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Blackburn Rovers 1 (Shepherd pen 5)
at Sheffield United FC>
Charlton Athletic 2 (Graham 42, Clifford 45)
Blackburn Rovers 1 (Shepherd pen 5)
at Sheffield United FC
Charlton Athletic came from a goal behind to win the FAWPL Championship Play-Off match at Bramall Lane and earn themselves a place in the new look FA WSL Championship for next season, subject to confirmation.
Blackburn Rovers were playing in this match for the second successive season and this may have showed during the early stages as they took advantage of early Charlton nerves to go ahead with just five minutes on the clock. Natasha Flint tried her luck from fully 35 yards and after her shot came back off the post, Saffron Jordan reacted quickest to the rebound but was brought down and a penalty was awarded. Lynda Shepherd stepped up to stroke the ball past Katie Startup frorm the spot and Gemma Donnelly's side were ahead.
Boosted by the early goal, Blackburn continued to dominate matters and sought a second goal, winning a series of corners. They were handed a good chance to double their lead when, under pressure from Jordan, Hannah Churchill underhit a back pass and then hauled down Jordan on the edge of the area as she latched onto the loose ball. The Charlton defender, perhaps fortuitously, was shown the yellow card and Flint curled the resulting free kick goalwards but Startup produced a magnificent save, diving to her right to palm the ball over the bar.
The first real opportunity for Charlton came as Georgia Griffin volleyed wide and a drinks break at that point gave the Addicks an opportunity to clear their heads and settle following the almost constant Blackburn pressure.
Charlton began to come into the game with Charlotte Gurr forcing Danielle Hill to save from a free kick, and another kick saw Nicole Pepper's cross pick out Charley Clifford who headed wide.
A minute later though, Clifford became the provider as Charlton got back on level terms. Winning herself space on the right, the midfielder drilled a superb cross into the area where Kit Graham stole inbetween two defenders and guided her header over Hill for the equaliser.
Before Rovers could recover, Pepper crossed for an unmarked Griffin to glance another header past an exposed Hill in first half injury time and the match had been turned on its head in just four minutes.
Jordan went close for Blackburn early in the second half from a Lagan Makin cross but, clearly buoyed by the double strike, Charlton were looking a different prospect and nearly increased their lead with a 25-yard strike from Clifford which was saved at full stretch by Hill.
Hill was having a fine game in goal and twice had to come off her line to deny Addicks goal ace Graham, who also shot over at the near post from a quickly taken free kick by Gurr.
Flint was always a threat at the other end and drilled a shot just over as Blackburn threw players forward in the latter stages. Natasha Fenton went even closer with a free kick from wide right which hit the bar before being put behind for a corner.
With players committed forward, Blackburn were always likely to be vulnerable to a counter attack and they had a glorious chance to seal the outcome in the last minute of normal time when Graham was brought down just inside the area for a penalty. However, Hill came to Blackburn's rescue as she saved well low to her right from Charlotte Gurr.
Harley Bennett shot wide from Olivia Lukasewich's nod down as, superbly marshalled by Sam Pittuck in defence, the Addicks saw out the additional four minutes very effectively to celebrate a hard earned victory and the FAWPL Championship trophy in front of close to a thousand spectators.
Charlton Athletic: Katie Startup, Olivia Lukasewich, Grace Coombs, Charley Clifford, Charlotte Gurr, Hannah Churchill, Sa m Pittuck, Nicole Pepper, Kit Graham, Harley Bennett, Georgia Griffin (sub Hope Nash 80mins). Subs not used: Chloe Brunton-Wilde, Kim Dixson, Charlotte Lee, Flo Jackson.
Blackburn Rovers: Danielle Hill, Chelsey Jukes (sub Ria Montgomery 82mins), Alex Taylor, Lynda Shepherd, Kayleigh McDonald, Ellie Cook, Jess Holbrook, Natasha Fenton, Saffron Jordan, Natasha Flint, Lagan Makin. Subs not used: Amelia Size, Hannah Walsh, Eve Clarkson, Kaylea Cunliffe.
A nicely balanced squad of players, from the junior players with more than enough playing experience to the more senior members of the squad, they have shown great maturity as a team to finish the season as League Champions at the first attempt.
On Sunday, they completed the League and Cup double when winning the Women's Challenge Cup Final at Gateshead International Stadium with a 6-1 victory over Newbiggin Hall. Alnwick had warmed up for the game with a friendly against a visiting American side from St. Marys University, Minnesota.
Manager Peter Hateley and coach Paul Grisdale could not be more proud of the way the squad has gone about its football this season. Team captain Georgia Thompson is the figurehead of the side but she is ably supported by other members of the squad, who share the responsibility of delivering the club's vision on the pitch.
"From the early parts of pre-season, the vision has been to be professional in our approach to the football we play, working to deliver a style of play that we hope will attract spectators and new players to the Women's game," Paul Grisdale told Women's Soccer Scene. "We have received numerous comments about our style of play and hope to continue on the same path of instilling a passing game into the players.
"Our top goalscorer so far this season, Jade Barrett, is the lucky benefactor of this approach. A first class finisher, she is the end result of the team's hard work and unselfish approach which is the ethos we are trying to foster around the squad.
"We have had many great games this season, including our run to the First Round proper of the SSE Women's FA Cup where we lost out to Burnley Ladies FC.
"As a coach, I would point to this particular match and our recent defeat to Wallsend Ladies in the league as our most important matches this season, we learnt a lot about ourselves and our players from these games and were again impressed by the reaction of the squad, getting back to doing the basics well and looking ahead to the next match.
"We are already planning our pre-season ahead of our move up to the North East Regional League where we will continue to play our way."
This is only the team's fourth season together and they have improved year on year, culminating in this season's title. Taplow scored the most league goals in the league, across all divisions (123), and conceded the least number of goals in their division (22). With the nucleus of the team that won the County Cup last year and a few additions coming in to strengthen the squad, it has been a huge team effort to achieve the results and success that they have had this season.
"We started the season a little slowly as some players were still away or had holidays planned which meant our numbers were low for the first few weeks of the season," manager Sam Barwood told Women's Soccer Scene. "We lost two early games against Wantage Ladies and Kingsclere Ladies (who finished second and third respectively) but once all of our players were back and we were at full strength we finished the season undefeated, winning fifteen games and drawing one.
"The turning point of the season was definitely the 6-1 home win over Thatcham Flames, they came to us after beating Kingsclere, who were top of the league at that point, the week before, expecting to beat us also. It was a very strong team performance against a very successful under-18 team who had just moved up into ladies football. This performance was met with praise from the opposition coaching staff and was the platform we needed to push forwards."
Taplow also made the semi finals of both the League and County Cups which meant that they had a large number of league fixtures outstanding in April, when most of the other teams were coming to the end of their season. "We had to focus for each game as we still had to play the teams that were at that point first, second and third in the league before our season ended," recalled Sam. "Week by week, we got the result we needed and on 8th April we went top on goal difference. Three teams were tied at the top on 36 points but our goal difference was superior and we had a number of games in hand.
"We travelled to Kingsclere on 22nd April, knowing that a win in this game would give us the league title mathematically, with two games to spare. Kingsclere also had an opportunity to win the league should they beat us. However, we had the added incentive of overturning the result from earlier in the season when they travelled to us and won. It was a very hot, difficult game as Kingsclere are a strong, physical side but the final result was a 5-1 win and Taplow United Ladies won the league with two games to spare. Cue the champagne moment, as we had it with us, just in case!
"This has been a long, difficult season and we wouldn't have been able to achieve the success that we have without every single player giving everything week in, week out."
Manager Samantha (Sam) Barwood is also club captain and secretary, which allows coach Shaun Gray to focus on coaching and so far this has reaped rewards with hopefully more to come. Jacqueline (Jacqui) Hanson was top goalscorer this season with an impressive 63 goals and she is also the top goalscorer in the entire league, across all divisions.
Taplow United are looking for new players for the 2018-19 season in order to build and strengthen their squad so please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in playing for a fun, friendly and committed team.
The first team have been crowned Champions of the Eastern Region Women's Football League Division One North, with the team having an unbeaten league season, winning seventeen matches and drawing one.
This is the highest league position the team has achieved and is a massive achievement for the club. Earlier in the season, the ladies also reached the First Round Proper of the SSE Women's FA Cup, going one step further than the previous year, eventually losing out 3-2 to Enfield Town from the FA Women's Premier League.
Having beaten higher league opposition Acle United in last season's County Cup semi final, Wymondham faced them again this season, but this time in the Final. Wymondham again came out on top with a 3-2 victory, courtesy of goals from Laura Nicholls, Mollie O'Callaghan and Chelsea Clarke. This is the first time the team have lifted the County Cup and is a fantastic achievement for the club.
Overall, Wymondham have scored 155 goals in 31 games, conceding just 26 in all competitions with Laura Nicholls (42), Hannah Waters (24) and Mollie O'Callaghan (21) the team's top goalscorers.
Speaking about the season, manager Alex Guy told Women's Soccer Scene: "It has been an incredible season. Having finished third in the league last year and reached the County Cup but failing to lift the trophy, this gave the squad more determination and motivation then ever.
"To not only win the league, but to also be undefeated is a great achievement and to beat higher league opposition in the County Cup is testament to the team's ability. It means a great deal to me to lift the League Trophy and County Cup with my local team and we are very much enjoying the moment and looking forward to the challenge of next season."
Meanwhile, the Reserves won promotion last season to the Norfolk Women's & Girls Football League Division 1 and have had a strong season, currently sitting fourth in the table with only two games to go. They have also progressed well in the League Plate competition, reaching the semi finals and facing league leaders Sprowston. The result was 1-1 after extra time and Sprowston progressed to the final, beating Wymondham on penalties.
The club is also proud to be supporting an SSE Wildcats Centre in Wymondham, which has been set up as a national incentive to increase participation of 5-11 year old girls in football. Sessions are being held at Ketts Park in Wymondham from 6-7pm. To register your interest, please contact email@example.com.
Last season, they missed out on the title to Swansea City but returned determined to regain top spot this time around, with a 3-2 win at Port Talbot Town in their opening game and an impressive 5-0 victory over Abergavenny Women. Indeed, Met kept on winning, including both matches against title holders Swansea City and Lauren Townsend's late winner in their 2-1 victory over the Swans in January looked to be a pivotal moment in the race.
After twelve successive victories had taken them well clear, the winning run was halted when they were held to a draw by Rhyl Ladies and Abergavenny gained revenge for that earlier defeat by winning the return meeting. Met got back on the winning track though and three victories in a row confirmed them as Champions once again, putting themselves beyond the reach of runners-up Swansea with a 1-0 win away to Llandudno Ladies.
Dr Kerry Harris was once again the architect of their success by leading them to another league title, with Tija Richardson as captain. Jasmine Simpson topped their scoring charts with 16 league goals to her name, with Naomi Clipston also getting into double figures.
"We had some very close games this season," secretary and full back Sophie Scherschel told Women's Soccer Scene. "There were several, including both the fixtures against Swansea, where we came from behind so we credit our attitude and belief in those matches."
"It's such a great feeling to win the league again and it is testament to all the hard work we have put in over the season as a squad," added defender Rebecca Mathias. "There have been no easy games this season and each team has made it hard for us to get the win."
Cardiff Met Ladies' title triumph also means that they will once again compete in the UEFA Women's Champions League next season, with the qualifying group matches set to take place in August.
AFC Telford are a new club which was reformed in June 2017. 22 new players signed on and Sean Evans was appointed as manager after moving from Shrewsbury Town Ladies with Les Smith, Mick Hill, Tom Lewis and Mike Harvey all part of the coaching staff.
As well as winning the league, the team also acquitted themselves well in cup competitions by reaching the semi finals of both the Shropshire County Cup and the League Cup.
Important results during the course of the season included a win in their top of the table clash with Sutton Coldfield Town Royals. Telford came away with a 5-0 win which really put the club in control of the league. They also managed a notable 2-0 win over FAWPL side TNS Ladies Res in the quarter finals of the County Cup.
The team is captained by Vicky Harper and Chantelle Teare is leading goalscorer, with 21 to her name. No less than five players have got into double figures for goals for the season.
"It's been an incredible season for the club," manager Sean Evans told Women's Soccer Scene. "To achieve what we have in such a short space of time has been phenomenal.
"The players have been superb all season, the character and determination to see the job through makes them all worthy Champions.
"I'm very proud of all the staff who have contributed so much. Unsung heroes like Joanne and Les Smith, who have worked so hard over the years to reform the ladies side, without their endless hours of work put in we wouldn't be in this position. Also the coaches Tom, Mike and Mick who have been excellent, it's been a real team effort."
Olympique Lyonnais have won the UEFA Women's Champions League for the third successive season after beating VfL Wolfsburg 4-1 after extra time in the Final in Kiev.
It is the fifth time in all that the French side have been crowned European Champions and England full back Lucy Bronze becomes the first British player to pick up a winner's medal since Arsenal's success in 2007, and the first to do so with an overseas team.
In front of 14,237 in Kiev, Lyon had the better of things during normal time and should have won the game when a header from Amandine Henry clearly looked to have crossed the line but with no goal line technology available, no goal was awarded.
Wolfsburg went ahead three minutes into extra time through a deflected shot from Danish star Pernille Harder but the sending off of Alexandra Popp for a second bookable offence proved to be the turning point of the game. Lyon took full advantage, Henry levelling the scores before Eugenie Le Sommer and Ada Hegerberg both converted crosses from former Liverpool winger Shanice van de Sanden.
The win - which stretched Lyon's unbeaten run to 41 matches in all competitions - was crowned four minutes from time when Camille Abily marked her last game for the club by scoring the fourth.
Arsenal have bolstered their squad for next season with the signing of Austrian international Viktoria Schnaderbeck.
The 27-year-old midfielder has spent the last 11 years with Bayern Munich, where she has won two Frauen Bundesliga titles and a Frauen DFB-Pokal trophy throughout her 132 appearances with the club. Viki captains Austria, with 63 caps for her country's national team.
Gunner manager Joe Montemurro told www.arsenal.com: "Viki is a very experienced player. She has played in the Champions League and against the leading teams in European football for many years now.
"As captain of her national team, she brings a wealth of qualities to our side and we're looking forward to welcoming her into the team when she joins us for the new season."
"For me, it was just the right moment," Schnaderbeck told Arsenal.com. "I'm really happy to take this chance and have a new experience in my future. I'm really happy to start.
"I was there for 11 years, so it was a bit of a family for me and I've learnt a lot in women's professional football. I had a good time and also a very successful one. Now I felt like I had to take the next step and I'm really happy to take the next step.
"Arsenal has a big history in women's football and I've had a good feeling right from the first moment about it. They have really good players, a good team and the staff around. It's just everything that's convinced me to join Arsenal.
"I had a talk with Joe and I knew that he was a coach who could make a difference to the team. I think there will be big steps made in the future as well, and I just felt comfortable talking with him and also with his idea of football. I think that's very important too."
Shelley Kerr has included Lizzie Arnot and Lana Clelland in her latest squad as Scotland's women vie for a place at their first World Cup, in France 2019.
The first of the qualifying double header sees Scotland take on Belarus at the Falkirk Stadium on Thursday 7th June (7.35pm), then they travel to take on Poland at Kielce on Tuesday 12th June (2.30pm). The Poland match will be shown live on BBC ALBA.
Arnot was ruled out of the UEFA Women's Euro 2017 Finals last year with an ACL injury but she marked her return in recent weeks and helped secure the SWPL Cup for Hibernian at the weekend. Hibernian won 9-0 against Celtic in the Final and Arnot notched five goals.
Lana Clelland has also recovered from injury, having missed out on all of the squad gatherings this year. She will be looking to make her first appearances of 2018.
Scotland go into the two matches in June following a 3-0 victory against Poland in front of a healthy crowd at the Paisley 2021 Stadium. In their last meet up, the squad also played Switzerland away from home, losing out 1-0 against the top ranked side in the group. Scotland currently lie second top of the table, six points behind the Swiss with a game in hand.
Scotland head coach Shelley Kerr told www.scottishfa.co.uk: "We are really looking forward to the upcoming games, starting with the home match against Belarus.
"The players are on a high after the Poland win and we are hopeful of a large crowd at the Falkirk Stadium.
"I am happy with the squad that has been selected and it's great to have Lizzie Arnot back involved. She has shown incredible mental strength to overcome the disappointment of missing out on the Euros and is now working to be back to her best. Her five goals in the cup final against Celtic shows all of the strengths she brings.
"This is a crucial stage of the World Cup qualifying campaign now and we're looking for two wins to set us up for the final matches against Switzerland and Albania after the summer."
Jayne Ludlow has named her squad for Wales' upcoming home games in their FIFA Women's World Cup Qualification bid.
Following a goalless draw against group leaders England, Wales welcome Bosnia-Herzegovina and Russia to Swansea and Newport respectively.
Captain Sophie Ingle will lead a squad that includes the experience of Jessica Fishlock, Natasha Harding and Angharad James, with Laura O'Sullivan selected as one of the goalkeepers after her heroics against the Lionesses at the St Mary's Stadium. Unfortunately Charlie Estcourt, who also starred against England, misses out due to a knee injury.
Ludlow has added four players to the twenty that were picked for the England match, bringing in Ffion Morgan, Tamsyn Sibanda, Olivia Clarke and forward Grace Horrell who plays for Cyncoed Ladies in the Welsh Premier Women's League.
The first of the double header is against Bosnia-Herzegovina on Thursday 7th June at the Liberty Stadium, Swansea and Wales then take on Russia at the Newport Stadium on Tuesday 12th June (both kick offs 7pm).
Ashford Town (Middx) 8 Godalming Town 4
The John Greenacre Memorial Trophy Final produced a dozen goals to cap another successful GLWFL Finals day at Bedfont Sports FC.
Ashford Town ( Middlesex) produced a superb display of attacking prowess to defeat Division One rivals Godalming Town by eight goals to four in the late afternoon sun.
The action was non stop from the first whistle, Ashford keeper Lauren Restel tipping over from Rebecca Munro and Lavana Neufville firing an early Ashford chance wide. Player of the match Ashley Cheatley scored the Ashford opener with a neat finish on 16 minutes and set up the second when Godalming keeper Kim Ketchell saved her powerful shot, only for Beth Sheehan to knock in the rebound.
Neufville immediately added a third and Godalming were in deep trouble. Impressively, they soon found their attacking momentum and created a series of chances, Restel saving from Munro and Megan Vincer before the former reduced the deficit with a neat near post finish on 35 minute.
Any hopes of a Godalming comeback were hit within a minute of the restart as Sheehan scored her second. Munro hit a post for Godalming before Ellen Thomas reduced the deficit with a lob from distance. However, Neufville scored a similar goal within a minute to restore a three-goal Ashford lead on the hour.
Chances came and went before Godalming gave themselves a slight hope on 75 minutes through Tamara Sidwell, who pulled ot back to 5-3, but again they conceded within a minute, Cheatley adding her second.
A neat finish gave Cheatley her hat-trick and made the score 7-3. Back came the Surrey team with arguably the goal of the game as Becky Bloor tricked her way past two challenges before beating Restel from close range.
Ashford had the final word of a crazy second half when Holly Isaacs netted after Ketchell was again unlucky after making a fine save from Cheatley and the final whistle ended an extraordinary match. Godalming had played a full part but Ashford were simply too hot to handle.
As always, GLWFL Finals day was immaculately organised and there was strong support for all six teams participating in an enjoyable showcase for the league.
Ashford Town (Middx):
Lauren Restel, Charlotte Baker, Laura Huse, Nicole Jacobs, Maddie Bone, Holly Isaacs, Beth Sheehan, Hannah Pearson, Charmaine Benham, Ashley Cheatley, Lavana Neufville. Subs: Rebecca Fisher, Claire Samuels, Sophie Burgess.
Kim Ketchell, Hester Benham, Jessica Winchester, Mairead Cheeseman, Ellen Thomas, Megan Vincer, Rebecca Bloor, Rebecca Munro, Tamara Sidwell, Laura Funnell, Lauren Carnell. Subs: Stephanie Le, Megan Oliver, April Hill, Marianne O'Byrne, Lisa Nichols.
(Report by Patrick Higgins)
AFC Phoenix Res 4 Islington Borough 2
AFC Phoenix Reserves completed a highly successful season with a 4-2 victory over Islington Borough to land the GLWFL Trophy.
Division Two South runners-up and Capital Junior Cup winners, Phoenix ran up an early three-goal lead before withstanding a fine comeback from Islington to claim the honours.
The second match of the GLWFL Finals day was an exciting affair from the first whistle. Carrie-Anne Layton nearly gave Islington the lead, Klaudia Kovacs tipping over her second minute shot.
Opposing keeper Diana Nkendrim made a stunning double save early on but was beaten on 17 minutes when a Rebecca May cross from the right was turned in by Raquel Arevalo.
The lead was doubled on 25 minutes with another good finish by Arevalo and May added the third just after the half hour after a defensive error to give Islington a mountain to climb. Chloe Copsey, later chosen as player of the match for her wholehearted display, gave the North Londoners some hope right on the break with a good finish.
Chances continued to mount up in an end to end second period. Kovacs made a superb save to deny Ornella Mbula on 51 minutes and Nkendrim did equally well to stop Olivia Bennett extending the lead. It was a free kick on the right delivered by May over the wall which saw Phoenix add to their advantage on the hour.
Islington were far from beaten, however, Layton firing over from the edge of the area. Arevalo was close to her hat-trick before Islington gave themselves hope when Ellen Maggs created some space in the area before steering a precise effort wide of Kovacs on 75 minutes.
Amazingly, Islington created enough chances to have taken the match to penalties in a frantic last few minutes. Copsey was denied by a last ditch challenge, Maggs had a header well held by Kovacs, then hit the post from an opportunist effort late on.
AFC Phoenix Reserves emerged winners from an excellent contest and matched the club's London & South East Regional League first team in celebrating simultaneous Cup triumphs on a remarkable day for the South Londoners.
AFC Phoenix Res: Kllaudia Kovacs, Maria Mendonca, Kajsa Eklof, Lois Dunn, Samantha Chapman, Eliene Steiner, Ella Bonner, Ana De Pellegrin, Olivia Bennett, Rebecca May, Raquel Arevalo. Subs: Marta Casanovas, Mary Loonstra, Jennifer McBean, Laura Hoole.
Islington Borough: Diana Nkendrim, Farley Morgan, Naomi Hunter-Bailey, Yasmin Bonsu, Chloe Copsey, Carrie Anne Layton, Charlotte Lynch, Ornella Mbula, Ellen Maggs, Ebba Karlsson, Eleanor Sherrard-Smith. Subs: Andreia Santos, Elisabetta Bonocore, Astrid Caloren-Bielz, Jenny Truong, Folu Abimbola.
(Report by Patrick Higgins)
(SE Parakeets won 3-2 on penalties)>
South East Parakeets 1 Alexandra Park 1
(SE Parakeets won 3-2 on penalties)
South East Parakeets lifted the Sue Sharples Memorial Trophy in the opening match of the Greater London Women's Football League finals day at Bedfont Sports FC, the first of their three Cup Finals to be played.
A penalty shootout was required after a 1-1 draw and Parakeets keeper Amy Coster took centre stage with three saves from Alexandra Park opponents to enable a three penalties to two victory.
Alexandra Park had the first clear cut opportunity when Annika Walsh crossed for Zoe Wheeler but the shot was held by Coster. Anny Naylor and Natalia Lozano each had shots over the bar, both after Alexandra Park corners but it was Parakeets who took the lead on 39 minutes.
The goal came after the ball had rebounded back into play off the corner flag. Kaylee Ellis retrieved and the cross was worked out to Natalie Burnett who fired home from the edge of the area.
After the break with Parakeets nearly extended their lead with Park goalkeeper Rachael Stuart making a fine save to deny Kaylee Ellis.
The pace of Marina Tejero proved very effective for Park as they sought an equaliser. Played in by Estefania Velasco, Tejero was twice foiled by fine Coster saves but on the third occasion the rebound fell kindly for Dionne Hanson.
Both goalkeepers performed with distinction, making saves in a tense shootout, but player of the match Coster was the deciding factor.
Lewisham-based Parakeets, in their debut season in Division Three South, thus celebrated a hard earned victory and lifted the iconic Sue Sharples Memorial Trophy against worthy opponents.
South East Parakeets: Amy Coster, Louise Cummins, Sarah Lloyd, Emma Brett, Tracey Wright, Susie Benham, Brigitta Rhule, Natalie Burnett, Kayley Ellis, Amy Doyle, Chloe Alce. Subs: Renette Ofori, Asia Haidari, Ayesha Haidari, Raevennan Husbands, Leanne Ellis.
Alexandra Park: Rachael Stuart, Gwen Foster, Carmina Espino, Estefania Valesco, Natalia Lozano, Elena Lekka, Jennifer Moore, Siobhan Singlehurst, Abby Naylor, Annika Walsh, Zoe Wheeler. Subs: Angeles Mata Saiz, Claire Tartarin, Dionne Hanson, Marina Tejero Garcia, Paloma Medina.
(Report by Patrick Higgins)
Chesham United won the Southern Region League Cup, to add to their league title, with a 3-1 victory over AFC Bournemouth in the Final at Alton.
Chesham got out of the blocks quickly and with eight minutes gone, Gemma Fraser gave them a 1-0 lead. The action ebbed and flowed for the next 20 minutes; Chesham keeper Lucia Masella was called into action a couple of times and on 33 minutes she got more of the player than the ball and AFC Bournemouth earned a penalty. Chloe Tape looked to have slotted in to the bottom right hand corner but it hit the foot of the post and bounced wide to safety to be cleared.
With pitchside temperatures probably in the region of 30 degrees, the second half got started again and Fraser again did the business in front of goal, her pace making life difficult for the Cherries defenders. She slotted home on 55 minutes to put Chesham 2-0 up. The Cherries rallied again but Fraser popped up to finish off her hat-trick and secure her player of the match award, as well as the match ball.
Despite the big mountain to climb, Division One South title winners AFCB kept playing and on 78 minutes, Tape made up for her missed penalty with a goal to keep hopes alive for the Cherries. Sadly there was to be no further goals for them and the game finished with Chesham Utd 3-1 to the good.
Oxford City meanwhile lifted the Chairman's Cup with a narrow 3-2 win against Winchester City Flyers. The game started as a cagey affair and suffered from a lack of fluidity as several knocks to players meant eight minutes of added on time and no goals before half time.
After a much needed half time break, the Hoops took the lead on 52 minutes through Mollie Dyer, and then three minutes later went 2-0 up with a goal from Lauren May. Flyers came back into the game through Hannah Chaffey and the next ten minutes looked like Oxford had ridden the storm. They weren't counting on a wonder volley though from Kayleigh Moss which Hannah Cox got fingertips to but couldn't keep out to make it 2-2.
On 83 minutes, Oxford City nosed in front again with Emily Green scoring and despite some last minute chances, they held on for a 3-2 win.
East Midlands League
Northampton Town have lifted the League Cup following a stunning 8-0 victory over Eastwood Ladies in the Final. Emma Dunmore netted a brace to give Northampton a two-goal lead at the interval and in the second half, Leah Stacey and Georgia Tear put them further ahead before Naomi Dauncey and Francesca Speck also got on the scoresheet. Dunmore completed her hat-trick with three minutes remaining and Stacey netted her second afterwards to round off a great day for her side.
The League Plate Final also produced plenty of goals and it was Peterborough Northern Star who were 6-2 winners over Oadby & Wigston Dynamo. Katie Steward led the scoring with a hat-trick and Cassie Steward weighed in by netting a brace, with Vicky Gallagher also on target. Emily Miles scored both goals in reply for Oadby.
Ollerton Town finish in the top half of the Premier Division after they defeated Kettering Town 2-1 in the final game of the season.
There was better news for Oadby & Wigston Dynamo in midweek as they secured the runners-up spot in Division One South with a 7-0 victory over Heather LFC. Nikki Lidgett hit a hat-trick along with doubles from Samantha Hargrave and Lauren Staples.
Eastern Region League
The final game of the season was played in Division One South, where Hutton ran out 6-1 winners away to Hertford Town. Katie Lowen and Kelly Roberts both netted twice for Hutton along with Laura Allen and Kaitlin Sugg, whilst Hertford's consolation goal came from Claire Pavett.
London & South East League
The top two teams in the league met each other once again in the Final of the League Cup and it was AFC Phoenix who carried off the trophy with a 3-2 victory, to deny Champions Crawley Wasps the double.
When the two teams faced each other in the league this season, Crawley were victorious in one game and the other was drawn, but this time Kasey Kelm netted two of the goals for Phoenix and Zoe Elmore was also on target, with Crawley replying through Ariana Flieschman and Faye Rabson.
North East League
Norton & Stockton Ancients won the league title on Wednesday night with a 6-0 victory away to Farsley Celtic. Norton went into the game requiring a point in order to finish above Durham Cestria, and were up against opponents in good form in recent weeks, but a Nyci Thorns brace, along with Chelsea Beetch, Victoria Hutchinson, Kate McSorley and Shannon Reed, gave Norton the result they needed to be confirmed as Champions. They had been put in this position before the game after going down to their first defeat of the season on Sunday, beaten 4-1 by Hartlepool Utd who finish in third place. Caitlin Bates (2), Jessica Dawson and Jade Pye scored the goals for Hartlepool, with Norton's consolation on the day coming from Shannon Reed. Farsley meanwhile had won 6-4 against York City thanks to Shirley Murphy (2), Aaliyah Allen, Demi Godson, Elisha Hardcastle and Danielle Sidebottom.
Boro Rangers are confirmed as runners-up in the Northern Division following their 8-1 midweek success against Cramlington Utd. Robina Todd netted a brace along with Vicky Gunn, Suzanne Fox, Eve Allen, Alex Hodgson, Larissa Burkinshaw and Kim Robinson.
South West League
Buckland Athletic completed a perfect campaign on Sunday - 22 wins out of 22 - as they won 2-0 against Torquay Utd. With Torquay still in the running for the runners-up spot, there was plenty to play for, buy goals from Amber Coates and Carla Staddon ensured that Buckland finish the season with a 100% record and will win the league by at least eleven points. Defeat ended Torquay's last hopes of second place, which goes to Marine Academy Plymouth who were 3-0 winners away to Keynsham Town Development thanks to Ellie Bishop, Sam Drewery and an own goal. Exeter City follow on after a Lannece Hole hat-trick, Abbie Britton, Jana Richards, Millie Pearce and an own goal gave them a 7-3 victory over Middlezoy Rovers but they can no longer finish in the top three after going down 3-0 to Keynsham Town Development on Wednesday night. Erin Bloomfield was another hat-trick scorer along with Shannon Crouch (2), Amy Burge and Maisie Parker as Ilminster Town won 7-2 against AEK Boco, whose replies came from Sasha Ferris and Rebecca Watson. Ilminster's win was not quite enough to take them above Bishop's Lydeard after they battled out a 2-2 draw with Charlestown.
Portishead Town are confirmed as Eastern Division Champions after Wootton Bassett Town were unable to win by the required amount of goals in their final game away to Cheltenham Town Development. Hayley Huckin netted twice and Laura Gammon the other as Wootton Bassett won 3-0 but they will have to settle for second place. Swindon Town Development end up in third after going down 5-3 to local rivals Swindon Spitfires, for whom Katie Wadey netted four times along with Skye Peters. FC Chippenham finished off on a winning note, 3-2 against Frome Town thanks to Kathryn Kilgour (2) and Aleksandra Guzik.
Callington Town picked up the win they needed to clinch the Western Division title, triumphing 3-2 away to Plympton Ladies. Although they trailed 2-1 at the interval, goals from Lucy Bounsall, Gemma Farley and Amy Hemingway took Callington beyond the reach of title rivals Plymouth Argyle Development whilst Plympton, who will finish fourth, replied through Lauren Boyle and Sam Metters.
West Midlands League
Bedworth Utd won the Premier Division title on Tuesday night with a 6-1 victory over Stockingford AA Pavilion. Leafield Athletic did all they could on Sunday by winning 7-0 against Knowle but, despite finishing the season with an unbeaten record, they will finish in second place.
The outcome of the title race has also been decided in Division One North, where Sutton Coldfield Town confirmed themselves as Champions by beating Goldenhill Wanderers 3-0.
Division One South, though, will go down to a last game title decider after Coventry Sphinx won 3-2 at Solihull Utd to go top of the table for the first time this season. They have a one point lead over second placed Redditch Utd and the two teams meet this Sunday to decide where the trophy will go.
Bradford City narrowly got the better of Sheffield Utd in a nine-goal thriller in their final game of the season in the Northern Division, despite United scoring through Mollie Crump, Caitlyn Douglas, Brooke Marsden and Dina Sarayreh.
Stoke City clinched the Midland Division title in midweek and rounded off their season with a 3-1 win away to third placed Coventry Utd, which means they finish off with an advantage of eight points. Sophie Taylor netted twice and Emily Curteis added the other, with Sophie Bourton replying. Emily Gillott and Lauren Taft each bagged hat-tricks as Derby County ran out 9-1 winners over Sporting Khalsa, Harriet Heaney, Molly Matthews and Danielle Oxley rounding off the scoring.
Arsenal are on the brink of the Southern Division title in the FA WSL Development League following their 2-1 victory away to Millwall Lionesses. Brighton & Hove Albion meanwhile had a good week, following up a midweek draw with Bristol City by beating Tottenham Hotspur 3-2.
Northern Division One
Newly crowned Champions Hull City finished off their successful season in style, scoring nine times without reply past Morecambe. Rebecca Beech was on target four times, Hope Knight weighed in with a hat-trick and Liberty Bott added the other two goals.
Brighouse Town have also had a good season, finishing as runners-up, and they also ended on a winning note with a 2-1 success at Mossley Hill. Jodie Redgrave's first half brace proved to be just enough for the Yorkshire side, with Olivia Ellinson replying for the home side during the latter stages.
Liverpool Marshalls Feds end up in the top three once again and their trip to Chester-le-Street Town proved to be a successful one. Laura Bartup scored the only goal of the game as the Feds edged out the Cestrians 1-0.
Newcastle Utd have spent much of the season in the bottom half of the table, albeit with games in hand on the teams above them, and they followed up a midweek win with a 1-1 draw against Barnsley, meaning they will finish fifth. However the result could be a much more significant one for Barnsley as it means they move off the bottom, finishing above Mossley Hill by the slenderest of margins - having scored four more goals. Amy Woodruff scored what could be a vital goal for Barnsley, which give them a first half lead which was cancelled out after the break by Rebecca Olley.
Chorley will also finish in the top half following their 2-1 victory over fourth placed Bolton Wanderers. Safron Newhouse gave Bolton a first half lead but after the break, a brace from Rachel Wood saw Chorley narrowly get the better of their local rivals.
The points were shared at Leeds Utd where the home side fought out a 1-1 draw with Crewe Alexandra. Jennifer Clark was on target for Leeds, with Crewe replying through Amanda Fallon.
Midlands Division One
Loughborough Foxes have had a magnificent season and complete their domination of the table with a 4-2 victory at Radcliffe Olympic, meaning they have won all of their matches in the league except for a 1-1 draw with Sheffield Utd in only their second match. Rebecca Knight netted twice along with Laura Steele and Jodie Bartle to give their team a twentieth straight win, whilst Radcliffe replied through Beth Bailey and Rania Ramadan.
Burton Albion finish as runners-up in their first season in the league, confirming that position by beating Sporting Khalsa 4-2. Jordan Atkin netted a goal in each half with Hayleigh Sutton and Hannah Baines joining her on the scoresheet, Rebecca Gill-Parsons and an own goal replying.
Sheffield Utd meanwhile will have to settle for third place despite running out 6-1 winners away to Leicester City Ladies. Tania Marsden (2), Jordan Spurr, Sophie Bell, Nat Shaw and Hollie Barker accounted for the Blades' goals, with Leicester's consolation coming from Gemma Ball.
Solihull Moors came away from TNS Ladies with a 2-1 victory under their belts. Ashlea Hargreaves gave them a first half lead and Phillippa Harmison added a second after the break, Laura Morris responded for TNS six minutes later but Solihull held out for the three points.
Long Eaton Utd completed what can only be described as a 'season of two halves' with a 4-2 success at Steel City Wanderers. After losing eight of their first nine matches, Long Eaton have ended the campaign in spectacular form with seven wins and a draw in their last eight, including winning all of the last five away from home. Cara Newton scored a hat-trick and Jade Arber added the other, with the Steels' goals coming from Cheryl Mawhood and Abby Pike.
Charlotte Fisher had a great day in front of goal, netting five times as Birmingham & West Midlands Ladies finished with a 12-1 victory over Rotherham Utd. Louise Price contributed a hat-trick, Katy Kirby added two and the tally was completed by Lucy Gimson and Shannie Jennings, Sarah Saxon grabbing a consolation for Rotherham.
South East Division One
Milton Keynes Dons' perfectly timed run of form has brought reward as they sealed the title with a thirteen-goal victory against Haringey Borough. MK required a point to make sure of winning the league but that was never in doubt as Laura Mills and Kim Farrow both scored hat-tricks, Zoe Boote and Leah Cudone each contributed braces whilst Leanna Doyle, Amy Gooderham and an own goal rounded off the scoring.
AFC Wimbledon required a win from a tough final game at third placed Ipswich Town to stand any chance but will have to settle for runners-up as they finished level at 1-1. Zoe Cossey was on target for Ipswich, who have had a good season themselves, with Wimbledon scoring through Caroline Bisson.
Leyton Orient's first season in the league has ended with them in a very creditable fourth place after they battled out a goalless draw with Enfield Town.
Luton Town end up in fifth following their 3-2 win away to Norwich City. Chelsea Garrett netted a brace for the home side but it was not quite enough as strikes from Zara Carroll, Nicola Henman and Jess McKay saw Luton home.
Kayleigh Currivan scored both goals as Denham Utd were 2-1 winners over Stevenage Ladies, whose consolation came from Donna McGuigan.
South West Division One
Plymouth Argyle made sure of securing the title with a 6-1 victory over Poole Town at Home Park. Natasha Knapman once again led the scoring for Argyle with a hat-trick, Kayley Lane bagged a double and Katie Middleton was also on target, with Rebecca Miles replying.
Southampton Women did all they could by winning 3-1 at Cheltenham Town but they finish three points behind in second place. Laura Vokes netted twice and Sophie Solloway the other for the runners-up, whilst Annabel Davies was on target for Cheltenham.
Keynsham Town end up in third but their season ended in a loss as Southampton Saints gained some revenge for their defeat when the sides met seven days earlier. Catherine Browning, Libby O'Dell and Krystal Whyte scored the goals as the Saints won 3-2, with Keynsham responding through Cristina Vega Leandro and Jade Radburn.
The points were shared as the meeting between Maidenhead Utd and Brislington finished goalless, which means that Brislington will end the campaign in sixth place.
Title winners Charlton Athletic completed their Southern Division campaign with another victory, their twentieth of the season.
Kit Graham was on target twice, confirming her as the division's top scorer for the season, and Charlotte Gurr also contributed a double as the Addicks ran out 4-1 winners over Chichester City, whose consolation came from Natasha Stephens.
Coventry Utd meanwhile claimed a fourth place finish for themselves, at the expense of Lewes after beating them 2-1 in the final game. After Avilla Bergin had put the Rookettes in front early on, Coventry hit back and goals from Jade Brook and Lois Jefferies gave them the result they needed to climb above their opponents on goal difference.
West Ham Utd completed their season with another high scoring win, 7-1 against Queen's Park Rangers who must wait and see what their fate will be. Ellie Zoepfl led the scoring for the Hammers with a hat-trick and their other scorers were Rosie Kmita, Kelly Wealthall, Jasmine Auguste and Rebecca Dunning, whilst Helen Ogle netted a consolation goal for QPR.
Blackburn Rovers finish the season on top of the Northern Division by a margin of ten points after their winning end to the campaign culminated with a 3-2 success away to Middlesbrough.
The Champions had to do it the hard way as 'Boro, who were still in the running for the runners-up, took a two-goal lead into half time thanks to Emma Foster and Tyler Dodds. Natasha Fenton pulled one back midway through the second half and after Natasha Flint had levelled the scores, Saffron Jordan completed the turnaround when she scored the winning goal with eleven minutes remaining.
Leicester City Women secured the highest finishing position in their history when their 4-1 victory at Bradford City ensured they would take second place. Rosie Axten has been in magnificent form in front of goal in recent weeks and she hit another hat-trick to guarantee her place at the top of the goalscoring charts. Leigh Dugmore weighed in with the other goal for Leicester, whilst the home side's consolation came from Arianne Parnham.
Stoke City are another side to have had a good season and they have ended up just two points outside of the top three, following their 4-0 victory over Derby County. Ashleigh Hayes netted twice with Ella Pemberton adding a third just before half time, Hannah Keryakoplis rounding off the scoring in the second half for Stoke whose goalkeeper Natalie Hall kept a clean sheet on her last appearance for the club.
Fylde Ladies follow on in fifth place after they won 2-1 against West Bromwich Albion, who find themselves finishing bottom of the table after the teams below them both ended the campaign with good runs. After a goalless first half, Lucy Finch gave Albion the lead within four minutes of the restart but an own goal brought the scores level and Sophie Charlton grabbed the winner for the Coasters late on.
Guiseley Vixens meanwhile claimed another win which means they will finish outside of the bottom two. Nikki Berko gave them the lead just before half time against Huddersfield Town and despite Brittany Sanderson bringing Town level after the break, Beth Stanfield scored a decisive second for Guiseley who picked up ten points from their final five matches.
Wolverhampton Wanderers finished the season with a six-match unbeaten run, which saw them win their last three games, but they must wait and see if it has been enough. On Sunday they scored five times without reply past Nottingham Forest, who end up just above them, courtesy of a goal apiece from Anna Price, Billie Haynes, Jade Cross, Chloe Williams and Charlotte Criddle.
Manchester City took the runners-up spot in WSL 1 and the second qualifying place for the UEFA Women's Champions League after they defeated Everton 3-0 in their final match of the season.
Jill Scott curled home the opening goal midway through the first half and twelve minutes after half time, Nikita Parris volleyed home her eleventh league goal of the season. Scott then capitalised on a back pass to score her second against her former club on the hour and seal a top two finish for her team for the third successive season.
Arsenal went into their game at Bristol City needing the Cityzens to slip up whilst winning themselves and they did their best, notching up a 6-1 victory but they have to settle for third place. Danielle van de Donk headed the Gunners in front and Kim Little slotted home the second from the penalty spot after Danielle Carter had been brought down by Danique Kerkdijk. Leah Williamson bundled in following a corner, Beth Mead drilled a powerful shot into the corner of the net from 25 yards and Katie McCabe made it five just before half time. The Vixens came more into the game after the break and pulled one back when Chloe Arthur intercepted a poor clearance to chip home but Arsenal were not finished and van de Donk netted her second with another powerful header.
Chelsea went into their game at Liverpool needing to avoid defeat in order to finish the season unbeaten. This record looked to be under serious threat though as the Reds raced into a two-goal lead in the opening eight minutes through Jess Clarke and Niamh Charles. However, Eniola Aluko reduced the arrears with twenty minutes remaining on her final appearance for the club and Ji So-Yun netted twice in a three minute spell to turn the match on its head and ensure that Chelsea remain undefeated and win the title by a final margin of six points.
Fourth place was up for grabs as Birmingham City played host to Reading FC Women and it was the Royals who claimed their highest ever finishing position as they battled out a 1-1 draw. Brooke Chaplen kept up good run of scoring form at the end of the season by giving Reading a fourth minute lead, but the Blues hit back just before the half hour to equalise through Ellen White, who became the first player to score fifteen league goals in a top flight season since the formation of the WSL.
Sunderland finish in seventh place after coming from behind to beat Yeovil Town 2-1. Ann Marie Heatherson drilled in only Yeovil's second league goal of the season to give them the lead at the break but goals either side of the hour mark from Keira Ramshaw and Bridget Galloway gave Sunderland the points and a winning end to the season.
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