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England Women have taken the difficult decision today to cancel the squad's away fixture against Germany, scheduled to take place on Tuesday 27th October.
This follows the return of a positive COVID-19 test result for a member of the Lionesses' backroom staff and our consequent concern for the safety and welfare of all players and staff which remains our top priority.
The current COVID-19 protocol enforced by the German government requires that any individual who tests positive whilst in the country must self-isolate for 14 days. We cannot take the risk that this may happen to a player or member of England staff.
The FA's chief executive Mark Bullingham said: "This has been a difficult but necessary decision. Nothing is more important than the safety, health and wellbeing of the players and colleagues under our care.
"We are very grateful to the DFB for their cooperation and understanding and look forward to the possibility of a future fixture in healthier and safer times."
England head coach Phil Neville said: "While we all wanted to play Tuesday's game, this was absolutely the right course of action. I thank Germany's staff for their understanding and our FA colleagues for their support.
"I know the fans were hoping to see us play again but I am sure they will understand the decision. We have still had a good week of training and are looking forward to getting together next month before our match against Norway in Sheffield."
The remainder of England Women's October camp at St. George's Park has been cancelled and the players will return to their clubs today.
Oxford United have got off to a great start in the FAWNL Southern Premier Division and their 4-1 win over Cardiff City Ladies on Sunday - their fourth victory in a row - has taken them two points clear at the top of the table.
Young midfielder Georgia Brown has been a part of the team's early success this season and she was one of the scorers in the win over Cardiff. She described the display against Cardiff as "very convincing" but admitted there was no room for complacency in what looks a very tough division:
WSS: That was a great result for you on Sunday, against one of the traditionally stronger teams in the division?
GB: Yeah, we knew Cardiff would be tough opposition and having never beaten them in the league before, we had a point to go and prove. It was a great shift from the team, we had worked hard in training and executed our game plan well, so I think we got the result we deserved.
WSS: You got off to a flying start with two goals in the first twenty minutes, was it your intention to take the game to Cardiff right from the start?
GB: Cardiff have always been a well organised team so it was important for us to start strong and get on the front foot. We always look to start with a high intensity, winning our individual battles, so I think that led to us getting those first two goals.
WSS: The Cardiff win is your fourth on the trot and has taken you two points ahead at the top, would you say it was the best the team have played so far?
GB: Yeah, I think we have improved week on week and each game we have built on our previous performances. I think we put in a very convincing display against Cardiff and that shows the hard work the team has been putting in on and off the pitch. As a team we will continue to push forward but we have laid strong foundations to build on for the rest of the season.
WSS: You brought in some new players before the season started, would you say that the squad is now stronger overall?
GB: The signings made in the summer have definitely added to the strength of the squad and provided more depth to the team. They've settled in really quickly and made an immediate impact. It's also introduced healthy competition within the squad for places in the starting eleven, which ensures we all maintain high standards in training and in games.
WSS: Molly Peters was on target again on Sunday and has five league goals to her name already, how pleasing is it that she has started the season so well?
GB: It's been a great start for Molly, providing not only goals but assists as well. It's always reassuring to know your strikers are putting the ball in the back of the net, so hopefully she can continue her form. Overall as well there have been a variety of goalscorers, so it gives the team confidence knowing that we don't just have to rely on one person.
WSS: No game for you this week, but you return the following Sunday against Yeovil, how tough a match are you expecting against them?
GB: With the league being so competitive this season, I think we can expect every game to be a tough game. Yeovil got a draw against Watford at the weekend so there's definitely no room for complacency. We will prepare for the game, as we do every week, and as long as we implement our game plan and carry out our individual roles, hopefully we can come away with three points.
WSS: The division is looking a very strong one overall but if you can keep yourselves in the title race, who do you think your main rivals would be?
GB: Watford and Crawley were obviously our main competitors last season, so I think they're still ones to watch. Although, the league seems a lot more competitive and open this season so I think it's difficult to say as the results so far have been quite mixed.
WSS: It is early days of course, but what would it mean to the club if you were able to regain Championship status in the future?
GB: In the last few years the staff and players have put in a lot of time and effort to build the women's side back up and push for promotion, so to be able to regain Championship status would be a great reward and one I think the club deserves. The team has strengthened each year, since being in the National League, so hopefully the wait won't be too long!
Our thanks to Georgia!
Photo by Darrell Fisher
Scotland 3 (Corsie 37, Weir 76, pen 90)
Scotland resumed their UEFA Women's EURO 2022 qualification campaign with a straightforward 3-0 victory over Albania at Tynecastle Park.
Needing victory to keep pressure on group leaders Finland, Scotland battered a limited Albanian side who had come to Scotland with damage limitation in mind.
Shelley Kerr's side were last in competitive action almost exactly a year ago, when they put five past tonight's opponents in Albania. They showed no signs of rustiness in the early stages, immediately putting pressure on the Albania defence, with the opposition keeper needing to be quick off her line in the third minute to nick the ball away from Jane Ross as she was put through on goal.
The home side quickly picked up where they left off in their previous meeting against Albania, with Scotland camped in the opposition half applying pressure to a packed defence.
Caroline Weir, always looking to get on the ball and dictate play with her range of passing, tried her luck on a number of occasions inside the first 15 minutes without working the keeper.
Scotland almost broke the deadlock on the 17th minute, a deep corner from Claire Emslie headed back across goal into the danger area by Hannah Godfrey that was only half cleared by the Albanian defence to Erin Cuthbert on the edge of the box. Her snapshot rattled the crossbar with the keeper well beaten before bouncing behind for a goal kick.
Scotland had the ball in the back of the net four minutes later, Rachel Corsie forcing home after the visitors failed to deal with a testing cross from the right, only for the assistant referee to flag for offside.
The captain was not to be denied for log though, as she finally broke the stubborn Albanian resistance on 37 minutes, as she rose in the area to power home a beautifully curled Weir free kick for her 17th international goal.
Scotland continued to apply pressure for the remainder of the half against a side that looked increasingly shorn of ideas as time wore on, but were unable to find a second, with Corsie's strike all that separated the teams at half time.
The home side made one change at half time, Boyle - who had been booked in the first half - replaced by Manchester United full back Kirsty Smith. The change did nothing to alter the pattern of the game, with Scotland continuing to camp in the Albanian half without troubling the keeper.
Kerr made two more changes on the 60th minute as she sought to inject new life into the constant waves of Scotland pressure, Leanne Crichton and Martha Thomas replacing Lucy Graham and Jane Ross, with Crichton earning her 70th cap as a result.
Dominating but unable to fashion any really clear cut chances, Scotland continued to press for a second. Thomas was almost played in by Cuthbert after the latter won possession in midfield and played a perfectly-weighted through ball for the striker, only for the keeper to again get off her line quickly to clear the danger.
The second finally came on the 76th minute, Cuthbert laying the ball off for Weir who was lurking menacingly at the edge of the box. Her driven effort took a deflection off the hapless defender and nestled in the back of the net for her 10th international goal.
Caroline Weir rounded off a Player of the Match display with a well taken penalty in injury time after Martha Thomas was fouled in the box.
Scotland: Lee Alexander, Emma Mitchell, Rachel Corsie, Hannah Godfrey, Rachael Boyle (sub Kirsty Smith 45mins), Caroline Weir, Kirsty Hanson, Jane Ross (sub Martha Thomas 60mins), Claire Emslie, Lucy Graham (sub Leanne Crichton 60mins), Erin Cuthbert. Subs not used: Shannon Lynn, Jenna Fife, Nicola Docherty, Rachel McLauchlan, Zoe Ness, Sophie Howard, Christie Murray, Abbi Grant, Lizzie Arnot.
Albania: Viona Rexhepi, Albina Rrahmani, Arbiona Bajraktari, Sara Maliqi (sub Aidena Mustafa 90mins), Zylfije Bajramaj (sub Esi Lufo 86mins), Geldona Morina (sub Endrina Elezaj 72mins), Qendresa Krasniqi, Megi Doci, Alma Hila, Lucie Gjini, Ezmiralda Franja. Subs not used: Ardiola Raxhimi, Arbenita Curraj, Lavdie Begolli, Klaudia Rrotani.
Glasgow City, beaten quarter finalists last season, have been paired with Republic of Ireland champions Peamount Utd in the First Qualifying Round of the UEFA Women's Champions League.
Welsh Premier Women's League title winners Swansea City will be up against Apollon Ladies of Cyprus, whilst Linfield Ladies have a tough task against Anderlecht.
Ties are to be played on 3-4 November and the winners will join the main seeded clubs in the next round, these include England's representatives, Chelsea and Manchester City.
First Qualifying Round draw:
WFC CSKA (RUS) - FC Flora Tallinn (EST)
FC Minsk (BLR) - Rigas Futbola skola (LVA)
ŽFK Spartak Subotica (SRB) - Agarista - SS Anenii Noi (MDA)
WFC Pomurje (SVN) - FK Breznica Pljevlja (MNE)
WFC-2 Kharkiv (UKR) - FC Alashkert (ARM)
FC Okzhetpes (KAZ) - WFC Lanchkhuti (GEO)
Valur FC (ISL) - HJK Helsinki (FIN)
Vĺlerenga Fotball (NOR) - KÍ Klaksvík (FRO)
GKS Górnik Łęczna (POL) - ŽNK Split (CRO)
Apollon Ladies FC (CYP) - Swansea City Ladies (WAL)
Gintra-Universitetas (LTU) - ŠK Slovan Bratislava (SVK)
Ferencvárosi TC (HUN) - Racing FC Union Luxembourg (LUX)
SKN St. Pölten Frauen (AUT) - KFF Mitrovica (KOS)
FC NSA Sofia (BUL) - ZFK Kamenica Sasa (MKD)
RSC Anderlecht (BEL) - Linfield Ladies (NIR)
Glasgow City FC (SCO) - Peamount United (IRL)
A.C. PAOK (GRE) - Sport Lisboa e Benfica (POR)
AFC Universitatea Olimpia Cluj (ROU) - Birkirkara FC (MLT)
KFF Vllaznia (ALB) - ALG Spor Kulübü (TUR)
SFK 2000 Sarajevo (BIH) - WFC Ramat Hasharon (ISR)
A brace from Natasha Harding and goals from Helen Ward and Lily Woodham secured a comfortable 4-0 win over the Faroe Islands at Rodney Parade as Wales' quest for Euro 2021 qualification continues.
Wales started the game strongly and forced the Faroe Islands to play deep from the outset. Within the first ten minutes, Jessica Fishlock supplied dangerous crosses into the box from the left hand side. Kayleigh Green's header came close after nine minutes, edging just over the bar before another Fishlock cross found Angharad James and resulted in another header going wide.
Ludlow's squad were in control of the game and proved a handful for the Faroe Islands' defence, creating plenty of chances but failing to hit the target until the 26th minute, when James found space in the box to force a save from Joensen.
With chances coming in thick and fast, it was only a matter of time before Wales would convert one into a goal. After the half hour mark, Fishlock threaded the ball into space in the box for Ward, who could guide the ball past the goalkeeper with her left foot. This was Cymru's record goalscorer's first goal in three years and opened the floodgate for others to follow.
Ludlow made two replacements at half time, with Jose Green coming on to replace Fishlock and Rachel Rowe replacing Nadia Lawrence. As with the first 45 minutes, Wales were comfortably in control of the match before Harding solidified the lead after 58 minutes. Gemma Evans crossed the ball from the left hand side into the box before Harding struck a loose ball into the back of the net with ease.
Both Ward and Harding could make a claim for the third goal, as they both seemed to be on the end of Rhiannon Roberts' cross. It was almost a collision of heads which led the ball into the top left hand corner but it was Harding that ultimately got the last touch.
Wales' confidence grew and grew into the second half, with Ludlow making her final three substitutions with 30 minutes left of the match and gave two youngsters, Lily Woodham and Georgia Walters, their senior debuts.
Having replaced Harding, Woodham instantly made an impact and secured her first goal within five minutes of her debut. Rachel Rowe supplied a great cross into the box from the right hand side which Woodham headed majestically into the back of the net.
Following the match, Ludlow told faw.cymru: "We started a little bit slower than we would have liked but I'm really pleased with the result and the performance."
The manager was full of praise for Lily Woodham, and added: "Lily is one of our age group players - she's been with us since she was 12 years old and it's fantastic to see her progression."
Woodham was ecstatic to get her first goal on her senior debut: "I've been with the age groups for years and it's been a dream of mine for years to make my debut, I can't quite put it into words how much it means to me. I'm buzzing to get my debut and a goal was just a bonus really! I'm over the moon."
The focus now turns to Tuesday (27 October) night where Wales will face the group leaders Norway at Cardiff City Stadium in their penultimate match of the EURO 2021 qualification campaign.
Wales: Laura O'Sullivan, Gemma Evans, Sophie Ingle, Rhiannon Roberts, Helen Ward (sub Kylie Nolan 62mins), Angharad James, Kayleigh Green (sub Lily Woodham 62mins), Jessica Fishlock (sub Josie Green 45mins), Natasha Harding (sub Georgia Walters 62mins), Hayley Ladd, Nadia Lawrence (sub Rachel Rowe 53mins). Subs not used: Olivia Clark, Poppy Soper, Maria Francis-Jones, Elise Hughes, Charlotte Estcourt, Carrie Jones, Chloe Williams.
Faroe Islands: Óluva Joensen, Elisabeth Vang, Birita Ryan, Heidi Sevdal, Ásla Johannesen, Kára Djurhuus (sub Marita Á Fríđriksmřrk 87mins), Olga Kristina Hansen (sub Mona Rasmusdóttir 79mins), Jensa Kannuberg Tórolvsdóttir (sub Evi Á Lakjuni 69mins), Sanna Jacobsen (sub Sarita Maria Mittfoss 87mins), Sara Samson Lamhauge (sub Lea Lisberg 79mins), Jacoba Langgaard. Subs not used: Monika Biskopstř, Valborg Řsterř, Maria Á Lakjuni, Hanna Lamhauge Jacobsen, Sarita Maria Mittfoss.
Photo - Helen Ward gives Wales the lead
(Kent Football Utd won 5-4 on penalties)>
Ashford Town (Middlesex) 2 Kent Football Utd 2
(Kent Football Utd won 5-4 on penalties)
Kent Football United went through to the Third Round Qualifying of the Vitality Women's FA Cup after a thrilling battle with Ashford Town (Middlesex).
Leading by a pair of Charlie Goad goals at the break, KFU were pegged back by an excellent Tangerines second half but provided a faultless shootout performance to clinch the tie.
The clubs had previously met in the FA Cup with Kent edging a seven-goal thriller and this match was equally dramatic with both teams having spells of dominance as the outcome hung in the balance. It was Ashford who started the brighter, Jade Johnson being the first to test Grace Taylor in the Kent goal. Alissa Down then had a 20-yard effort well held.
The visitors played their way back into the game and took the lead with a fine lofted shot from Goad on 26 minutes. Ashley Cheatley set up a good chance for an equaliser on 41 minutes but Lavana Neufville wasn't able to convert a right wing cross.
Kent doubled their lead just before the break when a left wing cross reached Goad beyond the far post and the prolific striker had time to control and fire a shot back across goal for the second.
Ashford came out with great resolve and dominated proceedings from the restart. Kent were put under sustained pressure, especially from Down's excellent corner delivery but also from the powerful runs of Charmaine Benham, Neufville , Johnson and Cheatley. In fact, Kent defended very resolutely for the most part but were unable to relieve the pressure with any forward movement.
It was no surprise when a Down corner was turned home by Kalani Peart to halve the deficit on 62 minutes. The balance of play continued in the home team's favour and and they drew level from another Down corner, this time converted from close range by sub Chloe Farrell.
Kent responded well to this double blow and the final twenty minutes was an end to end affair. Goad was denied her hat-trick by a fine save from keeper Gracie Perkis, then at the other end, Cheatley beat three defenders in a great run before firing just over.
The sides could not be separated and so a shootout was required. Emma Squirrell, Tash Moloney, Poppy Payne, Amy Payani and, finally and decisively, Jessie Carpanini all converted expertly for KFU. Taylor made a crucial save from the fourth Ashford penalty to set up a very hard fought victory for the FAWNL Division One South East club over their London & South East Regional League opponents after a fine contest.
Ashford Town (Middlesex): Gracie Perkis, Anya Kinnane, Laura Huse, Hannah Pearson, Kalani Peart, Alissa Down, Charmaine Benham, Jade Johnson, Lucy Potter, Lavana Neufville, Ashley Cheatley. Subs: Chloe Farrell, Holly Reid, Phoebe Head, Vicky James, Rozalia Sitarz.
Kent Football Utd: Grace Taylor, Jessie Carpanini, Tash Moloney, Poppy Payne, Beth Powell, Brionne Fowle, Ami Burnham, Emma Squirrell, Charlie Goad, Amy Payani, Megan Burrows. Subs: Abi Adewunmi, Charlotte Greenwood.
(Report by Patrick Higgins)
Photos by www.jamesprickett.co.uk:
(top) Kalani Peart challenges Beth Powell
(middle) Jade Johnson battles for possession with Emma Squirrell
(bottom) Megan Burrows wins the ball from Phoebe Head
East Midlands League
The Premier Division is already shaping up to be wide open, even at this early stage, and is now topped by Mansfield Town after they defeated previous leaders Loughborough Students 4-0, Natasha Leach and Ellie Marshall each netting twice. Mansfield head a trio of teams on goal difference, which also includes their opponents and Peterborough Utd who moved up to second after edging out Rotherham Utd by the odd goal in nine. Kier Perkins (2), Donna McGuigan, Laura Dodwell and Hollie Lewis all scored for the Posh Ladies whilst Nat Shaw netted four times for previously unbeaten Rotherham but ended up on the losing side. Shoniqua Barnes hit a hat-trick and Shanice Etherington the other as Ollerton Town won 4-0 against Kettering Town and Oughtibridge WMSC beat Woodlands Ladies 6-0 thanks to hat-tricks from Millie Kenyon and Codi Melia.
Chesterfield hold on to top spot in Division One North after Beth Smyth and Imogen Fowler gave them a 2-1 victory over Grimsby Borough. They lead on goal difference from Lincoln Moorlands Railway who won 3-1 at St Josephs Rockware of Worksop thanks to an Alice Hayes double and Jade Baker. Lincoln Utd entered the top three when Tracey Duxbury-Mead (2) and Heather Pettit scored in their 3-1 success away to Sleaford Town. Sherwood FC Women meanwhile edged out Notts County Development 4-3, Sara Bayman netting a brace along with Tiffany Elliott and Rebecca Frith.
The top of the table clash in Division One South ended with honours even as Notts County and Derby County Academy shared a 2-2 draw. Mollie Crump and an own goal ensured that County stay top on goal difference, with Derby replying through Anya Bourne and Iesha Rollins. Ilkeston Town are fifth but just one point off the pace after Hayley Brown, Jade Eaglefield and Charlotte Boyle scored in their 3-0 win away to AFC Leicester. Loughborough Foxes Vixens got off the mark when Hayley Walden scored the only goal of the game against Thrapston Town.
Eastern Region League
FA Cup duties reduced the Premier Division programme to just two matches on Sunday and leaders Wymondham Town had a chance to extend their lead to six points but were beaten 1-0 by Bowers & Pitsea. Juliet Thomas scored the only goal of the game to hand the home side their first victory and end Wymondham's winning run. Wroxham meanwhile leapt up the table after they defeated Haringey Borough 5-2. Grace Birchall and Laura Dawson each scored twice and they were joined on the scoresheet by Lauren Bullard.
Cambridge City Development held on to the leadership of Division One North with a 3-2 victory over Haverhill Rovers, given to them by Freya Goddard, Shannon Shaw and Carla Penny. King's Lynn Town remain one point behind in second following their 2-0 win against Histon.
One match was played in Division One South and it produced a 1-1 draw between Millwall Lionesses and East Bergholt Utd. A win would have taken Millwall into second place but they were pegged back by a goal from Jessica Quinsee, who earned East Bergholt their second draw in three matches.
London & South East League
In the only Premier Division match to be played on Sunday, Queen's Park Rangers lifted themselves off the bottom with their first win of the season, 4-2 against Aylesford. Ellie Searle and Amelia Cutler each netted twice for Rangers, with Beth Hulme and Fiona Constable replying.
In Division One North, Victoire Ladies and Phoenix Sports shared the points when they battled out a 1-1 draw. Shannon Cambridge was on target for Victoire, who have moved up to second place, whilst Phoenix scored through Emily Lyons.
Herne Bay have opened up a lead of three points at the top of Division One South after winning 2-1 away to Parkwood Rangers in the solitary match to be played. Lauren Harris and Jemma Barton were the scorers for Bay, whilst Parkwood's consolation came from Corrie Goodhew.
North East League
Hartlepool Utd are the new leaders of the Premier Division following their 9-3 victory away to Farsley Celtic. Robyn Foster, Justine Robinson and Abbey Lyle all scored twice for 'Pools, with one apiece from Jenni Duffy-Smith, Jade Pye and Alisha Smith. Demi West netted both goals for Sheffield Wednesday in their 2-2 draw with Redcar Town, who replied through Jenny Dixon and Jess Round as both sides picked up their first point of the season.
Northern Division leaders Lumley Ladies battled out a 4-4 draw with Boro Rangers. Holly Doogan (2), Daisy Campbell and Jade Fenton were the scorers for Lumley, whilst Boro netted through a Jade Featherstone brace, Larissa Burkinshaw and Jessica Ralph. Lumley therefore head the table by three points from Chester-le-Street Town Development, who went second after a 7-0 victory over Prudhoe Town. Amelie Pattison bagged a hat-trick and she was joined on the scoresheet by Hannah McStay-Fenn (2), Layla Huskisson and Sophie Farrugia. Washington Association meanwhile won 4-3 away to Norton & Stockton Ancients Res thanks to an Abbey Howarth hat-trick and Sophie Metcalf.
Altofts Ladies continue to set the early pace in the Southern Division, as a goal each from Nadine Bates, Emily Scott, Nicola Smith and Morgan White gave them a 4-0 win against Hepworth Utd. Wakefield Trinity stay two points behind in second place, they won 4-1 at Millmoor Ladies with goals from Rachel Stuart (2), Emily Heckler and Charlotte Blythe. Tonya Wild-Storr netted twice and Jade Newlove the other as Hull Utd won for the first time, 3-1 at York RI, whilst Bradford Park Avenue defeated Harrogate Town Development 4-1 with Natalie Bell, Kirsty Russell, Melissa West and Samantha Woodham as their markswomen.
North West League
The league programme on Sunday was restricted to just two matches, none of which were played in the Premier Division.
One match was played in Division One North and it resulted in a change of leadership as Morecambe Res defeated Sir Tom Finney 2-1 to go three points clear at the top of the table.
Likewise in Division One South, there was action in one game as Curzon Ashton and Salford City Lionesses fought out a 2-2 draw, earning both sides their first point of the season.
South West League
Marine Academy Plymouth have gone three points clear in the Premier Division following their 3-1 win away to Middlezoy Rovers. Sam Drewery, Isabel Scott and Nicola Symons all scored a goal apiece for the leaders, whilst Middlezoy's reply came from Ellison Roberts. Wootton Bassett Town are starting to pick up some momentum and notched up their first victory of the season, 4-1 against Bideford. Grace Eagles was on target twice for Bassett, with Shannon King and Amber Egerton adding the others.
Northern Division leaders Bristol Ladies Union were not in action on Sunday whilst the two teams immediately below them met each other, with Oldland Abbotonians and Weston Mendip battling out a 1-1 draw which keeps both teams unbeaten. Both goals came in the first half, Ryla Cooper giving Mendip the lead with a 25-yard chip and Beth Dale earning Oldland a point when she equalised from the penalty spot. Sophie Griffiths and Leah Rhodes were on the scoresheet as Cheltenham Town Development won for the first time this season, 2-1 against Frampton Rangers whose reply came from Kirsten Prior.
Frome Town are up into second place in the Eastern Division, five points behind leaders Forest Green Rovers, following their 4-1 victory away to Swindon Supermarine. Keira-Leigh Underhill netted twice for Frome with Stacey Hill and Koran Atkinson adding the others, Clare Hill replying for the home side. Chipping Sodbury Town returned to action with a 5-2 win against Swindon Spitfires, Lydia Britt hitting a hat-trick with Tianna Bishop and Laura Curnock also on target.
AFC St Austell are the new leaders of the Western Division, going top with a 3-2 win away to Pen Mill. Chevonne Johanning, Alexia Riley and Charlotte Whitmore all scored for St Austell whilst Pen Mill netted through Megan Gratton and Nicki Stringer. Stef Churchill-Matthews, Nia Owen and Louise Ilsley were all on target for Feniton as they defeated Plymouth Argyle Development 3-0.
Southern Region League
Woodley Utd have taken up the early running in the Premier Division, assuming the leadership with a 6-2 victory away to Newbury Ladies. Rosie Page-Smith hit a hat-trick for Woodley, who had been trailing at half time, whilst Rebecca Gooch, Freya Jenkins and Molly Lambourne weighed in with the other goals. Freya Johnson was another hat-trick scorer, for Ascot Utd in their 10-1 win against Warsash Wasps. Amy Woollard, Dominique Carrington and Nicole Brown each contributed a brace and Georgia Bowers rounded off the scoring. Nicole Matthews scored the only goal of the game for Moneyfields as they beat Winchester City Flyers 1-0.
Southampton Women Res are the early pacesetters in Division One after running out 7-2 winners over Tilehurst Panthers. Fay Roberts led the scoring with a hat-trick, Lilly Eustace added two while Sophie Lee and Siena Millen were also on target. Abingdon Town are in second on goal difference; they won 3-2 at New Milton Town thanks to a Cara Kerby double and Chloe Ball. Stacey Lewis and Lorna Priestley netted the goals for Bournemouth Sports in their 2-2 draw with AFC Bournemouth CST Development, who scored through Ayuma Asira and Mia Elmore.
West Midlands League
Michaela Lockett netted twice, with Kirsty Ryder, Georgina Rushton and Lucy Goodfellow also on target, as league leaders Leek Town defeated City of Stoke 5-0. Leek continue to head the table on goal difference from Solihull Ladies Utd, for whom Saddiqa Shan scored the only goal of the game against Stockingford AA Pavilion. In the other game, Rhiannon O'Looney and Sophie Shale netted the goals as Coundon Court won 2-1 against Lye Town, whose consolation came from Jodie Cassidy.
Division One North leaders AFC Telford Utd went down to their first defeat of the season, beaten 2-0 by Shifnal Town who scored through Jenna Boddison and Danni Smith. Telford remain on top of the table, one point ahead of four teams, headed by Tamworth after their crushing victory over Walsall Ladies. Aimee Taylor and Olivia Woolston each scored four times and Ella Spears added two with Rebecca Milner, Natasha Rothery, Lily Smith and Grace Dickens completing the tally. A brace from Olivia Minshall earned Shrewsbury Town a 2-0 win over Port Vale and Sandwell Ladies won for the first time, 5-2 against Coventry City thanks to Rachael Green (2), Siobhan Hodgetts, Kimberly Tsiga and Katie Adams.
Solihull Sporting are now three points clear in Division One South after scoring seven times without reply past Sedgley & Gornal Utd. Janelle Straker spearheaded the win with a hat-trick, Lauren Smith netted a double and there was one apiece from Chantai Ahmed and Isabelle Haigh. Knowle meanwhile defeated Cookley Sports 6-0 to go second, Natalie Gibson scoring twice along with Alice Belcher, Morgan Betteridge, Georgia Jones and Samantha Smith.
Glasgow City are pleased to announce the signing of full back Cailin Michie on a pre-contract agreement from Swedish side Piteĺ IF.
Michie is no stranger to the Scottish game, with the Edinburgh-born defender spending a number of successful seasons with SWPL rivals Hibernian, lifting four Premier League Cups and three Scottish Cups in her time there.
The 22-year-old made the switch to full time football at the turn of the year, signing for Piteĺ who play in the Swedish top flight, but has been lured back to Scotland much to the delight of City Head Coach Scott Booth.
Booth said of his new signing: "I have tried to sign Cailin to be honest a number of times. I was not at all surprised when she got her move to Sweden and I am just delighted we have managed to persuade her to come back and join our vision for the future at the club.
"She is very versatile and can play both sides. She is young, hungry and a year playing every week in one of the most competitive leagues in Europe will have developed her even more.
"I am very much looking forward to seeing Cailin and her development grow even further in a Glasgow City shirt."
Michie has joined City on a 2.5 year contract and becomes Scott Booth's eighth addition to the squad this campaign. She will join the Glasgow City squad at the start of December.
(Photo by Tommy Hughes)
The Football Association has unveiled its ambitious new women's and girls' football strategy.
The FA's new four-year strategy, titled Inspiring Positive Change, pledges to create a sustainable future for women's and girls' football in England.
The strategy outlines The FA's EIGHT transformational objectives to be achieved by 2024:
● EARLY PARTICIPATION - Every primary school-aged girl to have equal access to football in school and in clubs
● DEVELOPMENT PARTICIPATION - Every girl to have equal access to participate for fun, for competition and for excellence
● CLUB PLAYER PATHWAY - Collaborate with clubs to develop an effective high performance, inclusive player-centred pathway
● ELITE DOMESTIC LEAGUES AND COMPETITIONS - Create the best professional women's sports leagues and competitions in the world
● ENGLAND - Win a major tournament
● FOOTBALL FOR ALL - Recruit and support a motivated, diverse range of local leaders organising football for their communities
● COACHING - Support the development of exceptional coaches at every level of the game who are representative of our society
● REFEREEING - Ensure that every female referee afforded high-quality bespoke learning and development opportunities from grassroots through to the elite game
The strategy will see football embedded for girls in schools, as part of the PE curriculum and in after school sessions, setting the target that 90% of schools [both primary and secondary] in England to become part of The FA Girls' Football School Partnerships network, supported by Barclays. Away from school, it pledges to provide every girl with a Wildcats programme within easy travelling distance of their home.
Working alongside national partners, specialist community groups, and national inclusion advisory groups such as The FA Asian Women in Football Advisory Group and The FA Refugees and AsylumSeekers in Football network, the strategy will identify, develop and support female leaders from diverse communities.
Crucial to the vision of more England-qualified players and world class players within our system, will be a well-signposted, inclusive and accessible club player pathway. Supporting the recruitment, development and transition of players, the pathway will also consider their needs from tactical, technical, psychological, physiological, social and dual-career perspective.
Attracting and developing world class players, maximising and engaging audiences and growing commercial revenue will be central to the ambition of establishing England as the home of the world's best professional women's sports leagues and competitions.
Success with the national teams is underpinned by the new England women's ‘Blueprint for Success', creating an environment for all England-qualified talent to pursue and fulfil their dreams at the UEFA Women's EURO Championships 2022 and the FIFA Women's World Cup 2023.
The strategy also commits formal learning opportunities for every coach at all levels of the game and the establishment of a sustainable refereeing recruitment strategy embedded into local communities, clubs and Higher Education and Further Education establishments.
Integrated marketing, commercial and communications support across all levels will play a critical role in delivering the strategy, supporting the ‘if you can't see her, you can't be her' approach. The home UEFA Women's EURO Championships in 2022 will be a catalyst for growth across every area. The strategy will be delivered in partnership with other football stakeholders and The FA's commercial partners.
Baroness Sue Campbell, The Director of Women's Football at The FA said: "Football has the power to change lives for the better. It can contribute to physical and mental wellbeing, it can provide opportunities to compete and collaborate with others, and it can help to shape the place of girls and women in wider society.
"Our new four-year strategy is based on understanding an individual's motivation to play - for learning, for recreation, for competition and for excellence. We want to ensure there is access and opportunity for every girl and woman to play, coach, spectate, officiate, manage or administer if they so wish and the game to be truly representative of our society across all characteristics and social backgrounds.
"The FA's new Inspiring Positive Change strategy will build upon the foundations created by The Gameplan for Growth and deliver truly transformational change to the women's and girls' game."
Steph Houghton, England Women's captain said: "When I and many of my team mates were girls, opportunities to play the game were few and far between, so to see the breadth and scale of The FA's ambitions in the next four years is extremely exciting.
"From the incredible pledge to provide equal access to football for primary-aged girls, to the pathway created for the country's best talent to fulfil their potential - this strategy is truly game-changing.
"This new strategy will help provide opportunities for women and girls of all ages, abilities and backgrounds to fall in love with football and enjoy the many benefits that it can bring to their life."
Northern Premier Division
Leaders Nottingham Forest went down to their first defeat of the season and this has left three teams level on points at the top of the table. Huddersfield Town joined Forest on 13 points after winning their meeting 2-1, Beth Stanfield giving Town an early lead and Charlotte Greengrass equalising just before half time. With six minutes left, Kate Mallin grabbed a decisive second goal to end the last remaining unbeaten record in the division and hand her side a fourth straight victory.
Fylde Women are sandwiched in between Forest and Huddersfield in second place after running out impressive 4-1 winners away to Derby County. Faye McCoy netted twice for the Coasters along with Jess Holbrook and Emily Hollinshead, whilst Derby's consolation came from Amy Sims.
West Bromwich Albion returned into the top four places on the back of a 4-0 victory at Hull City. Keeley Davies, Trina Greaves, Natalie Murray and Jade Arber all scored a goal apiece for Albion who are just three points off the pace.
Stoke City made it two wins on the trot when edging out Middlesbrough by the odd goal in seven and this has moved them into the top half. Elizabeth Steele was the heroine for Stoke as she scored a hat-trick, which included a late winner. Roisin Kivel added their other goal, whilst ‘Boro replied through Danielle Brown, Jasmine McQuade and Armani Maxwell.
Burnley FC Women got back to winning ways after coming from behind at the break to beat Loughborough Foxes 3-1. The Foxes took the lead through Charlotte Cooper just before half time but a second half brace from Elizabeth Hamer, either side of a goal from Katie Thomas, earned the Clarets their first win in three matches.
Sunderland are beginning to get into their stride and notched up their second successive win, 2-1 against Sheffield FC. Holly Housley did put Sheffield in front during the first half, before Keira Ramshaw headed the Wearsiders level three minutes later and and a great individual goal from Maria Farrugia settled matters in Sunderland's favour.
Southern Premier Division
Oxford Utd made it four wins on the trot and are two points ahead following their 4-1 success against Cardiff City Ladies, ending the division's last unbeaten record in the process. Emily Allen, Georgia Brown, Hannah MacKenzie and Molly Peters all scored a goal apiece for the in-form U's, whilst Cardiff's consolation came from Cori Williams.
Watford and Yeovil Utd meanwhile battled out a 1-1 draw which means that the Golden Girls are now two points off the pace in second. Both goals came just before the interval, Katie O'Leary giving Watford the lead from the penalty spot and Jenna Markham earning Yeovil a share of the spoils nine minutes later.
Milton Keynes Dons are in excellent form in third place, their 8-0 victory at Plymouth Argyle meaning they have won their last three games, scoring 17 and conceding none in the process. Cherrelle Albert, Jade Bell and Vicky Neal all netted doubles for MK, with Mollie Coupar and Rhianne Rush joining them on the scoresheet.
Portsmouth climbed into the top four after they defeated Hounslow Women 3-0. Becki Bath kept up her good form in front of goal by scoring twice, once in each half, and Ava Rowbotham weighed in with the other, midway through the second half.
Gillingham joined Keynsham Town on six points by narrowly winning their meeting 2-1. Melanie Parreno put the Gills into a sixteenth minute lead which was cancelled out just before the break by Corinne Yorston, before Maddison Chamney-Farrand settled matters the winning goal shortly after the hour mark.
AEK Boco led the surprises in the Second Round Qualifying of the Vitality Women's FA Cup when they won 4-3 against Larkhall Athletic.
In a pulsating tie at Greenbank Road, Larkhall surged into a two-goal lead after sixteen minutes, both scored by Adele Hooper, and after Boco hit back to level with goals from Lucy Atkinson and Jess Titcomb, Rhian Robbins put the Larks back in front before half time. Midway through the second half, Sasha Ferris equalised once again from a free kick and three minutes later, the outstanding Atkinson set up Eloise Nicholas to slot home the winning goal although Boco goalkeeper Shelbie Parker-Smith needed to make a string of good saves to help keep her side in front.
AEK Boco will be away in the Third Round Qualifying to Exeter City, who came through with a 2-1 victory against Swindon Town in a well contested tie. Tori Taylor gave Swindon a first half lead from the penalty spot but two goals in the last twelve minutes from substitute Connie Pengelly gave Exeter a narrow win.
Kay Mills and Ally Ferris were the scorers as Sunderland West End also produced a fine result in winning 2-0 away to Bradford City to claim a National League scalp. West End now travel to take on Newcastle Utd who scored eleven times without reply against Blackburn Community SC. Katie Barker and Jessica Foster each netted hat-tricks and they were joined on the scoresheet by Kacie Elson, Beth Gardener, Megan McKenzie, Anna Soulsby and Imogen Longcake.
Merseyrail Ladies were another team to knock out higher league opponents when they defeated Bolton Ladies 3-2, courtesy of a goal apiece from Sophie Perry, Sherree Thompson and Shannon Beckwith. Merseyrail now go to Brighouse Town, whoended the Cup run of Spennymoor Town but the Durham County Women's League side were not disgraced in going down 6-0. Ellie Dobson was on target twice for Brighouse along with Drew Greene, Ellie White, Danielle Whitham and Amy Woodruff.
Ilminster Town are having a good season in the South West League, which they continued with a 4-1 victory against Poole Town. Jodie Cornwall was on target twice for Ilminster along with Georgia Coward and Sian Chapman. The Somerset side's reward is a tough one at home to Southampton FC, the Saints ending the run of Helston Athletic by beating them 11-0. Rachel Panting netted four of the goals and there were doubles from Shannon Sievwright, Ella Pusey and Alisha Ware, with Georgie Freeland also on target.
FC United of Manchester travelled to the north east to face Norton & Stockton Ancients where they claimed an excellent 5-2 victory against the National League side. Jordan Bailey netted two of the goals for FC United, along with Corie Mather, Maxine Smith and Jade Parker. The North West League club will be at home to Chorley in the next round.
Redditch Utd joined the list of teams to take a National League scalp and they took the most famous one of all, eliminating Doncaster Rovers Belles on a penalty shootout after the teams had shared a 1-1 draw. Isobel Godfrey slotted home the winning penalty for Redditch whose reward is a home tie with Boldmere St Michaels, 2-1 victors at Beaumont Park through first half goals from Laura Cooper and Jessica Keeling.
Nicola Henman scored the only goal of the game for Luton Town as they won 1-0 against Cambridge City. Enfield Town now go to Luton after winning 2-0 at Hashtag Utd. Both goals came in the last fifteen minutes, Courtney Cook giving Enfield the lead before Beau Parker sealed the result with the second in injury time.
Gemma Hillier, Molly Clark and Abby Jones were all on the scoresheet as AFC Bournemouth registered a fine 3-1 victory over Southampton Women. The Cherries' reward is a home tie with Buckland Athletic who won 6-1 away to AFC Stoneham, courtesy of a Megan Wood hat-trick as well as Sarah Stacey, Carla Staddon and Natalie Warman.
The ninth team to knock out a National League side were Royston Town who did so on a penalty shootout after sharing a 3-3 draw with Stevenage Women. Gemma Croucher netted twice and Yasmin Pratt the other for Royston, taking the game into penalties where Yasmine Walford's save allowed Samantha Edgar to slot home the winning kick. Royston are now away to Harlow Town who powered through with a 5-1 victory over St Ives Town thanks to Kaydee King, Olivia Steele, Georgia Box, Tayla Handscombe and an own goal.
Barnsley made sure the trip home from Blyth Town was a happy one after they ran out 5-0 winners. Emily Pierrepont and Courtney Csomor put Barnsley two ahead inside the opening eight minutes, with Lindsey Tugby and Kathryn Smith doubling their advantage before half time and Amy Nowell rounded off the scoring on the hour. Barnsley will be at home to the winners of the postponed tie between Stockport County and Leeds Utd in the next round.
Chester-le-Street Town meanwhile kept up their good early season form with a nine-goal victory over South Shields. Nichole Havery led the scoring with a five-goal haul along with Laura Hockaday (2), Tiegan Hutchinson and Charlotte Proud to set up a local derby with Durham Cestria, 3-2 winners away to Warrington Wolves thanks to Erin Nelson, Hannah Greenwood and Lauren Robson, who scored an injury time winner.
Holwell Sports eased through by beating Grimsby Town 7-2, Katie Lowder and Chantelle Robinson each netting twice along with Kira Fitzpatrick, Courtney Cropper and Katie Connor. Holwell will now be at home to Lincoln City who won 10-1 against Burton Albion, courtesy of doubles from Leah Hardy, Katie Thornley and Sophie Crosby, while Jeorgia Carr, Jessica Rousseau, Lauryn Wilcock and Emily Atkinson accounted for the others.
Jordan Atkin, Jessica Munn, Shanae Thomas, Millie Fugler and Tara Kirk all scored along with two own goals as Long Eaton Utd defeated Netherton Utd 7-1. Long Eaton have been handed a tough reward in the draw, at home to Wolverhampton Wanderers. Jade Cross and Kate Evans were on the scoresheet as Wolves won 2-0 away to Sutton Coldfield Town.
The tie between Solihull Moors and Bedworth Utd turned to be as close as anticipated and indeed went all the way to penalties where Solihull goalkeeper Francesca Vitale saved two kicks, enabling Lois Jefferies to slot home the winner. Jefferies had earlier scored for Solihull from open play along with Leah Seivwright, Kirsty Farnsworth netting twice in reply. Moors face familiar opposition again in the next round, home to Sporting Khalsa who won 4-2 against Leafield Athletic with a goal apiece from Angelique Morley, Bethan Woolley, Megan Cann and Chloe May Coldicott.
Wem Town travelled north to play Northwich Vixens and came away as 2-1 winners thanks to strikes from Kim Bebbington and Laura Pennington. Wem will face Regional League opponents again in the next round in Coventry Sphinx, for whom Bonnie Moore and Neve Platt were on target in their 2-1 victory away to Dronfield Town, which ended County League interest in the competition for this season.
Fleetwood Town Wrens made it through with a 2-1 victory away to Morecambe, courtesy of a brace of goals from Lauren Oatley. The Wrens must wait and see who their next opponents will be, either Ossett Utd or Liverpool Feds who will attempt to play their tie this week.
Stourbridge continued their Cup run by winning 5-0 at Worcester City. In front of a bumper crowd, the Glassgirls produced a strong display with Courteney Murphy scoring twice, while Carly Aldred, Ruby Meeson and Alex Nicklin added one apiece. Stourbridge have been rewarded with a home draw in one of only two all-Regional League ties, against Crusaders who were 3-2 victors at Oadby & Wigston. Ella Thompson-Moulding, Paige Leonard and Alice Lilley were the markswomen for Crusaders although they needed to withstand a late fightback from the home side when they pulled back two goals.
Kent Football Utd were taken all the way to penalties to Ashford Town (Middlesex) before eventually making it through. Charlie Goad kept up her great form in front of goal by scoring twice for Kent as the game finished 2-2, before Kent won 5-4 from spot (see match report). AFC Wimbledon overcame Ashford Ladies with a 6-0 victory and will travel to Kent in the next round. Rebecca Carter led the scoring with a hat-trick, whilst the Dons' other markswomen were Madi Parsonson, Beth Lloyd and Chloe Sampson.
Actonians Ladies meanwhile came through a tricky tie against Saltdean Utd with a 6-2 victory, in which Naoko Wada hit a hat-trick alongside Roschelle Shakes, Sharon Odofin and Minori Ono. They will be at home once again to opponents from the same league, this time Worthing FC Women who came through a penalty shootout after drawing 1-1 with New London Lionesses, Beth Kincaid scoring Worthing's goal on the day.
Therese Addison, Jay Blackie, Freya Fuller and Zoe Rushen were all on the scoresheet as Billericay Town ran out 4-1 winners over Cambridge Utd whose consolation came from Emma Jenkins. The Essex side have landed an intriguing home tie with Chesham Utd, 3-1 winners away to Abingdon Utd thanks to a Gemma Fraser brace and Riva Casley.
Penalties were needed at Dartford where visitors Eastbourne Town progressed after the match had finished level at 1-1. The Darts had taken the lead through Emily Vaughan early on, before Nicole Baitup grabbed an equaliser after the break. Eastbourne will now be at home to Leyton Orient who came through a tough tie away to Dulwich Hamlet with a 1-0 victory, given to them by Katherine Long.
Norwich City made the trip to Newmarket Town where they ran out 5-1 winners with a goal each from Aimee Durrant, Rosie George, Kate Parsons, Josie Jarvis and Keunna Dill. This sets up a meeting with Ipswich Town who scored ten without reply against Peterborough Northern Star, led by a four-goal haul from Natasha Thomas. Amy-Leigh Abrehart, Zoe Barratt, Eloise King, Molly Sutherland and Georgia Allen also scored along with an own goal.
Cheltenham Town overcame the challenge of Brislington with a 3-0 victory. Billie Haynes, Alice Kempski and Charlotte Criddle scored the goals to take Cheltenham through to a tie against Portishead Town, who won 2-0 against Sherborne Town thanks to Nathalie Zajaczkowski and Shannon Holloway.
A second half goal from Jessica Wadey gave Fulham FC Women a 1-0 win against Wycombe Wanderers and they will be at home again in the next round to Maidenhead Utd, for whom Natalie Barnes scored a last minute goal as they beat Denham Utd 1-0.
Middlesbrough scored twelve times without reply away to Bradford City and this has seen them take over the leadership of the Northern Division. Faye Dale led the scoring for 'Boro with a six-goal haul and Alicia Mutrie weighed in with a hat-trick, whilst there was one apiece from Lauren Farrow, Kirsty McQuilling and Daisy Stokoe. Brighouse Town notched up their second victory in three games when beating Barnsley 5-2, courtesy of a Murron Alldread double, Arianne Parnham, Ellie Richardson and an own goal.
Millie Herbert-Clarke and Tamara Wilcock scored five and four times respectively for Midland Division leaders in their 12-2 victory away to Solihull Moors. Louise Biggins contributed a brace and Erin Green was also on target. Stoke City stay three points adrift in second after second half goals from Manuela Delle, Nuala Miszkiel and Jodie Foxhall gave them a 3-0 success at Lincoln City. Leicester City were another team to hit twelve, at the expense of Bedworth Utd, Lucy Wood netting five times along with Monique Price (2), Jessica Camwell, Rachel Lawrence, Jessica Neville, Ellie York and Marriam Rawel. Wolverhampton Wanderers netted nine times without reply past Nottingham Forest, courtesy of a Chantelle Teare hat-trick, plus doubles by Jennifer Anslow, Lauren Riley and Dani Staley. Reia Henry (2), Millie Rogers, Freya Owen and Emma Congrave accounted for the goals as West Bromwich Albion defeated Crewe Alexandra 5-1.
After a wait of seven months, the SBS Scottish Women's Premier League got underway on Sunday and Champions Glasgow City started off their defence of the title with a 2-0 victory against Celtic.
The two sides had met in the only match they played in the aborted season back in March, with Celtic winning 2-1 on that occasion, but this time it was City who took the points with two goals in a five minute spell just after the hour. Rachel McLauchlan gave them the lead with a cross-cum-shot and Kirsty Howat headed in the second to seal a notable victory.
Rangers recorded the biggest win on the opening day; 5-1 against Hearts who were officially making their return to the top flight. Zoe Ness put Rangers two ahead with a double in the first half, with Murron Cunningham reducing the arrears ahead of the break. Ness completed her hat-trick during the second half, before her side went on to add further goals through Kirsten Reilly and Demi Vance.
Forfar Farmington made it a winning start when they defeated Motherwell 4-2. Forfar took the lead in the opening minute thanks to Donna Paterson and London Pollard added a second, with Lauren Gallon pulling one back before half time. Remarkably, in the second half, all three players scored again to complete their braces, Paterson and Pollard both scoring before Gallon grabbed a consolation for the visitors.
Hibernian took the points with a 2-1 victory from their Edinburgh derby match with Spartans. Eilidh Adams opened the scoring for Hibs with four minutes on the clock, with Rebecca Galbraith equalising before the interval. Substitute Carla Boyce settled matters with the winning goal, nine minutes into the second half.
Glasgow Girls took the honours in SWPL2 with the biggest win on the opening day, 4-0 against Stirling University.
Abbi McDonald, Lucy Ronald and Eve Donald ensured that Glasgow were three ahead at half time, with Suzanne MacTaggart adding the fourth after the restart.
Partick Thistle meanwhile returned from Queen's Park with a 3-0 victory under their belts. All three goals came during the second half, Eleanor Smith giving the Jags the lead before they added further goals from Cheryl Hogg and Demi-Lee Falconer.
Hamilton Academical, runners-up last time around, got off to a winning start when they defeated Boroughmuir Thistle 3-1. Amy Anderson netted a double for the Accies just before the break and Chloe Muir wrapped up the win with the third goal, before Beth MacLeod grabbed a consolation for Boroughmuir.
Aberdeen edged out Dundee Utd by the odd goal in seven in a thrilling match on their return to the league. However they had to do it the hard way as United raced into a two-goal lead lead inside the opening sixteen minutes, courtesy of Tammy-Lee Harkin and Steffi Simson, with Eilidh Shore pulling one back before the end of the first half. Stina Kleppe netted a third for United earlyafter the restart, but Francesca Ogilvie and Bayley Hutchison brought the scores level before Eva Thomson completed the comeback for Aberdeen with the winning goal in injury time.
The Orchard Welsh Premier Women's League Cup got underway on Sunday with the first round of group matches taking place.
In Group One, Cardiff Met Women got off to a good start when they won 5-0 away to Cascade Youth Club, who were making their debut in the competition. The Cup holders scored twice in the opening five minutes through Nealy Martin and Chloe O'Connor, a lead which they took into the interval. Erin Murray made it three midway through the second half before Jodie Passmore put them further ahead from the penalty spot and Shannon Evans netted the final goal in injury time.
Abergavenny Women also took their good league form into the League Cup as they defeated Briton Ferry Llansawel 2-0. Lyndsey Davies gave Abergavenny the lead shortly before half time and Eliza Atkins sealed the result with the second goal on the hour.
One of the two matches was played in Group Two, with the game between Port Talbot Town and Swansea City being postponed for Covid reasons.
Cardiff City Women made the short trip to Cyncoed Ladies where they recorded a 7-2 victory. The Bluebirds went ahead in the opening minute through Phoebe Poole, who went on to add a second eleven minutes later. Sophie Norman put City further in front and after Millie Jones had pulled one back for the Mighty Oaks, Kate Jeremiah and Keisha Underdown
also got on the scoresheet for the visitors ahead of half time. Poole completed her hat-trick for City during the second half and although Alison Witts reduced the arrears for Cyncoed, Norman netted her second to round off the scoring.
Arsenal raced to a 6-1 victory over Tottenham Hotspur in their derby match on a record breaking day for Vivianne Miedema, to open up a lead of two points in the Barclays FA WSL.
Despite missing several players through injury, the Gunners never looked back after a fast start saw Katie McCabe give them a fourth minute lead and Miedema then became the first player to score 50 WSL goals since its formation nine years ago, in just her 50th appearance. Caitlin Foord quickly added the third, before the Dutch striker crowned her day with two more goals to complete a first half hat-trick. Spurs had a chance to pull one back early in the second half but Rianna Dean's penalty was saved by Manuela Zinsberger and things got worse when Foord netted her second to increase Arsenal's lead. Tottenham were to get a consolation late on when Lucia Leon headed in from a corner.
Everton‘s winning start to the season was brought to a halt as they were held to a 2-2 draw by Brighton & Hove Albion in a match tinged with controversy. The Seagulls went ahead early on through an goal from the unfortunate Rikke Sevecke but Everton hit back to level the scores via an Izzy Christiansen free kick. Valerie Gauvin looked to have kept the Toffees' 100% record going when she headed them in front from a corner midway through the second half but Brighton earned themselves a share of the spoils through an opportunist finish from Aileen Whelan. The main talking point was to come afterwards though, as Seagulls midfielder Kayleigh Green was shown a second yellow card but was not sent off.
Manchester Utd meanwhile kept up their fine start to the season with a 4-2 success away to West Ham Utd, which takes them level on points with second placed Everton. Alessia Russo and Tobin Heath gave Man United a two-goal lead in the first half and although Emily Van Egmond pulled one back for the Hammers, Russo restored the advantage before the break with her second. With eight minutes left, Rachel Daly gave West Ham hope when she lobbed home to reduce the arrears but the visitors came up with a response shortly afterwards, sealing the points when Christen Press scored their fourth.
Manchester City are finding it difficult to get going properly at the moment and they shared a 1-1 draw with Reading FC Women. Amalie Eikeland put the Royals ahead early on with a glancing header from a Lauren Bruton corner and Reading defended well from that point, containing City until Sam Mewis drilled in from the edge of the area to level the scores after the break. Grace Moloney made a fine save from Georgia Stanway as Reading dug in for a point.
It has been a good week for Birmingham City, which they completed with a 4-0 victory away to Bristol City whose struggles continue. Rachel Corsie headed the Blues in front just after the quarter hour and Mollie Green soon added a second from a cross by Connie Scofield. Claudia Walker smashed in the third from long range after the break and Christie Murray put them further ahead when netting from the penalty spot against her former club.
Durham Women continue to set the pace at the top of the FA Women's Championship, thanks to a 2-1 victory away to London Bees.
The Bees, still looking for their first points of the season, gave themselves a great morale boosting start when Charlie Estcourt gave them a 20th minute lead but it lasted just for two minutes, Becky Salicki bundling in the equaliser from a Beth Hepple corner. Molly Sharpe put the Wildcats ahead early in the second half and, despite chances at both ends in an evenly contested game, they held on for a result which gives them a lead of three points.
Sheffield Utd stay in second place after being held to a goalless draw by Lewes. The Blades pressed hard for a winner as the match wore on but could not make a breakthrough as the Rookettes defended superbly, with goalkeeper Tatiana Saunders in good form, to record an impressive fourth straight clean sheet and keep themselves just behind the leading sides.
Leicester City continue to pick up momentum and are up to third as they ran out 4-1 winners at Crystal Palace. The home side took an early lead through Cherelle Khassal but the match was turned on its head just before half time when Palace striker Amy Taylor was red carded and Remi Allen and Natasha Flint scored for Leicester ahead of the break. Lachante Paul made it three on the hour, with Allen crowning the result as she completed her double.
Blackburn Rovers picked up their second league victory of the season, 1-0 against London City Lionesses. The only goal of the game came on the half hour, when Saffron Jordan was brought down in the area and Georgia Walters scored from the resulting penalty. The Lionesses, who had confirmed Melissa Phillips as their new Head Coach following a spell as caretaker, came close in the second half when Lily Agg hit the post but Rovers held on for three valuable points which take them into mid-table.
Coventry Utd meanwhile staged a second half fightback to come from two behind to win 3-2 away to Charlton Athletic. Ciara Watling opened the scoring for the Addicks after 27 minutes and Jess King netted the second on the stroke of half time but a stunning five minute spell after the break saw Beth Merrick pull a goal back and a double from Amber Hughes gave Coventry a lead they did not relinquish.
The draw for the Third Round Qualifying of the Vitality Women's FA Cup has been announced by the Football Association.
Ties are to be played on Sunday 1st November and prize money of £600 will be awarded to the winning team.
Third Round Qualifying draw:
Fleetwood Town Wrens v Ossett United or Liverpool Feds
FC United of Manchester v Chorley FC Women
Barnsley v Stockport County or Leeds United
Brighouse Town v Merseyrail Ladies
Newcastle United v Sunderland West End
Chester-le-Street Town v Durham Cestria
Solihull Moors v Sporting Khalsa
Holwell Sports v Lincoln City
Stourbridge FC Ladies v Crusaders
Wem Town v Coventry Sphinx
Long Eaton United v Wolverhampton Wanderers
Redditch United v Boldmere St Michaels
Luton Town v Enfield Town
Harlow Town v Royston Town
Billericay Town v Chesham United
Norwich City v Ipswich Town
Actonians Ladies v Worthing FC Women
Fulham FC Women v Maidenhead United
Kent Football United v AFC Wimbledon
Eastbourne Town v Leyton Orient
Exeter City v AEK Boco
Cheltenham Town v Portishead Town
AFC Bournemouth v Buckland Athletic
Ilminster Town v Southampton FC
Manager, Swindon Town Women
It has been a great start to the season so far for Swindon Town who, after struggling at the wrong end of the table in recent seasons, recorded their third win on the trot on Sunday when beating Brislington 3-0 and this has taken them into third place in the Division One South West table.
Manager Jamie Lloyd-Davies has overseen the team's improvement during the course of the year and we asked him for his thoughts on their recent form and hopes for the future:
WSS: Well done on a fine win on Sunday at Brislington, how pleased were you with the way that the team played on the day?
JLD: We're delighted! A solid defensive performance, played some exciting football and scored some great goals. It's extremely positive for everyone associated with the club.
WSS: That's three wins on the trot now, has much changed since last season was brought to an end?
JLD: A number of considerable factors have changed between last season and this season. The most important thing is the team spirit and togetherness amongst the squad and the staff.
WSS: Ellie Olds scored a superbly taken goal for the third, how big a difference has she made to the team up front?
JLD: Ellie has been fantastic since we came to the club. She has great qualities and attributes, and I believe the consistency in the position she's played has allowed her to make it her own... and it shows with her performances.
WSS: Looking back, how big a result was beating Larkhall for your first win, did it give the team the confidence it needed going forward?
JLD: Regardless of who the opposition were, it was brilliant for everyone involved to get the result. It's a small reward for the effort that has gone in since pre-season, and especially for the players that were with us from last season to see the progress.
WSS: This week, it's the FA Cup and a trip to Exeter City who have also started well in the league, do you think this will be the biggest test of the team's improvement so far?
JLD: Exeter have had an excellent start to their season, and have continued with how they performed last season. We take every opponent seriously and cannot prioritise more than others, every team has gone from strength to strength and is a fantastic advert for women's football. The great thing is we go into games making sure we assert ourselves correctly, and remaining focused on our objectives.
WSS: After a few years of struggle down at the bottom end of the table, how does it feel to be up amongst the leading teams right now?
JLD: Looking back on last season, we could see the transformations and was just a matter of time before we would start to see results in our favour. Seeing the league table as it is does bring a smile, however it's far too early to be getting ahead of ourselves. The challenge is for us to maintain the standards we've set ourselves and continue to build on the results. The important thing to note is that it is a real team effort; the players, staff, committee and supporters have done amazingly to help us to get to this point now.
WSS: What, realistically, do you think would be a good season for Swindon overall?
JLD: Based on recent results, it's important to remain in the moment and continue to look at the season one game at a time. As I mentioned previously, there are some fantastic teams in the league and we will certainly go out and give it our best week-in, week-out.
WSS: Southampton are the clear favourites to win your division and they have started ominously well, can you see anyone challenging them this season?
JLD: Southampton have started extremely well; the only team in our division to have maximum points and superior goal difference. Teams have strengthened again this year and standards are constantly evolving, so will be important for every team to maintain their standards.
Our thanks to Jamie!
Sunderland West End are currently on a great winning run in league matches, and on Sunday they will have a chance to test themselves against FA Women's National League opposition in the Vitality Women's FA Cup.
Sunderland West End currently play in the Northern Division of the North East Regional Women's League and were massively disappointed last season after being denied promotion due to the season coming to an abrupt end, despite winning all 13 of their 13 league games.
The team have so far started the 2020-21 season very well, winning the first two league games and scoring 16 goals in the process, so the ladies were buzzing after seeing the Second Round Qualifying draw for the FA Cup, giving them a tough game away to Bradford City.
Although Bradford currently play two leagues above West End with some great players, and they know it is going to be their toughest test in a competitive environment for a number of years, the whole squad is massively excited for the test, with everyone dreaming of ?that' classic underdog upset.
West End captain Samantha Minniss said: "We know this is going to be our toughest challenge yet, but this is the furthest we've ever made it in the FA Cup, so we are just going to enjoy the experience of the game and hope for an upset."
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