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FA Women’s National League

League Cup

Portsmouth moved themselves closer towards lifting the trophy for the first time when they won 2-1 away to Ipswich Town after extra time to reach the semi finals. Nicole Barrett scored the extra time winner for Jay Sadler’s side to add to an earlier strike from Sophie Quirk, with Bonnie Horwood on target for the Tractor Girls.

Newcastle Utd had a successful trip to Lancashire, booking their place in the last four with a 4-1 victory over Fylde Women. Georgia Gibson and Tyler Dodds each scored twice for the Magpies, whilst the Coasters’ consolation came from Sasha Rowe.

Hashtag Utd continued their run as they overcame a spirited London Bees side 3-1. The Bees got off to a great start with a good strike from Abbie Benstead giving them a first half lead, with Grace Gillard hitting back for the Tags who went on to take the game after the break with further goals from Wiktoria Fronc and Malika Apindia Gille.

Halifax FC Women complete the semi final line up as they also came from behind to win 3-2 against Huddersfield Town. Brittany Sanderson, Lucy Sowerby and Ellie White all scored to take Halifax through after Town had led 2-1 at the interval through Freya Walton and Yasmin Mason.

Semi final draw (to be played on 25 February):

Halifax FC Women v Hashtag Utd

Newcastle Utd v Portsmouth

League Plate

Derby County are the only top flight team left in the competition after they ran out 5-0 winners over Sutton Coldfield Town. Amy Sims led the scoring by hitting a first half hat-trick, before the Ewes added further goals after the break through Rebecca May and Kira Rai.

A closely contested quarter final was in anticipation at Barnsley, where they hosted fellow Diviusion One North title contenders Hull City, and this turned out to be the case as the home side triumphed on penalties following a 3-3 draw. Abi Housecroft, Emily Pierrepont and Charlotte Stuart all scored for Barnsley, with Ellie Tanser, Liberty Bott and Shakala Brookes as Hull’s markswomen, before Barnsley advanced with a 4-2 win from the spot.

Exeter City maintained their excellent season with an impressive 2-0 victory away to Southern Premier Division opponents Billericay Town. Both goals came in the last fifteen minutes, Sarah Stacey breaking the deadlock for Exeter and Beth Ireland adding the second shortly afterwards.

Cambridge Utd are just one game away from a first major Final after they won 1-0 at Maidenhead Utd. Alysha Stojko-Down scored the only goal of the game as the U’s kept up their best Cup run to date.

Semi final draw (to be played on 25 February):

Cambridge Utd v Barnsley

Exeter City v Derby County

Northern Premier Division

It has been a good couple of weeks for Nottingham Forest and they followed up their victory over leaders Newcastle Utd seven days earlier by putting an end to another unbeaten record, this time beating Burnley FC Women 2-1. Alice Keitley scored for the second successive week to give Forest the lead just before the hour mark and Mai Moncaster then secured the points with the second goal in injury time, despite recent signing Ginny Lackey pulling a goal back for Burnley shortly afterwards. The result means that Forest replace Burnley in second place and trail Newcastle by four points.

Wolverhampton Wanderers returned to league action following their FA Cup heroics but needed to come from behind to earn themselves a 1-1 draw with Stoke City. Lily Murphy gave Stoke a first half lead and this looked as though it might be enough to give them all three points but when the game went into injury time, Eloise Wilson came up with an equaliser which gave Wolves a share of the spoils.  

Southern Premier Division

Oxford Utd notched up a sixth straight league win, a 4-0 success away to Plymouth Argyle which takes them back up into fourth place. Zoe Barratt has been in superb form for the U’s in recent weeks and she hit a hat-trick, taking her league tally to 12 for the season in the process, and Issy Cook weighed in with the other goal.

Milton Keynes Dons entertained Cheltenham Town in a mid-table clash and increased the gap between the two teams to six points by beating them 1-0, Zoe Creaney scoring the only goal of the game.

Division One North

Stockport County took the opportunity to catch up ground on the top four when they won 1-0 away to York City. Emily Bradshaw scored the only goal of the game for County, just before the quarter hour.

Doncaster Rovers Belles continue to improve and they leapfrogged Chorley in the table after beating them 4-1. Phoebe Sneddon and Lindsey Tugby-Andrew put the Belles two goals ahead during the first half, with Charlotte Tyers reducing the arrears just ahead of half time. Jasmine Sacton then went on to the crown a fine win for her side when she scored a second half brace.

Chester-le-Street Town gave their hopes of climbing out of the bottom two when they won 2-0 against FC United of Manchester. Rhiannon Gray and Laura Hockaday scored the goals to give the Cestrians a result which takes them off the bottom of the table.

Division One Midlands

The match between the top two was postponed on Sunday and Sporting Khalsa are now hard on their heels in third place after running out 5-0 winners over Peterborough Utd. Daisy Wickett and Isabelle Austin-Short each netted twice for free scoring Khalsa and Megan Cann notched up the other goal to help her side replace the Posh Women in the top three.

Sheffield FC edged themselves closer towards moving out of the bottom two as they shared a goalless draw with mid-table Solihull Moors, which leaves them one point away from tbe safety zone.

Leafield Athletic also picked up a valuable point when they drew 1-1 with Leek Town. Leafield took the lead through Maisie McDonnell just before the half hour, with Leek battling back to earn themselves a point when Katie Maya equalised early in the second half.

Division One South East

Leaders AFC Wimbledon did not have a game on Sunday and this allowed second placed Worthing FC Women to close the gap on them to two points, thanks to a 2-0 victory away to AFC Sudbury. Both goals came during the first half, Gemma Worsfold giving Worthing the lead and Shannon Albuery adding the second moments later.

Norwich City remain very handily placed in third, three points off the pace and possessing a game in hand following their 5-1 victory over Actonians Ladies. Natasha Snelling led the scoring for the Canaries with a hat-trick and the others came from Ellie Smith and Hope Strauss.

Queen’s Park Rangers gave their chances of a top four place a boost when they defeated Cambridge City 2-1. First half goals from Emily Hill and Courtnay Ward-Chambers gave Rangers the points, with Rebecca Stephenson pulling one back for City after the break.

Ashford Town (Middlesex) follow on after coming from behind to earn a 1-1 draw against London Seaward. Shamoy Campbell opened the scoring for the Anchors, with Ashford hitting back for a share of the spoils with an equaliser from Anya Kinnane.

Chesham Utd meanwhile continued their climb away from danger by recording a second successive win, beating Haywards Heath Town 2-1. Heath took a first half lead via an own goal from a corner but in the final fifteen minutes, Gemma Fraser levelled the scores from the penalty spot and substitute Danielle Puddefoot grabbed a late winner for the Clarets.

Division One South West

The top two teams were not in action on Sunday and third placed Swindon Town were able to catch up some ground with a 1-0 victory away to Southampton Women. Georgia Vandries scored the only goal of the game for Swindon, just ahead of the hour mark.

Abingdon Utd continue to do well in their first season in the league and their 1-0 success against Bridgwater Utd keeps them in fourth. Molly Lygo-Jackson was on target for Abingdon, ten minutes into the second half.

Moneyfields’ hopes of keeping themselves in touch with the top three took a knock as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Portishead Town. Kau’inohea Taylor put the Moneys in front midway through the first half and this looked as though it would be enough to earn her side victory until the third minute of injury time, when improving Portishead salvaged themselves a valuable point through an equaliser from full back Chelsea Heal.

Keynsham Town made it two wins in a row and strengthened their position in the top half of the table when they defeated Torquay Utd 3-1. Keynsham got off to the fastest of starts with Naomi Clipston putting them in front inside the opening 30 seconds and they went on to add further goals ahead of the break through Hannah Price and Vicky Vipond, before Lexie Watts netted a second half consolation for Torquay.  

Reserve Section round-up….

Northern Division leaders Newcastle Utd’s hopes of a league and cup ‘double’ were brought to an end in the quarter finals of the Reserves Cup as they were beaten 2-1 by Wolverhampton Wanderers. A first half brace from Ania Denham took Wolves through to the last four, with Georgina Spraggon replying for the Magpies. Oxford Utd still remain in the running for two trophies and kept those hopes alive by beating Watford 4-0, courtesy of a goal apiece from Poppy Dearlove, Isobel Kinsella, Holly Sellwood and Amy Woodhead. Ella Rowell (2), Eva Mysleyko and Ellen-Marie Atkinson accounted for the goals as Durham Cestria ran out 4-1 winners over Stoke City, whose consolation came from Molly Philpott.

Semi final draw (to be played on 25 February):

Oxford Utd v Durham Cestria

Wolverhampton Wanderers v AFC Bournemouth

Southampton Women produced a fine result in the Reserves Plate, with Chloe Ball and Danielle Kjaer each scoring twice as they won 4-2 at Milton Keynes Dons. Liverpool Feds went through to the last four on penalties after Sophie Coward and Anais Pattison had netted their goals in a 2-2 draw against Halifax FC Women whilst Peterborough Utd and Hull City also shared four goals, the Posh Women winning the resulting shootout 4-1 following strikes from Jessica Abrantes and Taya Smith in open play. Dahlia Salah (2), Assia Fatri and Ruby Maiden accounted for the goals as Queen’s Park Rangers booked their place in the semi finals with a 4-0 victory over Moneyfields.

Semi final draw (to be played on 25 February):

Queen’s Park Rangers v Peterborough Utd

Southampton Women v Liverpool Feds

Stockport County and Leeds Utd remain level on points in the Northern Division after their meeting finished in a 3-3 draw. Reese Hopkinson netted twice and Abbie Langstaff the other as Leeds raced into a 3-1 lead at half time but a second half fightback from County saw Natasha Hanks and Charlie Ferguson score to earn them a share of the spoils, to add to Ellie Banks’ earlier goal. Barnsley meanwhile claimed their third victory in four matches when bating Chorley 3-1.  

Stourbridge have leapt into second place in the Midland Division following their 3-0 victory against Sporting Khalsa. Jessica Lowe, Senna Robinson and Kiera-Cheynelle Scarlett all scored a goal apiece for the Glassgirls who are six points behind leaders Derby County. Sutton Coldfield Town meanwhile won for only the second time this season, as first half strikes from Phoebe Hopwood (2) and Twania Costa-Demba saw them beat Notts County 3-0.

In the South East & Central Division, Billericay Town netted six times without reply past Maidenhead Utd and this has lifted them up to third. Tilly Jones led the scoring with a hat-trick and the others came from Lois Hall, Megan Reilly and Maya Lane. Evie Conway and Alexis Ford were both on target for Rugby Borough as they battled out a 2-2 draw with London Seaward, who netted through Rae Roberts and Alyxandra Ray.

Portsmouth kept up their pursuit of South West Division leaders AFC Bournemouth by running out 6-0 winners away to Keynsham Town. April Hill bagged a hat-trick and she was joined on the scoresheet by Chelsea Burr, Sarah Butterworth and Aimee Woodard as Pompey reduced the gap on the Cherries to six points.