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Women's Football News
Nottingham Forest have won the Northern Division Championship and are promoted to the National Division following a dramatic finish to the title race on Sunday.
Forest and Lincoln went into their final matches virtually neck-and-neck, Lincoln topping the table by virtue of a solitary goal.
As it was, Forest went on to claim the title with a 5-1 victory over Sheffield Wednesday whilst Lincoln were beaten 2-1 by Sunderland.
Forest's nerves were eased on the half hour as captain Beth Bailey gave them lead on the half hour. After the break, two goals came in a five-minute spell from Natalie Clarke before Bailey netted her second. Frankie Waller pulled a goal back for Wednesday but Clarke completed her hat-trick three minutes from time and the Forest celebrations began.
Lincoln meanwhile battled out a goalless first half at Sunderland in a match which had been abandoned two weeks earlier because of heavy snow, with the Lady Imps leading 1-0. This time, Lincoln twice hit the woodwork in the first half but just after the hour mark, Sunderland took the lead as Steph O'Brien volleyed home from an Abby Holmes cross. Steph Bannon went close to a second but Lincoln battled back to equalise when Megan Harris forced home from close range following a goalmouth scramble. Lincoln pressed forward in search of a second goal and were twice denied by saves from Helen Alderson, but Sunderland were to take the points in injury time, Demi Stokes breaking down the wing and crossing for Lucy Bronze to fire home and break Lincoln's hearts.
Just over a month ago, Newcastle Utd had dropped to the bottom of the table as a result of their F.A.Women's Cup run but a fine spell of form has seen their season finish with a 3-2 win at Aston Villa, which takes them into fourth place. Ruth Sutcliffe gave Newcastle an early lead which was cancelled out seconds later by Danielle Selmes, but the Magpies went back in front via a 20-yard strike from Steph Eadon. Ten minutes into the second half, Melanie Reay netted from the penalty spot - a goal which is likely to confirm her as the division's top scorer on 28 - before Julia Marshall gave Villa late hope by pulling a goal back.
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