Share page on Social Media: f Share t G+ find us on Twitter: @wssmagnews
S4C will be creating history this season by televising the first ever live game from the Orchard Welsh Premier Women's League.
The derby between Cardiff and Swansea has been chosen for the first broadcast on the opening weekend of the new season. The match, which will be played behind closed doors at the Leckwith Stadium on Sunday 27th September, will be shown live on Sgorio, with coverage starting at 3.50pm, kick off 4.00pm.
Joining Dylan Ebenezer and Nicky John as part of the Sgorio team will be former Wales forward, Gwennan Harries.
Gwennan said: "The fact that the game will be live is very exciting for the league. The profile of the women's game has grown so much over the last few years. "You only have to look at the crowds that watch the international team to see that the interest is there. I hope the league can benefit from this added exposure in the same way."
Sue Butler, S4C Sports Commissioner, said: "S4C is a longstanding supporter of Welsh football and it is an important step in the channel's history to be showing a live game from the top tier of Welsh women's domestic football.
"The quality of football and level of entertainment in the Orchard Welsh Premier Women's League is high and we're looking forward to an entertaining game between two of the best teams in the country."
Lowri Roberts, FAW Head of Women's and Girl's Football, said: "We are delighted that our season will kickstart live on S4C for the first time ever, a landmark occasion for the Orchard Welsh Premier Women's League.
"We are working closely with our media partners to increase the visibility and awareness around the women's game which will drive further participation and investment into the fastest growing sport across Europe."
Despite the disruptive impact of COVID-19 on last season, the two teams did face each other twice in the league last season; Swansea won by two goals to nil at home last October, while both sides shared the spoils in the return fixture in Cardiff back in March.
The season was brought to an abrupt end in the same month, but with the Swans having procured an excellent average of 2.82 points per game, they were crowned champions, with Cardiff Met (2.45 points per game) in second and Cardiff City (2.20 points per game) in third.
Sgorio: Caerdydd v Abertawe
Sunday 27 September, 3.50pm
English commentary and subtitles available
On demand: S4C Clic, iPlayer and other platforms
A Rondo Media production for S4C
Denham Utd 1 Fulham 2
Fulham FC Women took three points at Denham United on the first day of London and South East Regional League action, winning by two goals to one after a well contested encounter played at an excellent pace in the September sun.
Fulham moved the ball impressively from back to front throughout the match but were made to work increasingly hard by an energetic and persistent Denham display which kept the result in doubt to the final whistle.
Fulham took a thirteenth minute lead when a Gemma Taylor corner was met with a powerful header from Jess Wadey for a debut goal. Home keeper Lizzie Rose made a fine low save from Lauren Peck on 19 minutes and then foiled Bianca Underhill at her near post on 24 minutes.
Denham were very close to levelling on 39 minutes when a cross from the left was met first time at full stretch by Kayleigh Currivan, the ball rebounding to safety off the bar.
Fulham extended their advantage ten minutes into the second half with a fine finish by sub Lilly Lambird, though not without controversy. Underhill got free on the right and cut the ball back to Lambird who hit a powerful shot high beyond Rose. The hosts' protests about a possible handball infringement in the build up were in vain.
Any thoughts of a comfortable away win were quickly squashed when Naomi Scriven won the ball from Fulham keeper Chloe Bagshaw and netted from a tight angle on 58 minutes for another debut strike.
Bagshaw made a fine save from an Annie Hewitt strike as Denham increased the pressure and Scriven went very close to an equaliser on 88 minutes after a fine run but the Fulham keeper forced her wide and shot hit the side netting.
The visitors were always dangerous on the break and nearly added a third late on but Rose made another fine save at her near post from Magalie Mendes' powerful low strike and Fulham were able to see out the final minute for a hard fought victory after a fine advert for the quality of the London and South East Regional League.
Denham Utd: Lizzie Rose, Kara Howes, Chloe Smith, Rachel Keightley, Jo Torr, Ellise Lowe, Kim Pendred, Annie Hewitt, Naomi Scriven, Kayleigh Currivan, Lauren Cox. Subs: Katie Phillipson, Katie Dearling, Charlie Rollerson, Gina Lee, Jessie Mansell.
Fulham: Chloe Bagshaw, Ruth Goode, Tessa Allen, Rachel Woodland, Mary Southgate, Ella Meehan, Becky Stormer, Gemma Taylor, Bianca Underhill, Lauren Peck, Jess Wadey. Subs: Emma Marlow, Lilly Lambird, Megalie Mendes, Sophie Modak, Ellen Thomas.
(REPORT BY PATRICK HIGGINS)
Photo: Tessa Allen battles for the ball with Kara Howes (www.jamesprickett.co.uk).
Eastern Region League
St Ives Town took the honours on the opening day of the season in the Premier Division with a 4-0 victory over Haringey Borough. Ella Burnley was on target twice, with the others coming from Ruth Fox and Elisabeth Manuel. Colney Heath defaeted AFC Dunstable 3-1 thanks to a Lily Hall double and Christina Freestone, whilst Chelsea Clarke, Katy Knights and Laura Nicholls accounted for the goals as Wymondham Town won 3-1 away to Bedford Ladies. Wroxham edged out Bowers & Pitsea by the odd goal in seven, Kyla Love netting twice along with Grace Birchall and Zoe Cossey, whilst substitutes Frances Gamble (2) and Ashleigh Deacon gave Harlow Town a 3-2 success at Peterborough Northern Star. Gemma Croucher was on target for Royston Town as they drew 1-1 with Luton Town, who netted through Dawn Mallett.
Newmarket Town have got off to a good start in Division One North, running out 4-0 winners away to Haverhill Rovers. Lacey Andrews, Annabel Cuthbert, Hannah Doyle and Jordanne Sillitoe all netted a goal apiece for Newmarket. The other game in the division finished with honours even as Needham Market and Cambridge City shared eight goals. Lois Balfour (2), Cassandra Craddock and Nicole Pannifer were the scorers for Needham, whilst Philippa Witherspoon replied twice for City along with Kayla Krett and Carla Penny.
Abbey Dell scored twice and Kira Wealls added the other as Millwall Lionesses notched up a 3-1 victory at Stevenage Women Development in Division One South. Kristina O'Connell bagged a hat-trick for Wodson Park as they beat AFC Sudbury 3-2 and Hutton were 2-1 winners against Leigh Ramblers.
London & South East League
Dulwich Hamlet registered the biggest win as the Premier Division got underway, scoring eight times without reply past Aylesford. Sophie Manzi led the scoring with a hat-trick and there was one each from Havana McElvaine, Alison Rowe, Lucy Monkman and Roisin Stone along with an own goal. Jessica Mead (2), Henna Butcher and Tia Perry were on target as Saltdean Utd defeated Whyteleafe 4-0 and Eastbourne Town won 4-1 against Queen's Park Rangers, courtesy of goals from Tiggeraa Webb, Kellie Larkin, Nicole Baitup and Maya Beesley. Joanne Woodgates and Elizabeth Adams were the markswomen for Dartford as they beat Ashford Town (Middx) 2-0 and Fulham were 2-1 victors at Denham Utd thanks to Jessica Wadey and Lilly Lambird (see match report).
Victoire Ladies are the opening day leaders in Division One North after Tiffany Pavitt (2), Sherelle Walters (2) and Sarah Nicholson gave them a 5-1 victory against Clapham Utd. Hackney were 3-2 winners at Watford Development, thanks to Sarah Garlick, Kea Felix and Natalie White, whilst Shakira Day and Lacey Foster netted the goals for Phoenix Sports in their 2-2 draw with Sutton Utd, who replied through Sophie Barnes and Hayley Halford.
Worthing netted ten times without reply past Hassocks in Division One South. Samantha-Jade Mee and Rebecca Thompson-Agbro each scored twice along with Hannah Hewlett, Caroline Hodgson, Sara Tubby, Gemma Worsfold, Beth Kincaid and an own goal. Herne Bay defeated Parkwood Rangers 2-0 with a Lauren Williams double whilst Lauren Callaghan and Rebekah Dunt ensured that Crawley Wasps DS were 2-1 victors away to Newhaven.
South West League
Marine Academy Plymouth followed up a large win in the Vitality Women's FA Cup seven days earlier by winning 5-0 away to Torquay Utd on the opening day of the season in the Premier Division. Sam Drewery was on target twice along with Olivia Ramsey, Beth Everson and Eden May. Ilminster Town have made a strong start with a 6-2 success at Wootton Bassett Town, spearheaded by a hat-trick from Jodi Cornwall. Colette Martin, Abigail Carslake and Harriet Kelly added the other goals, with Lois Beer and Lisa Coe replying. Gabi Alphous and Keri-Ann Moxom netted the goals as Callington Town beat Bideford 2-0 and Bishop's Lydeard narrowly triumphed 3-2 over Somerset rivals Middlezoy Rovers. Amy Bond, Holly Miller and Imogen Miller all scored for Lydeard, whilst the home side netted through Nicole Bell and Ellison Roberts.
Weston Mendip recorded the biggest win in the Northern Division, scoring five times without reply past local rivals Weston-super-Mare. Amy Clark and Natalia Bak each netted twice, with Charlotte Suktem also on target. Bryony Higgs hit a hat-trick and Olivia Goozee the other as Oldland Abbotonians beat Downend Flyers 4-1, Faith Flynn replying. Hannah Price, Stella Morgan and Elizabeth Robinson were on the scoresheet as Bristol Ladies Union won 3-1 against Almondsbury, whose consolation came from Emma Summerill. Frampton Rangers also started well, defeating Cheltenham Town Development 3-1 with goals from Abi Todd (2) and Saffron Degg, Tamzin Hayward netting in reply.
Kathryn Bach, Sophie Barrett and Sophie Mitchell were all on the scoresheet as Swindon Town Development won 3-0 away to Swindon Spitfires in the Eastern Division. Forest Green Rovers were 3-1 victors at AEK Boco, courtesy of a goal apiece by Sian Towler, Ashleigh Watson and Holly Thomas whilst the home side's consolation came from Sasha Ferris. Stacey Hill grabbed the only goal of the game for Frome Town in their 1-0 success against Chipping Sodbury Town.
Six different players got on the scoresheet as Alphington defeated Pen Mill 7-0 in the Western Division. Helen Kukor netted a brace and there was one apiece from Nadine Kelly, Jodie Millett, Catherine Wright, Kirsty Brown and Mandy Earle. Sherborne Town meanwhile won 3-0 against Feniton thanks to Olivia Watts (2) and Chantelle Mitchell, whilst goals from Dionne Igalawuye and Sam Metters gave Plympton Ladies a hard earned 2-0 victory away to St Agnes. Newly promoted AFC St Austell have made a good start, beating Plymouth Argyle Development 3-2 courtesy of Charlotte Whitmore (2) and Laura Barrett, whilst Dee Newman and Imogen Crawford replied for Argyle.
West Midlands League
Bethney Taylor led the scoring with a four-goal haul as Worcester City won 7-0 against Lye Town in the Premier Division. Jessica Fassnidge, Maddison Rushton and Sunya Salim weighed in with the other goals. Coventry Sphinx meanwhile beat Stockingford AA Pavilion 6-0 thanks to Neve Platt (2), Joanne Ryan (2), Bonnie Moore and Alex Shilton. Hayley Wilford netted a hat-trick alongside Scarlett Fielding, Laura Smith and Natasha Lawrence for Solihull Ladies Utd in their 6-3 victory over Coundon Court and Leek Town notched up a 4-1 success away to City of Stoke, Katie Gibbons scoring twice along with Michaela Lockett and Chantelle Gallagher. Crusaders completed a day which yielded 30 goals in the division with a notable 3-0 win against Redditch Utd.
The goals continued to flow in Division One North, headed by Shrewsbury Town who defeated Walsall 7-1. Zoe Child, Olivia Minshall and Madison Jones all netting twice and Hetty Arnold adding the other. Rebecca-Lee Bown scored a hat-trick along with Jenna Boddison (2) and Maria Bell as Shifnal Town won 6-2 against Wyrley Ladies and AFC Telford Utd edged out Port Vale by the odd goal in seven with strikes from Abby Sheriff (2), Charlotte Budd and Jemma Smith. Megan Hunt and Jessica Richardson were the scorers as Stoke City Development defeated Tamworth 2-1.
Stourbridge opened up the season in Division One South by running out 7-0 winners over Knowle. Amber Ireson-Lawrence led the scoring with a hat-trick, whilst Lili Bown, Ruby Meeson, Courteney Murphy and Mollie-Mai Summers accounted for the other goals. Lauren Smith, Janelle Straker and Katy Kirby were the markswomen for Solihull Sporting in their 3-0 success away to Leamington Lions while Droitwich Spa and Kingfisher battled out a goalless draw.
Manchester United's Katie Zelem has withdrawn from England's September training camp having tested positive for Covid-19 and she will now self-isolate in accordance with protocol.
There are no plans to call up a replacement for Zelem at this time.
Lucy Bronze has also withdrawn from the training camp to manage an injury picked up in Sunday's Barclays FA WSL match against Brighton & Hove Albion and has now returned to her new club Manchester City.
Isobel Christiansen has been called up to Phil Neville's squad. Christiansen was last capped for England in March 2019 as a member of the Lionesses' SheBelieves Cup winning squad in the USA, before undergoing ankle surgery which sadly ruled her out of last summer's FIFA Women's World Cup in France.
Christiansen returned to the WSL in December 2019, signing an 18-month contract with Everton following a season with defending European Champions Olympique Lyonnais.
The Football Association is pleased to announce, health and life insurance and investment company, Vitality as the new sponsor of The Women's FA Cup.
The new partnership, which will run for three years through to July 2023, will see the world's best cup competition rebranded and referred to as the Vitality Women's FA Cup. The relationship officially kicks off from the start of the quarter finals of the 2019-20 competition, which take place on 26-27 September.
A peak audience of 2.2m watched Manchester City defeat West Ham United in the 2019 final of the competition, with over 43,000 in attendance at Wembley Stadium.
The announcement reflects Vitality's continued commitment to women's sport and to address the significant difference that exists in physical activity levels between men and women. Working with The FA, Vitality will drive visibility of women's football and inspire many more girls and women to take up football or other sports and to keep and stay active, in line with its core purpose, to make people healthier and to enhance and protect their lives.
The Women's FA Cup is the largest cup competition for female footballers in England, with 376 teams entering this season. The 2020-21 final is due to be played at Wembley Stadium on Saturday 22 May 2021.
Kelly Simmons, The FA's Director of the Women's Professional Game, welcomed the news of the new partnership. She said: "I'm delighted that a recognised brand such as Vitality has signed up to partner with us and sponsor such a prestigious competition as The Women's FA Cup.
"We recognise that during a very difficult time for everyone that this is a big commitment that Vitality has made in becoming primary sponsor of The Women's FA Cup, and I am really looking forward to working with them as we look to grow the competition.
"This partnership not only highlights the affection that so many have for The Women's FA Cup, but it also demonstrates the growing interest in the women's game, which is something I know Vitality is keen to develop alongside us."
Nick Read, Managing Director for Vitality said: "We are incredibly excited to be announcing this new partnership with The FA today. We have been involved in both football and supporting women's sport for many years, and today's announcement highlights our commitment to the women's game.
"There has never been a more important time to be involved in women's football, and by working with The FA we hope to drive visibility of the women team, showcasing this great sport and encouraging millions more people get active and play football, in line with our core purpose to make people healthier and enhance and protect their lives."
This week Vitality also announced former England footballer Alex Scott as a new Ambassador for the brand. Speaking on Vitality's sponsorship of The Vitality Women's FA Cup, Vitality Ambassador Alex Scott said: "This announcement today is great news for the sport and profile of women's football. I am pleased to be joining a brand that is shining a light on the game and driving visibility of the women's game and hopefully inspiring many more women and girls to take up football, or whatever other activity might be right for them."
The 2019-20 Vitality Women's FA Cup is still to be completed, with the final due to be played on Sunday 1st November at Wembley Stadium, kicking off at 2.30pm live on BBC One.
For the second week running, Arsenal went goal crazy with a 9-1 slamming of West Ham Utd and they lead the way in the fledgling Barclays FA WSL table.
As part of a pilot scheme to reintroduce spectators to sports events, 734 fans were in attendance at the game but witnessed it turning into a nightmare for the Hammers in their first match at their new home at Dagenham. Jill Roord gave Arsenal a first half lead, which was quickly cancelled out by Kenza Dali, but the sending off of Gilly Flaherty turned out to be a pivotal moment as West Ham crumbled from that point and were victims of a merciless Gunners side. Vivianne Miedema, Kim Little and Beth Mead all found the net before half time and after the break, Roord went on to complete a second successive hat-trick whilst Miedema also netted her second, with Leah Williamson and Caitlin Foord also getting their names on the scoresheet.
Everton are the other team on maximum points from the opening two matches following their 1-0 victory over Tottenham Hotspur. A closely contested first half ended goalless but six minutes after the restart, Nicoline Sorensen crossed for Izzy Christiansen to head home the only goal of the game, the England midfielder's first for the club since rejoining them.
If Arsenal's emphatic win had laid down a gauntlet for Champions Chelsea, their response was equally as powerful as they also scored nine times against Bristol City whose nightmare start to the campaign continues. However what made the scoreline all the more remarkable was that nine different players all found the net for Chelsea - surely a top flight record. Fran Kirby started off the rout before Maren Mjelde, Melanie Leupolz, Erin Cuthbert and Millie Bright all added further goals before half time. After the break, Beth England and Niamh Charles both scored in quick succession, before Pernille Harder netted her first goal for the club with a clever back heel and Sam Kerr completed her scoring.
Manchester Utd completed a good week for the club as they registered their first win of the season, 5-2 away to Birmingham City. United swept into a fifth minute through a typical close range finish from Jane Ross but Birmingham hit back well, Claudia Walker firing them level and an own goal by Abbie McManus putting them ahead. Parity was restored nine minutes later in spectacular fashion, Katie Zelem curling home a free kick from the edge of the area. United were back in front two minutes into the second half, Ella Toone sliding home from a cross by Kirsty Hanson, who then provided two further goals to wrap up the win for her side.
Manchester City, in contrast, endured a day of frustration as they were held to a goalless draw by Brighton & Hove Albion whose impressive start continues. City fielded Lucy Bronze and Alex Greenwood in their starting line up but with Megan Walsh in fine form in goal, the Seagulls defended strongly to keep a second successive clean sheet and maintain their unbeaten start to the campaign.
Reading FC Women meanwhile claimed their first points of the season when they defeated newly promoted Aston Villa 3-1. All of the damage by Reading was inflicted in the first half, Amalie Eikelund putting them ahead before Lauren Bruton added the second and Fara Williams made it three from the penalty spot on the stroke of half time. Villa reduced the arrears twelve minutes with a penalty of their own, slotted home by Stine Larsen.
Charlton Athletic ended their long run without a victory in the FA Women's Championship when a late goal gave them a 1-0 win away to Blackburn Rovers.
The Addicks needed to survive pressure from the home side during the first half as Blackburn twice hit the woodwork through Natasha Fenton and debutant Elise Hughes. Charlton came into the game more after the break as both teams had goals disallowed but when the match went into injury time, Jess King broke through to chip home the only goal of the game and seal Charlton's first league victory since May 2019.
The result means that Charlton are actually level on points with the leaders, with no team having won their first two matches and five have notched up four points so far. These five are headed by Sheffield Utd and Leicester City whose meeting ended in a 2-2 draw. Millie Farrow got Leicester off to a great start when she gave them the lead after two minutes but the Blades responded well, Sophie Walton hitting the bar before Melissa Johnson brought them level on the half hour. Johnson then scored her second midway through the second half and this looked like being enough to give them the points until a late Leicester rally brought them reward in the last minute, Natasha Flint coolly slotting home from the penalty spot after being fouled in the area.
Liverpool notched up their first win of the season, a 3-0 success away to London Bees. With the Bees remarkably playing their first home match of the year, the scoreline was goalless at the interval but Melissa Lawley gave Liverpool the lead five minutes after the restart. Rinsola Babajide made it two on the hour mark and Rachel Furness wrapped up a fine result for her side when she headed in the final goal late on.
Durham Women also won for the first time, beating Lewes 3-0. The Rookettes were playing their first league match of the season and perhaps this proved to be a telling factor as the Wildcats scored all of their goals in the last fifteen minutes. The game remained in the balance until Durham broke the deadlock from the penalty spot, Beth Hepple tucking home following a foul on Abby Holmes. Hepple netted her second as the game went into injury time, this time scoring direct from a corner, before Emily Roberts rounded off the scoring shortly afterwards.
The South London derby match between Crystal Palace and London City Lionesses ended with honours even as the teams battled out a 1-1 draw at Bromley. Both goals came during the first half; Palace took an early lead when Lizzie Waldie powerfully headed home from a corner but ten minutes before half time, the Lionesses were back on level terms when Elizabeta Ejupi - who had earlier hit the bar - finished off after being set up by Juliette Kemppi. Palace therefore stay unbeaten, having drawn both matches, whilst the Lionesses register their first point of the campaign.
Mole Valley Women 0 AFC Acorns 11
AFC Acorns made a superb entry into this season's Women's FA Cup with an eleven-goal Extra Preliminary Round win over Mole Valley Women at Westcott Sports Club.
The Nuts dominated from start to finish against a very young Moles team who fought hard to contain a fast and fluent Acorns attack but were grateful for some good goalkeeping to limit the score.
Moles keeper Poppy Power had already made two saves before Sarah Killick-Bird opened the score in the fifth minute. A well placed header from Amy Sheppard from a corner doubled the lead three minutes later. Janine Daly made it three with a low shot just after the twenty minute mark.
Power made a couple of good saves to deny the Acorns attack but was beaten when a shot from Chloe Higham hit both posts before rolling over the line. Mole Valley's Sam Chase had a good run on the Acorns goal before a Killick-Bird tackle foiled her at the the expense of a corner on 40 minutes.
Two further goals before the break were harsh on the home team, a penalty by Lauren Tyler, then a close range finish by the same player after Power had made a good save.
Things looked bleak for the Moles when Emily Kendall added a seventh on 48 minutes and Rebecca Nesbit with a fine lobbed finish past the advancing Power added the eighth three minutes later. Due to injury, Power was unable to continue and Chase took over the jersey for Mole Valley.
The visitors continued to attack with Higham notching her second, then Tyler completing her hat-trick on 70 minutes to take the tally into double figures. Keeper Chase made several brave saves in one on one situations before substitute Emily Flegg found the net to round off the scoring.
To their credit, Mole Valley never let their heads drop and had their best spell of the match in the final minutes, but the Acorns defence were as sound as their attack was prolific, protecting keeper Hope Laker's clean sheet with some good blocks and interceptions.
A sizeable crowd with support for both teams made it an atmosphere worthy of the Women's FA Cup but the result was never in doubt and AFC Acorns look set for a good season in the South East Counties League (and maybe the Cup as well) on this showing.
Mole Valley Women: Poppy Power, Molly Warner, Erin Nothnagel, Emma Parker, Paige Watts, Lucy Hearn, Harriet Langfield, Ellie Ranger, Hayley Downing, Molly Sadler, Sam Chase. Subs: Sophie Fitzgerald, Caitlin Weir, Meghan Branch, Sally Russell.
AFC Acorns: Hope Laker, Shaney Love, Poppy Nichols, Sarah Killick-Bird, Emily Kendall, Amy Sheppard, Pam McDonnell, Lauren Tyler, Janine Daly, Chloe Higham, Rebecca Nesbit. Subs: Emily Flegg, Jade Page, Millie Morley.
(Report by Patrick Higgins)
Photos by www.jamesprickett.co.uk:
(top) Emily Kendall shields the ball from Lucy Hearn
(middle) Janine Daly gets in a cross past Emma Parker
(bottom) Ellie Ranger battles for possession with Pam McDonnell
Manchester City Football Club is delighted to announce the signing of UEFA Women's Champions League winner and England international Alex Greenwood on a three-year deal.
The full-back links up with City following the conclusion of her contract with Olympique Lyonnais, whom she won the UEFA Women's Champions League with in late August.
A key figure in the game during her decade-long career so far, the defender started out with Everton in her home city and was named FA Young Player of the Year in 2012. The Liverpudlian then enjoyed stints with Notts County - with City striker Ellen White - and Liverpool - alongside Blues' duo Caroline Weir and Gemma Bonner - while she was named in the FA WSL Team of the Year in 2015-16.
Moving to Manchester United in 2018, Greenwood captained the Red Devils as they won promotion to the Barclays FA Women's Super League in their debut season as a team. Her efforts caught the eye of Lyon meanwhile, with the French side taking her to Division 1 Féminine last summer where she helped them to secure the Trophee des Championnes, Coupe De France, domestic league title and UEFA Women's Champions League in 2019-20.
Internationally, Greenwood made her debut for England in 2014 against Finland in the Cyprus Cup - a tournament the Lionesses won just a year later - before figuring prominently as the team secured a third place finish in the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup. Boasting 46 caps for the national team, the left back also helped England to SheBelieves Cup success in 2019 alongside being an integral member of the side who reached the semi finals of the World Cup in the same year.
After a season in France, Greenwood makes her return to the Barclays FA Women's Super League with City, penning a three-year deal and donning the number 27 shirt.
Speaking after signing on the dotted line, Greenwood said: "I'm so excited to get going - it's been a crazy and unforgettable few weeks, but I just can't wait to get started and bring that winning feeling to City.
"I've learned so much about myself over the past 15 months by living away from home and in a different culture and environment, but it's given me so much time to develop both personally and as a player.
"Now is the time for a new challenge though and having experienced such a successful campaign last season, when you get that taste for a winning mentality, it's addictive and I just want to continue that with City.
"This Club has always impressed me with their success, how much importance they view the women's game with and the players they attract, and it's an environment I'm really looking forward to working in."
Head Coach Gareth Taylor said: "We're delighted to have added Alex to our already strong squad ahead of the new season.
"She is a proven England international who will fit right into the group we have here at City, while she has also been involved in a number of successes recently to add accolades to her already impressive career so far.
"She's a very ambitious player and we're looking forward to hopefully enjoying more success together in the coming seasons."
Head of Women's Football Gavin Makel added: "Alex is a highly experienced international whose technical abilities and willingness to succeed will only further strengthen the team as we look at competing on all fronts.
"At only 27 years old, she joins us with her best years still to come and I'm looking forward to seeing how she further develops."
Jayne Ludlow has named a squad of 27 players as Wales prepare to face Norway in the UEFA Women's EURO 2022 Qualifying Round.
Wales welcome back a host of players following their 2-0 win in a friendly against Estonia in March. Wales' most-capped international Jess Fishlock returns to the squad following an 18-month absence due to injury, while Elise Hughes and Gemma Evans also return to the squad following injury.
Captain Sophie Ingle is expected to become her country's third centurion by winning her 100th cap in Oslo. The achievement will add to an already successful 2020 for Ingle who has won three domestic trophies for her club Chelsea this year.
Poppy Soper, Cerys Jones and Bethan McGowan, who have all represented the Wales age groups in the last twelve months, have received their first senior side call-ups.
Megan Wynne is out of the squad after picking up an ACL injury during pre-season, whilst centurion Loren Dykes is unavailable for selection due to personal reasons.
Twenty of the players selected will travel to Oslo to face Norway on Tuesday 22 September. Wales currently sit in second place in the group, four points behind the Norwegians with four games remaining. UEFA have confirmed that until further notice, all matches will be played behind closed doors due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The nine group winners and the three best runners-up (not counting results against the sixth placed team) qualify directly for the final tournament, while the remaining six runners-up advance to the play-offs.
England Women head coach Phil Neville has named a 30-player squad for the Lionesses' September training camp at St. George's Park, heralding the start of a long-term build towards the FIFA Women's World Cup 2023 in Australia and New Zealand.
The next three years will see England target glory at the home UEFA Women's EURO and FIFA Women's World Cup, as well as next year's home nations collaboration for Team GB Football's Olympic campaign.
Having injected a cohort of young hopefuls into his squad for the Lionesses' last meeting at the SheBelieves Cup in the USA, Neville and his senior backroom team have significantly widened the group to expose a number of uncapped players to the elite senior environment.
Among the players receiving their first senior England call-ups are defenders Lotte Wubben-Moy, Millie Turner and Esme Morgan, midfielders Ella Toone, Niamh Charles and Katie Zelem, and forward Rinsola Babajide.
It is hoped that the younger squad members will benefit from the experience of the core senior internationals and provide strong competition for places as the Lionesses build towards forthcoming major tournaments.
Due to quarantine restrictions in place for travel from certain countries, a small number of senior players who ply their trade at foreign clubs have not been included in September's squad.
Head coach Phil Neville said: "This is a critical moment in our development of England Women. Every camp from now on is aimed at building a team capable of competing for the highest honours in world football, including the prestigious home EURO in 2022 and, ultimately, the FIFA Women's World Cup in 2023.
"It is important that we offer as many opportunities as possible for some of the country's best young talent to stake their claim for a place in the senior England squad for this exciting three-year period.
"All the youngsters who have been given their opportunity today are extremely deserving of their senior call-ups, having performed strongly at club level and through England's development teams. Now is their opportunity to prove themselves at senior international level and I am excited to see the blend of youthful ambition and senior experience."
Introducing greater competition for places and providing opportunities for young players to develop is absolutely key to taking England Women to the next level as we begin the long build towards the home EURO and FIFA Women's World Cup."
The Lionesses will meet up for the first time since March's SheBelieves Tournament next Tuesday (15 September) for an intensive training camp at their Burton base. The seven-day camp will also include an 11v11 training game behind closed doors on Friday 18 September.
England training camp squad:
Carly Telford (Chelsea), Ellie Roebuck (Manchester City), Sandy MacIver (Everton), Hannah Hampton (Birmingham City), Steph Houghton (Manchester City), Abbie McManus (Manchester United), Lotte Wubben-Moy (N/A), Millie Bright (Chelsea), Grace Fisk (West Ham United), Millie Turner (Manchester United), Lucy Bronze (Manchester City), Alex Greenwood (Manchester City), Demi Stokes (Manchester City), Esme Morgan (Manchester City), Niamh Charles (Chelsea), Leah Williamson (Arsenal), Jill Scott (Manchester City), Ella Toone (Manchester United), Keira Walsh (Manchester City), Jordan Nobbs (Arsenal), Katie Zelem (Manchester United), Georgia Stanway (Manchester City), Fran Kirby (Chelsea), Beth Mead (Arsenal), Rachel Daly (West Ham United*), Chloe Kelly (Manchester City), Alessia Russo (Manchester United), Rinsola Babajide (Liverpool), Beth England (Chelsea), Ellen White (Manchester City).
Manchester City Football Club is delighted to announce that three-time UEFA Women's Champions League winner and seasoned England international Lucy Bronze has signed a two-year contract to return to the Academy Stadium.
The 28-year-old moves back to her native England following the conclusion of her contract with Olympique Lyonnais, bringing the curtain down on a trophy-laden three-year spell in France.
Born in Berwick-upon-Tweed, the full-back started her career with Sunderland - coupled with a brief spell in North Carolina - before two-year stints apiece with Everton and Liverpool, winning successive FA WSL titles with the latter.
Manchester City was Bronze's next port of call in 2014 however, and during her three years with the Club, she played an integral part in the team's double winning campaign of 2016.Her own efforts during that season meanwhile saw her named PFA Women's Players' Player of the Year, FA WSL Players' Player of the Year and Manchester City Women's Player of the Season.
It was during her first spell with City that she also began to flourish on the international stage with England and, after helping the Lionesses to a third place finish in the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup, she earned a spot in the tournament's All-Star Squad.
Departing Manchester in August 2017 for Lyon, success continued for the right back as she helped the team to three consecutive UEFA Women's Champions League successes and Division 1 Feminine league titles, alongside two Coupe de France Féminine victories and one Trophée des Championnes.
Awarded the title of BBC Women's Footballer of the Year twice and a place in the FIFA FIFPro Women's World 11 on two occasions, she was also named UEFA Women's Player of the Year in 2019.
An instantly recognisable name and one of the game's finest talents, Bronze's reunion with City also sees her make her eagerly anticipated return to the Barclays FA Women's Super League.
Speaking about her homecoming, Bronze said: "I'm really happy to be back here at City - I always had it in my mind that I would return one day, and it just feels like the perfect time and opportunity right now.
"I really enjoyed my time in France, but there were so many things that I missed and it's great to be back.
"I feel like I'm returning as a better leader and person who is capable of bringing similar success to the table here in England both domestically with City and internationally too.
"Having already experienced everything that City has to offer as a Club, it was a no-brainer for me when the offer came in and there isn't another team in England that I would have looked at.
"There's nowhere I'd rather be right now than with Manchester City and I'm really excited to see what the future holds with the exciting squad we have here."
Head Coach Gareth Taylor meanwhile said: "We're absolutely thrilled to see Lucy return to Manchester City and I'm sure I speak on behalf of everyone when I say that we're delighted to have her back at the Club.
"She is an unrivalled talent and her endless individual and team awards only scratch the surface of what a superb player she is, not only at Club level, but also internationally with England.
"She joins us off the back of a hugely successful few years in France and being able to add a player of her quality to our already ambitious squad is incredibly exciting."
Head of Women's Football Gavin Makel added: "Lucy has received many accolades over the years, and rightly so.
"What impresses me most about her however is that despite what she has already achieved in the game, she still maintains that hunger for even more success whilst having the desire to continue to develop.
"That sheer focus and mentality is one of the main reasons why she is regarded as one of the best players in the world and I couldn't be happier to welcome her back to the Club."
Bronze will wear the number 20 shirt during the 2020-21 Barclays FA Women's Super League campaign.
In a unique situation caused by the pandemic, this season's Women's FA Cup is underway before last season's has finished, with the Extra Preliminary Round being played on Sunday.
This included a well anticipated derby match between Abingdon Town and Abingdon Utd, both of whom did well in their respective divisions last season. In the end, higher status was to well as United won 4-0, courtesy of first half goals from Nell Boxall, Abbie Smith, Lauren May and Megan Crawford. United will now have a home tie against Newbury Ladies.
New London Lionesses have done well in the Cup in recent seasons and they won again on Sunday, 4-2 against Parkwood Rangers to set up an intriguing tie against Millwall Lionesses. Samantha Curran netted two of the goals, with Kiz Fergus and Anna Koscielska also on target.
Hopes of a Farsley derby in the next round were brought to an end as Farsley Celtic went down 3-1 to Harrogate Town, who will be up against Farsley Celtic Juniors. It was a similar story as Wallsend BC defeated Hartlepool Utd 6-1 and they now face Hartlepool Pools Youth.
One of the ties of the round was at Rotherham Utd and did not disappoint, the home side battling out a 3-3 draw with Oughtibridge WMSC before Rotherham emerged as winners from the resulting shootout and they will travel to York City. Cheadle Town Stingers enjoyed a smoother passage, beating Chester FC Women 5-1 and they now play away to Merseyrail Ladies who won 5-0 against Mossley.
Workington Reds must travel to Durham Utd following their 1-0 success against Boro Rangers and Bishop Auckland defeated Birtley Town 3-0 to set up a meeting with Redcar Town.
South Shields came through a tricky tie away to Stanwix with a 6-0 victory and this means they now take on Gateshead Rutherford Ladies. CLS Amazons' reward for their 3-1 success at Gateshead Leam Rangers is a home tie with Penrith AFC.
Appleby Frodingham edged out South Cave by the odd goal in seven in a thrilling tie and now go to Brighouse Sports, whilst Harworth Colliery defeated Silsden 6-1 to book an away tie with Sheffield Wednesday. Wakefield Trinity, who ran out 5-0 winners over Hepworth Utd, will play either Yorkshire Amateur or Altofts Ladies.
Crewe Alexandra narrowly got the better of West Didsbury & Chorlton in a closely fought tie, their 1-0 win earning them a home tie with Accrington Stanley. Fleetwood Town Wrens were 3-2 victors away to former semi finalists Tranmere Rovers and now play at Rylands.
FC United of Manchester eased through by scoring thirteen times against West Kirby, they now play Ashton Town, whilst AFC Darwen earned themselves a tie with Sir Tom Finney after beating Nelson Ladies 9-0. Curzon Ashton overcame Haslingden Girls & Ladies with a 7-2 victory and this means they will face Blackburn Community.
Notts County Women and Lincoln Utd produced a thrilling tie which went all the way to penalties; Lincoln eventually progressing from the spot following a 4-4 draw and they will be away to Nottingham Trent University. Rise Park meanwhile defeated Asfordby Amateurs 3-0 and will be at home to Allexton & New Parks.
Woodlands Ladies will be hopeful of another good Cup run as they won 5-0 at AFC Leicester, Oadby & Wigston stand in their way in the next round as they beat Coalville Town 7-2. Dronfield Town earned themselves a trip to Cleethorpes Town by defeating Arnold Eagles 2-1, whilst Beaumont Park won 6-2 against Groby Women and will be up against Grimsby Borough.
Shifnal Town returned from Darlaston Town (1874) with a 6-2 victory under their belts, which gives them a home tie against Redditch Utd, who beat Walsall Wood 6-0. Knowle will be away to AFC Telford Utd after winning 3-0 at Kingfisher, whilst Lye Town's 5-0 success away to Shrewsbury Juniors means they now host Sutton Coldfield Town, who defeated Coventrians 5-0.
Westfields edged past Leamington Lions with a 2-1 victory and will be up against Worcester City who scored fifteen times on their trip to Tamworth Academy. Hereford Pegasus meanwhile beat Rugby Borough 1-0 and must now take on Coventry Sphinx, 3-0 winners against Sandwell Ladies.
Tamworth scored eight times without reply past Doveridge to book themselves a meeting with Solihull Ladies Utd, whilst Cookley Sports narrowly won 2-1 against Coundon Court and their next opponents will be Sedgley & Gornal Utd, 6-2 victors away to Rugby Town. Stockingford AA Pavilion must now play Droitwich Spa following their 9-1 victory over Balls to Cancer.
Dani Selmes scored a hat-trick and Becky Hall the other as Kidderminster Harriers progressed with a 4-1 success at Solihull Sporting, after Natalie Hall had made a string of good saves in the first half. They will be at home in the next round to Crusaders. Stourbridge also went through convincingly, beating Port Vale 8-0 and they now take on Wryley Ladies.
Newmarket Town got the better of Wymondham Town on a penalty shootout following a 3-3 draw and this earns them a trip to Bungay Town. Lacey Andrews, Jess Linger and Chloe Slater scored the goals for Newmarket, who triumphed 4-2 from the spot, whilst Wymondham replied through Francesca Catchpole, Mollie O'Callaghan and Rebecca Russell.
Katie Stancombe led the scoring with a hat-trick for St Ives Town in their 12-0 victory over Hartham Utd. Ruth Fox, Abbi Griffin, Hannah Seymour-Shove and Georgia Stancombe each netted twice and Ella Burnley was also on target for St Ives, who now travel to Histon. Bedford Girls & Ladies also eased through with a twelve-goal blast against Corby Town and will host Northampton Town, who defeated Haverhill Rovers 5-0 thanks to an Emma Billenness brace, Charlie Cooper, Fay Noble and Georgia Tear.
Colney Heath were 2-1 winners over Herts Vipers Ladies thanks to Lily Hall and Mia Pinkham and will now be at home to Harlow Town who scored six times without reply away to Runwell Sports. Wroxham meanwhile hit double figures against Kettering Town, Rebecca Russell and Zoe Cossey each bagging a hat-trick alongside doubles from Grace Birchall and Lauren Bullard to book their side a trip to King's Lynn Town.
Peterborough Utd made the journey to Whittlesey Athletic and returned as 3-1 winners, which means they now play Royston Town. March Town Utd were another team to progress on penalties; winning 5-4 from the spot after their tie with Henley Athletic finished level at 4-4 to earn themselves an away tie with Peterborough Northern Star.
Elizabeth Mills scored a hat-trick as Ashford Ladies won 3-1 away to Aylesford, to earn themselves a trip to Islington Borough. Tunbridge Wells Foresters and Ramsgate could not be separated on the day, finishing level at 1-1 before Ramsgate won on penalties, they now go to Dartford.
Natalie White and Lizzie Tucker were the scorers for Hackney as they progressed by beating Hastings Utd 2-0 and they now face Dulwich Hamlet, 6-1 winners against Margate courtesy of a Sophie Manzi hat-trick, Elizabeth Wicks, Saskia Philp and Ella Bonner. Herne Bay will be away to Comets after Sophie Gifford (2), Megan Pearce, Lauren Williams and Abigail Duff gave them a 5-1 victory over Whyteleafe.
Chelmsford City edged out Frontiers by the odd goal in five and now face Leigh Ramblers, whilst Garston will travel to Bowers & Pitsea following their 3-1 success away to Hemel Hempstead Town. Also through are Eastbourne Utd after they won 1-0 against Pagham, meaning they now play Dorking Wanderers.
Swindon Supermarine's journey to Banbury Utd resulted in a 2-1 victory, taking them to Ascot Utd in the next round. Brentford meanwhile defeated Royal Wootton Bassett Town on penalties after a 1-1 draw and their reward is a home tie with Ashford Town (Middx).
Walton Casuals triumphed 4-0 over AFC Littlehampton and they will be up against Saltdean Utd who fired ten goals past Burgess Hill Town. Henna Butcher, Billie Phillpot and Chloe Winchester were each on target twice along with Niamh Andersson, Jessica Mead, Yasmin Poole and Chloe Evans. Seaford Town meanwhile emerged as 4-1 winners on penalties against Newhaven, after the sides had shared a 1-1 draw, this seals a home tie with Badshot Lea who did not live up to their name, storming to a 7-3 win over Oakwood Ladies.
AFC Bournemouth meanwhile stormed to a 10-1 victory at Eastleigh, spearheaded by a hat-trick from Molly Clark. Helen Corbin weighed in with a double and the tally was completed by Katelyn Wort, Emma Davis, Maisy Smith, Becky Barron and Larissa White. The Cherries will be away in the next round, to United Services Portsmouth. Amber Madkour bagged a personal haul of seven goals and Hollie Shaw added a further five for Bournemouth Sports against Redlands Rebels. Sarah Plummer (2), Katie Cox (2), Stacey Lewis (2), Ellen Benjamin and Taylor Davies also got on the scoresheet for Sports who must now travel to Sherborne Town.
Alton Ladies notched up a total of thirteen goals against Meon Milton and their next opponents will be AFC Stoneham who had a big win themselves, scoring ten past Merley Cobham Sports. AFC Acorns were 11-0 winners over Mole Valley Ladies and must now take on Lancing (see match report).
Woodley Utd booked themselves a home tie with Milton Utd after beating Wargrave Women 5-2. Molly Lambourne netted a hat-trick for Woodley along with Bethan Poole and Ellen Surtees. Wycombe Wanderers meanwhile defeated Oxford City 4-0 thanks to Lindsay Pinker (2), Tara Woodward and Charlotte Bagshaw, they now host Eversley & California.
A late goal gave AEK Boco a 2-1 win over Downend Flyers in a well contested local derby tie. Shania Powell and Cerys Jones were on target for Boco who are now at home to Paulton Rovers whose tie with Longwell Green was even closer. Paulton got through 6-5 on penalties after the teams had battled out a 2-2 draw, Abbie Woodley-Marshall and Laura Tugwell scoring for Longwell. Beth Knight netted a penalty for Paulton, along with a powerful strike from Eleri Webber.
Middlezoy Rovers were pushed all the way by Bristol Ladies Union before triumphing 4-2 on penalties after the teams had finished level at 1-1, Ellie Roberts having given Middlezoy the lead before Hannah Price equalised. Middlezoy will now be at home to Bishop's Lydeard. Jodie Cornwall meanwhile hit a hat-trick for Ilminster Town in their 10-0 victory over Banwell. Abbie Carslake, Sian Chapman and Harrie Kelly each weighed in with braces and Collette Martin was also on the scoresheet.
Bristol Rovers made their return to the competition by running out 6-0 winners against Bristol & West. Libby Bell was on target twice along with Rosanna Rocha, Hannah Thompson, Jennifer Atherton and Zoe Fielden-Stewart to book their team a trip to Chipping Sodbury Town. Oldland Abbotonians also won 6-0 away to FC Chippenham and now play Almondsbury, Beth Dale and Olivia Goozee each bagging doubles along with Nicky Hawkins-Hoare and Bryony Higgs.
Alexia Riley and Charlotte Whitmore each netted twice, with Shania Fenlon, Chevonne Johanning and Lucy Rothero adding the others, as AFC St Austell defeated Feniton 7-0 to set up a meeting with Marine Academy Plymouth who stormed through by scoring 21 times past Ottery St Mary. Saltash Utd meanwhile caused a surprise with a 1-0 success away to St Agnes, they now make the trip to Helston Athletic.
Revised Preliminary Round draw:
Lumley Ladies v Spennymoor Town
South Shields v Gateshead Rutherford Ladies
Blyth Town Ladies v Guisborough Town
Washington LFC v Alnwick Town
Sunderland West End v Carlisle Utd
Durham Utd v Workington Reds
CLS Amazons v Penrith AFC
Hartlepool Pools Youth LFC v Wallsend BC Women
Redcar Town v Bishop Auckland
Thackley v Ripon City
Hull Utd Ladies v Millmoor Juniors
Bradford Park Avenue v Ossett Utd
Sheffield Wednesday v Harworth Colliery
Farsley Celtic Juniors v Harrogate Town
Brighouse Sports v Appleby Frodingham
York City v Rotherham Utd
Yorkshire Amateurs or Altofts Ladies v Wakefield Trinity
Curzon Ashton v Blackburn Community
Morecambe v Salford City Lionesses
Rylands LFC v Fleetwood Town Wrens
AFC Darwen v Sir Tom Finney
FC United of Manchester v Ashton Town
Altrincham v Northwich Vixens
Mossley Hill or Ashton Utd v Wythenshawe Amateurs
Merseyrail Ladies v Cheadle Town Stingers
SK Vipers v Warrington Wolves
Crewe Alexandra v Accrington Stanley
Leicester City Ladies v Oakham Utd
Woodlands Ladies v Oadby & Wigston
St Joseph's of Worksop v Lincoln Moorlands Railway
Grimsby Town v Ollerton Town
Cleethorpes Town v Dronfield Town
Beaumont Park v Grimsby Borough
Rise Park v Allexton & New Parks
Belper Town v Sherwood FC Women
Nottingham Trent University v Lincoln Utd
Westfields v Worcester City
Stockingford AA Pavilion v Droitwich Spa
AFC Telford Utd v Knowle Ladies
Cookley Sports v Sedgley & Gornal Utd
Tamworth LFC v Solihull Ladies Utd
Hereford Pegasus v Coventry Sphinx
Kidderminster Harriers v Crusaders
Lye Town v Sutton Coldfield Town
Stourbridge v Wyrley Ladies
Shifnal Town v Redditch Utd
Desborough Ladies v Netherton Utd
Peterborough Utd v Royston Town
Waveney Ladies v Brett Vale
AFC Sudbury Ladies v Needham Market
Peterborough Northern Star v March Town Utd
Histon Ladies v St Ives Town
Bedford Ladies & Girls v Northampton Town
King's Lynn Town v Wroxham
Bungay Town v Newmarket Town
Bexhill Utd v Sutton Utd
Regents Park Rangers v Phoenix Sports
Haringey Borough v Fulham FC Women
Comets v Herne Bay
Millwall Lionesses v New London Lionesses
Islington Borough v Ashford Ladies
Dartford v Ramsgate
Hackney v Dulwich Hamlet
Southend Utd v Houghton Athletic
Wodson Park v Watford Development
Chelmsford City v Leigh Ramblers
Rayleigh Town v Luton Town
Bowers & Pitsea v Garston
Colney Heath v Harlow Town
Denham Utd v Queen's Park Rangers
Ascot Utd v Swindon Supermarine
Brentford v Ashford Town (Middx)
Wycombe Wanderers v Eversley & California
Tilehurst Panthers v Slough Town
Abingdon Utd v Newbury Ladies
Woodley Utd v Milton Utd
Steyning Town Community v Worthing FC Women
Seaford Town v Badshot Lea
AFC Acorns v Lancing
Chichester City v Eastbourne Town
Woking Ladies v Godalming Town
Eastbourne Utd v Dorking Wanderers
Walton Casuals v Saltdean Utd
Sherborne Town v Bournemouth Sports
Alton Ladies v AFC Stoneham
Shanklin Ladies v Moneyfields
New Milton Town v Winchester City Flyers
United Services Portsmouth v AFC Bournemouth
Pen Mill v Ilminster Town
Weston-super-Mare v Portishead Town
Middlezoy Rovers v Bishop's Lydeard
Oldland Abbotonians v Almondsbury
Chipping Sodbury Town v Bristol Rovers
AEK Boco v Paulton Rovers
Helston Athletic v Saltash Utd
Callington Town v Bideford Ladies
Torquay Utd v RNAS Culdrose
AFC St Austell v Marine Academy Plymouth
Photo - AEK Boco on the attack against Downend Flyers.
Arsenal took the honours with the biggest win on the opening weekend of the Barclays FA WSL season, a crushing 6-1 success against Reading FC Women.
Champions two seasons ago, the Gunners have been overlooked by many ahead of the new campaign but produced an imperious display to suggest they will be one of the major challengers once again. Jill Roord led the scoring for Arsenal with a hat-trick, Vivianne Miedema adding a further two along with an outstanding strike from Kim Little, before Danielle Carter grabbed a late consolation against her former club.
Everton had another enjoyable trip to the West Country, running out 4-0 winners away to Bristol City. The Toffees scored five on the last occasion the sides met and roared into an early lead when Simone Magill volleyed home. The creator of the first goal, Lucy Graham, scored the second herself and she put them further ahead from the penalty spot just after the hour. Substitute Valerie Gauvin completed a fine day for her side when she scored the final goal with three minutes remaining.
The season had begun on Saturday with newly promoted Aston Villa being given a baptism of fire against Manchester City and although acquitting themselves well, were left to rue early mistakes which put them two behind in the opening quarter. First, Georgia Stanway stole in on a short backpass to put her side ahead and the England striker soon had her second, this time charging down a clearance which rebounded back into the net. Stanway came close to completing her hat-trick, whilst Ellen White had a goal ruled out for offside, as City saw out a 2-0 victory.
Brighton & Hove Albion made it a winning start as they beat Birmingham City 2-0. The Seagulls twice hit the bar in the first half, through Inessa Kaagman and Dani Bowman, before Megan Connolly gave them the lead just before the hour with a delightful shot on the turn. Two minutes later, Connolly turned provider as she drove in a cross for Kaagman to head home at the far post and seal the points for her side.
Champions Chelsea started off their defence of the title with a difficult trip to Manchester Utd and ended with honours even as the sides shared a 1-1 draw. Chelsea started the game strongly and were rewarded by going in front on 25 minutes when Fran Kirby crossed for Sam Kerr to sweep home from close range. The Blues were unable to build on their lead though and United became more of an attacking force in the second half. With eleven minutes remaining, United took a share of the spoils when Jackie Groenen broke on the right and into the area, where her low cross was tapped in at point blank range by Leah Galton.
Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham Utd also ended up with a point apiece after they battled out a 1-1 draw in their derby match. Kit Graham twice hit the woodwork for Spurs in the first half but eight minutes after the restart, they went ahead in fortuitous circumstances as Hammers defender Grace Fisk turned into her own net from a Lucy Quinn corner. West Ham came up with a response five minutes later, Adriana Leon cutting in from the left before finding the far top corner for the equaliser.
Photo - Everton celebrate Simone Magill's opening goal against Bristol City (Will Cheshire).
Sheffield Utd were the team which pushed Aston Villa all the way in the FA Women's Championship title race last season and they have served early notice of their potential this time around with a 4-1 victory away to London City Lionesses on the opening day.
In the Blades' first match under new head coach Neil Redfearn, Jade Pennock gave them the lead shortly before half time but the Lionesses hit back early in the second half and were back on level terms thanks to a neatly curled effort from Freda Ayisi. United were to take a firm grip on the game though as Pennock restored their advantage from close range and Katie Wilkinson headed in the third two minutes later. Wilkinson was to complete her own double shortly afterwards, rounding off the scoring from the penalty spot.
Leicester City also started strongly as they defeated Blackburn Rovers 3-0. The Foxes have made a number of acquisitions since the end of the season and they took the lead in the seventeenth minute, Charlie Devlin sweeping home from a Sam Tierney cross. Blackburn's task was made much harder after the break when captain Saffron Jordan was dismissed for a second bookable offence and two powerful strikes from Natasha Flint against her former club wrapped up the points for Leicester.
Coventry Utd were the other winners on the day; two late goals helping them to a 3-1 victory against London Bees. Amy Wathan gave Coventry an early lead but they needed to withstand second half pressure from the Bees before Nikki Miles put them further ahead with nine minutes remaining. The best was yet to come for the home side as Shannon O'Brien scored a brilliant individual goal, carrying the ball from deep inside her own half before lobbing Sarah Quantrill in the Bees goal. Merrick Will grabbed a consolation goal for the Bees in injury time.
Liverpool's quest for a quick return to the WSL ended with a point as a late strike pegged them back to a 1-1 draw against Durham Women. The Reds took the lead seven minutes before half time through a well taken goal from Rachel Furness and thought they had gone two ahead just after the hour when Rinsola Babajide had the ball in the net but played had already been pulled back for a free kick. Despite being reduced to ten players through injury, the Wildcats battled back and came up with an equaliser with three minutes remaining, Molly Sharpe winning possession in the area and Beth Hepple clipping home a neat finish.
Charlton Athletic and Crystal Palace produced an entertaining encounter which saw the teams share the points and four goals. The Addicks took the lead with only six minutes on the clock, Jess King pouncing on a loose pass to slide into the empty net, but Palace responded well and were back on terms two minutes later as Bianca Baptiste headed in a cross from Siobhan Wilson. Cherelle Khassal then put Palace in front on the half hour with a strike from long range which crept in. Both sides had chances after the break but in the dying minutes, Charlton salvaged a precious point for themselves when King's shot was parried by Morgan and debutante Shauna Vassell followed up to score.
Chelsea Football Club Women are delighted to confirm the signing of Danish attacking player Pernille Harder on a three-year deal.
The 27-year-old joins from German side Wolfsburg ahead of the 2020-21 Barclays FA Women's Super League season which sees her new club begin away to Manchester United on Sunday.
Harder has spent the past three-and-a-half years playing for Wolfsburg and it was there she established herself as one of Europe's top footballers. She was named UEFA Player of the Year in 2018.
Indeed, it was a trophy-laden stint with the leading club in the Frauen Bundesliga, as Harder won the domestic Double in each of her four campaigns at the AOK Stadion, twice finishing as the top scorer in the German top flight. Her tally of 27 in the coronavirus-affected 2019-20 season was the highest by any player in the Frauen Bundesliga since 2010.
While there is so much more to her game than goals, as evidenced by her ability to play in any position across the front of the pitch or in an attacking-midfield role, Harder boasts a scoring record at the top level of European football that would be the envy of any striker.
At Wolfsburg she found the net 103 times in 113 matches, having previously scored 85 goals in 109 appearances for Linkopings in Sweden, while she averaged better than a goal a game at Skovbakken in her homeland. Add in 25 Champions League goals from 28 games and it is clear Emma Hayes has added another lethal finisher to her already prolific attacking options.
Chelsea FC Women manager Emma Hayes told the club's website: "Pernille is one of the best players in the world. Her record at Wolfsburg and Linkopings, as well as internationally with Denmark, shows how valuable she has been to her teams.
"She is a fantastic team player who wants to take her game to the next level. She chose Chelsea as the club that can push her to that level. She can play for any team in the world, but she chose us.
"She chose the players, the staff, the environment, the playing style. You can't get a bigger compliment than that from one of the best players in the world."
Crawley Wasps are delighted to announce Dave Cole as the club's new first team manager on a permanent basis.
Cole guided the squad through pre-season as interim manager after Paul Walker's departure by mutual consent earlier this month. He had been the team's assistant manager since arriving in the summer of 2016.
Cole said: "I'm excited about taking on this job and continuing the work Paul and I started some years ago, because there's unfinished business.
"The squad has been taking shape over the pre-season, with new signings to be announced soon, and I'm very pleased with the progress we have made."
Wasps chairman Jack Ayles said: "I'm extremely pleased Dave has agreed to take charge of the team.
"He's been a valuable part of our success over the last few years and will ensure continuity on the pitch and in the dressing room as we enter an exciting new season."
Prior to joining Wasps, Cole was director of football at Lewes Women and scouted for Millwall Lionesses. He has also coached men's sides Eastbourne United AFC, AFC Uckfield and Withdean.
First team coaches Mike Gardner and Chat Perera, and goalkeeping coach Paul Woodhams, have all been retained, while Richard Lowes joins as physiotherapist. Matt Graves has left the staff to join Southampton Women's FC.
Cole's first competitive game in charge will come at Hounslow on Sunday 20th September.
The Football Association is pleased to confirm the draw for the first round of the 2020-21 FA Women's Continental Tyres League Cup.
The competition, which was won by Chelsea last season following a 2-1 victory over Arsenal at Nottingham Forest's City Ground back in February, will kick off on 7-8 October, with the format slightly adjusted for this season's competition.
The tournament will be increased from four groups to six, with four teams competing in five of the groups, and three in the other. The six teams finishing top of their group will progress to the quarter-finals stage, alongside the two best runners-up.
The full draw is as follows:
Fixtures and details of the date and venue for this season's final will be released in due course.
The Lionesses are getting ready to return to action with confirmation of an autumn fixture away to Germany on Tuesday 27th October.
England, who have not played since the SheBelieves Cup in the United States back in March, will head to Wiesbaden to take on the twice World Cup winners at the Brita Arena. Before then, Phil Neville will gather his players for a training camp from 15-21 September at St. George's Park - allowing the squad to come together as a group for the first time in seven months.
The fixture follows Germany's trip to England last November when a record 77,768 crowd at Wembley saw the visitors secure a 2-1 victory. In contrast, supporters are unable to attend UEFA international fixtures in September due to COVID-19 restrictions, with Germany also confirming October's game will be played behind closed doors.
Head coach Phil Neville said: "I know the players are so hungry to pull on an England shirt again and this is a good test to see where we are early in the new season against strong opposition. Germany away is a tough challenge but we know what we are capable of producing. I'm sure the players are excited about testing themselves against one of the best teams in the world.
"Next year is going to be a vital one for the players ahead of some major international tournaments in quick succession. While you can never fully replicate the pressure of a major finals, I know my squad will take a lot from the experience and I am sure the fans will be relishing the chance to see us play again - even if unfortunately it has to be on television."
With regard to other autumn matches yet to be confirmed, The FA will continue to work on an international programme that provides the best platform to test the players' performance and allows fans to see the squad at different venues across the country.
Meanwhile, England's Young Lionesses are focusing on the FIFA U17 World Cup to be played in India next February having been named as one of the three European teams to take part in the finals.
Looking further into 2021, the Lionesses will continue working towards the delayed EURO tournament, which will be hosted at stadiums across England in summer 2022, before qualification begins for the 2023 FIFA World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
Manchester City 0>
Chelsea 2 (Bright 66, Cuthbert 90)
Manchester City 0
Two second half goals gave Chelsea victory over Manchester City in the first FA Women's Community Shield match to be held at Wembley Stadium.
The 'curtain raiser' to the season has been revived and held for the first time since 2008 and played behind closed doors but produced an open match which remained in the balance until a pivotal five minute spell just after the hour.
After City had been reduced to ten when Jill Scott was shown a second yellow card, Millie Bright put Chelsea in front with a spectacular long range strike and substitute Erin Cuthbert wrapped up the win in injury time.
Chelsea could well have been ahead in the opening minutes when Sam Kerr went through on goal from Ji So-Yun's through ball but shot tamely into the side netting with only Ellie Roebuck to beat - the start of a nightmare day in front of goal for the Australian striker.
Kerr again failed to hit the target after being set up by Fran Kirby before City, who were fielding ten English players in their starting line up, began to come into the game and Georgia Stanway forced a good save from Ann-Katrin Berger with a snap shot on the half volley from the edge of the area.
City were forced into an early substitution when Lauren Hemp went off with a hamstring injury, being replaced by Janine Beckie who soon had the ball in the net but an offside flag had been raised after Chloe Kelly had made a superb run, beating three defenders on her way into the area.
A deflected Ji free kick was headed wide by Kerr before at the other end, Berger again needed to save from Stanway and Kelly latched onto the rebound but drilled her shot against the post.
After the break, Chelsea pressed hard for the opener and Kerr was again to spurn a glorious chance, this time miscuing her shot wide from Kirby's low cross. Back came City with Stanway dragging her shot wide after being played in by Scott and then Kerr planted another shot past the far post for the Blues from a fine pass by Guro Reiten.
Before play could restart, City were reduced to ten players when Scott, who had been booked during the first half, was shown a second yellow when her earlier sliding challenge on Ji was deemed worthy of a second bookable offence.
It took a good challenge from Demi Stokes to deny Kirby as she dribbled into the area but a minute later, the deadlock was broken when Bright unleashed a powerful shot from fully 30 yards which swerved and dipped over Roebuck for the opening goal.
City brought on Ellen White in an attempt to get back on level terms but as they pushed further forward, more space was inevitably left for Chelsea for a second.
Ji sent two shots straight at Roebuck but the game was sewn up in injury time following a low cross into the area by Maren Mjelde, Steph Houghton did well to prevent Beth England from getting in a shot but Cuthbert was on hand to plant the loose ball into the roof of the net.
Chelsea: Ann-Katrin Berger, Maren Mjelde, Jonna Andersson (sub Jessie Fleming 90mins), Millie Bright, Magdalena Eriksson, Sophie Ingle, Fran Kirby (sub Erin Cuthbert 71mins), Melanie Leupolz, Sam Kerr (sub Beth England 72mins), Ji So-Yun, Guro Reiten (sub Niamh Charles 88mins). Subs not used: Maria Thorisdottir, Hannah Blundell, Jess Carter, Drew Spence, Carly Telford.
Manchester City: Ellie Roebuck, Esme Morgan, Demi Stokes, Gemma Bonner, Steph Houghton, Keira Walsh, Lauren Hemp (sub Janine Beckie 26mins), Jill Scott, Chloe Kelly, Georgia Stanway (sub Ellen White 83mins), Caroline Weir (sub Sam Mewis 68mins). Subs not used: Karen Bardsley, Megan Campbell, Laura Coombs, Jess Park, Karima Benameur.
© Women's Soccer Scene Media
on mobile wssNews.co.uk
Women's Sport Search