Durham Women 0 Doncaster Rovers Belles 2 (Roberts 10, Sweetman-Kirk 77)
A hardworking performance was left without reward as Durham fell to a 2-0 defeat against Doncaster Rovers Belles at New Ferens Park.
Goals either side of half time from Emily Roberts and Courtney Sweetman-Kirk ensured Doncaster completed a League double over the Wildcats and returned to the top of the WSL 2 table.
As with the first game between the sides on the opening day, Durham will feel the score doesn't reflect the 90 minutes as they battled hard against the Belles, who move back into top spot. The Wildcats made a promising start, forcing a string of early corners, but found themselves pegged back with ten minutes elapsed.
Roberts carved out the Belles' first shot after some neat interplay and fired high into Helen Alderson's goal, giving the stopper no chance.
Despite the early setback, the Wildcats persisted and had chances of their own. Jordon Atkinson proved a particular menace for the away defence, chasing down two seemingly lost causes that visiting keeper Nicola Hobbs just about dealt with.
The Belles were restricted to long shots through ex-England international Sue Smith and Courtney Sweetman-Kirk, with Beth England's 25-yard stroke also a shade wide of Alderson's post.
The home side's hard work continued and another loose ball chased down, this time from Courtney Corrie, almost paid dividends as Hobbs' clearance bounced fortuitously off the striker and out of play.
Buoyed by matching the opposition in the first half, Durham came out fighting again in the second. Jemma Purfield carved out a couple of openings but couldn't work Hobbs with a chance of great note, while Atkinson's venture down the right hand side couldn't be turned goalbound by substitute Jess Clark.
Roberts had another long-range chance before the winger played a pivotal part on the Belles' second in the 78th minute. Her far post lob over Alderson struck the post before trickling over the line despite the best efforts of Sarah Wilson, with Sweetman-Kirk apprehensively claiming the final touch.
Smith went close again before Purfield rolled an effort agonisingly wide from a tight angle as Durham were unable to secure a deserved consolation.
Durham Women: Helen Alderson, Julie Nelson, Sarah Wilson, Jen Jennings, Lauren Jordinson, Courtney Corrie (sub Jess Clark 73mins), Ellie Christon, Beth Hepple, Jordan Atkinson (sub Meg Lawson 88mins), Jemma Purfield. Subs not used: Sophie Stonehouse, Vic Linsley, Carrie Ann Ross, Ash Coyle, Rachel Lee.
Doncaster Rovers Belles: Nicola Hobbs, Lyndsey Cunningham (sub Molly Johnson 78mins), Leandra Little, Rhiannon Roberts, Hope Knight (sub Lauren Cresswell 61mins), Kasia Lipka, Sophie Barker, Bethany England (sub Sophie Stamp 61mins), Emily Roberts, Courtney Sweetman-Kirk, Sue Smith. Subs not used: Megan Govier, Sam Tierney.
(Report by www.fawsl.com)
FC Reedswood have completed their first season in the Premier League and did so on a winning note, beating Steel City Wanderers 4-1 in their Midlands Division One clash.
We talked to Reedswood midfielder Becki Knight, who admitted that it has been a tough baptism for her side this season but is confident that they can build on this and be a stronger outfit next time around:
All in all a 4-1 win is a very good end to a season, how well did the team play on the day?
It was a good end to the season. It's been a turbulent season for the club with four managers in all, including interim managers, so it was nice to end it on a positive note. We were very clinical on the day and took our chances well. I think Steel City will be a little disappointed and the score line probably flattered us - we did ride our luck at times but our young keeper Chloe Perkins had a great debut.
Steel City have been in great form in recent weeks, did you do anything different from the game against Mansfield the previous week?
We had been unfortunate at Mansfield the previous week. We dominated significant periods of the game but couldn't capitalise on our chances. In honesty we didn't really have much of a hangover from the Mansfield game this week as our squad had a bit of a change up; our regular keeper picked up an ankle injury in the week and we had to call upon our Under-18 keeper at short notice. We also welcomed a few players back that had been absent at Mansfield. In terms of performance, we probably didn't play much differently but we converted 80% of our chances and took the chances at the right time in the game.
This has been your first season after promotion, have you been satisfied with the way it has gone?
In terms of the league table? I would have taken that at the start of the season. In reality, I think we could have climbed a few places as we dropped points in several games we shouldn't have. I think any team promoted into this division has to view avoiding relegation as an achievement as I believe we are only the second team to survive in the history of this tier (old combination league). Solihull pulled it off last year but required the help of a team folding and Radcliffe getting docked points. So I think you have to view it as a successful season. Outside of the First Team, Chair Kelly Williams has done extremely well to expand the club with the addition of a reserve team and a youth section. This is imperative for the survival of the first team at higher levels - in fact, five of the squad on Sunday have emerged through the under 18 and reserve teams, so we are already reaping the rewards.
How has the team found the step up to Premier League this season?
I think we've coped very well and we've rarely been outplayed in matches. I think we've learnt about the fine margins at this level - a few missed chances or a poor goal conceded and then you've lost a match!
So what do you feel the team needs to do in order to challenge for a higher place next year?
I think the change in management throughout the season has probably contributed to us not achieving our potential but I have no doubts that, with some consistency next season, we'll finish a lot higher up the table. We have an established reserve and under 18 team that feeds well into the first team and that can only grow over the years. We currently have an interim Manager in place in Andy Payne who steered our under 18s to their league championship undefeated, I'm hoping he'll stay on with the first team for next season as he has united the group and we've ended the season in good form. I am confident he has what it takes to push the squad on again.
Next season you should have the chance to play Wolves in the league, presumably the team will be looking forward to that prospect?
Absolutely - who doesn't love a derby match? However I am under no illusion that they are probably favourites to win the league. They'll be strong and well organised, I guess the key to their success is whether they can keep hold of their players.
Overall, would you say that the FA Cup run was the highlight of the season?
The FA Cup run was great! Realistically, we probably let ourselves down at Bradford on the day, but they were a good side. For me personally, survival in the league was always the ultimate aim and we have achieved that. I think we are in a good position to consolidate this and kick on next year and a top five finish is realistic. But I wouldn't turn down another FA Cup run next year, that's for sure!
Blackpool Wren Rovers have reached the Premier League for the first time in their history, after a number of near misses, following their ultimate triumph in a closely fought title race in the North West League.
Rovers had narrowly missed out to Morecambe last season and needed to chase for much of this campaign, after Blackburn Community had made a fast start to set the early pace and Crewe Alexandra took over the lead until the latter stages. Rovers always possessed games in hand and a strong finish saw them take top spot by a margin of seven points.
"It's been a hard season, because I think everyone expected us to win it," manager Sam Wilcock told Women's Soccer Scene. "We started well but one turning point was going to play away to Crewe, who had beaten us twice last season, with a depleted team through injuries and my sister Caroline representing England in the Deaf Women's Futsal Championships. We all dug in and won a very important victory.
"Then, when we played Blackburn Community at home and played our best game to win 6-1, we knew we could go on and win the league."
Rovers' success has been a real team effort but for Sam, who has been a big part of the club for many years, it was a special moment as well for other long servants. "We have joint managers of myself and Audra Bates," she explained. "Our captain is Nikki Berko but as she was injured for the last three games, vice captain Carly Loughran took over. Nikki Berko is also our top goalscorer with 51 goals to her name.
"Our reserve team players have been a great support this season, playing for us whenever needed, especially Lauren Turner, Louise Allan and Natalie Jackson who all played an important part in the team at the end of the season."
Rovers also had an opportunity to win the League and Cup double and faced local rivals Blackpool in the League Cup Final, but sadly this was to bring an unfortunate ending. "One of our players sadly broke her leg, it wasn't a nice end to the season and the match was abandoned," said Sam. "The girls were very shaken up by this and the player, Louise Allan, has had an operation so we've all been rallying round to support her.
"Going back to management, both myself and Audra are stepping down from the role as we both have family commitments. We have worked together for five enjoyable years and I have been part of the management at Wrens for twelve years."
Blackpool Wren Rovers are now looking for a new manager/coach to lead them into the Premier League next season. If you are interested in the vacancy, please contact Sam on firstname.lastname@example.org and the club will contact you to discuss the position.
Birmingham City Ladies FC are looking for a Technical Director for their FA Girls' Centre of Excellence.
Salary is dependent upon experience (part-time) and you will be responsible to the BCLFC Chief Executive.
The purpose of the post is to develop and implement a technical/tactical player and coach development programme across all age groups within the BCLFC Girls' Centre of Excellence programme in line with FA criteria. The start date will be 1st July 2015.
The Technical Director is responsible for:
* Implementing a training programme in line with LTPD guidelines
* Ensure high standards of coaching delivery across all five age groups at the centre
* Develop and overseeing a continuous professional development programme, to include a comprehensive mentoring strategy, for coaches and support staff involved within the Centre of Excellence.
* Ensuring the Centre of Excellence adheres to the FA standards for safeguarding children
* Monitoring and evaluating the player and coach performance of the Centre
* Recruitment and selection of players
* Provide performance reports for all players and staff
* Working with the Centre Manager and other support staff to ensure high quality operations and adherence to the FA licence requirements
* Liaise with other staff across the club where appropriate to ensure consistency
Key skills and experience required:
* A Licence
* FA Youth Award Module 1 & 2
* FA Licensed
* A recognised First Aid Qualification
* Knowledge and understanding of child protection issues including holding a current FA Safeguarding Children Workshop certificate
* An accepted FA Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Disclosure (previously known as an FA CRB Disclosure)
* Experience of coaching young players
* An appreciation and experience of mentoring and developing other coaches
* Understanding of the FA Women's and Girls player pathway
* An understanding and implications of Long Term Player Development
* Experience of managing individuals and teams
* Willingness to work evenings and weekends
* Ability to travel independently
If you are interested in this position please send your CV with a covering letter outlining your suitability for the role to: Steve Shipway (Chief Executive) at email@example.com.
For an informal conversation about the position or for any queries please contact Heather Cowan on (07811) 123517 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Closing Date: Monday 1st June 2015 (5pm)
Interview Dates: 11th/12th June 2015
Note: This position is subject to FA Licence
Only one league match has been played in the Northern Ireland Premier League in the past week and it took place on Monday night, with Linfield Ladies moving to within three points of the leadership after beating Glentoran Belfast Utd 3-1.
Alison Smyth netted two of the goals and Chelsea Myles was also on target to hand Linfield their third win in four matches whilst remaining third in the table.
The main focus this week has been the quarter finals of the Premiership Divisional Cup and Crusaders Strikers booked their place in the last four after beating Glentoran Belfast Utd 1-0. Clare Carson scored the only goal of the game during the second half but the win was marred by a serious knee injury which had been sustained by Crusaders full back Lisa Armour. Linfield meanwhile completed a good week for themselves by beating league leaders Newry City 4-0. Kirsty McGuinness scored twice and she was joined on the scoresheet by Amber Dempster and Ashley Hutton.
Hannah Ward and Kendra McMullan were on target as Sion Swifts won 2-1 away to Ballymena Allstars. Cliftonville Ladies complete the semi final line up after a 1-0 win over Mid Ulster Ladies.
Eastern Region League
After the disappointment of losing in the League Cup Final seven days earlier, Royston Town made up for it by winning the League Plate with a 4-2 victory over Colney Heath in the Final. Joanne Rutherford had a great day as she scored all four goals, with Amber Charlton and Holly Sheridan replying for Colney.
Champions Lowestoft Town are just one match away from a perfect season after two goals from Hannah Waters earned them a 2-1 win away to Stevenage Ladies, who replied through Amy Josland.
In Division One South, West Billericay are up into fourth place after a Katy Judd hat-trick, Michelle Stoneman and Georgia Standing gave them a 5-2 victory over Hutton.
London & South East League
Carshalton Athletic picked up the win they needed to be confirmed as Champions and the did so in style, scoring seven times without reply against London Corinthians. Ella Bale led the scoring for Carshalton with a hat-trick, Laura Curtis weighed in with a brace while Kayley Smith and Janaya Spiteri contributed a goal apiece.
South West League
Torquay Utd are the winners of the Pat Sowden Cup after they defeated Brislington 4-2 in a well contested Final at Newton Abbot. Laura Gough, Louisa Stentiford-Crook, Gabrielle Trays and an own goal secured victory and silverware for the Gulls.
West Midlands League
Lichfield Diamonds completed the season in Division One North with their second straight win, 5-2 against Bilbrook to finish level on points with their opponents in mid-table.
Coventry Development's climb up the table in Division One South has taken them up to third place, which they held onto with a 1-1 draw against Malvern Town. Coventry are ahead on goal difference from Kenilworth Town who were 4-2 winners over Redditch Utd.
* There is a delay over Carshalton Athletic being confirmed as League Champions because of ongoing FA disciplinary matters.
Northern Division title winners Bradford City ended their successful campaign on the receiving end of a heavy defeat, beaten 8-0 by Leeds Ladies. Rachel Ackroyd and Beth Davies both hit hat-tricks for Leeds, with Karen Poshia and Martha Ohr rounding off the scoring.
Tottenham Hotspur meanwhile scored seven times without reply against Bedford Ladies in the Southern Division. Chloe Bassett, Dionne Manning and Annabelle Colston each netted twice, with Frankie Palmer adding the other for Spurs who can still finish in the top three.
Birmingham City moved themselves to within one point of the leadership in the FA WSL Development League Northern Division, thanks to a 4-0 success away to Notts County. Sunderland meanwhile defeated Everton 2-1, courtesy of goals from Elizabeth McCubbin and Ellie Dobson. Aston Villa won 4-2 against high riding Manchester City thanks to one apiece from Lucy Porter, Kamariah Scott, Mollie Rouse and Courtney Murphy. At the other end of the table, Doncaster Rovers Belles are off the bottom after they edged out Durham Women by the odd goal in seven. Nicole Dale was on target twice for the Belles along with Lauren Cresswell and Holly Housley.
Chelsea have clinched the Southern Division title after they defeated Yeovil Town 4-0 on Sunday. Millie Farrow netted twice inside the opening 25 minutes, before an own goal further increased their lead and Jodie Brett completed the scoring late on. Arsenal are now the favourites to finish second following their midweek 4-2 success against London Bees in which Chloe Kelly (2), Rianna Dean and Evie Clarke netted their goals. Oxford Utd continued their improvement by winning 2-1 away to Millwall Lionesses, a result which moves them out of the bottom two.
England have been drawn alongside Germany, Spain and Norway for the Finals of this summer's UEFA Women's Under-19s Championship.
Group A comprises of Sweden, France, Denmark and the host nation.
The Young Lions' qualifying campaign hit the headlines with a retaken Leah Williamson penalty, against Norway, last month. That converted spot kick, alongside victories over Northern Ireland and Switzerland, ensured Mo Marley's side made it to the eight-team finals which will be staged in Israel between 15-27 July.
England open up against Germany on Wednesday 15 July. Then it is Spain on 18 July, followed by Norway on 21 July.
The four Euro semi finalists will qualify for next year's FIFA Women's Under-20s World Cup, which is being hosted by Papua New Guinea.
England won the Under-19 Euros in 2009 with a squad that included Lucy Bronze, Jordan Nobbs, Jade Moore and Toni Duggan - who are all part of Mark Sampson's senior squad for next month's World Cup in Canada. England were also runners-up in 2007, 2010 and 2013.
England's World Cup final warm up match against Canada next Friday [29th May] will be shown live on the BBC.
The Lionesses will take on the tournament's host nation at Tim Hortons Field in Hamilton, Ontario. The match will be live on the BBC Red Button and BBC Sport website with coverage from 22:50 BST (23:00 BST KO).
England will then travel to Moncton where they will begin their World Cup campaign against France (9th June) and Mexico (13th June), then onto Montreal where they will play Colombia (17th June) in Group F.
England last played Canada in March in the final of the Cyprus Cup. England won 1-0, following a Lianne Sanderson goal, to lift the trophy.
Every match from the World Cup will be live on the BBC across BBC Two, BBC Three, BBC Red Button, BBC Radio 5 Live and the BBC Sport website. Mark Sampson's 23-player squad will fly to Toronto on Monday 25th May.
Wetherby Athletic came from behind to lift the North East League Southern Division title following a late run and tense ending to the season.
The team has slowly improved over the past few years, with recent highlights including finishing runners-up in the league last season and getting to the West Riding County Cup quarter finals, beaten by Leeds United Ladies.
For the 2014-15 season, strengthened by a few new players and improved training, the first team started with the aim to challenge the league title once more. Despite a good start, a few disappointing early results (a defeat to the eventual runners-up and a draw) put Wetherby on the back foot, always chasing the two leading teams - Westella & Willerby and Farsley AFC.
They managed to keep positive however and from these early results, maintained an unbeaten record to the end of the season. Putting pressure on the top two teams, Wetherby came into their last two games needing only two points to secure the title. This led to a dramatic end of the season, with a last minute penalty securing a point against Westella, and a 2-2 draw against runners-up Farsley in the last game. Wetherby therefore finished the season with their highest ever points and goals total.
The first team also had their most successful season in their respective cups, reaching the Second Round of the FA Women's Cup, the League Cup quarter finals and the last eight of the County Cup - losing to the eventual winners, Bradford City.
The team and club would like to thank manager Mike Robinson for all his support this season, as he retires and the role is taken on by coach, Steven Carmody. The team is captained by Helen Hartley and Debra Slater was top scorer with 28 goals in just 18 appearances.
Players who have influenced the team this season include Gemma Hall, who came from Leeds United Foundation at only 16 years old, and soon secured a spot in the first team at right back. Gemma has had a solid season, and gained the respect of all her team mates and coaches, playing well and battling strongly against teams and players with more experience.
Despite interest shown from a number of higher level clubs, including Bradford City and Huddersfield Town, Debra Slater showed loyalty to the 'Orange Army' this season and once again secured not only team top goalscorer, but league top goalscorer plaudits as well. She is a key part of the team, with a determined attitude, and has been vital to the performances this season.
"Wetherby Athletic Ladies FC are an inclusive football club based North of Leeds, with two ladies open age teams," says secretary Jemma Carmody. "The ladies section formed six years ago and due to increased participation and interest in the area, they started a Reserves team last year.
"We are looking for players for both teams for next season, and if anyone would like to get in touch my details and the website information are: email@example.com or (07976) 218410.
"Training will start again in June 2015, and we are looking for new players in any position, as well as players/people who are interested in coaching and management in the future. The club also has a great foundation in junior girls football, and would be interested in players of any age and ability wanting to get involved."
Training to be a lawyer takes commitment, hard work, skill and a drive to excel.
The same could be said for an athlete striving to be at the top of their game - something Bethany England knows all about. The women's footballer, who has represented England at under-19s and under-23s level, has taken on an intensive three-year law degree with BPP University.
She is also an integral part of the historic Doncaster Rovers Belles who are chasing promotion back into the top tier of women's football following their much-criticised relegation in 2013.
Juggling the two roles doesn't come easy as 20-year-old Bethany admits, but she knows that she can't curb her need to succeed in both law and football. Her opportunity to pursue a dream career in law actually came via the Belles when BPP Professional Education Group, the largest European private education provider, began sponsoring the club in 2013.
"I genuinely believe my path is law," said Barnsley-born Bethany. "I was initially doing a social work degree before Carl (Lygo - Chief Executive of BPP Professional Education Group and BPP University's Vice Chancellor) gave me the opportunity to kick start my law studies. It was an opportunity I couldn't turn down."
Bethany travelled hundreds of miles from home to complete a Pathway to Higher Education course at BPP University, Shepherd's Bush. Having passed the fast-track course, the Belles midfielder was awarded a place on the LLB law degree course at BPP University's Manchester site. Despite a few initial fears, she's facing her qualification head on.
"I was scared that I wouldn't be smart enough but I've come to realise that without taking risks, you'll never know how capable you are and what you can achieve," she said. "I'm not a quitter either so I intend to continue down the career path I have chosen."
Training nearly every day for her South Yorkshire football team, Bethany couples that with hours of intensive study.
"At times it has been difficult to juggle everything," admitted the former Barnsley College student. "But I believe the hard-graft will pay off in the future. It's the same with football, you have to find the time for extra training to better yourself.
"Without the need to excel, it is hard to get where you want to be. It's a mixture of emotions but you just have to find that correct balance."
Bethany doesn't have to look too far for inspiration as England women's international footballer and Chelsea forward Eni Aluko qualified as a lawyer at the end of last year.
"I think any footballer playing at a high competitive level finds it hard to do many things. You want to be the fittest, fastest and strongest player but you can't devote all of your time to training particularly if you're semi-professional footballers like myself who have to also factor in time for studies and full or part-time jobs," said Bethany, Belles' joint top-scorer last season with 14 goals.
"Eni clearly managed to get the balance right as she is a great footballer and I can imagine she excels at her job. She is a great role model for younger, aspirational footballers who also have ambitions like myself."
Newcastle United Women's Football Club are now welcoming expressions of interest for the vacant managerial role at the club.
The role is voluntary and you must be willing to work with a number of coaches all ready at the club.
The club's first team finished eleventh in the FA Women's Premier League Northern Division in 2014-15 whilst reaching the quarter finals of the FA Women's Premier League Cup.
Meanwhile the Development side finished second in the FA Women's Premier League Reserve Northern, also reaching the semi finals of the Northumberland County Cup.
You must be available to run training sessions on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, and must be available to attend all first team games, home and away, as well as Development team games when first team do not have a fixture.
You must be willing to work with a number of coaches all ready at the club, but you will also be allowed to bring in coaches of your own choosing as well.
Deadline for applications will be Monday 25th May 2015 at midnight. Interview dates to be confirmed.
To apply, send any relevant information and your CV to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The draw for the Second Round of the SWF Scottish Cup has been announced.
Second Round draw: (ties to be played on 21st June)
Aberdeen Development v Partick Thistle
Hibernian Development v Aberdeen
Rangers (SWFL) v Inverness City
Spartans v Glasgow City
Stonehaven v Glasgow Girls
Dee Vale v Queen's Park
East Fife v Blackburn Utd
Hibernian v Glasgow City (SWFL)
Kilmarnock v Mill Utd
Edinburgh Caledonia v Caithness Ladies
Hutchison Vale v Motherwell
Cumbernauld Colts v Boroughmuir Thistle
Hamilton Academical v Stirling University
Celtic v Dundee City
Rangers v Forfar Farmington Development
Forfar Farmington v Hearts
Following their fantastic Cup treble winning season, Charlton Athletic are looking for coaches to help take the club to the next level:
We are looking to recruit a coach - ideally an A Licence, minimum B Licence already working towards A Licence - to work together with our current successful management team. FA Youth modules are desirable but not essential.
Manager/Coach required - preferred B Licence (FA Level 3), minimum experienced Level 2 - to work together with our first team management team and continue the development of our players for promotion to the first team.
Our women's teams train twice a week and play on Sunday afternoons. The above two positions are paid roles.
Other Coaching Opportunities
We are looking for an Assistant Manager/Coach for our Reserve and Development Teams - minimum Level 2. These are voluntary roles but offer an excellent opportunity to work with one of London's most successful women's football teams and to work towards further coaching qualifications.
In preparation for our application for a Licence on the new Regional Development Pathway (currently Centres of Excellence) we are looking to increase the number of coaches for our junior section (Under 10/12/14/16s). We are keen to take on Level 1 or 2 coaches looking to work towards their next coaching qualification. These are voluntary roles but offer a great opportunity to gain valuable experience and coaching time with some of the best girl players in London and Kent.
For all the above positions current DBS (CRB) certificate, FA Safeguarding and FA Emergency Aid will be required.
To apply please send your CV and a covering letter/email to email@example.com. Please state which role(s) you are interested in.
Closing date for applications is Friday 29th May.
Hibernian's Lizzie Arnot has scooped the Scottish Women's Premier League Player of the Month Award for the month of April.
The award - voted by opponents, coaching staff and management - is the second of the women's season and Lizzie was thrilled to win the award.
The SWPL caught up with Lizzie prior to Hibernian's 3-3 draw with Glasgow City and Arnot beamed with pride when told in front of her team mates that she won. Arnot said her great start to the season was due to Hibernian's impressive start to the campaign: "It's great to be recognised individually, but a big part of this award is down to my team mates. We have been playing really well as a team and that impacts directly on my performance when others around me are on good form."
Hibernian manager Chris Roberts on Lizzie winning the award: "I am delighted for Lizzie as she has had a good start to the season. She has gained valuable experience with the U19s National Squad and that has resulted in her being a big player for Hibs in all of our games this year.
"Her creativity and assists have been the biggest part of her game and as always her work rate and effort in training and in games alongside her attitude are fantastic. Lizzie's desire and dedication to be the best player she can be makes it no surprise to me that she has picked up this award. I'm sure going forward, there will be many more to come for Lizzie Arnot."
Lizzie's weekend of good news was topped off with a goal in Sunday's 3-3 draw with Glasgow City.
In the First Division it was Cumbernauld Colts player Rebecca Young who was voted as POTM. Young put her award down to her excellent coaching from the staff at Colts: "I'm shocked but honoured to win the player of the month award for April as there are many talented players in the league. I would like to thank my coaches and teammates for improving my performance every week."
Within the Second Division, Kirsten Frew from Blackburn United won April's Player of the Month. Head Coach Connor McCloskey has been impressed with his new signing: "Kirsten has been a breath of fresh air since she has joined the club. She has really excelled in her role and has taken everything in her stride. She is turning into a bit of a goal machine, her hold up play, finishing and general fight is fantastic to watch, delighted to have her at Blackburn United for season 2015."
Kirsten Frew added on winning the award: "I'd like to thank the club and my teammates for helping me with my performances every week, since moving to the club my confidence has returned and is continuing to grow as each game passes."
(Courtesy of the SWPL - www.womenspremierleague.co.uk/@SWPL)
Photo - John Williamson
Sheffield FC warmed up for this Sunday's Championship play-off match by completing their regular fixtures with a 3-0 victory away to Sporting Club Albion.
Jodie Michalska has been in superb form in recent weeks and the prolific striker scored another hat-trick to take her tally for the season to 25, scoring her 200th goal for the club in the process.
Sheffield will end the season with an eight-point margin ahead of runners-up Coventry City whose campaign finished with a 1-1 draw with Bradford City, who end up in fourth place. Bradford led at the break through a 27th minute strike from Sarah Danby, before the Sky Blues hit back in the second half and Helen Dermody equalised just after the hour mark.
Derby County made sure of a good finish to the season, winning for the sixth time in eight games and guaranteeing themselves a top half place after having flirted with relegation at one stage. Louisa Abbey and Lauren Steadman scored the goals as Derby won 2-1 against Huddersfield Town, whose reply came from Emily Heckler.
Newcastle Utd's immediate fate lies in the hands of Sheffield FC this Sunday, but the Magpies did make it a good end to a disappointing season as they won 3-1 away to Preston North End. Hannah Keane netted twice and Jessica Foster the other as Newcastle recorded one of their best results of the campaign, while Keeleigh Savage scored a consolation for the home side.
Charlton Athletic began the season in the Southern Division by hitting double figures in their opening match and ended it on the same note, running out 11-1 winners over Plymouth Argyle.
Gemma Shepherd had a great day in front of goal, scoring six times in total to take herself to the 20 mark for the season and finishing second in the charts to team mate Kit Graham, who added two more for a league tally of 31. Charley Clifford, Sam Pittuck and Charlie Spice rounded off the scoring for the third placed Addicks.
Having completed the 'great escape' with a game to spare, Copsewood (Coventry) won for the fourth time in five matches and finish the season in eighth place - their highest position in the whole campaign. Leah Williams scored twice with Sarah Rowles and Kirsty Robson adding the others as they won 4-1 away to Keynsham Town, for whom the season cannot end quickly enough.
South East Division One
The destination of the title was finally decided on Sunday with C & K Basildon picking up the result they needed in order to finish as Champions. Zoe Rushen, Sara Sinclair and Merrick Will scored the goals as C & K won 3-2 against Crystal Palace, who still had an outside chance of the title before the game. Emma Whitter and Stephanie Mann were on target for Palace who have to settle for third place, with Milton Keynes Dons as runners-up.
Northern Division One
Tranmere Rovers made sure of completing the season on a winning note, beating Norton & Stockton Ancients 3-0. Lynn Carter gave Tranmere a first half lead and they went on to seal the victory after the break with further strikes from Rachel Lever and Ceri Holder.
Morecambe meanwhile returned from Sheffield Utd Community with a 4-1 victory under their belts. Emma Kay bagged a brace for the Lancashire side and she was joined on the scoresheet by Becky Whittingham and Jade Thornhill, with the home side's consolation coming from Ruby Hall.
Midlands Division One
Radcliffe Olympic have had a good season in all competitions and finish up in fourth place after their final game ended in a 2-2 draw with Curzon Ashton, Masa Butler and Laura Garner were on target for Curzon, who picked up only their second point of the campaign, while Radcliffe replied through Rania Ramadan and an own goal.
FC Reedswood meanwhile ran out 4-1 winners away to Steel City Wanderers. Tash Hughes and Stephanie Speck netted two goals apiece for Reedswood while Paris Wagstaff grabbed a consolation for the Steels.
AFC Wimbledon Development 3 Camden Town 1 (aet)
The last match of a superb Finals day in the Greater London League was a 'battle of the champions' for the John Greenacre Memorial Trophy.
AFC Wimbledon Development of Division One took on Camden of the London and South East Regional League Division One (London). A real heavyweight contest was on a knife edge throughout but it was the Dons who found the way to land the knockout punch with two goals late in extra time for a 3-1 win.
Both teams had plenty of attacking flair throughout which made for an exciting match with plenty of twists and turns. Camden threatened first with Dons keeper Ashleigh McGuigan making the first of many fine saves, this time from Eleni Savva's shot on 11 minutes.
Wimbledon went close on 18 minutes with Aremide Okekunle shooting wide when clean through. Hayley O'Brien hit the bar for Camden and Georgia Heasman was denied a Dons opener by a brave diving save at her feet by the Camden keeper.
A fantastic solo effort from Camden's Frankie Stone broke the deadlock, running from distance, beating three defenders then slotting the ball past McGuigan on 40 minutes.
The Dons keeper made a crucial stop right on the break to deny Savva a second and Wimbledon fought back after the break. The Camden keeper was penalised on the edge of her six yard box whilst clearing a ball after catching it on 54 minutes and a clever free kick move allowed Elle Richards to fire home the equaliser via a deflection.
Wimbledon were again grateful to McGuigan who saved a penalty awarded for handball on 75 minutes blocking Catherine Needham's shot then grabbing the ball as it threatened to roll on into the net. Heasman was very lively for the Dons, twice testing the keeper from distance as the match ended level after 90 minutes.
Another penalty, this time for Wimbledon, right at the end of the first period of extra time was crucial, Okekunle converting from the spot. Dons sealed the victory with a third when Richards was alert to convert an inswinging corner on 110 minutes for her second strike. Dons continued to move the ball well and Heasman drew a good save when played in by Richards.
The large AFC Wimbledon support were able to celebrate a successful end to a superb season for their Development squad with the League and Cup double, allied to another FA Cup run whilst Camden received their runners up medals and also rewards for an outstanding League campaign which saw them clinch the Division One (London) title by the beginning of March.
AFC Wimbledon Development: Ashleigh McGuigan, Jess Drage, Sian Bruty, Jodie Weller, Emily Bernard, Megan Smith, Bernice Tully, Sarah Killick-Bird, Kate Martin, Aramide Okekunle, Georgia Heasman. Subs: Jenny Ford, Georgia Ridgeway, Elle Richards, Allana Ashmeil.
Camden Town: Ellie Taladianou, Megan Worthing-Davies, Sarah Mussell, Catherine Needham, Sarah White, Frankie Stone, Abbie Brandon, Rosie Neilson, Eleni Savva, Kirsten Thomson, Hayley O'Brien. Subs: Louise Cook, Nicolle Houston, Carla Carvalho, Jackie Newing, Lowri Williams.
(Report by Patrick Higgins)
Photos by www.jamesprickett.co.uk:
(top) Allana Ashmeil is held off by Eleni Savva
(middle) Sian Bruty clears from Nicolle Houston
(bottom) Celebration time for AFC Wimbledon Development
Andover New Street 2 (Ham 75, Hull 89) Mansfield Road 1 (Bowden 44)
Two goals in the last fifteen minutes handed Andover New Street a surprise victory in the Southern Region League Cup Final against Premier Division opponents Mansfield Road.
Road had let through much of the game through captain Lucie Bowden's first half header but Andover's young side hit back to land their first knockout trophy success in the league after three previous League and Chairman's Cup Final defeats.
The opening stages of the match were evenly contested with the highlight being a superb run from Andover winger Laura Gilbank which took her past three defenders before being crowded out on the edge of the area.
It wasn't until midway through the first half that the first opening was created, Samantha Vokes whipping in a cross from the left for Claire Ham whose glancing header was saved by Jessica Casey.
Casey again needed to be alert and was quickly off her line to block a shot from Nikki Barnes after the striker had chased down a long ball forward.
Road had taken a little longer to settle down but began to look dangerous themselves with Jennifer Baker volleying narrowly off target after a corner had been half cleared. Back came Andover with a ball over the top from Lydia Moulding being latched onto by Charlotte Hull who was unlucky to see her first time half volley go just wide.
Mansfield Road began to press with Holly Bridge and Laura Allsop probing from midfield and strong running from Melissa Stickland up front. They won a series of corners and on each occasion, an excellent delivery from Amy Pipe was only just dealt with by the Andover defence.
The pressure told though and, on the stroke of half time, Road's fourth corner in a matter of minutes led to them taking the lead. Once again, Pipe whipped in a superb cross and Bowden was on hand to head home at the far post.
Andover started the second half brightly with Moulding having a well struck shot saved by Casey, but Mansfield Road once again began to take charge of possession and sought a second goal. It was no surprise that Bridge was heavily involved in creating their next chance, the midfielder receiving the ball in the area from a throw and crossing but the ball came at an awkward height for Pipe at the far post and she could only spoon her shot straight at Ella Howells.
Howells did well to get to a Pipe free kick which looked destined for the top corner, turning it over the bar, and from the resulting Pipe corner, Rachael Mariam fired just wide.
Mansfield Road had looked in control at this time but Andover rallied and brought themselves level with fifteen minutes left. Gilbank had been a constant threat on the left and her pass released Ham on the goal, the striker producing a confident finish past Casey for the equaliser.
Allsop had a shot saved by Howells at the other end but Andover had been rejuvenated by the goal and Ham went close to a second with a curling shot which was narrowly over.
A Howells clearance was flicked on by Moulding for Hull to burst through on goal but she was denied by an excellent save from Casey. The resulting corner was not properly cleared and Jenna Patterson drove the ball back into the area, Claire Selway tried to turn it goalwards but her effort was off target.
Mansfield Road also looked threatening going forward and another Pipe corner almost led to them going back in front, Bowden meeting the kick with a firm header but Lauren Pearce was well placed to clear off the line.
That moment became even more telling just two minutes later. Gilbank played the ball over the defence and Hull just managed to beat the oncoming Casey to the ball, steering her shot past the keeper to put her side ahead for the first time.
There was still more work to do at the back for Andover as Mansfield Road won a free kick 25 yards from goal. Bowden stepped up to drill her shot goalwards but Howells was equal to the task, palming the ball away. With Moulding having worked tirelessly throughout the game along with Vokes in midfield, and their back four staying strong, Andover managed to close out the game for a notable victory.
Andover New Street: Ella Howells, Lauren Pearce, Claire Vincent, Jenna Patterson, Lydia Moulding, Kellie Warren, Laura Gilbank, Claire Selway, Claire Ham, Nikki Barnes, Samantha Vokes. Subs: Charlotte Hull, Michaela Tobin, Sarah Bradshaw, Melissa Bray-Spicer, Nicola Millings.
Mansfield Road: Jessica Casey, Cecile Deer, Katharine Coyte, Anne Piochowietz, Jennifer Baker, Lucie Bowden, Holly Bridge, Laura Allsop, Amy Pipe, Melissa Stickland, Rachael Mariam. Subs: Maria Ogdango-Portela, Claire Allsop.
(top) Lucie Bowden heads Mansfield Road in front
(middle) Rachael Mariam sends in a cross under pressure from Laura Gilbank
(bottom) Andover New Street with the League Cup
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