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

Keynsham Town Ladies vs Chichester City Ladies Match Preview

Photo: Sheena Booker

Keynsham Town welcome Chichester City to Somerset this Sunday in the FAWNL Southern Premier Division.

Only way is up for K’s

Currently pointless and rooted to the foot of the table, Keynsham’s campaign to date has been a stark contrast to last season which saw them win the FAWNL Division One South West convincingly.

Following promotion to the FAWNL Southern Premier Division, the K’s experienced an exodus, with several of their title-winning side opting to ply their trade elsewhere, and began the season having to postpone their opening league fixture due to being unable to field a team.

They eventually kicked off their season the following week, coming from behind to beat Buckland Athletic 2-1 in the FAWNL Cup.

Since then they have lost seven games in a row including voluntarily withdrawing from the FAWNL Cup resulting in a home walkover win for Chesham United and most recently lost 0-5 against Yeovil Town at The AJN Stadium.

In the search for a silver lining, the K’s can take a little comfort in the fact they have a game in hand over Chi and that statistically, very little separates the sides at present – it really is anyone’s game.

Green Army on the road

Much like Sunday’s opposition, Chi also experienced a very turbulent close season that saw their manager and most of the squad that helped them secure a third-place finish last season depart the club.

Appointed shortly after Aaron Smith’s departure in May, former player Sadie Blakely undertook the considerable task of rebuilding the Green Army, signing more than 20 players with several members of the development squad stepping up in preparation of the new season.

Understandably, Blakely’s young side whose average age is just 23, experienced a difficult start to the season, losing six games before earning a point away from home against Gillingham; Megan Fox put the Green Army ahead before Gillingham equalised late on to rescue a point.

Chi lost the following game 1-4 to Portsmouth before winning their first game of the season in the FAWNL Plate, beating Swindon Town 4-2 to progress to the Second Round of the competition.

There’s no disguising the fact that both sides have experienced difficult seasons to date, and will view Sunday’s game as the perfect opportunity to register some vital points, and potentially kickstart their season.

Bolton Ladies vs Bradford City Women Match Preview

In the FAWNL Division One North’s only game of the weekend, Bolton welcome Bradford to The Kensite Stadium this Sunday.

Whites looking to make it three on the bounce

Bolton began the season with victory at home against Norton & Stockton Ancients but have since experienced results indicative of a team that saw a considerable turnover of players in the summer, with Bolton’s Nicole Malpus recently stating:

“With nine new players this season it’s taken time but the players are starting to click, we are learning everyone’s strengths and weaknesses along with best suited positions. We can’t wait for Sundays game against Bradford. It can’t come quick enough.” – Nicole Malpus.

Currently seventh, with 7 points after five games, the Whites have played at least two games fewer than most others sides in the division, with the possibility of leapfrogging teams above them depending on results.

Bolton head into Sunday’s game hoping to build on their current momentum and extend their winning run to three after knocking Donny Belles out of the FAWNL Plate, and most recently beating Northern Premier’s Fylde 0-2 on the road in the County Cup.

Bantams looking to kickstart season

After more than two weeks without a game due to weather disruptions, Bradford head into Sunday’s game currently occupying eleventh place, though, like Bolton, the Bantams have played at least two games fewer than the teams above them presenting them with an opportunity to climb the table.

They began the season by beating Durham Cestria but lost their following four games before Steve Winterburn resigned as manager following a change in family circumstances.

Still yet to confirm a new manager, Charlotte Stuart stepped in to oversee first-team duties until a permanent replacement is appointed.

Since taking temporary charge, the Bantams have twice fallen to defeat, first bowing out of the FA Cup against high-flying Barnsley, followed by 4-0 defeat at the hands of promotion contenders, Brighouse Town.

After two weeks of work on the training ground, Bradford have plenty of time and opportunities to get their season back on track, starting this Sunday at Bolton.

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

Cardiff City Ladies vs Plymouth Argyle Ladies Match Preview

Buckland v Plymouth
Photo: twitter.com/TimBadgerPhotos

With cup business handled, the focus returns to the league as two of the divisions heavyweights clash this Sunday in the Southern Premier Division.

Cardiff: the immovable object

Bolstered by the news that the rules involving promotion and league eligibility had sensibly been changed, the Wales side began the season hoping to go one better than last season and clinch promotion to the Championship.

Currently fifth, having conceded just two and scored seven, Blues have taken 13 from a possible 15 points in their last 5 outings. Evidence that while Lauren Smith’s side may not have been prolific in front of goal, their organisation and impressive backline has ensured they usually don’t have to be to come away from games with the results required to keep them within touching distance of teams above them. An efficient Cardiff side.

Last time out they welcomed MK Dons to Ystrad Mynach in the FAWNL Cup. Unable to be separated after extra-time the game was eventually decided by penalties; goalkeeping heroics of Dons’ Emma Kirby sending Cardiff out of the competition following two saves.

Plymouth: the unstoppable force

After finishing 6th last season, ending the campaign with three consecutive defeats, The Pilgrims had a good pre-season and began the season as divisional dark horses. But with lofty ambitions of their own, Argyle now look to push towards the very top places of the division in a season that has started brilliantly for the Devon side.

Spearheaded by the deadly Natasha Knapman – who has notched an impressive 13 goals in 7 games this season – Argyle head into Sunday as the most in-form side in the Southern Premier Division after taking maximum points from their last five outings, scoring 26 times in the process, and conceding just three.

Dave Leonard’s side is keenly poised, currently sitting third in the table, three points behind leaders Wasps with a game in hand.

Last time out they proved to be too much for Division One South West side Buckland Athletic in the FAWNL Cup, securing a sixth consecutive victory and progress into the next round following an impressive 1-7 victory on the road.

Last time they met

Cardiff came away with bragging rights last season following 3-2 victories both home and away to complete a league double over the Pilgrims.

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.

Keynsham Town Ladies vs Portsmouth Women Match Preview

After the frustration of having their games postponed last weekend, both teams will look to bounce back from recent defeats when they meet on Sunday in the FAWNL Southern Premier Division.

Keynsham welcome Pompey to Somerset

Keynsham began the season in unusual fashion, unable to field a team their scheduled opening day fixture against Oxford United was postponed just days before the match was due to take place.

They eventually kicked off their season a week later, coming from behind to beat Division One South West side Buckland Athletic in the FAWNL Cup but have since suffered narrow losses against MK Dons, Cardiff, Crawley Wasps, and a heavy 6-1 defeat at the hands of early title contenders, Plymouth.

Further questions were also raised when Keynsham forfeited their scheduled cup game against Chesham United, opting to withdraw from the competition instead of completing the fixture.

With just two league goals to their credit so far this season, Fabiana Alborghetti and Justine Lorton the scorers, the departure of record goalscorer Kerry Bartlett is already proving to be a huge loss for the Somerset side.

Keynsham currently occupy 12th place at the foot of the Southern Premier Division. But despite their league position, The K’s can take some comfort in knowing two of those losses have come against two of the top three teams in the division, have games in hand and a much better goal difference than teams around them.

Portsmouth on the road

Portsmouth are on the road for the first time this season as they embark on a considerable 240-mile round trip to face Keynsham this Sunday.

Having only managed to play three league and two cup games, it has been a season of scheduling frustration so far for Portsmouth.

Kicking off the season with a loss, Pompey responded well by winning three on the bounce, first quickly avenging their opening day defeat against Watford, followed by an emphatic 8-0 win against Hounslow and an extra time cup victory against Southern Premier rivals, Gillingham.

Last time out they welcomed a very strong Oxford United side to the south coast. The U’s proved to be too much for The Hampshire side who were outmuscled and outclassed on the day, with Jay Sadler admitting as much during a post match interview.

“We simply weren’t good enough all over the pitch. Individually and collectively. I felt there were large moments of the game where we were outmuscled.”

Jay Sadler, Portsmouth manager.

One postive that can be taken from the game against Oxford was 16-year-old Mia Adaway scoring her first senior goal.

In terms of selection, Portsmouth have to manage without ‘keeper Hannah Haughton and Katie James who were both selected for the inaugural World Beach Soccer Games in Doha, Qatar.

Tamsin de Bunsen, Becki Bath and Charmaine True are joint top scorers, each finding the net three times.

How things stand

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

Ipswich Town Women vs Billericay Town Ladies Match Preview

Sunday presents arguably the biggest head-to-head in Division One South East to date as the Tractor Girls welcome Billericay Town to The Goldstar Ground in a top of the table clash.

Ipswich welcome league leaders.

Ipswich, currently second, began the season a little shaky, first coming back to secure a point against Wimbledon, followed by a loss to Southampton FC in the FAWNL Cup. But since then the Tractor Girls have been in great form winning five consecutive games; four league victories coming against Kent, Norwich, Actonians, and Stevenage, and an emphatic 11-2 victory in the County Cup. AFC Sudbury the recipients of the heavy defeat.

Last time out Ipswich travelled to Stevenage off the back of an emphatic cup win and delivered a result that was just as impressive. A hat-trick from Sophie Peskett, brace from Amanda Crump, and a goal from substitute Abbie Lafayette rounded off a fantastic victory on the road.

New signing Sophie Peskett and Amanda Crump are the club’s top scorers having found the net six and seven times respectively.

The formation of a dedicated supporters group, Tractor Girls On Tour, and some stellar attendances both indicate that the women’s team is making strides off the pitch as well as on it.

Perfect on the road.

Last season’s runners-up currently sit top of the FA Women’s National League South East following a brilliant start to the season.

Ricay began the season by winning four on the bounce, with victories against Kent, Cheltenham, Cambridge City, and AFC Basildon before being held to a 1-1 draw against Enfield. However, it didn’t take long for the Blues to get back to winning ways, first inflicting a 5-0 defeat on Norwich, followed by victory against Cambridge United to summit the league table.

Last time out Ricay travelled to Cambridge United, goals from Danica Dougal and Therese Addison secured all three points for the visitors.

Last season’s top scorer Zoe Rushden and Karissa Rodney are joint top scorers with 5 goals.

Billericay travel to Ipswich with a perfect record on the road – three wins from three, ten goals scored and none conceded – full of confidence and a belief that this season could be their season.

“I think we’re playing really, really positively. The girls are really well-knit, and we’re playing some really good football at the minute, and I think we’ve got a really, really good chance of winning the league this year.”

– Madeleine Bishop

How things stand.

Portsmouth Women vs Oxford United Women Match Preview

Pompey look to make it four on the bounce.

Pompey go into the game in good form having not lost since the opening day of the season.

Since then they have beaten Watford, Hounslow and Gillingham scoring 13 goals in the process.

Pompey have no long term injury concerns going into the match and manager Jay Sadler has a competitive squad to pick from. Competition for places has been intense and all eyes will be on social media as the fans wait to see what his starting 11 will be.

Goals have come throughout the team this year but Tamsin de Bunsen, Becki Bath and Charmaine True currently lead the scoring charts with 3 each.

Pompey will not underestimate Oxford though and it’s expected to be hard fought game at the PMC. The sides shared two very close games last season but Oxford came out on top on both occasions.

Credit: @PompeyChiv | Pompey Women Vlogs

The U’s head south.

Oxford United head to the south coast to face Portsmouth in what will be only their third competitive game of the season.

After a delayed start to the season, Oxford kicked things off against Crawley Wasps in the FAWNL Cup. It was a hard fought contest between two sides likely to be pushing for the top places in the table come next May, with Crawley coming out on top thanks to a late Naomi Cole goal.

The following game saw manager Liam Gilbert ring several changes with Allen, Sims, Watson, McLachlan, and Williams all coming into the starting eleven. The result was a dominant display that saw the U’s comfortably dispatch of a young Chichester side.

While the players and management have dealt with the frustration of the stop-start-stop nature of the season very privately, it inevitably exists. How could it not? Players want to play, and the management will know there’s no way to replicate the benefits of competitive matches; it puts Oxford at a disadvantage in that regard, so it’ll be interesting to see whether it’s a factor on Sunday.

There are no new injury concerns that we’re aware of, while Evie Gane continues to near full fitness.

Last time out.

After multiple postponements both home and away games took place within weeks of one another, and on both occasions they were close, hard fought matches with goals from Timms and Allen earning the U’s all six points.

How things stand.