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FA Women’s National League

Northern Premier Division

Nottingham Forest opened up the title race on Sunday as they inflicted a first defeat of the season on league leaders Newcastle Utd. The match at Kingston Park Stadium attracted an attendance of 3,361 and things started well for the Magpies, with Georgia Gibson giving them a fourth minute lead. Forest were to hit back strongly with Alice Keitley levelling the scores on the half hour and then a late goal from Niamh Reynolds brought an end to the home side’s run and kept their own hopes alive - they now trail Newcastle by seven points and have a game in hand.

Derby County meanwhile leapfrogged Stourbridge in the table and are back in the top half after winning their meeting 2-0. An own goal gave the Ewes the lead on the half hour mark and Isabel Sheridan wrapped up the win with the second, eight minutes from time.  

Southern Premier Division

Ipswich Town returned to league action on Sunday with a trip to London Bees and the resulting 6-1 victory has lifted them into fourth place. Ruby Doe was on target twice for the Tractor Girls along with Leah Mitchell, Natasha Thomas, Lenna Williams and Maria Boswell, whilst the Bees netted a consolation through Kayla Potter.

Plymouth Argyle meanwhile undertook a long but successful trip to Cheltenham Town and moved themselves closer towards the mid-table positions by beating them 3-2. Emily Owen gave Cheltenham the lead during the first half but after the break, Fern Orchard levelled the scores for Argyle before Charlotte Whitmore netted a quickfire double. Phoebie Poole reduced the arrears for the home side but Cheltenham were unable to get back on terms and Plymouth held out for their fourth league win of the campaign.

Division One North

Middlesbrough have gone level on points with leaders Barnsley and stretched their unbeaten run to eleven games with a 3-1 success away to Stockport County. Francesca Davies did get County off to a great start by giving them a fifth minute lead but after the break, ‘Boro took control of the match and goals from Nichole Havery, Lauren Robson and Jessica Mett stepped up their title challenge.

Durham Cestria are the division’s other form team and they made it three victories on the trot when beating Chorley 2-0. Leanna Giles bagged a second half brace for the Wildcats who are now just six points off the pace.

Division One Midlands

Only one match was played in the division on Sunday, and it didn’t produce any goals! It did provide a valuable point for Notts County though, as they battled out a goalless draw with mid-table Sutton Coldfield Town.

Division One South West

With all of the other teams involved in County Cup action, Exeter City took the opportunity to double their advantage at the top of the table with a fourteen-goal blast against Selsey Women. Sarah Stacey and Connie Pengelly led the spree with four goals apiece, Amber Pollock weighed in with a brace and they were joined on the scoresheet by Jenna Markham, Matilda Franchi and Zoe Watkins along with an own goal.  

Reserve Section round-up….

Newcastle Utd stay seven points clear at the top of the Northern Division after a Georgina Spraggon double, Jessica Spark and Alicia Mutrie fired them a 4-2 victory away to Hull City. All five matches in the division resulted in away wins on Sunday, including a 1-0 success for Leeds Utd which took them into second, Katie Ormerod scoring the only goal of the game. Stockport County meanwhile edged out Huddersfield Town 4-3 to go level on points with them, Darcey Edwards leading the scoring with a hat-trick and Analise Atkinson adding the other. Hanna Pennington was another hat-trick scorer and Sophie Coward was also on target as Liverpool Feds beat Halifax FC Women 4-2 and Barnsley were 4-1 winners over Bradford City, courtesy of a goal apiece from Ayanna Davidson, Targol Fayyaz, Beth Howarth and Chloe Brammer.  

Wolverhampton Wanderers have moved up into second place in the Midland Division after a Lyndsey Ross-Baker hat-trick, Grace Gregory and Liberty Walker gave them a 5-0 victory over Sporting Khalsa. Lincoln City went down to a 2-1 defeat at home to Doncaster Rovers Belles, for whom Jessica Hart netted both goals, and this allowed Stourbridge to replace them in fourth place with an 11-1 victory over Notts County. Jessica Lowe spearheaded the win with a seven-goal haul, Senna Robinson weighed in with a brace and there was one apiece from Favour Omenazu and Grace Rogers.

Oxford Utd stretched their South East & Central Division lead to four points by scoring seven times without reply past Rugby Borough, Amy Woodhead scoring a hat-trick along with Holly Sellwood (2), Isobel Kinsella and Ellie-Mae Richardson. Milly Hayes scored twice and Leoni Micelli the other for second placed Milton Keynes Dons as they shared a 3-3 draw with Watford, whose scorers were Aleksandra Werszko, Isabella Sturmey and Charlotte Byde. Billericay Town meanwhile moved up to third as a brace from Layla Kenly gave them a 2-0 victory over AFC Sudbury. Cambridge City and Hashtag Utd battled out a goalless draw whilst London Seaward edged out Queen’s Park Rangers 3-2 thanks to Suzanne Davies, Alyxandra Ray and Baileigh Cordice.

One match was played in the South West Division, AFC Bournemouth restoring their six point lead with a 6-2 victory away to Swindon Town. Mia Hemmick netted twice for the Cherries and she was joined on the scoresheet by Freya Jennings, Elin Starck, Elle-Mae Elkins and Kaitlyn Elliott.