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Enfield Town Res 0 Walton Casuals 3
Walton Casuals sealed the Greater London Women's League Division Two North title after a superb debut season at the Donkey Lane home of one of their closest rivals, Enfield Town Reserves.
Three first half goals gave Casuals a good cushion but they were made to work very hard to preserve that advantage to the end by a lively home team who created several good chances to set up a close finish. In the end, however, Casuals were able to toast a very successful first title achieved with a clean sheet and games to spare.
Third placed Enfield, needing a win to put pressure on their rivals, started very strongly and it was against the run of play when Casuals scored with their first attack on nine minutes. A long ball through the middle released Megan Saunders to finish neatly past Katie Chan.
A similar goal doubled the lead on 16 minutes, Emily Bernard measuring a pass for Molly Jones to score. Enfield responded well, Molly Norman hitting the bar with a powerful shot and then the hosts having a goal ruled out for offside after a fine build up.
The home team's Olivia Martin fired a half volley over the bar on the half hour but it was Walton Casuals who notched a vital third goal just before the break. Saunders was brought down on the left edge of the area after a good run. Jodie Barker delivered an inviting lofted ball and Ella Meehan timed her far post run perfectly to net with a powerful header on 43 minutes.
Enfield again started the better after the break and pressed Casuals back for long periods. Sub Leyla Yahioglu was a constant threat, having a header saved by Stacey Bishopp then missing a good chance set up by Claire Huggins on 57 minutes. Huggins fired another shot just wide as Enfield looked certain to reduce the deficit.
Yahioglu was denied again by an excellent reaction save by Bishopp as she flicked a cross towards the net but finally Walton found their second wind and started to threaten again. Jones nearly scored with a clever lob then Chan made a fine double save as Casuals broke through on the right on 76 minutes. Allana Ashmeil then went on a fine run down the left for Casuals. Her inviting cross went unconverted but Casuals were getting close to the finishing line in more comfort.
Enfield battled hard right to the end but the Casuals defended very efficiently, always finding a tackle or a clearance to foil the hosts. The final whistle brought deserved celebration of a job well done over a long season for a very talented and committed young team.
Enfield Town Res:
Katie Chan, Sian Logie, Macy Diaz, Rhiannon Bassett, Laura Elias, Sarah Hammond, Olivia Martin, Samantha Malyon, Lucy Spours, Molly Norman, Claire Huggins. Subs: Ebony Heath, Cayleigh Jackson, Kirsty O'Mailey, Leyla Yahioglu, Robyn Brown.
Stacey Bishopp, Amelia Dale, Ella Meehan, Jodie Weller, Emily Bernard, Jasmin Baker, Megan Saunders, Molly Jones, Kaitlyn Lewis, Jodie Barker, Allana Francis-Ashmeil. Subs: Sophie-Louise Balaam, Olivia Gregory.
(Report by Patrick Higgins)
Photos by www.jamesprickett.co.uk:
(top) Kaitlyn Lewis is challenged by Laura Elias
(middle) Samantha Malyon clears away from Sophie-Louise Balaam
(bottom) Jasmin Baker is taken on by Leyla Yahioglu
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