrate how to turn defence into attack with a rapid counter-attack, sealing the win for the visitors in the 75th minute.

MK Dons have now won 3 out of 3 in all competitions and currently sit third in the Southern Premier.

Attendance: 35

Gillingham 0-2 Plymouth Argyle

Pilgrims kick start season away to The Gills.

Argyle travelled to Gillingham in search of their first win of the season and started the game perfectly, Dandridge finding the bottom corner following a clinical move in the first minute to take the lead.

Both sides had a number of chances and near misses until Plymouth doubled their lead in the 52nd minute, Gills’ keeper, Cara Davies, unable to prevent Knapman, Pilgrims’ joint top scorer last season, from finding the net.

Gillingham applied pressure, but resolute defending and goalkeeping heroics from Becky Kyle ensured the visitors travelled back to Devon with 3 points.

Attendance: 62

As things stand

Oxford United Women vs Crawley Wasps Match Report

Naomi Cole was once again the U’s tormentor as she scored another late FAWNL Cup goal.

In blistering heat at Court Place Farm Wasps kicked-off to get the game underway.

In a game that started with a surprisingly high tempo, with both teams keen to impose their will early, it was the home side who settled quicker and began to find a little rhythm; Haynes shooting from distance and then Hines attempting the same minutes later, both failing to test Frankie Gibbs.

A matter of minutes into the game and the players were already visually showing the effects of the intense heat.

Locked in a closely contested midfield battle, neither side had created any genuine chances, but their application was good, with Wasps attempting to play out from back through the thirds, and Oxford applying an exhausting high press.

Crawley’s best chance to create an opportunity came after 15 minutes when Cole pressured Haynes, who took the Row-Z approach and smashed the ball from danger.

After around 20 minutes both teams were forced into making changes: Searle replaced Kirby for Oxford, while Young replaced Pittuck for Wasps.

After a short water break the game resumed.

Around 25 minutes into the game and Wasps forced their first corner, Sercombe climbing above Russell to gather the ball well.

The game was largely contested in the middle of the park, and while there was nothing too penetrating from either side, it was developing into an intriguing contest.

Nearing the end of the half, Oxford won several corners: Stephenson coming off the front post well to win a commanding header, Gibbs climbing high and opting to punch. Crawley dealt with the pressure well, the U’s unable to take advantage.

Crawley’s best chance of the half came just before half-time. A through ball found the feet of Cole, met by a scrambling Sercombe, the U’s keeper did just enough to distract the forward who put the ball wide.

Oxford had one final chance of the half when good work down the right from Roberts saw her find Johns in space, whose cross struck a Crawley defender, almost finding her own net as a result.

The referee blew his whistle to conclude the first-half that saw neither Gibbs or Sercombe really tested. 45 minutes with very few genuine chances.

Half-time: Oxford United Women 0 – 0 Crawley Wasps

The second-half recommenced and familiarity along with it, a half-chance from Lancaster from distance comfortably held by Gibbs, Crawley playing out from the back: Palmer, to Young, to Stephens.

As the match wore on and legs began to tire it became a game of attrition: the players versus the unbelievable heat, the 3G pitch doing the players no favours.

Oxford had rarely looked troubled, and other than a few routine catches, Sercombe had little to do, but as the game entered the last 20 minutes, Crawley began to find more space; Beaver showing good strength to see off any danger, Ellie Searle making a well-timed challenge to deny substitute Ledezma-Viso, Nash finding space to make bursting runs. Crawley benefiting from fresh legs and were now enjoying their best period of the game.

Wasps almost made the breakthrough with 18 minutes to go when a concise pass from Nash found a forward in the box, who dragged her shot wide of Sercombe’s right post.

Oxford also began making use of some of the gaps appearing down the left-hand side, Seale and Bent combining well before Bent’s dangerous cross was headed out by Russell.

With five minutes to go extra-time looked likely, but a defensive mistake saw Naomi Cole through on goal and finish smartly past Sercombe. Cole -who scored late against the U’s in the FAWNL Cup last season to rescue the game and deny Oxford the win – was once again Wasps’ hero.

Oxford United 0 – 1 Crawley Wasps

Late into the game and Oxford tried to mount pressure, attempting a number of shots from range, but with time against them Crawley managed to see the game out as the referee blew the final whistle on a very closely contested fixture.

Wasps progress to the first round of the FAWNL Cup, while Oxford enter the FAWNL Plate competition.

Both teams return to league action at the weekend as Oxford hope to bounce back when they travel to Watford, while Crawley host bottom side Hounslow.


Oxford: Sercombe, Roberts, Clifford, Beaver, Kirby (Searle), Hines, Haynes (c), Johns, Lancaster (Baker), Bent, Timms (Moore).

Wasps: Gibbs, Russell, Palmer, Pittuck (Young), James, Rabson, Owen, Stephens (Ledezma-Viso), Stevenson (Nash), Cole (c), Flieschman.

FAWNL Division One South West Round-up: 18.08.19

With Swindon Town made to play the role of spectators due to an uneven number of teams in the league, it was up to the other ten teams to attempt to make their mark on the new season in the FAWNL Division One South West.

It was an opening day that had just about everything, so let’s review the action as it unfolded.

Brislington Ladies vs Southampton Women’s FC

In a meeting that had just about everything, Brislington welcomed Division One South West contenders, Southampton Women’s FC, to Somerset for the season opener.

It took a matter of minutes for Southampton’s McKeever to put the ball in the back of the net, before having it ruled out due to an infringement.

They wouldn’t have to wait long to break the deadlock though, Yeates heading home after 18 minutes to give the visitors the lead.

On 30 minutes they doubled their lead through Lauren Clark.

Just before the break, Yeates made history for the wrong reasons by getting herself booked, and then subsequently sent to the sin bin. Southampton down to ten for the time being.

47 minutes into the contest and the drama continued: a penalty awarded to Southampton for handling the ball in the box. Warren made no mistake. 0-3.

Southampton, now back to eleven players with Yeates returning to the pitch, found the net for the fourth time in the 60th minute. And it was Yeates once again involved in the action, scoring her second of the game.

In a potential twist Brislington pulled two back within a matter of minutes. The first through Baber, shortly followed by Pritchard. 2-4 and the game not looking like quite the formality the visitors had hoped.

Any notion of a comeback was quickly quashed as Yeates completed her hat-trick. The visitors had 5 and now, with fewer than 10 minutes remaining, almost certainly the points.

But it wasn’t over quite yet, Yeates again the topic of conversation, picked up a second yellow card and was sent walking.

Write a checklist of events that could take place in a game and this likely had it covered. Incredible.

Full-time: 2-5

Attendance: 48

Cheltenham Town Ladies vs Poole Town Ladies

Poole Town made the considerable 250 miles round trip to Gloucester to face Cheltenham Town.

The two sides – both with very different ambitions this season – started the game evenly, but after the opening few minutes had passed, Cheltenham began to exert their quality on Steve Butcher’s side.

Cheltenham created several good opportunities, but a series of fantastic saves from Sam Chrippes, and the woodwork, kept the scores level at half-time.

Cheltenham restarted the game brightly, and the breakthrough came in the 51st minute when a corner somehow evaded everyone except Sally Butterfield at the back post, who managed to put it dangerously across the face of goal for the debutant, Mai Butler, to finish.

Cheltenham doubled their lead less than 15 minutes later. Selfless play and good awareness from Stewart saw her lay the ball off to Abby Bevan, who blasted home to make it 2-0 to the home side.

Poole tried their hardest to influence the game and create chances, but outside of a few half-chances and the occasional break, found themselves repeatedly shut down by an efficient Cheltenham side.

Cheltenham had a few more chances to extend their lead further, but Chrippes was equal to the Robins’ efforts.

Full-time: 2-0

Attendance: 92

Chesham United Ladies vs Southampton FC Women

Newly promoted Southampton FC began their season with a trip to Chesham. The Buckinghamshire side looking to build on their impressive fifth-place finish last season, while Southampton, backed by the Premier League side of the same name, hoped to continue their rise.

In what would turn out to be another goal-fest, it took the visitors 11 minutes to take the lead. A flowing move finished by Shannon Sievwright giving the Saints the lead.

Southampton would find the net again just 8 minutes later, Pusey with a fine first-time finish to make the score 0-2.

The third and fourth goals of the game would come shortly before the break, this time Chesham putting the ball into the back of the net. Becky Bloor scored Chesham’s first, before being awarded a penalty for handball. Bowers would make no mistake in drawing the hosts level.

The referee brought the half to an end with the scores level. 2-2.

The game restarted and it was Chesham who had the opportunity to reverse their fortunes and take the lead after being awarded a second penalty. Bowers failed to capitalise, hitting the woodwork.

Chesham were made to pay for their miss shortly after the hour mark when Sievwright completed her brace. Saints re-taking the lead.

Southampton would score twice more, the fourth courtesy of Shannon Albuery 14 minutes from the end, and the fifth as the game was reaching its conclusion, Lambert conceding an own goal to make it five goals, and more importantly, three points for the Saints.

Full-time: 2-5

Attendance: 40

Exeter City Women vs Larkhall Athletic Women

Exwick Sports Hub played host to the meeting between newly promoted Exeter City and Larkhall Athletic.

Larkhall experienced a solid 2018/19 campaign, and while you never know how a newly promoted team will perform, it took just 18 minutes for Exeter to adapt to their new surroundings and put any doubts to bed, when Midfielder Anthea Kaptein, gave the hosts the lead.

Neither side was able to find the net in the remaining 27 minutes of the half.

The game resumed, and it was City who started the brightest, doubling their lead after 50 minutes. Exeter forward, Sophie Gillies, finding the net.

In the 88th minute City were awarded a penalty. Watkins stepped up and made no mistake, slotting home to give Exeter a 3-goal advantage, and effectively ending the game as a contest.

Three points and a clean sheet: the perfect start for Britton and Watts’ side!

Full-time: 3-0

Attendance: 85

Maidenhead United Women vs Buckland Athletic Women

Buckland Athletic began their season by heading to the historic York Road stadium to face Maidenhead United. Maidenhead, who had shown great character and resilience towards the end of last season, hoped to begin the campaign in the same vein. For a strong Buckland side, who will look to be challenging to for the top spots again this season, it meant hoping to continue business as usual.

Buckland broke the deadlock after 15 minutes when some loose defending saw Stacey pounce opportunistically to slot into an empty net.

Play resumed, and it was Stacey once again who threatened Maidenhead’s goal, this time Parker equal to the forward’s effort.

Undeterred by Maidenhead’s formidable stopper, Stacey would finally double Buckland’s lead and grab her second of the game, five minutes before the break.

With Buckland two goals to the good, the referee brought the half to an end.

If ever there were five minutes to forget, it would be the five minutes proceeding the interval. Ellie Parker was able to deny Buckland a third goal, saving well, but Warman was present to extend their lead further.

Within minutes of the restart, Stacey completed her hat-trick, scoring her third and Buckland’s fourth, in the 49th minute.

Maidenhead’s misery was compounded when Ellie Parker received a red card for handling the ball outside the box. Bloor replaced her between the sticks.

At 50 minutes, with 10 players and 4 goal deficit the game was effectively over. To Maidenhead’s credit though, they showed great resilience in not conceding further, and were able to create a few chances of their own, Modak and Thompson both having opportunities.

A disappointing opening day for Maidenhead, but the second half was full of the same character that served them so well at the end of last season. Buckland travelled home happy, with all three points and opening day bragging rights as they sit at the top of the FAWNL Division One South West table.

Full-time: 4-0

Attendance: 61

As things stand