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Buckland Athletic have been coping well with life in their first season in the FA Women's National League, after a tough start, and on Sunday they reached the Second Round of the SSE Women's FA Cup for the first time with a 2-0 win over Cheltenham Town.
We talked to Buckland defender Taylor Beales, who was delighted with the club's progress in the competition as well as in the league, and looked forward to the challenge of taking on Watford in the next round:
WSS: Congratulations on reaching the Second Round of the Cup on Sunday, how pleasing is it to get this far in the competition?
TB: Thank you very much, everyone at the club after the game was buzzing. The atmosphere at the club at the moment is at an all time high, especially since this is the furthest Buckland have got within the competition before. This is the first time I've been part of the FA Cup before, I personally feel overwhelmed by it all - it's such an exciting experience to share with all the girls and this club.
WSS: Cheltenham are having a very good season in the league this year, were you pleased with the team's performance on the day and did you always feel comfortable after going two goals ahead?
TB: Cheltenham are a very good side, you know we can't take that away from them. They are strong and physical, however we drew to them away 2-2 so we knew they were beatable. At half time it was only 1-0 so of course we didn't feel comfortable, the game was still all to play for. We had a lot of good attacks and opportunities, getting that second goal really boosted the team but we knew we had to keep it like that for the remainder of the game. We kept fighting and fighting, I thought the team played really well especially taking the pitch conditions into consideration, everyone did their jobs and we did what we needed to do to make the second round.
WSS: The draw has given you a long trip to Watford in the next round, are the players relishing the chance to take on a higher division team who were in the WSL last season?
TB: Yeah, I mean Watford are another great side, they've had that experience of playing in the WSL so this is an amazing opportunity for us to show the fight within us and what we can really do. We definitely will not be going down without a fight and we are all preparing ourselves correctly for this important game.
WSS: This week sees the first of two home games, first you play Alphington in the County Cup and then Larkhall Athletic the following week in the league. After five straight wins in all competitions, presumably the team will approach both macthes full of confidence?
TB: Of course we are on a huge high at the moment after winning, so of course we are confident but we will never be over confident and too comfortable. We have to stay well grounded and stick to what we have been doing for the past few games, it's important for us to keep up our work rate and go into these sorts of game fiery. Every week, all of us are buzzing to get back out there and I think our results are showing our desire to win and our love for the club.
WSS: This is the club's first season in the league following promotion, how have you been finding it in the National League so far?
TB: I only joined Buckland this season but I know the difference between the leagues is a big step, last season we were on the bounce, constantly unbeatable where as this season we have had more challenges, coming across a range of different sides who do challenge us. It's making us stronger finding who we are as a team and what we need to continue doing to win. We don't fear teams, we won't stop fighting - we are loving this league for sure.
WSS: It was a nightmare start in the first game against Keynsham, but you are unbeaten in the league since then and are nicely placed in the table. Where, realistically, do you think Buckland can finish this season?
TB: Our first game was difficult, it was the first game in the league against personally one of the best sides within our league but since then, they've worked on stuff to prevent goals that we conceded happening again. I think we have definitely found our feet a bit more and will keep pushing - we don't settle for anything less than 110% work rate by the whole team. Realistically I feel we can be in the top three if we keep this intensity up, there is nothing stopping us right now and it's still early in the season. Grant believes in all of us players and we all believe in each other and I think that is a very special thing.
WSS: Buckland have come a long way in a short space of time and are an ambitious club, how far is the club capable of going in future years?
TB: Buckland have just been climbing the leagues since they first started and the club will continue to keep pushing to succeed. Nothing is impossible or out of reach and of course, we have to be realistic but bit by bit we are improving, building as a squad and getting to where we want to be. I know Grant won't stop pushing this club, his determination to improve us as individuals and the team is on another level. I think this club has a very very bright future and I feel so proud and honoured to be a part of it.
Our thanks to Taylor!
(Photo by PPAUK)
The third annual 1966 Commemorative Women's Sixes Tournament was held at Grantham and proved another success for the tournament organisers, headed by Major Mark Normanton.
Over the two days there were 16 teams involved and the competition also doubled up with the Channing Day Memorial contested by AMS units; Cpl Day was from 3 Medical Regiment and was killed in Afghanistan in October 2012. Major Normanton received the blessing of Cpl Day's mother to present a trophy in her name at the tournament and was honoured to do so.
In the largest grassroots tournament in Army Women's unit football where approaching 100 matches were played the overall winners were 29 Regiment RLC who retained the trophy defeating DMD (SE) in the final;the latter's Pte Edwards was awarded Player of the Tournament.
The Steerment Carter Plate saw 6 Regiment RLC defeat Leonardo in the final. 4 Medical Regiment won the Channing Day Memorial beating 1MWD in the final.
Appreciation was also extended to the match officials provided by the Army FA over the two days.
The Army Football Association was granted one of 66 individual national awards that received funding of £1966 in 2016 from the Football Association made available to support grassroots projects to recognise the 50th anniversary of England's victorious World Cup campaign.
The 1966 Commemorative Tournament was the chosen project to support the excellent work undertaken by Major Normanton and his team and it is delighted to see that the early foundations created have seen the tournament flourish for the benefit of women's grass roots football in the Army.
After a spell out on the sidelines, London Bees have been boosted by the return of last season's leading goalscorer Katie Wilkinson to the training pitch.
Injuries are, of course, difficult for any player at any level to deal with, but Wilkinson has been speaking about her road to recovery and what has got her through a tough few weeks.
"It's been really frustrating. Honestly, there's not a lot really that anyone can say to make it better until you're back on that pitch. That's all we want as players," she told the club's website.
"My time out of football was slightly different - it wasn't a muscle or knee/ankle injury, just an unfortunate situation that forced me into hospital and it's my girlfriend, family and friends that have kept me sane through it all.
"I wasn't able to move too much for the first three weeks so that was difficult, but everybody got around me and supported me and that's all I could have asked for.
"Luke's [Swindlehurst] support has been great and Naheem, our club doctor, has been with me every step of the way helping me through it all, so it's been amazing to have the support from everyone.
"That gives me the motivation and the excitement to get back as quickly as possible. Being back at training and the girls giving me banter about anything and everything is what I've missed so it's good to be back."
(Luton won 3-1 on penalties)>
Luton Town 1 Kent Football Utd 1
(Luton won 3-1 on penalties)
Luton Town edged into the Second Round of the SSE Women's FA Cup in the closest of the 14 ties played, beating Kent Football United in a penalty shootout after the teams ended 120 minutes of intense and even play locked at one goal apiece.
Luton, of the FAWNL Division One South East, took the penalty honours by three conversions to one from the London & South East Regional newcomers and Kent Cup holders.
The teams cancelled each other out so completely in the first half hour that, apart from a couple of right wing crosses from Kent, there was little to trouble either goalkeeper. Luton fashioned the first big chance from keeper Kezia Hassall's long clearance, two first time touches sending Aurora Ryan clear but her shot was wide of goal. A fine run from Luton's Rachel Kosky then set up Olivia Abraham on the right edge of the area but her effort was well held by Jordan Dawes.
Kent's Rachel Stevens was denied by a fine tackle by Erica Byron on 35 minutes as the visitors continued to threaten the Luton goal at times, but the second big Luton chance fell again to Ryan as she rounded the keeper and got away a shot only for Charleen Cairns to make a superb goal line clearance on 40 minutes.
Chloe Francis on the Kent left wing was a considerable threat and twice in first half added time she was close to scoring, especially in a scramble from an Amy Russ corner, but the score remained blank at the break.
The teams continued to trade chances on the restart, Luton's Dionne Manning having a shot deflected just wide whilst Russ sent in a lob which rebounded off the bar. It was the visitors who struck first on 67 minutes, Kosky being penalised for a challenge and Lizzie Waldie converting the resulting spot kick.
Russ nearly added a second with an inswinging corner soon after and Luton were in need of a lift. Byron nearly provided it with a dangerous corner but it was Nicola Henman who stepped up with a super 25-yard drive on 78 minutes, the ball flying high and beyond the diving Dawes.
Extra time gave Kent's Megan Burrows a good chance in the first minute, but Hassall was alert to block her shot. The same player went close again soon after whilst Henman was just wide with a header for Luton. Generally however, defences dominated with Kosky for Luton and skipper Tash Moloney for Kent excellent in anticipation and tackling.
There was literally nothing between the teams after extra time, with lots of very impressive work from both sets of players. The shootout went Luton's way with Byron, keeper Hassall and finally Kosky converting in style but the losing team can feel proud of a fine effort which pushed their higher ranked opponents all the way.
Kezia Hassall, Rachel Kosky, Rebecca Ferris, Lisa Nixon, Rachel Carter, Amy Summerfield, Nicola Henman, Aurora Ryan, Dionne Manning, Olivia Abraham, Erica Byron. Subs: Angelika Kopec, Grace Stewart, Millie Guest, Kim Newns.
Kent Football Utd:
Jordan Dawes, Becky Burnham, Tash Moloney, Charleen Cairns, Lizzie Waldie, Shannon Burden, Megan Burrows, Lucy Cockerill, Amy Russ, Rachel Stevens, Charley MacNeil. Subs: Ami Burnham, Chloe Francis.
(Report by Patrick Higgins)
Photos by www.jamesprickett.co.uk:
(top) Megan Burrows is challenged by Lisa Nixon
(middle) Shannon Burden battles for the ball with Nicola Henman
(bottom) Olivia Abraham slides in to tackle Charleen Cairns
United States 1 (Morgan 37)>
United States 1 (Morgan 37)
A spirited performance from Scotland was ultimately not enough to claim a famous victory over the USA, with the world champions edging a thoroughly entertaining encounter by a single goal.
Alex Morgan's first half volley proved the difference between the two sides, in a match which saw Scotland go toe-to-toe with the world's best in their first home fixture since qualifying for the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup in France.
With the Paisley crowd in full voice, Scotland made the brighter start, and almost opened the scoring within four minutes. Jane Ross's flick on from a free kick found Claire Emslie at the back post, with the winger's effort deflected behind. From the resulting corner, Ross saw a header fly just over the bar, yet Shelley Kerr's side were in the game.
The USA are not the world champions for nothing, however, and served a reminder of their attacking threat on 14 minutes. A superb through ball from Julie Ertz found Alex Morgan on the run, with the striker cutting back inside and finding the supporting Mallory Pugh, who was unable to direct her effort on target.
In what was developing into a hugely enjoyable affair, both sides were looking for the elusive breakthrough. Morgan almost provided it on 22 minutes when, having chested down a floated crossfield pass from Carli Lloyd, her half volley across goal was diverted away by Jennifer Beattie's block. Beattie's centre-back partner Rachel Corsie was next to deny the USA, with the Scotland captain getting in the way of two goalbound shots in rapid succession.
At the other end, Kerr's side almost opened the scoring themselves on the half hour mark, with Ross the length of a bootlace away from turning Erin Cuthbert's corner into the USA goal.
It was, however, the visitors that opened the scoring on 37 minutes. Pugh's deep cross found the unmarked Morgan, whose sublime volley gave Lee Alexander no chance and gave the USA the half time lead.
Undeterred, Scotland continued to play their high tempo brand of attacking football after the break, with a lovely piece of skill from Caroline Weir producing the first opportunity of the second half as her attempted shot was blocked by Becky Sauerbrunn.
Shannon Lynn had replaced Alexander in the Scotland goal at the interval, and produced a superb save on 52 minutes to deny Julie Ertz. A flowing move involving Pugh, Morgan and Lloyd saw the ball worked to the midfielder on the edge of the box, but Lynn was equal to the driven shot.
The game was flowing from end to end, with USA goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris called into action by the next attack as Ross directed a header towards goal after good work from Fiona Brown.
With the game still in the balance, the USA were handed a gilt-edged opportunity to strengthen their grip on proceedings on the hour mark. Kirsty Smith was adjudged to have clipped the onrushing Pugh in the box, with referee Amy Fearn showing no hesitation in pointing to the spot. However, Lloyd cannoned her penalty off the crossbar and the margin remained a single goal.
Scotland kept pressing for an equaliser, and almost found one on 75 minutes. A strong tackle from Christie Murray and a neat one-two between Cuthbert and Lana Clelland saw Cuthbert burst into the USA box, with the Chelsea striker only denied by some frantic USA scramble defence. Chances were coming thick and fast, with Morgan firing into the side netting for the world champions after being played in by Lloyd.
Then came a glorious chance for the home side. Having sprung the offside trap, Clelland took aim at the USA goal with no defenders in sight, only for Harris to produce a diving save to preserve the world champions' lead.
USA were hanging on as the game entered its closing moments, with Emslie and Cuthbert both causing no end of problems for the defence. A determined run from the latter earned a free kick 20 yards out, but Weir's shot was turned away by the defensive wall.
It proved to be the final chance for Kerr's team, with the USA holding on to eke out the victory and seal an unbeaten 2018.
Scotland: Lee Alexander (sub Shannon Lynn 45mins), Chloe Arthur (sub Kirsty Smith 45mins), Rachel Corsie, Jennifer Beattie, Hayley Lauder (sub Frankie Brown 45mins), Joanne Love (sub Christie Murray 65mins), Caroline Weir, Fiona Brown (sub Lizzie Arnot 84mins), Erin Cuthbert, Claire Emslie, Jane Ross (sub Lana Clelland 75mins). Subs not used: Jenna Fife, Nicola Docherty, Zoe Ness, Leanne Crichton, Joelle Murray, Sam Kerr.
USA: Ashlyn Harris, Emily Sonnett (sub Jessica McDonald 68mins), Becky Sauerbrunn, Abby Dahlkemper, Emily Fox (sub Danielle Colaprico 75mins), Crystal Dunn, Julie Ertz, Rose Lavelle, Alex Morgan (sub Allie Long 87mins), Carli Lloyd (sub Samantha Mewis 90mins), Mallory Pugh. Subs not used: Adrianna Franch, Andi Sullivan, Megan Rapinoe.
Portugal 0 Wales 0
Wales continued their preparations for the Euro 2021 qualification campaign with a goalless draw against Portugal in their last game of 2018.
Manager Jayne Ludlow made one change from the side that lost to the Portuguese on Saturday, giving Ella Powell her first start for the senior side. Wales started on the back foot as Portugal piled on the attack from the first minute, with their closest chance forcing captain Sophie Ingle to make a goal line clearance in her 90th match for her country.
Following Ingle's clearance Wales settled into the game and cut out several Portuguese threats before they reached the final third. Unable to break through the Welsh defence, Portugal turned to shooting from distance and forced Laura O'Sullivan into a terrific diving safe towards the end of the first half.
Ludlow made several changes in the second half, introducing Rhiannon Roberts and Megan Wynne into the full back roles and an opportunity for Charlie Estcourt, returning from injury after last representing Wales against England in April. Wales became more direct in their attacks, with the Portuguese unable to deal with Wynne's pace and Angharad James, playing her 70th match, was unlucky not to see one of her through balls set up a clear opportunity as she fed through Helen Ward.
Despite the pressure increasing on Portugal, a rare opportunity for Francisco Neto's side saw a zipping free kick from out wide sail across the goalmouth and skim the crossbar, getting the crowd at the Municipial Stadium in Cova De Piedade.
Wales had to play the final few minutes with ten players after Kayleigh Green received a second booking and despite heavy pressure, Ludlow's side were unable to break through and find a winning goal.
Wales: Laura O'Sullivan, Ffion Morgan (sub Megan Wynne 45mins), Gemma Evans (sub Rhiannon Roberts 45mins), Sophie Ingle, Nadia Lawrence, Hayley Ladd, Angharad James, Elise Hughes (sub Charlie Estcourt 61mins), Ella Powell (sub Natasha Harding 30mins), Kayleigh Green, Helen Ward (sub Kylie Nolan 75mins). Subs not used: Claire Skinner, Olivia Clarke, Chloe Williams, Hannah Miles, Kelly Isaac, Cori Williams.
Watford Football Club are delighted to announce that Grace Williams has been appointed the new General Manager of Watford FC Ladies.
A former Watford Academy and Centre of Excellence player, Grace is more than familiar with the Golden Girls and brings a wealth of footballing knowledge to the role. And, having also managed a fitness club, she has a rounded background that enables her to take on every challenge thrown at her and the Golden Girls moving forward.
The first match under her stewardship was last Sunday - Remembrance Day - as Head Coach Armand Kavaja's side lined up in a local derby against MK Dons Ladies at Kings Langley FC.
Williams, though, is already looking further forward to the challenges facing the Ladies in the short, mid, and long-term, and is relishing the prospect of taking the Golden Girls forward.
"It's a dream [of mine], working for Watford FC, since being part of the academy as a young girl," Williams told the club's website.
"Watford is an ambitious club and I relate to and appreciate the core values of the club, I think Watford FC Ladies are moving in the right direction and I want to be part of the growth and development of the club as well as Women's football as a whole."
That drive to push Women's football - and Watford FC Ladies in particular - to its limit lie at the heart of Williams' motivations.
"My goals are solely to promote and continue to represent to a high standard, Watford FC Ladies," said the General Manager.
"This can consist of league promotion, increasing our match day attendances, working with the local community and sponsors.
"This isn't just a job for me, football is my passion and I hope to show my commitment to the role with professionalism and dedication to what I am doing and going that extra mile for the club to achieve these goals."
Formerly an academy coach in the United States, Williams managed and coached her own teams in a town called Madison in Connecticut, working with boys and girls from Under-12 to Under-14 levels.
"It was amazing working in women's football in the USA," said the former centre of excellence player. "Mainly because of the drive and passion for the majority of young girls to play football as their main sport.
"There is a clear importance to be involved and develop in America, which is something that is becoming apparent over here. I hope to bring over the importance of women's football from youth to elite development and promote women's football, especially, at Watford FC Ladies."
Arsenal have announced the signing of Janni Arnth Jenson from Swedish side Linkoping FC.
An experienced defender and former captain of Linkoping, Janni's club achievements include winning the Elitedivisionen - the top tier of women's league in Denmark - and the Damallsvenskan - the top flight women's league in Sweden - twice.
Janni is a Denmark international, having played at under-17, under-19, under-23 and senior levels.
Joe Montemurro told www.arsenal.com: "Janni is an experienced professional and an important addition to our squad. Her understanding of the game, technical knowledge and game experience is important for our squad to grow. We are pleased to have her with us and I am looking forward to working with her."
East Midlands League
Oughtibridge have gone level on points with league leaders Leicester City Women Development, who were on FA Cup duty, after a Lauren Turner goal gave them a 1-0 win over Mansfield Town. Loughborough Students defeated Kettering Town 6-3 and are two points behind in third. their tally included doubles from Abbie Bensted and Grace Stanley. Shoniqua Barnes (2), Cala Thornton, Emma White, Charlotte Appleby, Toni Charlton and Lucy Hamilton were on the scoresheet as Ollerton Town won 7-0 against Eastwood Community and Woodlands Ladies scored five times without reply past Leicester City Ladies, Jody Scott was on target four times and Abbie Taylor added the other.
Lincoln Moorlands Railway kept hold of the leadership of Division One North, thanks to a 7-1 victory over Retford Utd. Hayley McCabe and Lauren Churcher both netted twice along with Dawn Harmer, Sammy Boothright and Jade Baker. Boston Utd remain one point behind after beating Calverton MW 7-2, Eleanor Spendelow, Toni McHamilton and Tracey Duxbury-Mead each bagged doubles and Ella Tuplin completed the scoring. Zoe Hopewell (2), Lindsey Creasy and Kirsty Dalzell accounted for the goals as third placed Hykeham Town defeated Arnold Town 4-0 and Sleaford Town came from behind during the second half to beat Grimsby Borough 2-1, Jade Welch scoring both.
Northampton Town made it six wins out of six and this keeps them three points ahead at the top of Division One South. Leah Stacey, Francesca Speck and Emma Billenness scored the goals as Northampton beat Notts County 3-0. Second placed Oadby & Wigston got back to winning ways with a 6-4 success against Lutterworth Athletic, Lucy Phillips-Poole hitting a hat-trick with Emma Aspinall, Samantha Hargrave and Sophie Tew adding the others. Corby Town won for the second time this season, 4-1 over Thrapston Town thanks to braces from Rebekah Jones and Zoe Watkins.
Eastern Region League
A 3-2 win away to Bedford Ladies has taken Royston Town back into second place in the Premier Division, two points behind leaders Cambridge City. Danielle Carty, Hayley Elderd and Rebecca Scott scored Royston's goals, with Michelle Byrne and Sophie Mulvihill replying. Peterborough Northern Star meanwhile edged out Acle Utd 4-3 and they also stay in close touch, Katie Steward hitting a hat-trick and Emma Pollard adding the other goal. Laura Nicholls was another hat-trick scorer as Wymondham Town beat Haringey Borough 6-0, she was joined on the scoresheet by Leah Newcombe, Mollie O'Callaghan and Hannah Waters. Harlow Town also netted six times against AFC Sudbury, courtesy of a treble from Lily Bruno, along with Chloe Bassett, Abbey Dell and Tayla Handscombe, and Colney Heath were 4-1 winners over AFC Dunstable.
Stevenage Ladies Res returned to action with another victory and this sees them extend their Division One lead to seven points. Nicole Emmings (2), Hannah Marshall and Emily Schofield were on the scoresheet as they won 4-3 away to Lawford. Hutton are third after being held to a 2-2 draw by Bowers & Pitsea. Sophie Dowman and Danielle Styles were on target for Bowers, with Hutton replying through a Victoria Kinsman double. Becky Scola and Kristina O'Connell netted the goals as Hoddesdon Town Owls beat Hertford Town 2-0 and Bishop's Stortford gained their first victory in style, 6-0 against Hatfield Peveral with Brogan McHale bagging a hat-trick, whilst the others came from Jemma Good, Teigan McHale and Heather Martin.
London & South East League
Eastbourne Town have narrowed the gap on leaders Whyteleafe to a single point after they defeated Parkwood Rangers 5-0. Catherine Hyland hit a hat-trick for Eastbourne along with Claire Anderson and an own goal. London Kent Football Utd meanwhile ran out 4-1 winners over Aylesford, courtesy of a goal apiece from Darcey Charlesworth, Danielle Harrison, Elizabeth Adams and Adele Keech with Beth Hulme replying.
North East League
Durham Cestria now head the Premier Division table by nine points after a ten-goal victory over Wallsend Boys Club. Caroline Dixon and Ellie Smith each netted four times and they were joined on the scoresheet by Chloe Ryan and Sophie Hodgson. Harrogate Town defeated Tynedale 4-2 and replace them in second place. Grace Adams, Ellie Randall, Sophie Simpson and Sophie Tinson all scored for Harrogate, with Megan Watson and Lauren Ray replying. Sophie Halliday and Dionne Fleming were on target as South Shields won 2-0 against Farsley Celtic and York City returned from Castleford White Rose with a 6-1 victory under their belts, Ainsley Strickland netting twice along with Chantel Padgham, Sara Renfrew, Jasmine Whitwell and Alice Turner.
Redcar Town have steadily climbed up the Northern Division over the past few weeks and this has taken them all the way to the top of the table, which they reached on Sunday with a 4-1 win away to St Cuthbert's Ladies, the prolific Jess Round scoring all four goals. Redcar head a trio of clubs level on points at the top, with Consett Ladies lying in second following their 8-1 victory over Prudhoe Town. Beth Wilson also bagged herself a four-goal haul whilst Carolanne Hughes bagged a brace along with Nicole McEvoy and an own goal. Sunderland West End had started the day as leaders but are back in third after they were beaten 4-2 by Boro Rangers, who scored through Vicky Gunn, Lindsay Robinson, Larissa Burkinshaw and Jessica Thomas. Georgia Latto was on target for Alnwick Town in their 1-1 draw with unbeaten Washington Association, who replied through Beth White, and goals from Ellie Hamilton (2), Louise Atkinson, Hannah Knox and Caitlin Jones earned Norton & Stockton Ancients Res a 5-0 win away to Cramlington Utd.
It was announced this week that Doncaster Belles (Women's) have withdrawn from the Southern Division and their playing record has been expunged. The re-calculated table has left Ossett Utd even further clear at the top, now heading the table by ten points, whilst Sheffield Wednesday are in fourth after winning the only match in the division to be played on Sunday, 7-0 against Wakefield. Sophie Eyre and Jessica Morrison each netted twice for Wednesday, along with Emily Higgins, Emma Otley and an own goal.
North West League
With Stockport County involved in the FA Cup on Sunday, Mossley Hill replaced them as Premier Division leaders by winning 5-0 away to Penrith AFC. Tranmere Rovers complete a trio of teams level on points at the top of the table following their 4-2 victory over Fleetwood Town Wrens. Manchester Stingers meanwhile cemented themselves in fifth place, thanks to a 6-1 success away to Accrington Girls & Ladies.
Blackpool turned up the heat at the top of Division One North, running out 7-0 winners at Preston North End to open up a lead of seven points. Third placed Cammell Laird 1907 scored eleven times past Leigh RMI and they are a single point off second place, as are Carlisle Utd following their 6-3 victory over Crosby Ladies. Penwortham Town defeated Burscough Dynamo 2-1 to move into mid-table.
There has been a change of leadership in Division One South, where Liverpool Feds Res have gone top after a 3-2 victory away to Northwich Vixens. A win would have seen either Warrington Wolverines or Curzon Ashton take over at the top but they are in third and fourth respectively after their meeting ended in a 1-1 draw. Chester FC Women made up ground on the top four by running out 5-1 winners over Wythenshawe Amateurs, whilst Stockport County Blues triumphed 5-0 at Didsbury.
South West League
Bishop's Lydeard have returned to the top of the league following their 5-1 victory over Torquay Utd. Abigail Parr hit a hat-trick and Holly Miller added the other two, with Dani Harper. Previous leaders Exeter City were beaten 3-0 by Keynsham Town Development, who are now only three points off the pace. All of the goals came during the first half, Libby Sims netting a brace, with Rhianna Ben-Carew also on target. Third placed Marine Academy Plymouth meanwhile stepped up their challenge by winning 8-1 against Downend Flyers. Sam Drewery was on target four times, Jaydee Seaman weighed in with a hat-trick and Eden May completed the scoring, with Downend's consolation coming from Charlotte Woodman. Callington Town leapfrogged Portishead Town in the table after winning their meeting 2-1, Chloe Williams and Eleri Griffiths netting their goals and Ruby Lowe replying. Shannon Crouch scored the only goal of the game as Ilminster Town beat Forest Green Rovers 1-0.
Frampton Rangers have returned to the top of the Eastern Division after winning 4-2 away to Swindon Spitfires. Maddy Brown hit a hat-trick for the second successive week and Chloe Timbrell was also on target, whilst the home side responded through Jasmine Hindon and Chloe Neate. Wootton Bassett Town are continuing to make their way up the table and are fourth following their 2-0 victory over Almondsbury, Emily Arrell scoring both goals. Emma Cottier-Small and Sheridan Palk were on the scoresheet as Laverstock & Ford won 2-0 away to Oldland Abbotonians and Swindon Town Development defeated FC Chippenham 9-2, Helena Diaz-Butcher bagging a hat-trick along with Natalie Goodright (2), Chantelle Goodright, Rianne Lewis, Julia Teasdale and Wendy Lacey.
Plymouth Argyle Development have gone six points clear at the top of the Western Division with a 2-1 victory over Weston Mendip. Alex Hugh and Shania Fenlon were on target for Argyle, with the visitors' consolation coming from Katie Sharkey. Bideford have entered the top three by winning 7-1 away to Exeter & Tedburn Rangers, Beth Ellis hit a hat-trick and she was joined on the scoresheet by Samantha Ayres, Phoebe Baker, Caroline Parsons and Hannah Neve. Pen Mill and Weston-super-Mare meanwhile battled out a 5-5 draw, the Yeovil-based side having been three goals down at the interval. Leonie Hobbs scored a hat-trick for Pen Mill, whose other strikes came from Letisha Templer and Megan Gratton, whilst Weston found the net through Phoebe Payton (2), Ellison Roberts (2) and Gabrielle Massey.
Southern Region League
Danielle Anderson and Lauren May were on target twice, along with April England and Edie Garrett, as Oxford City won 6-1 away to Warsash Wasps to go level on points with leaders Southampton FC Ladies, who were on FA Cup duty. Woodley Utd were unable to do likewise as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Ascot Utd, Eva Thomas netting a late equaliser after Ascot had earlier taken the lead through Hannah Evans. Newbury Ladies meanwhile won for the first time, 2-1 against Winchester City Flyers thanks to first half goals from Ellernore Reed and Caroline Harkness.
In Division One, Wycombe Wanderers got back to winning ways with a 3-0 success against Southampton Women Res, which takes them to within three points of leaders Moneyfields. Tara Woodward spearheaded the win for Wycombe by scoring a hat-trick. Wargrave Ladies meanwhile defeated Alton Ladies 2-0, courtesy of two first half goals from Ciara Anderson.
West Midlands League
Sutton Coldfield Town have ascended to the top of the Premier Division following their 2-0 victory against Coventry Sphinx. Leafield Athletic claimed their fifth win in a row, beating Worcester Utd 5-0, and this has taken them into second place. Crusaders climbed up to fourth with a 2-1 success away to Stockingford AA Pavilion, whilst Redditch Utd and Goldenhill Wanderers battled out a 4-4 draw.
Leek Town made it ten wins out of ten when running out 4-0 winners away to Shrewsbury Town. They remain nine points clear at the top of Division One North from Stoke City Development, who defeated Florence 5-1. AFC Telford Utd came away from Wyrley Ladies with a 2-1 victory under their belts and Shifnal Town netted eight times without reply past Port Vale.
Sedgley & Gornal Utd are continuing to set a fast pace in Division One South, preserving their nine point lead with a 3-1 success away to Rugby Town. Solihull Utd continue to head the chasing teams following their 3-0 win at Coventry City Women, maintaining their 100% record. Stourbridge were 3-1 winners over Kingfisher and Droitwich Spa broke their duck with a first victory, 4-2 against Solihull Sporting.
Arsenal goal ace Vivianne Miedema has been named FA Women's Super League Player of the Month for October.
The Netherlands striker was in unstoppable form last month, scoring seven goals in three fixtures, including her third hat-trick of the season, against Reading FC Women as the Gunners swept all before them to go top of the league.
Miedema's exploits last month also saw her become the first player to hit double figures this season, with 14 goals in all competitions this campaign. Her Arsenal team mate Jordan Nobbs was also nominated for the award, along with Manchester City duo Georgia Stanway and Caroline Weir.
Rianna Dean, meanwhile, was voted the FA Women's Championship player of the month for October.
The Tottenham Hotspur forward scored six goals in three games, including a hat-trick against her former club, Millwall Lionesses. She has eight goals in seven league matches so far this season.
Dean's fine October was capped by being called up to the England Under-21 squad. Spurs are top of the Championship with 18 points, their only defeat coming against second placed Manchester United.
The sudden withdrawal of Caernarfon Town during the past week from the Orchard Welsh Premier Women's League has led to a re-calculation of the table as their playing record was expunged.
Of the leading sides, only Swansea City were affected by losing a victory and three points. The bottom four teams all had a win deducted from their records, meaning that Briton Ferry Llansawel lose their only points picked up so far.
As a result of the loss of Caernarfon, the fixture schedule was reduced to just a single match on Sunday and it saw Abergavenny Women consolidate themselves in second place, and narrow the gap on leaders Cardiff Met Women to four points, thanks to an impressive 4-0 victory over Cyncoed Ladies.
Kate Jeremiah opened the scoring on the half hour and Aber took their one-goal lead into the break. Laura Davies doubled their advantage eight minutes after the restart and a quickfire brace from in-form striker Lyndsey Davies sealed a fine result for her side.
Free scoring Blackburn Rovers took their tally to 20 goals in three games when they won 7-0 away to third placed Derby County.
The home side went into the game having only lost once all season and major contenders for the title but found themselves two down inside the opening seven minutes, Natasha Fenton and Saffron Jordan both scoring. Lynda Shepherd added a third before half time and after the break, in-form Jordan netted twice more in a three minute spell to complete her hat-trick, with Eve Kennerley and Alex Taylor also getting on the scoresheet.
Blackburn now head the table by a margin of six points from Huddersfield Town, who are up into second following their 2-1 win away to Nottingham Forest. Ashleigh Edwards gave Forest an eighth minute lead and they remained in front at half time but within nine minutes of the restart, Brittany Sanderson and Kate Mallin both scored to turn matters around in Huddersfield's favour and they held on to notch up their third victory in four matches.
Sunderland suffered a blow to their challenge as they were beaten 3-2 in a thrilling game by Stoke City, who have found their best form again following a bad spell. There were three goals inside the opening six minutes, Amy Hughes and Ashleigh Hayes both scoring for Stoke either side of a reply from Bridget Galloway and Sunderland hit back once again thanks to Anna Young, to ensure the scores were level at the break. The game remained tight during the second half and looked to be heading towards a draw but four minutes into injury time, Emily Owen popped up to grab a winner for Stoke which moves them to within two points of the third placed Wearsiders.
Fylde Ladies stay in the top half of the table after sharing four goals with Middlesbrough. Sasha Rowe gave Fylde the lead midway through the first half and after the break, Tyler Dodds brought 'Boro back on level terms. Jenna Carroll put the Coasters back in front five minutes later but their hopes of a fifth straight league win were dashed ten minutes from time, when Emma Kelly struck to earn Middlesbrough a point.
Hull City claimed their second victory in successive weeks when they defeated Sheffield FC 4-2, and this has moved them into a mid-table position. Ellie Jackman was on target twice for Hull along with Amy Blinkhorn and Harley Skinner, whilst Lisa Giampalma netted a brace in reply.
Doncaster Rovers Belles meanwhile picked up their second win of the season, 5-1 against Bradford City whose worrying run of defeats has now stretched to ten matches. Abby Watkinson netted twice for the Belles and she was joined on the scoresheet by Chloe Bethell, Emily Brett and Izzy Whittle, with Bradford's consolation coming from Shirley Murphy.
Leaders Chichester City made it nine wins in ten matches when beating C & K Basildon 4-2 and this keeps them two points clear at the top of the table.
C & K led at the break through a Holly Turner goal but substitute Cherelle Khassal was a second half heroine for Chichester, marking her 50th appearance for the club by bagging a hat-trick, with an own goal completing their tally. Courtney Clark reduced the arrears late on but it could not prevent Chichester from notching up a fifth straight league win.
Coventry Utd made sure of keeping hard on Chichester's heels by running out 7-1 winners over Queen's Park Rangers. After Jo Wilson had given Rangers an early lead, Coventry hit back strongly with Maz Gauntlett and Shannon O'Brien ensuring they were in front at half time. After the break, Jade Brook, Lois Jefferies and Amber Hughes extended Coventry's lead before Amy Wathan rounded off the scoring with a late double.
Watford lost ground in third place when they went down to a 3-0 defeat at the hands of Milton Keynes Dons. Leah Littlechild scored direct from a corner to give MK a first half lead which was doubled on the half hour by Eleanor Gough. Leah Cudone crowned an excellent day for the Dons six minutes from time when she netted their third goal, to round off their best result of the season so far.
Loughborough Foxes made it three wins on the trot with a 2-1 success against Portsmouth. An own goal sixteen minutes from time proved to be decisive in the Foxes' favour, Rebecca Knight having earlier scored for Loughbrough during the first half and Pompey replying through Rachel Panting.
Oxford Utd moved above Plymouth Argyle into fifth place after winning their meeting 2-1. The U's led at half time through an eleventh minute strike from Sophie Baker, with Katie Middleton equalising for Argyle three minutes into the second half. A well contested game looked to be heading towards a draw until four minutes from time, when Georgia Timms kept up Oxford's improving form by scoring the winning goal from the penalty spot.
Burnley FC Women took full advantage of Brighouse Town being on SSE Women's FA Cup duty to return to the top of the table, courtesy of a 4-0 victory over Crewe Alexandra.
After a goalless first half, Sarah Greenhalgh opened the scoring for Burnley on the hour mark and goals in a three minute spell from Leah Embley and Charlotte Banner put them in a commanding position. Greenhalgh rounded off a good day for her side in injury time when she netted her second, and Burnley's fourth, from the penalty spot.
In the other game, Barnsley kept up their good run of form by beating Morecambe 3-1. Drew Greene, Kathryn Smith and Amy Woodruff were all on target to seal a third straight league win for Barnsley and although they are actually fourth from bottom in the table, such is the tightness of the table, they are only three points behind third placed Chester-le-Street Town. Jess Tait netted a consolation goal for Morecambe who remain in the bottom two places.
In the only match to be played in the division, Sporting Khalsa lifted themselves into a mid-table position with a 4-0 victory away to The New Saints.
Paige Kavanagh, Stephanie Kydd and Chloe Evans were all on target for Khalsa, with a late own goal completing the scoring.
Leyton Orient moved back into fifth place in the table after running out 5-0 winners over Enfield Town in the solitary match to be played.
A win would have taken Enfield up into second place, ahead of Billericay Town, but instead it was the O's who raced into a three-goal lead during the first half thanks to Tara O'Halloran, Hayley Barton and an own goal. After the break, Chanel Richards netted twice to round off the win and extend Orient's unbeaten run in the league to five matches.
Southampton Women have made a swift return to top spot as, with Keynsham Town on FA Cup duty, they moved three points in front of them by winning 2-1 against Chesham Utd.
After Chesham had gone ahead on the half hour, the home side hit back with a Chelsie Hay double which earned them their seventh win in as many matches.
Brislington, meanwhile, also came from behind to beat Southampton Saints 2-1 and they are up into fourth place, their highest position of the season to date. Emma King fired the Saints ahead just before the half hour but their lead lasted only four minutes, Polly Wardle bringing the home side back on level terms and after both teams had had opportunities to score after the break, Wardle burst through to score her second with twelve minutes remaining and tip the balance of the match Brislington's way.
Blackburn Rovers have returned to the top of Northern Division One after beating Huddersfield Town 3-2. Megan Hornby, Isabel Pacitto and Ria Montgomery put Blackburn three ahead inside the opening seventeen minutes and although Arianne Parnham brought Huddersfield back into the game with a second half double, Rovers saw the game out to open up a lead of two points from Huddersfield and previous leaders Sheffield Utd, who were defeated 2-1 by Newcastle Utd. Rachel Bell and Anna Soulsby scored the goals for Newcastle, to help their side make up ground on the top three.
Kadie Morrison hit a hat-trick, with Georgia Walmsley and Abigail Fenton hitting the others, as Northern Division Two leaders Chorley ran out 5-1 winners over Leeds Utd. They continue to head the table on goal difference from Guiseley Vixens who scored ten times without reply past Fylde Ladies. Amy Knott, Ellie Casper and Monika Stube all bagged doubles for Guiseley with Jodie Hunter, Kirstie Hunt, Elisha Hardcastle and Maria Ledezma-Viso accounting for the others. Barnsley meanwhile defeated Burnley FC Women 4-0 thanks to a goal apiece from Betty Cheetham, Alayna Millard and Lauryn Wilcock.
Midland Division table toppers Stoke City made it six wins out of six when beating Nottingham Forest 2-0. Nuala Miszkiel and Megan Kolbuck scored the goals to keep Stoke two points clear at the top, in front of three teams headed by Derby County who ran out 12-1 winners over Crewe Alexandra. Naomi Lawrence was on target four times and Ella Ritchie contributed a hat-trick, whilst Kirsty Allen (2), Taviah Myles, Harriet Heaney and Kira Raj added the others. Nicola Russell hit a hat-trick with Holly Gibson, Harriet Simes, Libbie-Mae Taylor, Indiana Totty and Paige Gunn also on the scoresheet as Loughborough Foxes defeated Burton Albion 8-2 and Leicester City Women complete the trio after beating Coventry Utd 3-1, courtesy of a Shannon Henson hat-trick. West Bromwich Albion follow on after their 9-1 victory over Sporting Khalsa, Kathryn Pagan scoring a hat-trick along with Grace Harris (2), Natalya Pulver (2), Rebecca Gompertz and Marianne Taho.
Charlton Athletic are back on top of the South/South East Division after winning 11-1 against Milton Keynes Dons. Melanie Parreno Espinosa bagged herself a four-goal, with the Addicks' others coming from Flo Jackson (2), Leigh Nicol, Jessica Carpanini, Olivia Hembrough, Georgia Griffin and Maisie Joyce. Watford meanwhile went one better by scoring twelve times without reply past Norwich City, Andie Dickens hitting a hat-trick, Laura Baker and Jessica Biggerstaff each weighing in with a double and there was one apiece from Lucy Webster, Hannah Coote, Eshe Johnson, Holly Holt and Holly Greenwood.
AFC Wimbledon remain in second place in the South/South West Division after battling out a 1-1 draw with Denham Utd. A win would have taken Wimbledon top of the table but had to settle for a share of the spoils thanks to Amy Lake's goal. Lewes meanwhile won 3-0 against Southampton Women, courtesy of a goal each from Mia Hyland, Moona Shioui and Skye Bacon.
The draw for the Second Round of the SSE Women's FA Cup has been made.
This is the stage where the Northern and Southern Premier Division clubs in the FA Women's National League enter the competition for the first time.
Ties are to be played on Sunday 2nd December.
Second Round draw:
Sheffield FC v Nottingham Forest
Long Eaton Utd v Hull City
Leeds Utd v Doncaster Rovers Belles
Huddersfield Town v Bradford City
Sunderland v Fylde Ladies
Chester-le-Street Town v Stoke City
Middlesbrough v Stockport County
Bolton Wanderers v West Bromwich Albion
Guiseley Vixens v Derby County
Wolverhampton Wanderers v Blackburn Rovers
Keynsham Town v C & K Basildon
Loughborough Foxes v Gillingham
Billericay Town v Luton Town
Milton Keynes Dons v Southampton FC Ladies
New London Lionesses or AFC Wimbledon v Portsmouth
Oxford Utd v Cambridge City
Watford v Buckland Athletic
Coventry Utd v Plymouth Argyle
Crawley Wasps v Chichester City
Cardiff City Ladies v Queen's Park Rangers
Cambridge City became one of three Regional League clubs to knock out National League opposition in the SSE Women's FA Cup First Round when they won their local derby 2-1 against Cambridge Utd, after extra time.
The first half was goalless but the deadlock was broken during the second half by Jade Bell, putting the U's in front. It looked as though United were going to make it through to the next round but as the game went into injury time, Isabella Simmons bundled home an equaliser following a scramble to take the game into extra time, where City scored within two minutes of the restart through Laura Mills and the Eastern Region League side held out for a famous win which sees them reach the Second Round for the first time, where their opponents will be Oxford Utd who enter the competition at this stage along with the other Northern and Southern Premier Division teams.
Stockport County meanwhile claimed a fine 2-1 win away to FAWNL Division One North high fliers Chorley. Melissa Ball headed Chorley in front on the hour mark but Stockport hit back late on and after Chloe Mapp had levelled a scores, a deflected free kick by Claire O'Reilly in the dying minutes sent the North West League leaders through to a Second Round meeting with Middlesbrough.
Southampton FC Ladies claimed another National League scalp when they defeated Poole Town 3-0. Georgie Freeland gave the Saints the lead on the stroke of half time and they went on to crown the win with second half goals from Shannon Sievwright and Ella Pusey. Southampton will be away again in the next round to Milton Keynes Dons.
Leeds Utd got through with a 1-0 win against Brighouse Town. Hannah Campbell scored the only goal of the game with seven minutes remaining and this sets up another Yorkshire derby tie in the next round against Doncaster Rovers Belles.
Chester-le-Street Town meanwhile negotiated a tough tie away to FC United of Manchester with a 5-0 victory, The home side went into the game in very good form but National League status won through on the day; all of the goals came during the second half with Nichole Havery netting twice for the Cestrians along with Elizabeth Thompson-Clarke, Jessica Ellison and Lucy Jackman. Chester-le-Street have landed a plum home tie in the Second Round against Stoke City.
Bolton Wanderers enjoyed a successful trip to the North East, returning from Norton & Stockton Ancients with a 1-0 victory under their belts. Safron Newhouse settled matters in Bolton's favour with the game's solitary goal during the first half.
Bolton will be at home in the next round to West Bromwich Albion, who were 2-1 winners over Leicester City Women Development. The East Midlands League side gave a good account of themselves but goals from Chloe Harper and Gabriella Reid gave Albion victory.
Nettleham and Long Eaton Utd are level on points in Division One Midlands at the moment, so it was no surprise that the teams produced a closely fought tie between them. In the end it was Long Eaton who triumphed 3-2, a Jade Arber double and an own goal setting them up with a Second Round tie at home to Hull City, whilst Abigail Murrell netted twice in reply for Nettleham.
Kidderminster Harriers' Cup run was brought to an end as they were beaten 6-1 by Wolverhampton Wanderers. The Harriers team, and coaching staff, contained several who were up against their former club but they were unable to prevent Wolves from progressing with a goal apiece from Billie Haynes, Andrea Barnett, Anna Price, Jade Cross, Jess Jennings and Nyah Edwards.
Only one of the ties went all the way to penalties, Luton Town triumphing from the spot after being held to a 1-1 draw by Kent Football Utd (see match report). Luton have been handed a tough away trip in the next round to Billericay Town, who were 3-2 extra time winners over Norwich City after having been two goals behind at one stage.
Crawley Wasps had a much smoother passage on the day, ensuring there were no upsets as they beat Queen's Park Rangers Development 6-0. Emma Plewa led the scoring for Crawley with a hat-trick and also on target were Kemina Webber, Megan Stow and Ariana Flieschman. Crawley will now take on Southern Premier Division leaders Chichester City in what is set to be one of the most intriguing ties in the Second Round.
Keynsham Town ended the hopes of AFC Bournemouth by beating them 8-1. Justine Lorton and Jade Radburn both netted first half doubles, with Ellis Hillman also getting on the scoresheet on her return from injury. After the break, Cristina Vega Leandro, Kerry Bartlett and Laura Williams completed the scoring whilst the Cherries' consolation came from Jade Hockey. Keynsham will be at home to C & K Basildon in the next round.
Buckland Athletic marched into the Second Round for the first time, thanks to a 2-0 victory over Cheltenham Town. Sarah Stacey gave Buckland the lead with twenty minutes on the clock, with Natalie Warman sealing a trip to Watford when scoring the second goal, midway through the second half.
One tie still remains to be played, New London Lionesses' home game with AFC Wimbledon having been postponed. They will try again this week to battle out and see who will host Portsmouth in the next round.
Photo - Keynsham Town striker Kerry Bartlett takes on Charlotte Eastman of AFC Bournemouth.
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