Abergavenny Women have got off to an excellent start this season and currently lead the Welsh Premier Women's League by five points after winning each of their opening four games, the latest being a 5-1 victory over Rhyl Ladies on Sunday.
We talked to Abergavenny midfielder Kate Jeremiah who was very pleased with the club's start so far, not only with their results but also with the way the club formerly known as PILCS has settled down so quickly at their new home:
WSS: Well done on another good win on Sunday, how pleased were you with the way the team played?
KJ: It was a good win on Sunday, although we weren't at our best to be fair and game was spoilt with the two sendings off for Rhyl plus their manager was also sent off for constantly questioning the referee's decisions. Happy with the three points though and I got two goals, which is always pleasing!
WSS: Four wins out of four has been the perfect start, has the club approached the season in a different way from before?
KJ: It's been a great start to the season after a summer of change, hard work and new players coming in. Winning at Swansea and Cardiff has given the team lots of confidence and we're looking forward to the season ahead.
WSS: How big a confidence booster was that opening day win over Swansea City?
KJ: Winning at Swansea on day one was fantastic, especially after throwing away a three-goal lead and for me to get the winner was special. It meant a lot to the girls who lost to Swansea in the League Cup final last season and owed them one to be fair.
WSS: Lyndsey Davies has been in brilliant form in front of goal, how good is it for the team to have someone like her up front?
KJ: Lyndsey is a special talent and gives the team so much more than just goals. Having won the Premier League Golden Boot in 2014 and 2015, she lost out by one goal last season after sacrificing her striker role in the latter part of the season to help out in midfield. How she's never got a Wales call up is shocking and I know my dad and brother who run our team get frustrated about it.
WSS: Is it a little disappointing to be without a game this week, now that the team has built up a lot of momentum?
KJ: It may be a couple of weeks until we play again as all games on October 9th have been postponed due to the Wales men's team playing. Also with Cwmbran Celtic dropping out, teams are left without a game which is frustrating, especially with twelve points on the board.
WSS: How smooth was the transition and change to Abergavenny Women during the summer?
KJ: Changing from PILCS Ladies to Abergavenny has been brilliant and we get so much support from everyone there, which we never got at PILCS. We feel part of a big family at a club with lots of ambition. I know my dad has worked so hard over the summer getting everything in place and our squad now is so strong and we're playing at a nice ground on a pitch which is well looked after.
Our thanks to Kate!
There were celebrations all round as Wolves Women bounced back empathically from the previous week's 3-0 defeat with a dominating 5-0 victory over Leicester City Ladies, and twin team mates Jade and Emma Cross enjoyed their 21st birthday.
Indeed it was a goalscoring birthday for Jade as she gave Wolves a first half lead from the penalty spot and she went on to score a second after the break, as well as creating the final goal for Amber Quick.
After the game, Wolves manager Steve Cullis praised his team and birthday girl Jade Cross in particular. He said: "Everyone at the game last week knew we underperformed; the standard just wasn't good enough, but today as a team our focus was that we had to improve on what we did last week and obviously we did that tenfold today.
"The pleasing thing was we created a lot more chances than last week, so for me it was just a matter of time, of getting our quality players on the ball in the right areas and punishing their mistakes.
"Jade did brilliantly today. She's been a bit short on confidence lately but credit to her, today she stepped up.
"She dispatched the penalty expertly, she runs the line really well, and she's so effective with the team. Whether that be as a goalscorer or with her creative energy, she provides a massive boost for the team."
Luton Town 2 Milton Keynes Dons 1
Luton Town made the most of their annual visit to Kenilworth Road with a hard fought 2-1 win over Milton Keynes Dons in front of a crowd of 332.
The hosts had to dig deep to overcome a first half deficit and hold on under intense pressure at times as both teams gave a performance worthy of the setting.
MK started the better and it was the visitors who took the lead when Leah Cudone was played in on goal and a defender seemed to get the final touch as the ball curled in past keeper Jess Devoti on 20 minutes.
The equaliser around half hour was a superb effort by Jess McKay. MK keeper Savannah Smith seemed to have cleared effectively with her feet from a Luton attack, sending the ball high to the right touchline, 40 yards from goal. McKay controlled perfectly with one touch then instantly aimed the ball over the retreating keeper and into the net.
Joanne Rutherford set up the decisive goal early in the second half, winning a corner with a powerful run down the right then delivering the set piece for Nicola Henman to turn the ball over the line in a scramble. the goal being awarded after the referee consulted with an assistant.
MK poured forward in search of an equaliser and came very close on several occasions. Charley Clarke hit the bar from distance, Heather McDonnell had a free kick pushed onto the underside of the bar by Devoti on 65 minutes, then Hannah Barrett was inches away from converting a Wright cross on the far post.
Having weathered the storm, Luton saw out the game with great determination and commitment. McKay hit the outside of the post from a narrow angle and the hosts went close to making the game safe on several occasions whilst defending very soundly in the final ten minutes.
Luton rose to third place in the FAWPL Division One South East table with this win whilst Milton Keynes Dons remain in sixth place.
Luton Town: Jess Devoti, Rachel Kosky, Lucy Webster, Jess McKay, Rachel Carter, Mollie Robinson, Nicola Henman, Michelle Byrne, Zara Carroll, Dionne Manning, Joanne Rutherford. Subs: Shannon Pratt, Rebecca Wilson-Kane, Erica Byron, Rachel Evans, Jodie Southby.
Milton Keynes Dons: Savannah Smith, Kara Hawes, Sammy Gillings, Leanne Doyle, Vicky Holland, Charley Clarke, Heather McDonnell, Sasha Newsome, Leah Cudone, Charly Wright, Hannah Barrett. Subs: Emma Kirby, Kerry Newman, Nicola Brooks, Sophie Watson, Louise Naylor.
(Report by Patrick Higgins)
Photo - Charley Clarke tackles Zara Carroll (www.jamesprickett.co.uk).
Peter May Sports Centre welcomed 270 girls to take part in a free FA Girls' Football Festival on Tuesday 27th September, organised with the support of the Essex County FA to encourage females to participate in football.
Girls aged between five and 16 years from various clubs and schools across the county were invited to test their skills in a range of activities combining football, fun and music. The festival was a joint initiative by the FA and Continental Tyres, providing an exciting, interactive football experience for both those new to the game and regular players.
FA-approved coaches led the event, with a number of FA and County FA staff and volunteers on-hand to help out and referee. The sessions included skills and drills, interactive games, mini matches and ContiWarmUp - a coaching programme endorsed by the FA.
Caroline Hulme, National Women's Football Project Officer at The FA, commented: "It is fantastic to see so many young girls enjoying playing football here today. For some it's their first experience of football and may even be the very first time they have kicked a ball.
"A huge thank you to Emma Burden and her team from Essex County FA for all the hard work they have put in leading up to the event to ensure girls in the county have the opportunity to play. We hope to see these girls continuing to play football in the future as a result of today, supporting our aim to double female participation!"
The festival also offered a range of innovative equipment, including an inflatable pitch, speed cage, target shoot, quick feet and batak boards. Charlotte Lade, one of the world's leading professional football freestylers, also demonstrated her amazing tricks and skills.
Girls chatted and enjoyed a kickabout with Evie Clarke and Merrick Will, stars of the FA Women's Super League, who both play for London Bees. The two ladies discussed life as semi-professional female footballers and gave advice on how to get involved in the game.
In addition, Emma Byrne, Arsenal Ladies goalkeeper, made a very special surprise visit to the festival for a question and answer session with the girls in the afternoon. Tottenham Hotspur Ladies First Team Coach Karen Hills, Captain Jenna Schillaci, Lucia Leon and Ronnell Humes also dropped by to inspire the youngsters.
Merrick said: "This whole experience was something really special to be a part of. Inspiring all the young girls to get involved and, most importantly, stay involved in football was a pleasure, and something that was really brought across by the coaches as well. The initiative between The FA and Continental Tyres was brilliant and the festival really highlighted the fun, creative side of football which really encouraged the girls to try out new skills.
"With the recent success the Lionesses have seen, it was a really positive way to promote women's football and inspire the next generation of talented female footballers. A huge well done must go out to all girls, coaches and their teachers who made the effort to make it a successful and enjoyable day. Thanks for having us!"
Although Jayne Ludlow's senior side missed out on qualification for the UEFA Women's EURO 2017 finals, attentions quickly turn to the challenges facing the Wales Under-17 and Under-19 teams in October as the two teams head to Latvia and FYR Macedonia respectively to start their qualifying campaigns ahead of the 2017 finals.
The Under-17 side take to the field first on 2nd October when they take on Turkey in Riga. The side then face the formidable challenge of holders Germany on 4th October before completing their Group Seven fixtures against host nation Latvia on 7th October.
The group winners and runners-up will progress to the Elite round of fixtures, along with the required number of third placed teams with the best record against the first and second-placed teams, to ensure there are 24 sides in the next phase. Spain have a guaranteed place in the Elite round as top seeds, while the Czech Republic automatically qualify for the 2017 finals as hosts.
The action continues in FYR Macedonia on 18th October when the Under-19 side open their Group Two qualifiers against Italy in Skopje. The side then face the Republic of Ireland on 20th October, before completing their fixtures against the hosts three days later.
The same procedure as the Under-17 tournament applies in order to qualify for the Elite round of fixtures, where the successful nations will join top seeds France, England and Germany.
The 2017 finals will be held in Northern Ireland. Meanwhile, success in the competition also offers qualification for the FIFA Under-20 Women's World Cup Finals that will take place in France in 2018.
The recent UEFA Women's EURO 2017 qualifiers has seen Jayne Ludlow introduce a number of young players into the senior squad, and these qualifying tournaments offer the perfect opportunity for the next generation to show their ability against quality opposition.
Last summer, Wales hosted their Under-19 qualifying group, and captain Charlie Estcourt has since progressed to become a regular member of the senior squad. Estcourt scored her first senior international goal in the 3-0 qualifying victory over Israel in Newport recently and is a clear example of the pathway that now exists for players to progress through the women's football system in Wales.
The squads are as follows:
Llanfair Utd v Amlwch Town
Kinmel Bay v Aberystwyth Town
Rhyl Ladies v Caernarfon Town
Bethel Ladies v Penrhycoch
Penybont v Aberdare
Briton Ferry Llansawel v Cascade
Cardiff Met Ladies v Camrose
Barry Town Utd v Dafen Welfare
Port Talbot Town v Cyncoed Ladies
Abergavenny v Newcastle Emlyn
Pontypridd v Abertillery Belles
Llangyfelach v Cwmbran Celtic
to be played on Sunday 23rd October
Mansfield Town stay top of the Premier Division following a 7-1 victory against previously unbeaten Bedworth Utd. Androulle Kokkinou led the scoring with a four-goal haul and there was one apiece from Emma Allen, Monica Bowley and Jemma Meakin. Peterborough Northern Star meanwhile scored eleven without reply past Notts County Development and have gone second, Vicky Gallagher and Sophie Hurst each hitting hat-tricks along with Katie Steward (2), Cassie Steward, Deva Rawlings and Chanade Henderson. Rise Park maintained their good start by beating Ruddington Village 6-0 with goals from Carla Thornton (2), Laura Henning, Amy White, Sasha Booker and Santanna Dunk. Mansfield Hosiery Mills got back to winning ways with a 2-0 success at Arnold Town, Beth Wilcockson netting both, and Nettleham won for the first time, 3-0 against Kettering Town thanks to Tia Johnson (2) and Holly Newman.
Lincoln Moorlands Railway have moved to the top of Division One North after a Lauren Churcher hat-trick guided them to a 3-0 victory at Teversal. Calverton MW defeated Grimsby Borough 4-2 to join them on six points, Stephanie Morrell netting twice along with Laura Billam and Hayley Brown, whilst a Sarah Upton brace gave Draycott Victoria a 2-1 win against Arnold Town Development. Emily Foss, Katie Mayfield, Chloe Scott and Lauren Turner were on the scoresheet for Woodlands Ladies as they drew 4-4 with Ollerton Town, for whom Natalie Gibson hit a hat-trick along with Rachel Murray.
Leicester City Women Development are setting the pace in Division One South following their 7-1 victory over Riverside LFC. Sophie Domingo, Natalie Hurst and Natalie Johnson each scored twice along with Meghan Kenney. Northampton Town also have two wins from two games, Emma Dunmore's four-goal haul leading them to a 9-0 win against Loughborough Foxes Vixens. Francesca Partridge added two and there was one apiece from Zoe Boote, Natasha Folwell and Georgina Powell.
Eastern Region League
The top two in the Premier Division are still setting a fast pace but there has been a change of leadership with Haringey Borough going top on goal difference after beating Histon 6-0. Brooke Hills scored a hat-trick with one each from Kiesha Darroux, Anele Komani and Jessica Appeagyei. Sophie Britton and Maya Sidhu were on target as Bedford Ladies won 2-1 at Writtle to keep pace with them. Acle Utd are three points behind in third after beating Colchester Town 6-2 with Rebecca Burton, Joanne Hooper, Anna Larkins, Kate Pasque, Jody Wells and Kelly Gray all on the scoresheet. Mia Etheridge, Stacey Teager and Charlene Roach all netted for AFC Sudbury in their 3-0 victory over Billericay Town whilst AFC Dunstable beat Brentwood Town 2-0, Amber Pearson scoring both goals.
Sarah Mosley, Grace Stanley and Isabelle Broadbent were all on target as Division One leaders Cambridge City won 3-0 away to Offley & Stopsley. They stay two points ahead of Wymondham Town who beat Little Thurrock Dynamos 4-1 thanks to Bethany Fretwell, Kayleigh Holloway, Gemma Sanders and Laura Wiseman.
Silver End are through to the next round of the League Cup after winning 5-2 away to Stevenage Ladies Res. Stephanie Burder netted twice along with Lynsey Bowman, Rebecca Hollocks and Jodie Osborne. Kelly Hancock scored the only goal as Colney Heath beat Hutton 1-0 and Ipswich Wanderers ran out 6-1 winners over Hoddesdon Town Owls. Michelle Taylor-Allum bagged a brace and there was one apiece from Charlotte Pettman, Kimberley Rex, Laura Tuley and Kristie Turner.
London & South East League
Leyton Orient power on at the top of the table after a Jasmine Campbell hat-trick, together with Danielle Griffiths and Belen Ripoli Douton, gave them a 5-0 win away to Camden Town. The O's remain two points ahead of Watford Development who beat Crawley Wasps 2-1 thanks to Emma Bebbington and Sacha Brinkley. London Corinthians follow on after beating Eastbourne Town 5-0. Verity Snow bagged a hat-trick and there was one apiece from Jade Charlton and Adele Keech. Laura Curtis scored both as Carshalton Athletic won 2-0 at Herne Bay and Rebecca Barr, Bethany Hulme and Alex Witham were all on target for Aylesford in their 3-3 draw with Fulham FC Foundation, who replied through a Rachel Innes brace and Lisa Smith.
North East League
Barnsley have taken over at the top on goal difference following an emphatic 11-2 win away to East Yorkshire Carnegie. Rebecca Fevers hit a hat-trick and the tally was completed by Holly Findlay (2), Brittany Sanderson (2), Darcie Greene (2), Rebecca Hale and Amy Woodruff. Nicola Chapman and Amy-Louise Davis scored the goals as Scunthorpe & Bottesford beat Oughtibridge 2-1 to go second, just ahead of Norton & Stockton Ancients who won 4-0 against Boldon Ladies thanks to Nyci Thorns (2), Kate McSorley and Sian Williams. Elizabeth Campbell netted four times, Lynsey Wilkinson bagged a hat-trick and Kody Green the other as Wallsend Boys Club defeated Wakefield 8-2 and Tynedale won for the first time, 3-1 against Castleford White Rose with goals from Christine Murray (2) and Megan Watson.
Three teams are setting the pace in the Northern Division, headed by Durham Cestria who were 7-0 winners over Prudhoe Town. Stephanie Stafford and Anna Young netted twice along with Chloe Allan, Katie Robinson and Sophie Tierney. Second placed Hartlepool Utd went one better, scoring eight times at Lowick Utd, Caitlin Bates scoring a hat-trick along with Sarah Bartlett, Jessica Dawson, Jenni Duffy-Smith, Joanne Hurrell and Hannah Lambert. Lindsay Jordan (2), Millie Templeman and Sophie Tinson were on target as York City Res completed the top three by beating Blyth Town Lions 4-2. Cramlington Utd won 3-1 at Redcar Town thanks to a Hannah Turnbull brace and Rachel Best, whilst Guisborough Ladies were 2-1 victors over South Shields, Ruth Wilson bagging a double.
Courts City are the new leaders of the Southern Division after Demi Thomas (2) and Chelsea Bailey were on the scoresheet in their 3-1 win at Malet Lambert YC. Amy Ward netted twice along with Natalie Bell and an own goal for Westella & Willerby who beat Harrogate Railway 4-1 to go second, just ahead of previous table toppers Doncaster Belles (Women's) who drew 4-4 with Ossett Albion. Lauren Earle (2), Sophie Brown and Eleanor Sharpe netted for the Belles while Rebecca Wiggans hit a hat-trick in reply for Ossett, along with Rachel Barber. Jade Rabjohn and Ellis Ridge scored the goals as Sheffield Wednesday won 2-0 at AFC Preston while Altofts Ladies edged out Cleethorpes Town 4-3 thanks to a Chloe Harrison hat-trick and Rachel Henderson.
North West League
Burnley Girls & Ladies are still searching the pace in the Premier Division, their 3-0 win away to Stockport County keeping them two points ahead of Blackpool, 2-0 victors over Blackburn Community. City of Manchester moved level on points with third placed Bolton Wanderers by sharing a 2-2 draw with Birkenhead, who got off the mark for the season. Wigan Athletic maintained their good start by beating Manchester Stingers 4-2 and there were plenty of goals on show at MSB Woolton Ladies' home game with Accrington Girls & Ladies as the sides finished level at 5-5.
In Division One North, Penrith AFC moved above Leigh RMI into second place after beating them 6-1. Carlisle Utd meanwhile notched up their first victory of the season in style, 8-1 against Academy Juniors.
Division One South leaders FC United of Manchester ran out 6-0 winners over Northwich Vixens and this sees them open up a two point lead at the top as Liverpool Marshalls Feds Res were held to a 2-2 draw by Warrington Wolverines. Altrincham meanwhile were beaten for the first time, 2-1 by Ellesmere Port Town who move level on points with them. Chorltonians won 2-0 away to Egerton and Stockport County Blues claimed their first victory, 3-2 against Curzon Ashton.
The Argyle Sports Cup got under way on Sunday and Merseyrail Bootle eased past Liverpool City Ladies Community with an 11-0 victory. Sir Tom Finney also go through to the next round after they defeated Workington Reds 7-1.
South West League
Bishop's Lydeard maintained their three point lead in the Premier Division when a solitary strike from Holly Miller gave them a 1-0 win against Poole Town. Yeovil Town Intermediate stay hard on their heels in second place, they won 4-1 at Keynsham Town Development thanks to a Jemma Tewkesbury brace, Colette Martin and Leonie Hobbs. Torquay Utd registered their first victory, 3-1 over Middlezoy Rovers with goals from Emily Mousley (2) and Sian Chapman, whilst Charlestown got off the mark by beating Frome Town 3-0, courtesy of a goal apiece from Izzy Berks, Erin Jenkins and Angelee Robinson.
Forest Green Rovers have gone three points clear in the Eastern Division after Sian Towler, Holly Chandler, Jessica Phillips and an own goal gave them a 4-2 win away to AEK Boco, who replied through Lucy Atkinson and Louise Johnson. Despite a goal from Anneka Hawkins-Hoare, second placed Oldland Abbotonians went down to a 3-1 defeat at Ilminster Town whose markswomen were Graziely Esperanca (2) and Shannon Crouch. Holly Rogers scored a hat-trick along with Yasmin Francis and Kayla Garland as Cheltenham Town Development defeated Team Mendip 5-0.
Stacey Derrick, Gemma Farley, Peyton-Rose Ringham and Jodie Shipton scored the goals as Western Division leaders Callington Town edged out Alphington 4-3. They stay one point ahead of Buckland Athletic, who beat Plympton Ladies 3-2 thanks to a Kirsty Caunter brace and Laura Gough. Lucy Bounsall and Lorena Clavijo both hit braces for Newquay Celtic in their 4-2 victory over Launceston whilst Activate defeated Exeter & Tedburn Rangers 4-0 with goals from Laura Hilleson-Perrett (2), Amy Stanger and Sian Sprules.
Southern Region League
Five teams are now level on points at the top of the Premier Division, Oxford City now being amongst them after an April England goal gave them a 1-0 win against second placed Winchester City Flyers. Marlow are also on six points following their 7-0 success over Team Solent.
Division One North leaders Oxford City Nomads were held to a 2-2 draw by Wargrave Ladies and now have a four point advantage. Kiera Isaac netted both goals for Oxford while Wargrave responded with strikes from Hannah Sheehan and Courtney Hunt.
New Milton Town's strong start to the new season continued as they ran out 12-0 winners over Andover New Street and move to the top of Division One South. Olivia Jones netted four and Caroline Gray contributed a hat-trick whilst there was one apiece from Nicole Power, Billie Reading, Lucy Slater and Victoria Wardle plus an own goal. Alton Utd won 2-0 away to Fleet Town thanks to Eshe Johnson and Madeline Shuff.
Barton Rovers scored a notable victory in the First Round of the League Cup by beating Premier Division Newbury Ladies 3-2 after extra time. Megan Halfacree netted two of the goals and Chloe Proctor was also on target. Bracknell Town meanwhile defeated Milton Keynes City 2-0 thanks to Caroline Shepherd and Tina Leahy. Woodley Utd emerged as winners from a tightly contested tie with Ascot Utd, 5-4 after extra time. Rosie Page-Smith bagged a hat-trick including the extra time winner, to add to earlier goals from Mollie Haines and May Hamblin. Georgia Bowers scored three times for Ascot but ended up on the losing side.
West Midlands League
Burton Albion kept up their flying start to the season with a 6-1 victory over Leafield Athletic and they now head the Premier Division by three points. Second placed Kingshurst Sporting Club went down to a 3-0 defeat at the hands of Crusaders who climb up to fourth, just behind Wrockwardine Wood who shared ten goals with Lye Town. This was one more than at Wolverhampton Sporting where visitors Coundon Court emerged as 5-4 winners whilst the game between Leamington Lions and Knowle finished level at 2-2.
Stockingford AA Pavilion opened up a three point lead in Division One North following their 8-2 win against Stone Dominoes. Leek Town scored eight times without reply past Atherstone Ladies to replace them in third whilst Shrewsbury Town defeated Tamworth 5-2. Florence notched up their first win of the season when scoring five times without reply past Bilbrook.
No change at the top of Division One South where Droitwich Spa won 6-0 against Kenilworth Town to stay as leaders on goal difference from Worcester Utd, who were 3-1 victors away to Rubery Ladies. Marston Green complete the top three following their 4-2 victory over Coleshill Town. Redditch Utd and Coventry Development shared a 1-1 draw whilst Solihull Utd and Stourbridge also finished level at 1-1.
Sunderland opened up the FA WSL Development League Northern Division season with the largest win, 6-0 against Everton, whilst a Louise Ainslow brace, Shannon Beckwith and Alicia Johnson saw Liverpool to a 4-0 success at Aston Villa. Birmingham City defeated Notts County 5-2, Keeley Davies and Shania Hayles each netting twice along with an own goal, and Doncaster Rovers Belles were 2-0 winners over Durham Women.
In the Southern Division, Bristol City netted eleven times without reply past Watford and Brighton & Hove Albion's debut in the league ended in a 7-0 victory over Millwall Lionesses. Bronwen Thomas and Valentine Pursey each bagged doubles for the Seagulls along with Phoebe Leitch, Ellie Dorey and an own goal. Reading FC Women meanwhile opened up with a 3-0 win at Yeovil Town.
Northern Division One
Hull City leapt into the top three on the back of a 5-1 victory away to Mossley Hill. Emma Bentley and Katie Thompson each netted twice for the Tigresses along with Jo Symington.
Nikki Berko had a great day for Blackpool Wren Rovers as she bagged a hat-trick in their 4-2 win against Chester-le-Street Town. Robyn Hodkin joined her on the scoresheet with the other goal.
Midlands Division One
Wolverhampton Wanderers got back to winning ways and their 5-0 success over Leicester City Ladies means they move into second place, six points behind leaders Loughborough Foxes. Jade Cross netted the only goal of the first half and Vicky Brackenbury added a second on the hour. Jade Cross then made it three by completing her double, before Andrea Whetton and Amber Quick rounded off the scoring.
Rotherham Utd came away from Loughborough Students with a 4-3 victory, the home side coming close to earning their first point of the season. Hollie Barker and Bianca Ross were both on target for Rotherham before Nat Shaw added a second half double.
South East Division One
AFC Wimbledon have a lead of three points at the top of the table but only after a narrow 4-3 success away to Lowestoft Town. Becky Sargent was on target twice for the Dons along with Sami Bock and Sian Wylie, while Lowestoft replied through a Gemma Moore brace and Hannah Waters.
Heather McDonnell bagged a brace with Charly Clarke and Sophie Watson the other markswomen for Milton Keynes Dons as they defeated Actonians Ladies 4-1, Katrina Marshalleck responding. The result lifts the Dons into the top half of the table.
South West Division One
Plymouth Argyle defeated St Nicholas 4-1 to move themselves to within one point of leaders Chichester City, who did not play. Natasha Knapman scored a first half hat-trick and Ezme Wells added the other goal, with Rianne Lewis replying for St Nicholas whose goalkeeper Abigail Evans had an excellent match.
Keynsham Town are in fifth place after running riot against Exeter City, scoring thirteen times without reply. Cristina Vega Leandro bagged a six-goal haul and Justine Lorton-Radburn contributed a further five, Katarzyna Rusek and Geovana Alves completing the tally with the other goals.
Larkhall Athletic meanwhile made it three wins from four games when beating Cheltenham Town 3-1. Emily Harrington, Kate German and Toni Blenkinsopp all scored for the Larks while Cheltenham's consolation came from Ella Hitchcox.
SWPL 1 leaders Glasgow City continued their winning ways with a 1-0 victory away to Spartans.
The only goal of the game came from a first half strike from the edge of the box from Haley Rosen as City banished any memories of their only defeat of the season to the Edinburgh side earlier in the campaign.
Hibernian remain five points behind in second place after they defeated Stirling University 5-0. The match was played at Easter Road in preparation for Hibs' forthcoming UEFA Women's Champions League against Bayern Munich and they led by two goals at half time thanks to Lucy Graham and Kirsty Smith. After the break, Rachel McLauchlan put Hibs into a strong position before Lisa Robertson and Sarah Ewens added further goals.
Celtic look to be set for a third place finish following their 3-1 Old Firm derby win against Rangers. It was Rangers who took the lead just before the interval through Katey Turner but in the second half, Kelly Clark levelled the scores and Celtic went on to take the points thanks to a brace of goals from Suzanne Mulvey.
Aberdeen took a huge stride towards survival when they won 1-0 against Forfar Farmington, who are now ten points adrift with only four games to play. Hannah Stewart scored the only goal of the game to almost make sure that the Dons will be playing top flight football next season.
Glasgow Girls maintained their lead of three points at the top of SWPL 2 after running out 4-1 winners over Buchan Ladies. Samantha McManus was on target twice along with Lisa Evans and Lauren Coleman, while Danica Ritchie netted Buchan's consolation.
Hamilton Academical stay second on goal difference following their 4-0 success away to Queen's Park. Lori Gardner, with a brace, Laura Gallen and MT McGuiness were the Accies' markswomen.
Hearts also made sure they remain well in the promotion race, thanks to a 1-0 victory at Jeanfield Swifts. The only goal of the game came via a Rachel Walkingshaw penalty, meaning that Hearts are still three points off the pace.
Hutchison Vale are looking likely to finish in fourth place after they scored five times without reply against Inverness City, who remain entrenched in the bottom two. The first half was goalless but after the break, Beth McLeod and Anna Hume each netted twice along with Michelle Russell to see Hutchie home.
Gillingham 8 Norwich City 2
Gillingham gave an outstanding display of attacking power to claim a place in the second round of the FAWPL Cup with an 8-2 win over Norwich City at Corinthian FC.
Four goals in each half reflected the dominance of the hosts over the Canaries, who had defeated higher league opposition in the Determining Round of the competition but were unable to cope with the variety of attacking options which Gills possessed. Seven different names on the scoresheet for the hosts gives an idea of just how fluent the Gills' attack was.
Norwich keeper Fiona Coombes had already made two good saves from Fliss Gibbons before Amy Taylor beat the offside flag to slot in the opener on 17 minutes. Emma Tune scored a top corner beauty from distance before April Bowers added the third, set up by Keogh's cross and Amy Taylor's pass. Coombes made another fine block at her near post to deny Taylor and the visitors reduced the arrears on 42 minutes when Kyla Love played in Chelsea Garrett for a neat first finish on the run.
Any hopes of a Canary come back were short lived as Gibbons cleverly played in Emily Symond for a good curling finish right on the break. Playing down the slope, the Gills camped in the Norwich half for the opening fifteen minutes of the second half but could not convert their chances. Norwich then created chances of their own just after the hour. Brooke Osborne had a shot from distance tipped onto the bar by Courtney Shanly and the Gills keeper then distinguished herself with two saves from Garrett close range efforts.
Within a minute, at the other end, Gibbons was foiled by an excellent save from Coombes, keeping out a low shot at the expense of a corner. The reprieve was short lived as Gibbons' delivery was nodded home by Keogh on the far post. The roles were reversed a few minutes later as Gibbons glanced home a Keogh corner for the sixth on 70 minutes.
Young substitute keeper Ellie Bird replaced Coombes and was soon in action. Tune won a free kick with superb battling against three opponents and sent a delivery towards the far corner. Bird did well to tip the ball away and was unfortunate to see the ball turned home by Gills sub Bethany Nugent in the scramble on 83 minutes.
The defiant Canaries struck another fine consolation from Garrett off the underside of the bar within a minute but possibly the best goal of the ten was Keogh's second effort on 90 minutes, a 30-yard effort in the top right corner of Bird's goal, a fitting end to a fine display.
Gillingham had attacking threats throughout the match but equally impressive was the hard work put into winning the ball back when attacks broke down. Norwich had good spells when they matched their opponents and some good individual performances but were forced into deep defence for much of the contest by fluent and impressive teamwork from the hosts.
Gillingham: Courtney Shanly, Vanisha Patel, Emma Tune, Charlotte Thurston, Rachel Ahern, Fliss Gibbons, Jade Keogh, Amy Taylor, Emily Symond, Grace Seeley, April Bowers. Subs: Harriett Chapman, Katie Hardaker, Bethany Nugent, Lydia Wills, Ellie Manning.
Norwich City: Fiona Coombes, Brooke Osborne, Erin Wilson, Ebony Wiseman, Kate Parsons, Bryony Radley, Ellen Swift, Natasha Snelling, Chelsea Garrett, Jodie Drake, Kyla Love. Subs: Emma Faux, Ellie Bird.
(Report by Patrick Higgins)
Photos by www.jamesprickett.co.uk:
(top) Chelsea Garrett scores for Norwich City past Rachel Ahern
(middle) April Bowers challenges Ebony Wiseman
(bottom) Emma Tune takes on Kyla Love
Tottenham Hotspur will continue their defence of the Premier League Cup with a home tie against last season's Plate runners-up Enfield Town.
Beaten finalists last time around, Cardiff City Ladies, are at home to Larkhall Athletic whilst Northern Division leaders Fylde Ladies travel to play reigning Champions West Bromwich Albion.
The full draws for both competitions are as follows:
PREMIER LEAGUE CUP SECOND ROUND
to be played on Sunday 23rd October
Chester-le-Street Town v Blackpool Wren Rovers
West Bromwich Albion v Fylde Ladies
Hull City v Middlesbrough
Wolverhampton Wanderers v Brighouse Town
Stoke City v Derby County
Newcastle Utd v Blackburn Rovers
Leeds Ladies v Liverpool Marshalls Feds
Gillingham v Milton Keynes Dons
Tottenham Hotspur v Enfield Town
Coventry Utd v Denham Utd
Basingstoke Town v Chichester City
Cardiff City Ladies v Larkhall Athletic
Portsmouth v Cambridge Utd
Charlton Athletic v C & K Basildon
AFC Wimbledon v Crystal Palace
Loughborough Foxes v TNS Ladies
PREMIER LEAGUE PLATE SECOND ROUND
to be played on Sunday 16th October
Mossley Hill v Loughborough Students
Guiseley Vixens v Huddersfield Town
Crewe Alexandra v Bradford City
Birmingham & West Midlands Ladies v Radcliffe Olympic
Solihull Ladies v Tranmere Rovers
Leicester City Women v Rotherham Utd
Southampton Saints v Keynsham Town
St Nicholas v Shanklin
Actonians Ladies v Ipswich Town
Plymouth Argyle v Luton Town
Cheltenham Town v West Ham Utd
Lowestoft Town v Queen's Park Rangers
Lewes v Maidenhead Utd
Exeter City v Stevenage Ladies
Morecambe v Chorley
Leicester City Ladies v Steel City Wanderers
Abergavenny Town have extended their lead at the top of the Welsh Premier Women's League to five points after beating Rhyl Ladies 5-1, notching up their fourth straight win in the process.
Lyndsey Davies, Alana Murphy and Ceri Hudson put Abergavenny three goals ahead inside the opening twenty minutes with Rhyl pulling one back on the stroke of half time through Paige Williams. Kate Jeremiah then scored a brace to seal three more points for her side and continue their fast start.
The clash of the day between last season's top two ended with the honours being shared as Cardiff Met Ladies and Swansea City battled out a 2-2 draw. The first half was goalless but early in the second half, Erin Murray gave Met the lead. Jodie Passmore levelled the scores from the penalty spot ten minutes later but the reigning Champions were to go ahead again through a strike from Jassie Vasconcelos. Swansea were to hit back once again though and Sophie Hancocks scored seven minutes from time to earn her side a point. The result means that the Swans stay in second whilst Met are three points behind them, with two games in hand.
Cardiff City FC bounced back from defeat seven days earlier to run out 3-0 winners away to Port Talbot Town and they are now in third place. Shannon Evans gave the Bluebirds the lead on the half hour and after the break, Danielle Broadhurst put them two ahead and Evans wrapped up the win late on with her second goal.
Briton Ferry Llansawel claimed their first ever point in the league when holding Aberystwyth Town to a 1-1 draw. Briton Ferry went in front midway through the second half when Ela Roberts scored and they stayed ahead until six minutes from the end, when Natalie Rees struck to earn Aber a point.
With Blackburn Rovers on League Cup duty, Fylde Ladies took the chance to beat Newcastle Utd 5-1 and assume the leadership of the Northern Division.
Danielle Young was on target twice along with Natasha Flint, Eve Kennerley and Mollie Green while Jessica Round netted a consolation for the home side.
Bradford City also won 5-1 against Stoke City, a result which takes them above their opponents in the table. Charlotte Stuart and Lucy Sowerby each scored twice with Jessica Graham adding the other.
West Bromwich Albion meanwhile won for the first time, a notable 2-0 success away to previously unbeaten Derby County thanks to goals from Paige Stewart and Hazzana Parnell.
Coventry Utd are up into second place in the FAWPL Southern Division following an impressive 5-1 victory away to Charlton Athletic, who went down to their first defeat of the season.
Maz Gauntlett led the scoring for Coventry with a hat-trick and Alison Hall added the other two, with the Addicks' consolation coming from Kit Graham.
Cardiff City Ladies lifted themselves into the top half by beating C & K Basildon 2-1. First half goals from Chloe Chivers and Kerry Bartlett earned the South Wales side the points, while C & K replied through Zoe Rushen.
Blackburn Rovers defeated former winners Nottingham Forest 3-1 to book their place in the Second Round of the Premier League Cup.
Saffron Jordan netted twice for Rovers along with Lynda Shepherd, Katie Lowder replying.
Long Eaton Utd and Liverpool Marshalls Feds battled out a 1-1 draw after extra time, the match being decided on a penalty shoot which the Feds won 4-3. Precious Hamilton was on target for Long Eaton, while the Feds responded through Roisin Havelin.
There was also a dramatic finish at Denham Utd where the home side won 3-2 against Brislington. Denham took an early two-goal lead which was cancelled out by a brace from Polly Wardle, before Aimee Durn settled matters in Denham's favour with a last minute winner.
Gillingham swept into the next round by running out 8-2 winners over Norwich City. Jade Keogh netted a brace along with Amy Taylor, Emma Tune, April Bowers, Emily Symonds, Fliss Gibbons and Beth Nugent (see match report).
The Premier League Plate First Round tie between West Ham Utd and Swindon Town went all the way to penalties after the sides battled out a 2-2 draw. Charlotte Gurr and Chloe Burr scored for the Hammers, Georgia Walters netting twice in reply, but it was goalkeeper Aditi Chauhan who turned out to be West Ham's heroine as she saved three spot kicks, leaving Sasha Kelly to slot home the winner.
Emily Heckler hit a hat-trick, with Kate Mallin (2) and Isabel Thomas adding the others, as Huddersfield Town ran out 6-2 winners away to Sporting Khalsa in the other tie.
Manchester City 2 (Scott 34, Duggan pen 50) Chelsea 0
A 2-0 win over Chelsea clinched a first FA Women's Super League title for Manchester City, in front of a record crowd of 4,096 at the Academy Stadium.
Goals from Jill Scott and Toni Duggan either side of half time secured the victory over the reigning champions, extending Nick Cushing's side's unbeaten league run to fifteen matches.
Another performance of defensive solidarity and attacking prowess won the day for the hosts, who worked hard to gain a comfortable lead and then toyed with their rivals in the second half, asserting their worth as champions. With quality, flair, hard work, determination and grit in abundance, City have added new strings to their bow this season - and they were all on display within the 90 minutes here.
Looking to do the double over Emma Hayes' side, manager Cushing opted to name an unchanged team from the one that clinched victory at Arsenal a fortnight ago. With Chelsea arguably needing a win more than City, the visitors started brightly, looking to attack from the off without creating any real attempts.
The first chance of the game arrived on ten minutes at the other end, as Duggan cut inside and crossed for the league's top scorer Jane Ross, whose header lacked the pace to trouble Rebecca Spencer.
Karen Bardsley was then called into action as Katie Chapman drilled goalward but it was comfortable for the England shot stopper. Karen Carney then fired over.
With so much at stake, the passion and desire to acquire the upper hand became evident quickly, with crunching tackles and high pressing ensuring the opening half an hour was a stop-start affair.
The breakthrough arrived on 34 minutes, sparking jubilant scenes both on the pitch and in the stands. The Blues had threatened with a series of corners and the third bore fruit, as Scott rose to head into the bottom corner.
After the break, City gained control. Nikita Parris almost doubled the lead, bearing down on goal only to poke just wide before the Blues netted their second from the spot.
When Ross played Lucy Bronze through, the right back proved too quick for Gilly Flaherty, who slid in and felled the City star. Referee Sarah Garratt pointed to the spot and Duggan stepped up to slot away the penalty to hand Cushing's side a comfortable advantage.
Parris then curled into the side netting as City refused to settle for a two-goal lead and Scott was unfortunate to see her first time effort bend over the bar. Scott then fired off-target once again, as did the tenacious Izzy Christiansen, whilst Bardsley remained unbeatable at the other end, maintaining her side's impressive record of having conceded just three times all season.
Substitute Kosovare Asllani had the chance to make it 3-0 with six minutes of normal time remaining, only to clip wide, and Christiansen almost caught Spencer out with an attempt to the near post.
That proved to be the last goalmouth action of the game and the celebrations began in earnest as players, fans and staff enjoyed a special afternoon for the club and the reward for an exceptional season.
Manchester City: Karen Bardsley, Lucy Bronze, Steph Houghton, Jennifer Beattie, Demi Stokes, Keira Walsh (sub Daphne Corboz 90mins), Jill Scott, Izzy Christiansen, Nikita Parris (sub Kosovare Asllani 72mins), Jane Ross, Toni Duggan (sub Tessel Middag 84mins). Sub not used: Marie Hourihan.
Chelsea: Rebecca Spencer, Hannah Blundell (sub Ana Marques Borges 57mins), Niamh Fahey, Gilly Flaherty, Millie Bright, Jade Bailey, Katie Chapman, Karen Carney, Ji So-Yun (sub Drew Spence 80mins), Eni Aluko (sub Beth England 70mins), Gemma Davison. Subs not used: Hedvig Lindahl, Fran Kirby, Claire Rafferty.
(Report by www.fawsl.com)
Yeovil Town 1 (Aldridge 22) Everton 0
Yeovil Town have made a swift return to the top of WSL 2 after narrowly getting the better of Everton in their promotion clash at Huish Park.
The game was a tense one and often scrappy but was settled by a superb strike from Kelly Aldridge - her first for the club - midway through the first half.
With just two points separating the teams in second and third going into the match, both teams started off cautiously but Everton did create a great chance as early as the fifth minute. Chloe Kelly found space on the edge of the area and slid a good pass into the path of Rosella Ayane but Charlotte Haynes was smartly off her line to make an important block and Helen Bleazard was able to clear the loose ball.
Michelle Hinnigan brought out a save from Haynes from a free kick but these were rare opportunities in the opening period at either end. Yeovil had had plenty of possession without really troubling the visiting defence until taking the lead in spectacular fashion.
Aldridge received the ball from Ellie Curson on the right and cut in before unleashing a powerful shot from the edge of the area. Kirstie Levell got a hand to the ball but the shot was too strong and she could only divert it into the roof of the net.
Yeovil were almost two up on the half hour when Ann Marie Heatherson's pass played in Kayleigh Green but this time Levell came to the rescue with a save, the ball then cannoning off an Everton defender and bouncing inches past the post.
Everton responded with a long range strike from Kelly which dipped just over and, after being found by Hinnigan's pass, Emily Hollinshead fired an angled shot narrowly over as Yeovil took their advantage into the break.
Yeovil produced the first effort of the second half when Lucy Quinn's corner was headed just over the bar by Hannah Short but this was a rare opportunity in a half which was dominated by the two defences.
Everton began to dominate territory and possession with Yeovil content to drop deeper and sit on their lead. As a result, the visitors found it harder to pierce the home side's back four although Kelly almost found a way through before being halted by a fine challenge from Short.
A Hinnigan corner was met at the far post by Ellie Stewart whose effort was headed away from in front of goal by Green. A rare, clear chance was to come for the visitors minutes later when they were awarded a free kick on the edge of the area but Hinnigan lifted her shot well over.
Yeovil were relying on counter attacks and one break saw Quinn run through on goal before she was denied on the edge of the area by a superbly timed tackle from the excellent Gabby George.
Quinn also drilled a shot over from distance but it was Yeovil's defence, in which Short and Danielle Carlton were outstanding in the centre, which was mainly in action as they successfully repelled a number of Everton attacks as the game wore on.
Hard as they tried, Everton could not fashion a clear cut chance and Yeovil ran down the clock to clinch three precious points, to return themselves to the top of the table.
The weekend results mean that it is advantage Yeovil and Bristol City for the moment although Everton and Durham Women, who meet in two weeks' time, are far from out of the running as yet.
Yeovil Town: Charlotte Haynes, Helen Bleazard, Kelly Snook (sub Ellis Hillman 64mins), Ellie Curson, Nicola Cousins, Kayleigh Green (sub Nadia Lawrence 68mins), Kelly Aldridge, Danielle Carlton, Ann Marie Heatherson (sub Emily Donovan 77mins), Hannah Short, Lucy Quinn. Subs not used: Lauren Townsend, Steph Williams, Leah Burridge, Kirsten Rendall.
Everton: Kirstie Levell, Vicky Jones (sub Krystle Johnston 80mins), Danielle Turner, Megan Finnigan, Gabby George, Georgia Brougham (sub Ellie Stewart 45mins), Rosella Ayane, Michelle Hinnigan, Chloe Kelly, Emily Hollingshead (sub Jenna Dear 55mins), Kelly Jones. Subs not used: Alex Brooks, Millie Turner, Lauren Davies.
(top) Emily Hollingshead takes on Kelly Snook
(middle) Gabby George slides in to tackle Kayleigh Green
(bottom) Lucy Quinn is challenged by Ellie Stewart
Birmingham City 2 (Schroder 50, Harrop 70) Liverpool 1 (Zelem pen 63)
Birmingham City moved back above Liverpool into fourth place and will head off to next week's Continental Tyres Cup Final on a winning note.
The game burst into life with three goals inside twenty hectic second half minutes as Corina Schroder shone on her first Blues appearance by slotting her side into a 50th minute lead against her former club from twelve yards out after sustained pressure on the Liverpool goal.
However a rash challenge by Chloe Peplow on Rosie White just inside the Blues area gave Katie Zelem the chance to level the scores with her sixth goal of the season from the penalty spot.
The visitors kept on pushing as Laura Coombs saw her corner turned onto the Birmingham bar by goalkeeper Sophie Baggaley in the first half whilst Kirsty Linnett headed wide from point blank range at the other end.
It was Birmingham who were to take the points though when Kerys Harrop scored with a glancing header from Jess Carter's long throw into the area.
Birmingham City: Sophie Baggaley, Abbey Leigh Stringer, Jess Carter, Aoife Mannion, Kerys Harrop, Melissa Lawley, Chloe Peplow (sub Alex Windell 72mins), Coral Haines, Corina Schroder (sub Meaghan Sargeant 68mins), Kirsty Linnett, Freda Ayisi (sub Charlie Wellings 82mins). Subs not used: Isobelle Linden, Sian Johnson.
Liverpool: Siobhan Chamberlain, Satara Murray, Gemma Bonner, Katie Zelem, Sophie Ingle, Martha Harris, Laura Coombs, Rosie White (sub Kate Longhurst 71mins), Caroline Weir, Shanice Van De Sanden, Emma Lundh (sub Natasha Harding 58mins). Subs not used: Ashley Hodson, Jess Carberry.
(Report by www.fawsl.com)
Millwall Lionesses 2 (Gaylor 22, Giddings 28) Watford 1 (Mason 47)
Millwall Lionesses are out of the bottom two after they picked up their third win of the season and completed the 'double' over Watford.
The Lionesses had the better of the early chances, Rinsola Babajide clattering a 25-yard shot off the bar before Lucy Gillett stopped Georgie Giddings' half volley at full stretch.
However Millwall scored from the resulting corner on 22 minutes after Giddings' smart dummy allowed Amber Gaylor to rifle a shot into the top corner.
The lead doubled on 28 minutes when Gillett could only palm a corner into Giddings' path, who smashed home from two yards.
Watford fought back two minutes after the restart and reduced the arrears, Ellie Mason's stunning volley leaving Sarah Quantrill stranded.
Babajide hit the woodwork again on 64 minutes, spotting Gillett off her line and hitting the post from 30 yards out. Substitute Lucy Loomes was denied by good defending from Anneka Nuttall late on as the home side closed out the game to defeat the Hornets for the second time this season.
Millwall Lionesses: Sarah Quantrill, Leanne Cowan, Leighanne Robe, Jordon Butler, Georgie Giddings (sub Billie Brooks 68mins), Bonnie Horwood, Leigh Nicol, Amber Gaylor, Megan Wynne, Rinsola Babajide, Ashlee Hincks (sub Lucy Loomes 71mins). Subs not used: Emily Heaslip, Sindi Kato.
Watford: Lucy Gillett, Nicole Pepper, Lauren Jordinson, Anneka Nuttall, Amber Tullett, Ellie Mason, Stacie Donnelly (sub Otesha Charles 45mins), Adekite Fatuga-Dada, Pheobe Read, Charlotte Kerr, Anne-Laure Davy (sub Katie Stanley 67mins). Subs not used: Mollie Burgess, Weronika Baranowska.
(Report by www.fawsl.com)
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