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Women's Soccer Scene
Sheffield start defence with victory  
 Women's Football News 2 Sep 2014
 
Sheffield FC began their defence of the Premier League Cup with a 5-1 victory away to Rotherham Utd in the Determining Round. 
 
Ellie Gilliatt opened the scoring for Sheffield just before the half hour and Suzanne Davies added the second from the penalty spot ahead of the interval. In the second half, Jodie Michalska bagged a brace and Lynn Goodman also found the net to wrap up the scoring.
 
Cardiff City Ladies, beaten finalists last season, also had a safe passage through as they scored six without reply past St Nicholas. Kelly Aldridge netted twice for the South Wales side and she was joined on the scoresheet by Cori Williams, Zoe Atkins, Lauren Townsend and Kelly Isaac.
 
Mossley Hill produced arguably the result of the round, beating Northern Division side Preston North End 2-1. Carla Lee and Shelley James were on target to give the Merseysiders a fine win against a team which reached the semi finals last time around.
 
Nottingham Forest were taken all the way to extra time by a determined Leicester City Ladies side and with just eight minutes left, Forest captain Kelly Kennaugh scored to give her side a 1-0 win. Wolverhampton Wanderers needed to come from behind to beat Radcliffe Olympic 2-1 after extra time. Danielle Salter gave Radcliffe the lead with Abi Hinton equalising, before an own goal during the extra period saw Wolves go through.
 
Queen's Park Rangers had to hold their nerve and come through a penalty shootout at the expense of Chichester City. Natalie Adams gave Rangers an early lead which was cancelled out on the stroke of half time by Remi Crawley, and neither side could find a further breakthrough in a tightly fought encounter. Kasha Petit, Sophie Fogarty, Lauren May and Laura Cooper all successfully found the net to give Rangers a 4-2 victory on spot kicks, with Lauren Cheshire and Becky Barron replying.
 
One other tie also went to penalties, Hollie Staples saving three spot kicks as Luton Town won 3-2 against Milton Keynes Dons, after the sides had shared a 1-1 draw. Jess McKay scored Luton's goal before also finding the net in the shootout, Erica Byron and Zara Carroll also successfully converting from the spot for Luton.
 
Bradford City were given a hard battle by Solihull Ladies before progressing with a 2-1 victory thanks to Emma Rankin and Danielle Whitham. Likewise Derby County were also taken close in their game with Chester-le-Street, Melissa Johnson scoring the only goal of the game during the second half. Natalie Volpini scored a late winner, to add to Rebecca Atkins' earlier strike, as Plymouth Argyle narrowly won 2-1 against Bedford Ladies.
 
Katie Lowder had a great day for Coventry City, bagging herself a four-goal haul as the Sky Blues ran out 7-1 winners away to Liverpool Marshalls Feds. Karen Clough, Helen Dermody and Maz Gauntlett completed the scoring for the team which reached the semi finals last season.
 
Newcastle Utd emerged as 3-1 winners from the all-Northern Division tie with Huddersfield Town. Stacy Crooks, Beth Gardener and a first Newcastle goal for substitute Ellen Turnbull put the hosts into the hat for the next round, with Katie Lockwood netting an injury time consolation for Huddersfield.
 
Blackburn Rovers produced a fine performance to win 4-0 at Stoke City. Alex Taylor opened the scoring for them early on with Katie Anderton quickly adding a second. Sophie Jones made it three midway through the second half and an own goal completed Rovers' tally with nine minutes remaining.
 
Former winners Charlton Athletic also made it through, but were given a huge scare during their 5-2 victory over Swindon Town. The Wiltshire side took the lead after just 40 seconds through Sarah Uzzell, with Beth Thompson soon adding a second. Kit Graham pulled one back ten minutes later and after the break, Gemma Shepherd netted twice to turn things around in Charlton's favour. Swindon did not give up and twice struck the woodwork through Michelle Rich and Chyna Collings but Graham wrapped up proceedings for the Addicks with two late strikes to complete a second successive hat-trick.
 
Portsmouth were 4-2 winners from an entertaining tie with Copsewood (Coventry). Molly Clark put Pompey in front with Nicola Foskett equalising, before Lucy Quinn restored Portsmouth's lead just before half time. Foskett once again levelled early after the restart but Quinn went on to score her second and Sarah Kempson sealed the result for Pompey with nine minutes left.
 
In another all-Southern Division tie, Keynsham Town put a heavy defeat seven days earlier firmly behind them to defeat West Ham Utd 3-1. The Hammers led at the break through a goal from Emma Sherwood but Pilar Garcia equalised just before the hour mark and Keynsham went on to add further strikes through Arianna Somaschini and Justine Lorton-Radburn.
 
Sporting Club Albion went through by scoring seven times without reply past Loughborough Students. Kayleigh Griffiths, Hazzana Parnell and Kirsty Allen all netted a goal in each half, with Kirsty Allen adding the seventh late on. Lewes meanwhile came through an awkward tie away to Southampton Saints, Kirstie Spice finding the net four times and Charlotte Bennett adding the other as the Rookettes ran out 5-1 winners.
 
Ashlee Hincks led the scoring with a six-goal haul as Gillingham crushed Ebbsfleet Utd 15-0. Lauren Phillips weighed in with a further four and Jade Keogh contributed a hat-trick, Emma Tune completing the tally with a brace. Tottenham Hotspur defeated Enfield Town 7-0, Lucia Leon was on target four times for Spurs along with Wendy Martin, Bianca Baptiste and Avilla Bergin.
 
FC Reedswood emerged as narrow 3-2 winners from a well contested tie with Chorley at Charnock Richard. Natalie Parry gave Chorley an early lead from the penalty spot, which they held until half time, and Parry added a second after the restart. Nat Poole curled home a delightful goal for Reedswood and then levelled the scores with her second goal, ten minutes from time. The game looked to be heading towards extra time but a late strike from Kathryn Mudge sent Reedswood through to the next round.
 
Another closely contested tie saw Mansfield Town make the long journey home from Middlesbrough with a 3-2 victory under their belts. Emma Allen netted an extra time winner for Mansfield to add to earlier goals from Jemma Douglas and Daisy Pridden. Tranmere Rovers also won by the odd goal in five against Leeds Ladies, courtesy of Lindsey Smith, Elisha Price and Becky Smith.
 
Guiseley AFC Vixens continued their impressive start to the season with a 4-1 victory over Sheffield Utd Community. Shauna Leege netted twice for the Vixens with the others coming from Aimi Beresford and Tanya Rich. Norton & Stockton Ancients were also 4-1 winners against Leafield Athletic, Nyci Thorns hitting a hat-trick and Lottie Portas joining her on the scoresheet.
 
Fiona Worts was the heroine for Leicester City Women, scoring four goals as they notched up a 4-0 success away to Loughborough Foxes. Curzon Ashton took an early lead at Steel City Wanderers, but the hosts hit back to lead 2-1 at the interval, Beth Gingell and Cheryl Mawhood on target. Mawhood, last season's top scorer, completed her hat-trick in the second half as the Steels finished 4-1 winners.
 
Nuala Wayne, Laura Bright - from the penalty spot - and Faith Hewitt were all on target to give Cambridge Women a 3-1 victory over Cheltenham Town. Denham Utd ran out 7-1 winners against Gosport Borough, Elishia Allen and Alissa Down each scoring twice along with Harriet Gilbert, Lauren Cox and Vicki Elliott (see match report).
 
Forest Green Rovers kept up their good start to the new campaign by beating Crystal Palace 3-0. Kirsty Richardson marked her return to the side after giving birth last year by scoring twice, the first from the penalty spot, and Naomi Marshall added the other goal. Exeter City made a long trip to Ipswich Town which ended in a 5-0 defeat in which Danielle Bitten, Amanda Crump, Lindseży Smith, Sasha Diston and Molly Hall all scored for the Tractor Girls.
 
C & K Basildon had a successful journey to the Isle of Wight, where they ran out 4-0 winners over Shanklin. Sara Sinclair was on target twice for Basildon along with Zoe Rushen and Karissa Rodney.
 
The draw for the Preliminary Round has been announced. Three ties will be played with the remaining teams receiving byes:
 
Cambridge Women v Queen's Park Rangers
Denham Utd v Charlton Athletic
Tottenham Hotspur v Tranmere Rovers
to be played on Sunday 14th September

Photo - Plymouth Argyle's Rachel Javan is denied by Bedford goalkeeper Lauren Webb (David Potham).


 
 

Women's Soccer Scene
Middlesbrough's mascot initiative  
 Women's Football News 2 Sep 2014
 
Cargo Fleet Juniors are the first team to be welcomed to Thornaby's Teesdale Park, the home ground of Middlesbrough FC Ladies, as their match day special guests. 
 
As part of a new initiative this season, girls and women's teams close to Middlesbrough will be invited to home games, have the opportunity to lead the team out as mascots, enjoy the opportunity for a kick around at half time and have the chance to meet and take pictures with the players afterwards.
 
Middlesbrough manager Lindsey Stephenson said: "I think that this gives the girls a great chance to see the game at our level, remembering that our games are great value at just £2 to get in for adults. It would be nice to see more teams take up the offer and maybe we could look at a penalty shootout at half time in a few weeks between everyone."
 
Cargo Fleet's manager Garry Lever-Mains said on MFC Ladies Facebook page: "Thanks for inviting us. You made the girls feel very welcome and we will definitely be coming back regularly to show our support. Well Done MFC Ladies."
 
For more information and to check suitable dates please e-mail andy@mfcladies.co.uk.

 
 

Women's Soccer Scene
Dynamic Denham scuttle Boro  
 Women's Football News 1 Sep 2014
 
Denham United 7 Gosport Borough 1
Denham United won a place in the main draw of the FA Women's Premier League Cup with a comprehensive victory over Gosport Borough at the Middlesex Stadium. 
 
The winners of this Determining Round tie would take part in the Cup whilst the losers would join the Plate competition to be run during the FAWPL season. Three goals to one ahead at half time, the Division One South East hosts added a further four unanswered goals against their South West Division One opponents after the break.
 
Denham gave notice of their intentions in the first minute, having two dangerous efforts on goal, Alissa Down drawing a good save from Borough keeper Erin Atkinson. The visitors settled into the contest but were punished on 13 minutes when Elishia Allen was given room to lob Atkinson for the opener. Jess Lewry tested Lizzy Rose in the home goal who was also forced to save at Kayleigh Merrett's feet as Gosport threatened an equaliser.
 
However another lobbed shot, this time from Harriet Gilbert on 22 minutes, doubled the lead for Denham. The third soon arrived and was unfortunate for the visitors as Hannah Burrows had defended well to deny Allen and shepherd the ball back to the keeper, but Atkinson's clearance cannoned off Allen and rebounded into the net on 30 minutes.
 
Gosport had shown some attacking instincts of their own and pulled a goal back with a fine header by Rachel Wilson from a left wing cross on 38 minutes. In fact Denham's Lauren Cox had hit the upright with a very similar effort after good work by Gilbert a couple of minutes before but the goal gave Gosport some hope as they ended the half on the front foot.
 
Down soon ended any hopes of a Borough revival. Inches away from scoring in the opening minute of the second half, Down increased the advantage with two goals on 49 and 63 minutes, the second a very good finish running on to a through ball.
 
To their credit, Gosport kept trying to attack but were restricted to a free kick from Wilson just wide and a long range effort from Xian Blackman-Price. Denham had defended very well and always looked threatening despite often falling foul of the offside flag.
 
With the outcome decided, Denham brought on a trio of substitutes and two goals late on emphasised the home side's superiority on the day. Cox got a headed goal from a Down corner on 85 minutes and sub Vicki Elliott turned home the seventh on 89 minutes.
 
Gosport Borough were well beaten but have had an amazing journey up the women's football pyramid. The Hampshire club were only promoted from their County League in 2011-12 and moved through the Southern Regional League structure to debut in the FAWPL this season. Denham already have had a successful season at this level and showed the understanding and team play of a group of players who have largely come through the highly successful youth policy at the club. 
 
Denham United: Lizzy Rose, Kim Pendred, Emma Spencer, Laura Holbrook, Harriet Gilbert, Eva Ramsey, Louise McCam, Jessica Nash, Lauren Cox, Alissa Down, Elishia Allen. Subs: Vicki Elliott, Sarah Payne, Natasha Stephens.

Gosport Borough: Erin Atkinson, Hannah Burrows, Jess Timbrell, Emma Pickering, Kayleigh Merrett, Rachel Wilson, Xian Blackman-Price, Lysette Russell, Becky Deacon, Jess Lewry, Georgie Hoban. Subs: Sam Jennings, Zoe Jessey.

(Report by Patrick Higgins)

Photos by www.jamesprickett.co.uk:

(top) Elisha Allen is closed down by Hannah Burrows
(middle) Xian Blackman-Price battles with Harriet Gilbert
(bottom) Eva Ramsey and Kayleigh Merrett in the thick of the action


 
 

Women's Soccer Scene
Arsenal dent Blues title challenge  
 Women's Football News 1 Sep 2014
 
Birmingham City 1 (Carney pen 90) Arsenal 2 (Stoney 23, Ayisi 69)
Arsenal dealt a blow to Birmingham City's title aspirations and put themselves on the fringe of a possible late challenge as they claimed victory at Solihull. 
 
A goal in each half moved the Gunners to within six points of the leadership as they won a game which became fractious in the second half, not helped by an awful refereeing performance.
 
Birmingham started the game brightly and created the first opportunity of the game when Jess Carter found Remi Allen on the left and the midfielder cut inside before curling a shot just over the bar.
 
Arsenal came more into the game as the half wore on and opened the scoring midway through the half. Leah Williamson won a header from a Shinobu Ohno corner and the ball fell for Casey Stoney to crash a shot into the roof of the net for her fourth league goal of the season - taking the central defender to the joint leadership in the WSL 1 scoring charts.
 
The home side almost responded straight away, Karen Carney burst into the area on the left and whipped in a cross but a diving Emily Westwood could not quite reach the ball in front of goal.
 
The goal had buoyed Arsenal though and they passed the ball around confidently with Jordan Nobbs the orchestrator, well supported by Williamson who further enhanced her growing reputation.
 
As half time approached, Arsenal pressed hard for a second goal. A free kick taken short by Rachel Yankey found Nobbs in space around 25 yards from goal and her powerful strike brought out an excellent save from Rebecca Spencer, who tipped the ball over. The resulting corner, taken by Yankey, was met by Williamson was header cleared the bar.
 
Freda Ayisi was showing up well on the right and on two occasions she made a strong run into the centre before unleashing a shot which was just over the bar. Birmingham responded with Carney breaking down the right and her cross looked destined to float straight in but a backpedalling Emma Byrne managed to touch the ball over.
 
Arsenal took their lead into the break but Birmingham stepped up the pace after the restart and controversy was to strike within the opening five minutes.
 
First, Westwood's clever flick released Allen clean through on goal but, to the Blues' anger, play was inexplicably brought back for a free kick awarded for a foul by Niamh Fahey on Westwood. The resulting kick saw Carney dink the ball over the Arsenal defence, Yankey managing to poke the ball away as Jade Moore bore down on goal but this time it was the visitors who were to be upset as a penalty was awarded. Carney put the ball on the spot but, after consultation with her linesman, the referee changed her mind and awarded a corner instead.
 
It looked as though the right decision had eventually been reached but tempers were now boiling over on both sides and Birmingham threw everything they could at Arsenal.
 
Allen planted a shot inches past the far post and had another opportunity two minutes later when found in space in the area by a neat chip from Carter, but her shot brought out a fine reaction save from Byrne.
 
Carney had an angled shot saved after intercepting a pass from Fahey and Westwood headed into the side netting from a Potter free kick. Another set piece led to Birmingham going even closer, the initial corner was cleared back to Carney who drove a cross back into the area where Moore glanced a header past Byrne but Fahey was well positioned to head off the line.
 
Arsenal managed to weather the storm and then stunned the Blues with a fine goal which doubled their lead. Ohno exchanged passes with Yankey and made her way into the area where her low cross picked out Ayisi at the far post, the young striker stepping past a challenge from Carter before finding the far corner with a left foot shot.
 
The goal knocked some of the heart out of the Birmingham side although Carney was having a fine match against her former club and almost brought her side back into the game when racing onto a ball over the top from Potter but she poked her shot narrowly past the post.
 
Nobbs fired a dipping shot inches over the bar from Yukari Kinga's pass at the other end before Birmingham finally found a breakthrough deep into injury time. Hannah Keryakoplis burst down the left to whip in a cross from the goal line and - in another puzzling decision - Alex Scott was somewhat harshly penalised for handball. Carney wasted no time in sending Byrne the wrong way from the spot for a goal her efforts deserved but it was too late for the Blues to salvage anything from the game and the Arsenal revival continues. 
 
Birmingham City: Rebecca Spencer, Chelsea Weston, Jess Carter, Jade Moore (sub Abbey-Leigh Stringer 77mins), Aoife Mannion, Kerys Harrop, Melissa Lawley, Remi Allen, Emily Westwood (sub Hannah Keryakoplis 77mins), Karen Carney, Jo Potter. Subs not used: Meaghan Sargeant, Emily Simpkins, Charlie Wellings, Sophie Baggaley, Cristina Torkildsen.

Arsenal: Emma Byrne, Alex Scott, Emma Mitchell (sub Yukari Kinga 77mins), Jade Bailey, Casey Stoney, Niamh Fahey, Shinobu Ohno, Jordan Nobbs, Freda Ayisi (sub Caroline Weir 89mins), Leah Williamson, Rachel Yankey. Subs not used: Siobhan Chamberlain, Christie Murray, Kelly Smith, Vyan Sampson, Carla Humphrey.

Photos:

(top) Leah Williamson goes close with a first half header
(middle) Remi Allen fires in a shot which brings out a great save from Emma Byrne
(bottom) Jade Moore beats Emma Byrne to head goalwards


 
 

Women's Soccer Scene
Sarah stars as Yeovil hit six  
 Women's Football News 31 Aug 2014
 
Yeovil Town 6 (Bleazard 21, Curson 33, Wiltshire 47,49,80, Bray 70) Oxford Utd 0
Oxford went down to a heavy 6-0 reverse at Yeovil Town, shipping four second half goals as the home side repeatedly took advantage of defensive lapses. 
 
Helen Bleazard and Ellie Curson put Yeovil 2-0 up at the break before Sarah Wiltshire's second-half hat-trick and another from Laura Bray completed a miserable afternoon for the U's.
 
With captain Sahara Osborne-Ricketts recovering from an ankle injury to regain her place in the side, Kat Nutman dropped to the bench. The U's started the game brightly, passing the ball well and looking threatening whenever they ventured forward.
 
However, they were undone on 20 minutes by a piece of individual brilliance from Sarah Wiltshire, who dodged two challenges before letting loose a ferocious shot which struck the bar. Bleazard was waiting for the rebound and before any of the United defenders could react she fired home.
 
The hosts made it two after 32 minutes, Wiltshire getting round the back again before crossing for Ellie Curson to prod in, the ball deflecting off the post before trickling agonisingly over the line.
 
United continued to look dangerous, however, with Laura Low twice getting the wrong side of the Yeovil defence after some excellent incisive passes, but was unable to finish - first being stopped by a sliding tackle from Rachael Edwards and then seeing her lofted effort just held by goalkeeper Rachel Simkin.
 
Things took a turn for the worse after the break as, just seconds after Laura Low again went close to reducing the deficit, Yeovil went straight up the other end and bagged a third. Wiltshire stabbed home at the second attempt after United were caught on the break.
 
Wiltshire struck her second of the afternoon just moments later, lobbing Demi Lambourne with an outrageous 30-yard free kick.
 
Yeovil then lost goalkeeper Rachel Simkin to injury as she crashed into the post trying to keep out a dangerous effort from Katie Stanley. With no substitute goalkeeper on the bench, the hosts had to put midfielder Stacey Pearson in goal, but it was Oxford's goal which was breached again soon after. Substitute Laura Bray found the space to twist and turn in the United box before firing low into the bottom corner.
 
There was still time for the outstanding Wiltshire to get her hat-trick, running onto a hopeful punt up the line before squeezing the ball past Lambourne at the near post.
 
It seemed nothing Oxford tried would go right, exemplified in the dying moments when substitute Louise Fellows shot from just outside the area, only to see her effort strike the base of the post, capping a thoroughly unpleasant afternoon of football for the U's.
 
Yeovil Town: Rachel Simkin (sub Katie Sherwood 70mins), Kirsty Whitton (sub Stacey Pearson 55mins), Nicola Cousins, Paige Stewart, Rachael Edwards, Natalie Haigh, Helen Bleazard, Jade Radburn-Lorton, Ellie Curson, Sarah Wiltshire, Jemma Tewkesbury (sub Laura Bray 76mins). Subs not used: Jade Kirby, Katie Cook, Bow Jackson, Vera Bernabe Payol. 
 
Oxford United: Demi Lamborne, Jemma Connor-Ionni, Megan Alexander, Kayleigh Hines, Sahara Osborne-Ricketts, Amy Chivers, Katie Stanley, Lauren Allison (sub Katherine Nutman 33mins), Gemma Simmonds (sub Holly Pickett 83mins), Helen King (sub Louise Fellows 83mins), Laura Low. Subs not used: Ella Franklin-Fraiture, Jody Marshall, Laura Nichol.

(Report by www.fawsl.com)

 
 

Women's Soccer Scene
Durham keep up improvement  
 Women's Football News 31 Aug 2014
 
Watford 0 Durham Women 3 (Hepple 38, Atkinson 61, Purfield 89)
Watford suffered a disappointing 3-0 defeat at home to Durham Women in a match where both sides had a number of chances. 
 
Despite creating opportunities, especially in the first half, the Lady Hornets were unable to find a way past a stern Durham defence.
 
Beth Hepple, Jordan Atkinson and Jemma Purfield got the goals for the visitors who deservedly took all three points back to the North East.
 
It was an entertaining start to the game with both sides having shots on goal in the opening five minutes. Josie Green for Watford and Emily Scott for the visitors both had ambitious efforts from distance early on. After Scott's shot, the ball went down the other end and Jo Wilson had a great chance which was saved by Durham keeper, Danielle Hill.
 
Again the two sides had similar openings within minutes of each other, first Green was set up by Megan Wynne, her strike from just outside the area going inches past the post. Then Zoe Ness had an effort from the edge of the box which was also only narrowly away from being on target.
 
Durham would take the lead on 26 minutes, Ness played the ball through to Hepple who found the bottom right hand corner from 20 yards out.
 
The away side were trying their luck anytime they got within shooting range. After a run from defence, Jen King fired just over. Watford responded well in the final ten minutes of the half, Wynne lobbed the onrushing Hill but a Durham defender got back to clear off the line. Chloe Gunn almost levelled it on 39 minutes with a great effort, she directed Wynne's cross towards goal but Hill managed to get a hand to it before a Durham defender again cleared.
 
Emma Beckett had the final chance of the first half, rising highest from a corner but could not direct it away from Hill.
 
The Golden Girls would also impress at the start of the second, keeping the ball well. Jo Wilson had the best chance, getting away from her defender before shooting straight at Hill.
 
Despite a promising opening fifteen minutes, Durham got the crucial second just after the hour through a moment of magic. Atkinson tried her luck from 35 yards out and it was to prove a good decision as her fantastic effort looped into the top corner leaving Lauren Davey with no chance.
 
Watford, to their credit, responded well after the goal but were unable to create a clear cut opportunity at Hill's goal. Davey meanwhile had to be sharp to prevent the visitors getting a third, first denying Beth Jennings and then Emily Scott with a great save.
 
Wynne was on the receiving end of some rough tackles just before the end of the game, she picked herself up to take a 25-yard free kick, her strike was on target but comfortable for Hill.
 
Durham would get their third in injury time. A mix up at the back presented Purfield with an empty net to seal the victory for the Wildcats with her first goal for the club. 
 
Watford: Lauren Davey, Georgia Mays, Chloe Gunn, Renee Hector, Hollie Wride, Josie Green (sub Magda Mosengo 67mins), Emma Beckett (sub Paige Logie 73mins), Stacie Donnelly, Jo Wilson, Megan Wynne, Kim Farrow. Subs not used: Shayla Burgess, Ellie Butterwick, Ella Hill, Grace Gillard. 
 
Durham Women: Danielle Hill, Ellie Christon, Jennifer King, Yasmine Hardy (sub Jemma Purfield 45mins), Gemma Wilson, Caroline Dixon, Beth Hepple, Emily Scott, Zoe Ness, Jordan Atkinson (sub Becky Hanratty 87mins), Beth Jennings (sub Jess Round 89mins). Subs not used: Anne Moorhouse, Kate Bradley.

(Report by www.fawsl.com)


 
 

Women's Soccer Scene
Bees end losing run  
 Women's Football News 31 Aug 2014
 
London Bees 1 (Gaylor 52) Millwall Lionesses 0
London Bees moved off the bottom of the FA WSL2 table with a 1-0 victory over Millwall Lionesses at The Hive on Sunday, to claim their first win since the opening day of the season and bring an eleven-game losing streak to an end. 
 
A stunning second half strike from Amber Gaylor was enough to decide the contest, as new Head Coach Julian Broomes oversaw the Bees' first victory in over four months in just his first game in charge.
 
With Lucy Loomes, Paula Howells and Imogen Riches all on international duty whilst attending an England Under-19s Development Camp, Broomes gave a debut to new Development Squad player Cally Beaumont at centre half with Sydney Hinchcliffe also being deployed as a lone striker.
 
It was the visitors who had the first real chance of the game on 16 minutes, although in truth it came from nothing. Lillie Fenlon-Billson collected the ball from a throw in before spinning her marker and attempting an audacious shot from near the right hand touchline that clipped the crossbar on its way over.
 
The Bees responded well however, and carved out their first opportunity three minutes later when Sydney Hinchcliffe turned the defender and played through Dawn Mallett to race clear. The Bees' captain then picked out Megan Goss in the box but the winger's shot was deflected narrowly wide for a corner.
 
In an very even contest, it was Millwall who were next to go close when Josie Elliott shot powerfully on the turn from just inside the penalty area, but goalkeeper Sophie Harris got down well to save.
 
The Bees were late to emerge for the second half following an extended team talk from Julian Broomes, but whatever the new manager said clearly had the desired effect as his team took the lead just seven minutes after the interval.
 
It was Amber Gaylor who got the all important goal, showing great persistence on the left-hand side to win the ball back and smash a fierce shot high into the net from the edge of the area.
 
There was a moment of panic for the Bees on 67 minutes when Beaumont, a reassuring presence in the heart of the home side's defence throughout, slipped and allowed Elliott to race through on goal. However, having done all the hard work the Millwall striker dragged her shot wide of the near post.
 
Fenlon-Billson went close during three minutes of added time with another audacious shot from 30 yards out, but with the ball curling goalwards Sophie Harris did well to claw the ball away for a corner.
 
It proved to be the last moment of concern for the home side as they held on to claim their first win in fifteen games and move three points clear of Oxford United, who come to The Hive on Thursday with the Bees looking to secure back-to-back wins.
 
London Bees: Sophie Harris, Anneka Nuttall, Samantha Chappell, Amy Cooper, Billie Brooks, Cally Beaumont, Amber Gaylor, Rebecca Anderson (sub Katherine Huggins 71mins), Megan Goss, Dawn Mallett, Sydney Hinchcliffe (sub Selin Buyukgiray 75mins (sub Aoife Hurley 89mins)). Subs not used: Emma Davies, Laura Miller, Shanade Hopcroft, Hannah Samuels. 
 
Millwall Lionesses: Sarah Quantrill, Leanne Cowan, Naomi Cole, Kylie Davies, Frankie Strugnell, Lilli Maple, Lily Agg, Lillie Fenlon-Billson, Kim Stenning (sub Cherrelle Albert 62mins), Meaghan McKeag (sub Stevie Lamb 68mins), Josie Elliott (sub Shirvae Edwards 89mins). Subs not used: Ciara Sherwood, Snezana Malesevic, Jade Dempster.

(Report by www.fawsl.com)


 
 

Women's Soccer Scene
City close in on title  
 Women's Football News 31 Aug 2014
 
A 90th minute wonder goal by Glasgow City defender Eilish McSorley gave her side a 1-0 win over Celtic in a tight contest at Airdrie Excelsior Stadium, sponsored by Birrells Bar in Redding, Falkirk. 
 
With full time approaching, McSorley collected the ball out on the left hand side, stepped forward and rifled a 40-yard strike into the top corner leaving Fay with no chance. City were then forced to see out the remaining five minutes of added time without Abbi Grant, who went off injured, but held on to maintain their 100% record in all competitions and move twelve points clear at the top of the SWPL with six games remaining.
 
City have closed in even further on the title as second placed Rangers drew 1-1 with Spartans. Sarah Ewens gave Spartans an early lead when she lobbed home but ten minutes into the second half, Megan Sneddon earned Rangers a share of the spoils by heading in the equaliser.
 
Hibernian moved to within two points of Rangers after they won 2-1 away to Aberdeen. Lucy Graham and Rachel Walkingshaw were both on target for Hibs, with Rachel McLauchlan replying for the Dons.
 
Things were just as tight in the bottom section of the table, still headed by Hamilton Academical who defeated Queen's Park 2-1.
 
Inverness City were another team to grab a last minute winner as they edged out Hutchison Vale by the odd goal in five. Veronika Klechova settled matters from the penalty spot to give Inverness the points, adding to earlier strikes from Natalie Bodiam and Hannah Gordon.
 
Buchan Ladies meanwhile gave their survival hopes a huge shot in the arm with a 2-1 victory over Forfar Farmington, which moves them to within three points of their opponents. 
 
Photo - Glasgow City's Emma Black takes on Kylla Sjoman of Celtic (Andy Buist).

 
 

Women's Soccer Scene
Gemma rewarded for service  
 Women's Football News 31 Aug 2014
 
Leicester City Ladies have recognised the service to their club from striker Gemma Ball by giving her an award. 
 
A presentation was made to Gemma by First Team manager Matt Cook ahead of the club's first ever Premier League match against Mansfield Town last Sunday, which finished in a 1-1 draw.
 
The match programme was also dedicated to Gemma for her 12 years of service at the club. The 22-year-old has been with City since coming through the junior teams and has scored a number of vital goals during her time there.

 
 

Women's Soccer Scene
Kirby treble scuppers Belles  
 Women's Football News 31 Aug 2014
 
Reading FC Women 4 (Kirby 22,45,60, Horwood 69) Doncaster Rovers Belles 0
Another Fran Kirby hat-trick plus a fourth from Bonnie Horwood allowed Reading to end Doncaster Rovers Belles' unbeaten league record in emphatic style at Farnborough. 
 
The margin of defeat was rather harsh on the balance of play as Belles exerted considerable pressure on the home goal throughout the match but were unable to convert any of the
promising situations as Reading defended very well. In contrast, Reading scored at crucial times and could have made the victory even more emphatic late on but for two excellent saves by Nicola Hobbs and a brave goal line clearance from Leandra Little.
 
Doncaster looked bright and inventive early on with Sue Smith and Jess Sigsworth seeing plenty of the ball and testing the Reading defence with crosses. The hosts' first meaningful attack saw an exchange of passes between Lauren Bruton and Kirby well defended by Little and Hobbs. Two chances less than 60 seconds apart illustrated the nature of the encounter. Sigsworth robbed Royals defender Kirsty McGee on the edge of the box and curled an instant strike inches wide of Nicky Davies' goal. At the other end Kirby, from a similar angle and distance, found the top corner for the Royals' opener on 22 minutes.
 
The rest of the half was an intriguing contest of few chances with the midfield offering strong competitive battles between Lois Roche, Bianca Bragg and Horwood on one side and Kasia Lipka, Victoria Williams and later on substitute Millie Bright for Belles. Right on the half time whistle, Kirby doubled the lead with another instinctive finish. Having seen her initial threat well defended, the league's top scorer simply stopped then stabbed the ball past three covering defenders and the helpless Hobbs with a precise low finish from ten yards.
 
Faced with an already difficult task, the Belles exerted early pressure with a Smith shot and another effort narrowly over but were undone by a superb counter attack. Bragg played a perfectly weighted pass for the run of Kirby who lifted the bouncing ball over the advancing Hobbs.
 
The scorer turned provider for the fourth on 68 minutes, releasing Horwood for a cool finish from 12 yards. Doncaster continued to have plenty of the ball in dangerous areas, Davies made two good claims from Smith corners. and Molly Bartrip was very strong in countering the ever present aerial threat as Belles went more direct in their approach.
 
At the other end, there was nearly a goal of the season contender as a rapid exchange of passes ending with a backheeled volley set up from Horwood released Bragg, whose shot brought a fine save by Hobbs to turn the ball on to the post. The keeper then went full stretch to save a rasping Kirby shot. When a Roche free kick was not dealt with, Little stood strong to chest away another powerful shot from the line.
 
Despite Belles' best efforts, including a penalty claim for a foul on Sigsworth and a close call when Courtney Sweetman-Kirk went round the keeper, Reading saw out the match and protected their
clean sheet very efficiently in the final minutes. Although Kirby again stole the headlines with another sparkling display. there were plenty of other strong performers in a good team effort from Jayne Ludlow's players.
 
Belles had inflicted a heavy defeat on the Royals in the reverse fixture and in truth the three points the clubs dropped to each other may leave Sunderland as the beneficiaries in the WSL 2 promotion race, especially after the Black Cats had fought back for a draw against Reading seven days before. 
 
Reading FC Women: Nicola Davies, Rebecca Jane, Shelly Cox, Harriet Scott (sub Ashleigh Goddard 86mins), Molly Bartrip, Kirsty McGee, Bianca Bragg, Bonnie Horwood, Lauren Bruton, Lois Roche, Fran Kirby (sub Cheryl Williams 83mins).

Doncaster Rovers Belles: Nicola Hobbs, Lyndsey Cunningham, Lauren Cresswell (sub Millie Bright 36mins), Leandra Little, Rhiannon Roberts, Kasia Lipka (sub Reanne Thomas 76mins), Jess Sigsworth, Sue Smith, Courtney Sweetman-Kirk, Victoria Williams, Beth England (sub Ashleigh Mills 65mins).

(Report by Patrick Higgins)

Photos by www.jamesprickett.co.uk:

(top) Courtney Sweetman-Kirk holds off Molly Bartrip
(middle) Lois Roche is challenged by Beth England
(bottom) Fran Kirby battles with Kasia Lipka

 
 

Women's Soccer Scene
Sunderland keep up pace  
 Women's Football News 31 Aug 2014
 
Sunderland 3 (Mead 37,89, Joice 42) Aston Villa 1 (Petrovic 29)
Beth Mead was the hero as Sunderland AFC Ladies came from behind to run out comfortable winners against an in-form Aston Villa side at the Hetton Centre. 
 
The striker fired two goals on just her second game back from the FIFA Under-20 World Cup, while Abbey Joice - returning from four months out with an ankle injury - was also on target in the win. The result keeps the Lady Black Cats clear at the top of the FA WSL 2 table with just seven games remaining.
 
Against the run of play it was the visitors who made the breakthrough just before the half hour mark, Abby Holmes brought down Emma Follis on the right hand touchline before Villa's dangerous free kick into the mix was headed on by Jade Richards before Dani Petrovic directed the ball into the bottom corner from four yards.
 
Sunderland waited just eight minutes to reply, Mead collected the ball on the wide on the right before powering past the Villa defence to put herself one-on-one with Caitlin Leach. The keeper did well to parry the first effort but was powerless to stop the striker following up and blasting high into the unguarded net from close range.
 
Just three minutes later the hosts almost went in front. Vicki Greenwell's corner was met by the leap of Rachel Furness, the Northern Ireland international clattering the crossbar with a powerful header.
 
There wasn't long to wait as the partnership of Mead and Joice, so fruitful at the start of the season, was rekindled. Mead did superbly to flick on a high ball into the path of Joice who sprang beyond the defence and placed a delicate finish under Leach.
 
The visitors nearly pulled it back on the stroke of half time as Follis was sent through one-on-one with Rachael Laws, the keeper spreading herself to block the powerful low shot with her legs.
 
The second half was a tense affair as the defenders of both sides came out on top with Steph Bannon and Hayley Sharp, alongside Villa's Richards, the outstanding performers. It took until the final fifteen minutes for the first chance of note; Furness picked out Keira Ramshaw at the far post but the forward couldn't get the ball out of her feet as Leach made an outstanding block from six yards out.
 
Laws would again save Sunderland as with just five minutes remaining Follis was found by a long ball over the top, the forward then denied by the Sunderland keeper who came out quickly to gather at her feet.
 
The Sunderland goalkeeper continued to make an impact on proceedings up until the final minute as she gathered a dangerous cross, Laws was able to release Rebekah Bass quickly down the wing. In a stunning counter attack, the winger ran the length of the pitch before find Mead's feet inside the area. She made no mistake, skipping past Richards and burying the ball in the bottom corner to seal the victory and keep her side at the top of the table. 
 
Sunderland: Rachael Laws, Abby Holmes (sub Megan Beer 45mins), Vicki Greenwell, Steph Bannon, Hayley Sharp, Rachel Furness, Keira Ramshaw (sub Sophie Williams 82mins), Kelly McDougall, Beth Mead, Abbey Joice, Rebekah Bass. Subs not used: Helen Alderson, Gemma Wilson, Elizabeth McCubbin.

Aston Villa: Caitlin Leach, Hayley Crackle (sub Carly Davies 82mins), Chloe Jones, Sherry McCue, Dani Petrovic, Jade Richards, Emma Follis, Elisha N'Dow, Katie Wilkinson, Sarah Mayling (sub Lauren Walker 64mins), Alicia Robinson. Subs: Laura Cooper, Maisie Baker, Olivia Fergusson, Chloe Harper.

(Report by www.fawsl.com)

Photos by Susan Gutteridge:

(top) Beth Mead scores the equalising goal for Sunderland
(bottom) Abbey Joice celebrates after putting her side ahead

 
 

Women's Soccer Scene
Pedro takes charge at Arsenal  
 Women's Football News 29 Aug 2014
 
Pedro Martinez Losa has been appointed Arsenal Ladies first team manager, the club has confirmed. 
 
The Spanish coach joins the Gunners from from USA National Women's Soccer League side Western New York Flash, where he has been assistant coach since 2012. Losa takes over from John Bayer, who has been in charge in a caretaker capacity following Shelley Kerr's resignation in May 2014.
 
Prior to his time in America, the 38-year-old spent five years as head coach of Rayo Vallecano Femenino in Spain. He led Rayo Vallecano to the Spanish Cup in 2008 - the first major trophy in the their history - and to league titles in 2009 and 2010. In Europe, he also took the team to the last sixteen of the UEFA Women's Champions League in 2010-11.
 
Losa said of his appointment: "Joining Arsenal Ladies is a very special moment for me. The team has a great history and I will do my best to add to it during my time in charge."
 
The new coach will take up his position with Arsenal on 15th September and first game in charge will be away to Bristol Academy in the FA Women's Super League on 20th September. Captain and assistant coach Kelly Smith will take charge of the team until then.
 
Arsenal Ladies General Manager Clare Wheatley added: "We are excited to welcome Pedro to the club.
 
"He is a fantastic coach, with experience of working at the top of the women's game in both the United States and Spain and we look forward to him getting underway."

 
 

Women's Soccer Scene
Wales win after first half goal blast  
 Women's Football News 29 Aug 2014
 
Wales defeated Northern Ireland 4-1 in the second women's Under-17 friendly international at Dragon Park, Newport, on Friday lunchtime. 
 
Wales coach, Jayne Ludlow, made several changes to the team that lost 4-2 on Wednesday and there was a much stronger look to the side that took the field. Northern Ireland meanwhile were unchanged.
 
Only nine minutes had gone when Wales took the lead, after Chloe Hughes neat the offside, to race through and beat the Irish keeper at her left hand post. Northern Ireland could have been on level terms a few minutes later, but a shot from Sarah Connolly hit the bar and came down on the goal line.
 
On seventeen minutes, a second goal for Wales came when Hannah Cain lobbed the keeper from 15 yards out to make it 2-0. Wales were now firmly in the driving seat, playing a good tempo with plenty of pass and move work.
 
Goal number three came for Wales on 25 minutes when Chloe Hughes scored her second, hooking the ball past Kirsty McCaughtry. This caused a flurry of substitutions for the Irish, with three players coming on.
 
With three minutes of the half to go, Northern Ireland almost got one back from a corner, after Wales keeper Grace Thomas Parr failed to hold a cross, but Wales held on. Then Hannah Cain picked the ball up down the right hand side and scored a cracking goal on the stroke of half time to make it 4-0.
 
With game seemingly in the bag, coach Jayne Ludlow took the chance to look at some of the other squad players and changed two at half time, with Rebecca Elliott and Shannon Hobbs coming on, closely followed by Chloe Chivers. The Irish also changed their keeper towards the hour mark. The game lost a lot of its pace as the replacements bedded in and all there was to report were a few long range efforts for Wales from Lois Regan and Hannah Cain.
 
On 66 minutes, Ireland got one back from a goalmouth scramble, the last touch seeming to come from Aiobheann Jones. After that, Wales sent on Amber Roberts for captain Charlie Estcourt.
 
It looked as though Ireland had scored a second on 75 minutes, but the goal was disallowed for an infringement. The game was done and referee Charlotte Carpenter blew the final whistle with Wales taking the game 4-1, though Ireland would be happier with their second half performance.
 
Over the two matches, plenty for Jayne Ludlow to take from the game, but not before she received a soaking from the team as ice cubes and water went everywhere! 
 
Wales: Grace Thomas Parr, Bethan Jewitt, Evie Gane, Lauryn Lyons, Jessica Williams, Carys Wilkinson, Ellie Lake, Charlotte Estcourt, Chloe Hughes, Hannah Cain, Lois Regan. Subs: Rebecca Elliott, Shannon Hobbs, Hannah Miles, Chloe Chivers, Ina Martin, Jenni Buckley, Amber Roberts.

Northern Ireland: Kirsty McCaughtry, Courtney Moore, Kerri McIntosh, Ellie Rix, Teresa Burns, Emma McMaster, Blaithin Mackin, Chloe Orr, Sarah Connolly, Lauren Robson, Katie Martin. Subs: Caiomhe Callaghan, Brooke Baine, Rebecca Bassett, Aiobheann Jones, Emma Harper, Jazmyn Murray, Erin Mulholland.

(Report by www.faw.org.uk)

 
 

Women's Soccer Scene
F.A.Women's Cup draw  
 Women's Football News 29 Aug 2014
 
The draw for the opening two rounds of the F.A.Women's Cup has been announced by the Football Association. 
 
PRELIMINARY ROUND
To be played on Sunday 7th September (Winners to receive £125)
Gateshead Rutherford Ravens v Prudhoe Town
Lowick United v Blyth Town Lions
Birtley St Josephs v Tynedale
Brighouse Town v Keighley Oaks
Wakefield v Malet Lambert YC
Carlisle United v CMB Ladies
Rise Park v Long Eaton United
Nettleham v Arnold Town
Oadby & Wigston v Dronfield Town
Coventrians v The New Saints
March Town United v Roade Ladies
Raunds Town v Kettering Town
Sandy Ladies v Rothwell Corinthians
AFC Sudbury v Lowestoft Town
Colchester Town v Takeley
Bury Town v Brentwood Town
Sawbridgeworth Town v Stevenage
KIKK United v Barking
Chesham United v Old Actonians
Leverstock Green v Headington
London Corinthians v South Park
Burgess Hill Town v Abbey Rangers
Surrey Eagles v Battersea & Wandsworth
Regents Park Rangers v Carshalton Athletic
Hassocks v Eastbourne
Poole Town v Aldershot Town
Southampton v Fleet Town
Brislington v Downend Flyers
Bristol Ladies Union v Truro City
Wootton Bassett Town v Ilminster Town
Frome Town v Cheltenham Civil Service
Bridgwater Town v Launceston
 
FIRST ROUND QUALIFYING
To be played on Sunday 28th September (Winners to receive £150)
Kader FC v York City
Birtley St Josephs or Tynedale v Forest Hall
Peterlee RA v Gateshead Rutherford Ravens or Prudhoe Town
Birtley Town v Middlesbrough Lionesses
Boldon v Lowick United or Blyth Town Lions
Whitley Bay v Ashington Woodhorn Lane
Ossett Albion v Wetherby Athletic
Wakefield or Malet Lambert YC v Farsley AFC
Sheffield Wednesday v Handsworth
Brighouse Athletic v Brighouse Town or Keighley Oaks
Hull City v Bradford Park Avenue
Woolton v Middleton Athletic
Blackpool Wren Rovers v Carlisle United or CMB Ladies
Bury Girls & Ladies v Burnley Girls & Ladies
Merseyrail Bootle v Chester City
Mersey Girls v Workington Reds
Blackpool v Penrith AFC
City of Manchester v Accrington Girls & Ladies
Crewe Alexandra v Birkenhead
Ruddington Village v Oadby & Wigston or Dronfield Town
Sandiacre Town v Nettleham or Arnold Town
West Bridgford v Rise Park or Long Eaton United
Teversal v Ellistown
Walsall v Malvern Town
Leamington Lions v Coventrians or The New Saints
Allscott v Lye Town
Stone Dominoes v Bilbrook
Brereton Town v Crusaders
Kenilworth Town v Coventry Development
Wyrley Ladies v Folly Lane
Burton Albion v Bedworth United
Newmarket v Wymondham Town
Sandy Ladies or Rothwell Corinthians v Peterborough Northern Star
Great Shelford v March Town United or Roade Ladies
Bar Hill v Huntingdon Town
Fulbourn Institute v Raunds Town or Kettering Town
Stewarts & Lloyds Corby v Burton Park Wanderers
Bury Town or Brentwood Town v West Billericay
Southendian v Colchester Town or Takeley
AFC Sudbury or Lowestoft Town v Billericay Town
Haringey Borough v Long Lane
KIKK United or Barking v Sherrardswood
Garston v Colney Heath
Royston Town v Sawbridgeworth Town or Stevenage
Offley & Stopsley v Harvesters
Banbury United v Oxford City
Woodley United v Chesham United or Old Actonians
Brentford v Hemel Hempstead Town
Wealdstone v AFC Dunstable Ladies
Colne Valley v Maidenhead United
Newbury v Ascot United
Kidlington v Marlow
Leighton United Vixens v Leverstock Green or Headington
Bexhill United v Regents Park Rangers or Carshalton Athletic
AFC Wimbledon v Fulham FC Foundation
London Corinthians or South Park v Hassocks or Eastbourne
Crawley Wasps v Worthing Town
AFC Wimbledon Ladies Development v Rottingdean Village
Parkwood Rangers v Aylesford
Dartford Royals v Chertsey Town
Maidstone United v Surrey Eagles or Battersea & Wandsworth
Herne Bay v Anchorians
Eastbourne Town v Burgess Hill Town or Abbey Rangers
Parley Sports v New Forest
Christchurch v Southampton Women or Fleet Town
Poole Town or Aldershot Town v Basingstoke Town
Torquay United v Wootton Bassett Town or Ilminster Town
Frome Town or Cheltenham Civil Service v Bristol Ladies Union or Truro City
Swindon Spitfires v Brislington or Downend Flyers
Pen Mill v Bridgwater Town or Launceston

 
 

Women's Soccer Scene
Family Day at Watford  
 Women's Football News 29 Aug 2014
 
Have one last bout of family fun with Watford Ladies FC on Sunday 31st August at their final home game of the school summer holidays, against Durham Women FC. 
 
Admission prices will be removed, as the club open its stadium doors to all the family with something for everyone to get involved in. With admission prices removed, they will be running their 'Pay What You Want' Scheme as piloted in their pre-season friendly win against Bristol Academy.
 
The family fun will include: 
 
* Receive a FREE FAWSL activity booklet on arrival
* Harry's Golden Ticket treasure hunt
* Watford Ladies FC FREE prize giveaway
* Loom band workshop
* Half time penalty shootout competition vs. Watford Ladies FC WSL Goalkeeper
* Full time: Meet the Players photo and autograph opportunity
* Face-painting

 
We will also have an EXCLUSIVE Special guest appearance for Watford FC legend, Harry the Hornet and a half time raffle with some excellent prizes.

 
 

Women's Soccer Scene
Prestigious award for Nadine Kessler  
 Women's Football News 29 Aug 2014
 
Wolfsburg's Champions League winning captain, Nadine Kessler was crowned the UEFA Women's Best Player in Europe in Monaco yesterday afternoon. 
 
The women's award, now in its second year, pitted Kessler against her two club team mates, Sweden's Nilla Fischer and German attacker Martina Muller, but it was 26-year-old midfielder Kessler who won the vote of the women's football press jury to lift the coveted prize.
 
Last year Kessler was fourth in this award but this season found herself in the shortlist of three after a magnificent campaign where she captained Wolfsburg to their second successive UEFA Women's Champions League and Frauen Bundesliga titles. Her famous dribble to set up team mate Muller for the winner in the Champions League final against Tyreso was described by the goalscorer as "50% Nadine and 50% me."
 
On winning the award, a delighted Kessler said: "It is something really special. To be honest I didn't even dream about it. It is a surprise for me. I had some great competitors with me, or better said, team mates. But I am simply over the moon.
 
"It is an award that gives me a confirmation that I have done everything right, that I worked really hard. It shows I was on the right track. In the end of course it is only possible with good teammates around you in order to develop in such a way."
 
The win for Kessler means that the award stays with Germany as international team mate and German number one goalkeeper Nadine Angerer lifted the prize last year.
 
The winner of the male award was Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid.

(by Laura Montgomery, photo courtesy of UEFA)

 
 

Women's Soccer Scene
We talk to...Gary Cooper (Chairman, Leeds Ladies)  
 Women's Football News 29 Aug 2014
 
It has been a very tough summer for Leeds Ladies but the green shoots of recovery look to be on their way. 
 
Following relegation from the Northern Division last season, they were once again left fighting for survival after ties with Leeds United were severed. This has led to the club being renamed Leeds Ladies FC and they opened up the new campaign in Northern Division One with an encouraging 4-2 win against Stockport County.
 
A brand new committee was set up and the newly rebranded club received support from across the city to help their cause. Former Leeds United captain Dominic Matteo and current player Noel Hunt, as well as fans, local businesses and rock stars Kaiser Chiefs have been amongst those pledging their support for the club.
 
In a special edition of our series, we talked to Leeds Ladies Chairman Gary Hooper and he is now looking forward to the future following a busy few months since taking over at the helm...
 
After all the trials and tribulations during the summer, how pleasing was it to actually get back out on the pitch and play again?
It was just great to play the first game of the season in sunshine and with so many fans present (over 120), the sense of satisfaction was something else - to know we as volunteers had pulled together to make it happen, really pleasing.

How good a game and result was it, after all Stockport are usually one of the stronger teams at that level?
It was a great game and in fairness both teams looked quality, Stockport certainly won't struggle this season and look a well drilled and experienced side and of course we wish them well, but to win was quite and achievement for us with a young and largely inexperienced (at this level) side.

How have team preparations gone on the pitch in recent weeks?
We are playing catch up, having missed over a month of pre-season with all that went on, but we're working hard to make up for that and the coaches and girls have been just amazing.

What re-organisations and restructures of the club have taken place over the summer?
We have a new committee, new badges, new logos, new name but were still Leeds and United in all but the word now.

Are you more confident for the future now or does more work need to be done yet?
Loads more work to do yet! Funding, structure and sustainability all go hand in hand and all need to be in place to allow the club and the team to develop as we want it too but the people involved are committed beyond my wildest dreams and we will make it happen. This phoenix will rise.

Was there a time when you thought that things were over?
Never, someone told us we couldn't do this, when someone tells me that I make sure I do it and we have!

What do you think would be a good season for Leeds Ladies?
We always said we want our girls, our fans, our sponsors and all involved to smile this season, to put the past trials and tribulations behind us and enjoy being Leeds again. So far, so good.


 
 

Women's Soccer Scene
Amie's armband delight  
 Women's Football News 29 Aug 2014
 
Blackburn Rovers midfielder Amie Fleming has expressed her delight after being named captain for the 2014-15 season. 
 
The former Liverpool Ladies star only joined the club in September, but made such a positive impression on manager Gemma Donnelly that she has been handed the armband.
 
Amie hopes to take her new responsibilities in her stride and lead the new look Rovers team to a successful season. "I was very pleased, but a little bit shocked, because I only came in midway through last season and there are a lot of former players here who have spent numerous years with the club," she said.
 
"But I'm delighted with what Gemma saw in me. It's a massive responsibility, but the captaincy is only an armband and I don't want it to affect my performances. That said, I know I need to step up to the plate in terms of my communication and leadership, so I will take it as it comes.
 
"On and off the field, it's important that the whole squad is as one. I want to make sure that everyone is on the same page, has the same mentality and is ready to go in every game.
 
"We've got a much stronger squad this season and we are certainly in it to win it. We didn't get off to the best of starts, but we move on and I am still confident we can have a positive season."
 
Gemma Donnelly said: "Amie epitomises everything that Blackburn Rovers is as a club. She's hard working, skilful, committed, a great role model and a genuinely nice character. She has been given the task of leading an experienced team, but I have no doubt she will be an excellent leader."

 
 

Women's Soccer Scene
Latest live matches announced  
 Women's Football News 29 Aug 2014
 
The next FA Women's Super League (WSL) matches selected for live broadcast on BT Sport have been confirmed as the league approaches its climax. 
 
The FA WSL Continental Cup semi final between Arsenal and Notts County (2pm) on Sunday 7th September will be shown live on BT Sport 1. The winners of that tie will face either Manchester City or Chelsea in the Final. Arsenal's midweek league game against Chelsea on Thursday 4th September (7.45pm) will also be live on BT Sport 1, as Chelsea look to capitalise on their position at the top of the table. Birmingham City's trip to Everton on Tuesday 9th September (7.45pm) has also been selected for coverage on BT Sport 1, as Everton work to move off the bottom of the table.
 
BT Sport is the exclusive television broadcast partner of the FA WSL, showing live games and a regular highlights programme, the WSL Review Show. These three matches will be presented by BT Sport's Helen Skelton.

 
 

Women's Soccer Scene
Lionesses introduce Girls Development Centre  
 Women's Football News 29 Aug 2014
 
As pioneers of girls' football and the first club in the country to have a female Centre of Excellence, Millwall Lionesses have always considered the grassroots development of women's and girl's football to be vitally important to the club. 
 
To further our development programme we are delighted to announce that for the 2014-15 season we will be expanding our Lionesses' structure by introducing a Football Development Centre for girls aged between 5-8 years.
 
Many of our current first team players began their careers in a similar way and the Lionesses' are keen to give girls in the local community the chance to learn the sport in a safe and welcoming environment. Our goal is to provide girls with the opportunity to play and enjoy their football, while learning from qualified coaches, including many of the current Millwall Lionesses' players.
 
For the equivalent of £5 per week, each Development Centre player receives 90 minutes of high quality coaching per week. In addition, every player will also receive a complete Millwall Lionesses training kit and kitbag. Sessions are arranged in 12 week segments to fit around the school term and holidays.
 
For more information or to register your interest simply e-mail enquiries@millwallcommunity.co.uk.

 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
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