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.
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.
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.
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.
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.