We take a look at some of the talking points from this weekend’s action.
Deep into the business end of the season, we take a look at some of the talking points from another round of exciting fixtures.
FAWNL Cup and Plate finalists confirmed
The finalists of the FAWNL Cup and Plate have been determined as Southampton FC and Huddersfield Town booked their place in the FAWNL Cup final while Nottingham Forest and AFC Wimbledon progressed to the final of the FAWNL Plate competition.
A lone goal from Katie Stanley proved to be enough for the Terriers against a formidable Feds side while second-half goals from Katie Rood and Alisha Ware helped Saints book their place in the final two – going one better than two years ago where they bowed out at the semi-final stage against Sunderland.
Southampton FC’s road to the final: Cheltenham Town, Ipswich Town, MK Dons, Hashtag United, Crawley Wasps.
Huddersfield Town’s road to the final: Boldmere St Michaels, Middlesbrough, Loughborough Lightning, Brighouse Town, Liverpool Feds.
In the Plate competition, Nottingham Forest proved to be too much for Cheltenham Town as Andy Cook’s side eased past Town to seal their place in the final while AFC Wimbledon beat Sporting Khalsa 1-4 to complete the line-up thanks to a goal from Katie Stanley and a hat-trick from the prolific Ashlee Hincks.
Nottingham Forest’s road to the final: Doncaster Rovers Belles, Bedworth United, Alnwick Town, Cheltenham Town
AFC Wimbledon’s road to the final: Norwich City, Chesham United, Portishead Town, Portsmouth, Sporting Khalsa
Wolves’ unbeaten league run comes to an end
It was a case of all good things must come to an end for Wolves as Courtney Willis bagged a brace before Sarah Greenhalgh added a third to help Burnley surprise Dan McNamara’s side and put an end to their mammoth unbeaten run.
There will be an inevitable sense of disappointment felt amongst the Wolves camp, but there’s also much to be proud of and reflect upon after going a total of 914 days between league defeats – including promotion to the Northern Premier Division and completing the double over bitter rivals West Brom earlier this season.
Wolves will resume their hunt for the title next weekend as they look to bounce back against Loughborough Lightning.
History at The Hawthorns
Buoyed by the support of a strong home crowd, Jenny Sugarman’s side delivered a performance to match the occasion as 1,871 fans were on hand to witness West Brom beat Derby County 2-0 on a historic day for the Baggies Women.
Leigh Dugmore capitalised on a defensive error to etch her name into the record books as the first female to score at The Hawthorns after 33 minutes before substitute Evie Gallop doubled Albion’s lead with her first touch of the game in the second half to seal the three points.
A historic day and win for Albion, who maximised the opportunity to showcase their talents in front of the Baggies faithful at The Hawthorns.
Boro scrap for survival
Middlesbrough’s Teesside grit was on full display against Stoke as Andy Campbell’s side sent a clear message: don’t count Boro out yet as the fight for league survival is far from over.
Without a win since the end of October, the Teesside outfit put to bed their lackluster run of the results thanks to a stunning second-half performance that saw Boro score four times in the last 30 minutes.
It was a goalscoring display to make striker-turned-manager Campbell proud, and one that he’ll hope will serve as a catalyst as Boro bid to retain their Northern Premier Division status.
Three becomes two in Division One North title race
The Division One North title race is now a two-horse affair between Feds and Newcastle after a heavy defeat for Leeds left the Yorkshire side 13 points adrift of Newcastle in second-place and 15 points of league leaders Liverpool Feds, albeit with a game in hand over both sides.
Newcastle were at their ruthless best against Leeds United as they beat the Whites 6-2 to put an end to their promotion hopes at Coach Lane.
Becky Langley’s side have now won an impressive nine league games on the spin and have been looking extremely deadly in front of goal since the turn of the year – scoring twenty-seven times in 5 outings.
Both Feds and the Magpies have eight games remaining, with the key meeting between the two sides set to take place in four weeks’ time.