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Womens Football News Archive - 18th Aug
The opening day of the new season saw the National Division go goal crazy, with no less than 29 being scored in the four games played!
Arsenal took the honours on the day with the biggest victory as they ran out 9-2 winners over a young Tranmere Rovers side. Playing their first match without the retired Angela Banks, England under-19 striker Alex Scott proved to be the perfect replacement as she grabbed a hat-trick and there were two goals apiece for Jayne Ludlow and Ellen Maggs. Leanne Sanderson and Justine Lorton, on her debut after joining from Charlton, completed the Gunners' total. Kim Holden and Lauren Cariba netted for Tranmere, for whom the result suggests a season of struggle but the Birkenhead side started last season with two heavy defeats before climbing into mid-table safety. Write Tranmere off at your peril...
Doncaster Rovers Belles gave newly promoted Aston Villa a rude awakening by beating them 7-2 but four goals in the last twenty minutes rounded off a much closer game than the scoreline suggests. Villa took the lead through Carly Davies who netted the first of her double but Karen Walker and Vicky Exley each struck twice for the Belles, with one apiece for Jody Handley, Gemma Hunt and former Sunderland midfielder Julie Twaddle.
Charlton Athletic are also off to a winning start as they won 3-2 at Birmingham City in an entertaining affair at Redditch. The two sides shared four goals in the first half with Eniola Aluko grabbed both goals for Blues, either side of strikes from Amanda Barr and Jo Broadhurst. On thr hour mark, Carmaine Walker latched onto Broadhurst's through ball to score the winner and the England striker nearly added a couple more, once being denied by a brilliant Steph Samuels tackle, whilst Alexa Hunn shot just wide and Casey Stoney had a header cleared off the line. However Birmingham could have earned a point when Aluko twice missed good chances to complete her hat-trick, firstly shooting wide when bursting through and, in injury time, she headed over a cross by the impressive Karen Carney.
The other newly promoted club, Bristol Rovers, also suffered an opening day defeat when beaten 3-1 at Everton. The turning point came on the hour when Everton debutant Lindsey Johnson, signed from Liverpool, was sent off for deliberate handball but Stef Curtis missed the resulting penalty. Everton then rallied and rocked Rovers with a three-goal blast from Jenny Jones, Sammy Britton and Amy Byrne to take the points with Curtis grabbing a late consolation.
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