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FA Women’s National League

Northern Premier Division

Newcastle Utd rounded off a glorious season for themselves on a winning note, the newly crowned Champions running out 4-0 winners over West Bromwich Albion on the final day of the season. The game was goalless at the interval but two minutes after the restart, Tyler Dodds opened the scoring for the Magpies. Kacie Elson made it two on the hour and Newcastle went on to crown the win with further goals in the final fifteen minutes from Sharna Wilkinson and Anna Soulsby.

Newcastle therefore finish on top of the table by a commanding margin of eleven points, due to runners-up Burnley FC Women going down to a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Derby County. The Ewes have had something of an inconsistent season and end up in mid-table, but ended on a promising note for themselves after Dolcie O’Connor gave them the lead midway through the first half and Amy Sims sewed up the points with the second goal after the break.

Burnley had already been confirmed in the runners-up and Nottingham Forest are a further point adrift in third following their 2-0 victory against Stoke City. In front of a healthy crowd of just under 600, Forest secured the points with first half strikes from Holly Manders and Natalie Johnson.

Wolverhampton Wanderers finished off their campaign with a victory, 2-1 away to Liverpool Feds. Tammi George gave Wolves the lead just after the half hour mark and, following an equaliser early in the second half from the prolific Paige Cole, Sophie Bramford settled matters with the winning goal for Wolves with ten minutes remaining.

Halifax FC Women captured a top half place as they defeated Fylde Women 6-1. Courtney Willis was on target twice for Halifax along with Meg Boydell, Drew Greene, Georgia Stevens and an own goal, whilst the Coasters’ consolation came from Lois Moore.

It has been a disappointing season overall for Huddersfield Town and it concluded with them picking up a point from a 3-3 draw with Stourbridge. Scarlett McMahon bagged a brace and Cara Fields the other for Town, who will surely be setting their sights on a quick return next season, whilst Zoe Clarke, Niamh Murphy and Favour Omenazu were all on target for the Glassgirls.

Southern Premier Division

Champions Portsmouth celebrated the end of the best season in their history in style, with a crushing 10-1 victory over London Bees in front of a crowd of 1,350. No less than eight different players got on the scoresheet for Pompey, Ava Rowbotham and Sophie Quirk each netting twice along with Emily Pitman, Ella Humphrey, Danielle Lane, Daisy McLachlan, Emma Jones and Nicole Barrett, whilst T’yana Nee-Chambers scored a consolation for the Bees.

Hashtag Utd are another team who are likely to look back on the season with fondness, their first season at this level ending them finishing as runners-up and League Cup winners. The Tags rounded things off on a winning note, first half goals from Jade Keogh, Valentine Pursey and Sophie Baigent taking them to a 3-0 success away to Cheltenham Town.

Rugby Borough have done enough to suggest that better times lies ahead, winning 3-2 against Chatham Town having already secured a top three place. Jessica Camwell netted twice and Angelina Nixon the other for Rugby, whilst Chatham’s replies came from Holly Turner and Darcy Wells.

Ipswich Town took fourth place on goal difference following their 1-0 victory against Billericay Town, courtesy of a first half goal from leading scorer Natasha Thomas.

That result means that the Tractor Girls finish just above Oxford Utd, who were 2-1 winners away to Cardiff City Ladies. Zoe Barratt has had an excellent season for the U’s and she scored both goals to secure the points for her side, after Ruby Scahill had equalised for the home side.

Milton Keynes Dons made the long, long trip to Plymouth Argyle but ensured that it was a happy journey home with a 2-1 victory. In manager Charlie Bill’s last match in charge after eight years at the helm, Zoe Creaney headed the Dons ahead early on but Argyle fought back strongly and Ellie Sara was once again on the scoresheet just before half time. Tricia Gould fired MK back in front shortly after the restart and they held out under late pressure for a hard earned win.

Division One North

Newly crowned Champions Hull City rounded off their successful season with a 6-1 victory over FC United of Manchester. Helen Lynskey and Ellie Tanser each scored twice for Hull, whose other markswomen were Shakala Brookes and Hope Knight.

Hull finish on top of the table by a margin of seven points after runners-up Middlesbrough saw their 19-match unbeaten run brought to an end by York City. York went into the match requiring a point to absolutely guarantee their safety but any relegation fears they had were banished by a fine performance, crowned by second half goals from Jess Holder and Ocean Rolandsen for a 2-0 victory.

Durham Cestria picked up the point they needed for another top three finish as they shared a 1-1 draw with Chorley. The Wildcats took a fifteenth minute lead through Megan Elliott, with the Magpies battling back after the break to earn themselves a share of the spoils, thanks to an equaliser from Megan Parker.

The point means that Durham finish in third on goal difference, ahead of Barnsley who edged out Doncaster Rovers Belles 3-2. Rosie Axten was on target twice for Barnsley along with Charlotte Stuart, whilst the Belles replied through Jasmine Saxton and Arianne Parnham.

Stockport County end up in fifth place following their 2-0 success away to Norton & Stockton Ancients. After a goalless first half, County took the spoils after the break with goals from Gemma Lancaster and Lily Weston.

Chester-le-Street Town did all they could for their survival but their 2-0 win against Leeds Utd was not quite enough to save them. Jenny Ashton and Katie Ellison scored the goals for the Cestrians but York’s excellent win at Middlesbrough was what they needed to secure their status.

Division One Midlands

Sporting Khalsa needed a victory on the final day of the season to make sure of being crowned as Champions and they duly won 3-1 against Sheffield FC, who will finish in the bottom two as a result. Laura Smith gave Khalsa the lead in the opening minute and after Moriah McIntosh had levelled for the home side, Ania Denham put them back in front on the stroke of half time. Any lingering doubts for Khalsa were extinguished with five minutes remaining, when Maja Szymkowiak completed the best season in the club’s history with the title clinching goal.

Loughborough Lightning meanwhile did what they had to do, also winning 3-1 at Lincoln City but a vastly superior goal difference for Khalsa means they will have to settle for second place. Goals from Hannah Langford, Ferne Powell and Lydia Tilbury-Henry raised their hopes but it was not quite enough, with Millie Quaintance grabbing a consolation for the Lady Imps late on.

Peterborough Utd will finish in third place after coming from behind at the break to draw 1-1 with Leafield Athletic, who completed their great escape from danger. Leafield had looked doomed at one stage before a late surge took them out of the relegation positions and safety was assured by a first half goal from Seanna McCann-Lloyd, before substitute Zaiga Lacite hit back with an equaliser for the Posh Women with sixteen minutes left.

Boldmere St Michaels rounded off their campaign on a winning note, edging out Sutton Coldfield Town 2-1. Jade Formaston and Anna Wilcox were both on target for the Mikes, whilst Sutton’s reply came from Steph Kingston.

A crowd of 1,098 saw Northampton Town run out 4-0 winners over Notts County, who managed to survive relegation despite the result on the day. Jade Bell led the scoring for the Lady Cobblers by hitting a hat-trick and she was joined on the scoresheet by Kim Farrow.

Leek Town are the other unfortunate team to end up in the bottom two as they crashed to a 5-0 defeat at home to Solihull Moors. All of the goals came in the first half, Tiana Russell-Cartwright netting a hat-trick to help the Moors to a top half finish, whilst Eva Rogers and Ridhi Ruparella contributed the other goals.

Division One South East

After going so close to promotion in recent seasons, AFC Wimbledon can finally look forward to Southern Premier Division football next season and they signed off with another victory, beating Actonians Ladies 2-1 in front of a crowd of 2,686 at Plough Lane. Ashlee Hincks scored the winner for the Dons from the penalty spot with five minutes remaining, after Hannah Billingham had given them a first half lead and the A’s equalising through a Jasmine Williamson header.

Norwich City’s hopes of finishing the season with an unbeaten record were scuppered in the very last match, going down 1-0 to Ashford Town (Middlesex). Anya Kinnane became the only player to score a winning goal past Norwich in the league this season and this result means that Ashford end up in a highly creditable fourth place.

Worthing FC Women’s first season in the league resulted in a top three finish and they rounded off a good campaign by winning 2-1 away to Cambridge City. Shannon Albuery grabbed the winning goal for Worthing, to add to Gemma Worsfold’s earlier strike, whilst Rebecca Stephenson netted a first half consolation for City.

An extraordinary match at Queen’s Park Rangers saw the home side battle out a 5-5 draw with AFC Sudbury, who can look forward to National League football again next season. Grace Stanley bagged a brace for the R’s along with Joanna Blodgett, Kasha Petit and Courtnay Ward-Chambers, whilst Sudbury responded with a Jessica Allen hat-trick, as well as other strikes from Leonnie Bezant and Yasmine Drake.

The points were also shared between Cambridge Utd and Chesham Utd, as their meeting finished level at 2-2. Isabella Simmons and Abbi Smith were on target for the U’s, whilst the Clarets netted through Natasha Smith and Sasha Smith.

London Seaward ended their season on a winning note, thanks to a 3-1 success away to Haywards Heath Town. Sharne Harris, Rea Laudat and Elizabeth Mulvaney all scored a goal apiece for the Anchors, with Anaisa Harney replying.

Division One South West

The title showdown ended in a 1-1 draw and with honours even on the day, meaning that Exeter City took the title and promotion by a margin of two points from AFC Bournemouth, who finish second despite going the whole season unbeaten. In remarkably similar fashion to their previous meeting this season, which also finished 1-1, Bournemouth once again took a first half lead with a goal from Gemma McGuinness and just before the hour, Zoe Cunningham scored the goal which took Exeter over the line.

Moneyfields had already secured a third place finish for the second year in a row and finished off by narrowly beating Abingdon Utd 3-2. Kau’inohea Taylor gave the Moneys a first half lead which was cancelled out by Mimi Hodges, but goals after the break from Gemma Simmonds and Megan Fox saw Moneyfields home despite Abingdon pulling one back through Lia Francis.

Swindon Town were involved in another high scoring game but needed to withstand a late fightback from Torquay Utd in their 5-4 victory. Annabell Colston netted another brace for the Wiltshire side and she was joined on the scoresheet by Megan Jarvis, Gipsy Viveash and Helena Diaz-Butcher. Katelyn McKane bagged a brace along with Tracey Cross and Emily Eaton as Torquay tried to gain the win which would take them to safety but the Devon side fell just short.

Keynsham Town narrowly got the better of Bridgwater Utd with a 2-1 win in an entertaining match. Veteran striker Kerry Bartlett settled matters in Keynsham’s favour with two well taken first half goals, with Eve Mabel replying, but Bridgwater were left to rue a missed penalty early in the second half, which was saved by Charlotte Haynes.

Maidenhead Utd meanwhile secured their ninth win of the season when they defeated Southampton Women 2-1. The first half was goalless but Megan Wood put the Sirens in front via a penalty on the hour mark but Simone O’Brien quickly brought Maidenhead back on level terms and they went on to take the points, thanks to an injury time winner from Isabella Stockton.

Portishead Town also finished on a winning note with a 3-1 success against Selsey Women. Tamzin Hayward and Shannon Holloway were both on target for Posset along with an own goal before Selsey, who deserve enormous credit for completing what must have been a nightmare season for them, scored a late consolation through Anwen Evans.  


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