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Blackburn Rovers have won the Northern Division title after picking up the win they needed when beating Derby County 3-2.
Lynda Shepherd put Rovers in front just after the half hour mark but Derby, who have been in good form recently, turned things around in their favour and goals either side of half time from Leanne De Silva and Melissa Johnson ensured that they led early in the second half. Saffron Jordan levelled matters once again and with seven minutes remaining, Faye McCoy scored the goal which earned Blackburn their fifteenth win in sixteen matches and confirmed them as Champions.
Middlesbrough need to win one of their remaining two games to make sure of the runners-up spot in their first season after promotion and they moved closer to their target with a fine 3-0 victory away to Leicester City Women, who are now the only team who can still overhaul them. Lindsey Halbrook gave 'Boro the lead midway through the first half and Emily Scarr quickly added a second, before Jessica Havelock wrapped up the win with the final goal after the break.
Fylde Ladies are up into third place following their win over Newcastle Utd, who are looking destined to finish at the foot of the table. Charlotte Farrell netted two of the goals and Danielle Young was also on target for the Coasters.
Stoke City can still finish in the top three and they kept those hopes alive by defeating Huddersfield Town 2-0. Both of the goals came during the second half, Emily Owen opening the scoring for the Staffordshire side and Kelsey Richardson sealed the points with the second goal, deep into injury time.
Tottenham Hotspur have taken up the running once again and have a lead of three points after results generally went in their favour on Sunday.
Spurs needed to come from behind to win 2-1 against Crystal Palace, the prolific Gemma Bryan having given Palace the lead with nine minutes on the clock. Bianca Baptiste and Wendy Martin both scored to earn Tottenham another valuable victory and inflict only a third defeat of the season on Palace.
Cardiff City Ladies returned into second place on the back of a 5-1 victory away to Portsmouth. Kerry Bartlett and Chloe Chivers each netted doubles and Laura Williams was also on target for the South Wales side, with Samantha Quayle scoring a late consolation for the home side.
Coventry Utd and Charlton Athletic meanwhile battled out a 1-1 draw which did neither team any favours in their title challenges. The Addicks led for most of the game through a 12th minute goal from Avilla Bergin but Coventry hit back late on and in the dying minutes, Jade Brook scored what could yet turn out to be a vital goal in her side's season.
Lewes are continuing to finish the season in great form and they have leapfrogged C & K Basildon into sixth place after beating them 3-0. Georgia Bridges gave the Rookettes an early lead which was doubled by Sian Heather just before half time. Bridges completed a good result for Lewes when she scored her second goal, five minutes from time.
Jennifer Beattie insists Manchester City cannot afford to underestimate semi final opponents Liverpool in their bid for SSE Women's FA Cup glory, despite being just one game from a first trip to Wembley.
The Citizens defeated Bristol City 2-1 to reach the last four on Sunday, with Liverpool standing in their way of a place in the final where either Birmingham City or Chelsea await.
But despite becoming a dominant force with recent FA Women's Super League and FA WSL Continental Tyres Cup title to their name, the SSE Women's FA Cup is one that has passed Beattie and co. by in recent years.
City have yet to even reach the final, trailing in the wake of 14-time winners Arsenal - who were themselves surprisingly knocked out at the hands of Birmingham in the last round.
But before Beattie is willing to think of the prospect of making history, the Scottish defender knows just how tough it will be to face a Liverpool side who more than gave them a battle last season.
"We drew against them twice in the league so we know what a tough team they are," said Beattie, who was present in the BBC Radio 5 live studio on Monday for the draw, with the two semi finals taking place on Monday April 17th.
"They had a very strong performance to get the win in the last round against Notts County so they'll be looking forward to the game just as much as we have.
"We've never made it to Wembley as a team yet so it's one we want to go all the way in, but we have to focus on Liverpool first and foremost, they can't be underestimated.
"They're very well organised and have a lot of pace up front, have some great set piece takers and great finishers too.
"They've scored a couple of goals against us which not many teams did last season.
"We had a really good pre-season behind us and we've had a few good results already, we're feeling strong heading into the home leg of the Champions League as well, so we've been playing a lot of games."
City enjoyed an almost perfect 2016 FA WSL season, drawing just three out of their 16 games - two of those coming against Liverpool.
Indeed the Reds were one of just two sides to take points away from the Academy Stadium last term, with City's formidable form seeing them top the table by five points from Chelsea.
With a potential 7,000 fans to fill out the stadium, Beattie was delighted to see their name first out of the hat as they look to go one better than their semi final outing from last season.
She added: "We wanted anyone at home, any draw was going to be tough but we're glad to get that at home and now we're very much looking forward to it.
"We've been getting good crowds and we're hoping to take that into this year, it's a fantastic pitch that we love playing on week in, week out, so that was important for us.
"It's one of the biggest competitions in England which is growing and growing, the crowds are increasing and hopefully that can continue.
"Having a Wembley final is a big deal for the players and it is that extra incentive for everyone involved to go on and do something special."
Tickets are now on sale for the SSE Women's FA Cup Final on Saturday 13th May at Wembley Stadium connected by EE. For the second consecutive year, kids go free to the final. Adult tickets cost £15 and can be purchased here: https://ticketing.thefa.com/
by Ross Lawson, Sportsbeat
FA WSL 1 champions Manchester City will take on Liverpool in the semi finals of the SSE Women's FA Cup.
The second semi-final will be contested by 2012 winners Birmingham City and 2015 victors Chelsea after the draw was made by broadcaster Sam Walker on BBC Radio 5Live on Monday afternoon, as Manchester City's Jennifer Beattie looked on.
Birmingham knocked out holders Arsenal in the quarter finals on Sunday. Liverpool saw off Notts County and Chelsea eased past Sunderland while Manchester City left it late to edge Bristol City.
The semi finals are scheduled for Monday 17th April and each winning club will receive £5,000 from The FA prize fund.
Tickets for the Final are already on sale and children can attend for free, thanks to The FA's partnership with SSE. Adult tickets are priced £15 and group booking and Charter Standard discounts apply.
Semi final draw:
Birmingham City v Chelsea
Manchester City v Liverpool
Bristol City 1 Manchester City 2
Manchester City are through to the semi finals of the SSE Women's FA Cup, but only after being given the hardest of battles by a valiant Bristol City side.
In fact, the Vixens' resistance was only broken in the cruellest of fashions late on when a deflected Nikita Parris shot gave the visitors a hard earned victory.
Man City had been in Denmark for the first leg of their UEFA Women's Champions League quarter final tie a few days earlier and they started where they left off, taking the lead after seven minutes albeit with a fortuitous goal. A quickly taken free kick caught the home side out and Lucy Bronze floated a cross into the area where Caitlin Leach rose highest to punch but the ball cannoned back off Vixens captain Hayley Ladd and back into the net.
The Vixens' initial response to the setback was a good one; a corner floated to the far post was met by Millie Turner whose firm downward header brought out an excellent save from Marie Hourihan. The Citizens continued to have the better of possession though with Toni Duggan driving a shot narrowly wide and Georgia Stanway heading a good chance over following a good cross from Parris.
The home side's main threats were coming from the pace of their strikers and a good run from Millie Farrow took her away from her markers before she shot wide under pressure from the covering Bronze. Bristol City continued to dig in and their efforts brought reward in first half injury time.
A corner was half cleared as far as Claire Emslie who tricked her way past Bronze in the area and although her initial shot was blocked, Emslie kept her cool to drill the rebound past Hourihan and inside the far post to level the scores.
Stung by the equaliser, Man City came out for the second half strongly but were finding it hard to get behind the home defence which was well led by the outstanding Ladd. Demi Stokes made a good break forward from full back and her shot was parried by Leach, Jaz Matthews reacting quickest to clear.
Carli Lloyd, who had been largely quiet during the first half, was coming more into the game and she looked certain to put her side back in front when Izzy Christiansen's pass put her clear on goal but Leach pulled off an excellent save to keep her side on terms. The resulting corner picked out Lloyd just beyond the far post where she unleashed a fiercely struck volley which fizzed inches over the bar.
Bristol City attacks were less common after the break as the visitors sought to pin them back but one good run down the left from Emslie ended with a well positioned Houghton cutting out her cross. There was a scare for Man City as a poor clearance was seized on by Farrow but she was crowded out by a combination of Houghton and Abbie McManus before she could take advantage.
Houghton powered a header wide from a corner and the Man City captain had another header inadvertently cleared off the line by team mate Lloyd as her side's frustrations were starting to grow. Bronze had a shot charged down from another corner and Parris poked the rebound wide as the home side continued to hold on.
Another header from Bronze was blocked, this time by Frankie Brown, and then an extraordinary goalmouth scramble ended with the Vixens somehow keeping the ball out. Lloyd's looping header looked destined to cross the line but Jodie Brett bravely headed away under a challenge from Parris, the midfielder then throwing herself headlong to block from Houghton as she slammed the rebound goalwards.
With six minutes remaining, the goal the visitors had craved finally came. Parris received the ball from a throw in and cut along the edge of the area where her left foot shot took a deflection off Matthews and past a wrong footed Leach.
Bristol City needed to throw players forward to try and salvage the game and won a couple of late corners but the Man City defence ensured that no chances were given away and they saw the game out to secure their place in the semi finals.
Caitlin Leach, Frankie Brown, Megan Alexander, Jaz Matthews, Millie Turner, Jodie Brett, Chloe Arthur, Hayley Ladd, Millie Farrow, Georgia Evans, Claire Emslie. Subs: Olivia Fergusson, Lily Agg, Lily Woodham, Katie Jones, Estelle Randall.
Marie Hourihan, Lucy Bronze, Demi Stokes, Tessel Middag, Abbie McManus, Steph Houghton, Nikita Parris, Georgia Stanway, Toni Duggan, Carli Lloyd, Izzy Christiansen. Subs: Jane Ross, Melissa Lawley, Keira Walsh, Kosovare Asllani, Ellie Roberts.
(top) Claire Emslie scores the equaliser for Bristol City
(middle) Jane Ross is challenged by Megan Alexander, with Jaz Matthews looking on
(bottom) Jodie Brett makes a brave headed clearance under pressure from Nikita Parris
Chelsea 5 Sunderland 1
Chelsea eventually cruised into the semi finals of the SSE FA Women's Cup with a 5-1 win, after trailing Sunderland for much of the first half at Staines Town FC.
Doubles from Ramona Bachmann then Hannah Blundell saw the home side take control with Drew Spence's header in the last minute completing the scoring.
In truth, after a stuttering first half hour when it seemed that a resilient Sunderland might upset the hosts, Chelsea clicked into gear and created a regular stream of chances.
Ji So-Yun was Chelsea's main threat in the opening half hour, three times shooting inches wide from distance. At the other end, Danielle Brown earned a penalty for Sunderland, brought down when challenging for a lofted through ball. Lucy Staniforth converted the spot kick to give the Black Cats the lead.
Chelsea were frustrated by good work from the visitors with Victoria Williams and Hayley Sharp solid in central defence. Gradually though, the pressure took its toll. Keeper Anke Preuss denied Jade Bailey from a Karen Carney corner but was left helpless on 39 minutes when Bachmann was sent clear to score after good work by Millie Bright, Blundell and Crystal Dunn.
Bachmann added a superb second with a run from halfway and a one-two with Karen Carney to beat the defence on 44 minutes. The advantage was extended on 49 minutes when Claire Rafferty played in an inviting cross for Blundell to drive home on the half volley at the far post.
The rest of the match was an attacking exhibition from the home team. Williams made a couple of fine interceptions to foil Chelsea and Preuss denied Bachmann her hat-trick with an excellent save. Dunn volleyed over from close range but Carney, outstanding in linking up play all over the pitch, provided the spark to extend the home lead. Blundell added a delightful fourth after an exchange of passes with Carney on the hour.
Sunderland battled hard but were unable to stem the flow of attacks with substitutes Beth England, Erin Cuthbert and Drew Spence providing fresh impetus to the forward play. Preuss saved well again from a Millie Bright drive and it was not till the final seconds that classic wing play from Carney on the right set up Spence for a powerfully headed fifth.
Chelsea entered the semi final draw on Monday on the back of two commanding wins but knowing that three difficult opponents were potentially waiting to challenge them for a return to Wembley.
Hedvig Lindahl, Maren Mjelde, Jade Bailey, Millie Bright, Hannah Blundell, Katie Chapman, Karen Carney, Claire Rafferty, Ji So-Yun, Ramona Bachmann, Crystal Dunn. Subs: Fran Kitching, Beth England, Drew Spence, Erin Cuthbert, Deanna Cooper.
Anke Preuss, Steph Bannon, Hayley Sharp, Victoria Williams, Abby Holmes, Danielle Brown, Lucy Staniforth, Madeleine Hill, Dominique Bruinenberg, Stephanie Roche, Keira Ramshaw. Subs: Sophy Stonehouse, Abbey Joice, Mollie Lambert, Bridget Galloway, Olivia Watt.
(Report by Patrick Higgins)
Photos by www.jamesprickett.co.uk:
(top) Karen Carney and Madeleine Hill go to great lengths to win the ball!
(middle) Maren Mjelde tries to block a clearance from Abby Holmes
(bottom) Stephanie Roche is faced by Jade Bailey and Katie Chapman
Birmingham City ousted SSE Women's FA Cup holders Arsenal from this season's competition by beating them 1-0 to reach the semi finals.
The Blues had to withstand pressure during the first half and goalkeeper Ann-Katrin Berger was in fine form, making good saves from Danielle Carter and Jodie Taylor. After the break, Birmingham came into the game much more and on 77 minutes, they broke the deadlock when Ellie Brazil cut the ball back for Marisa Ewers to bury her shot in the top corner of the net. Ellen White went close to scoring a second late on but it is Birmingham who take a step closer towards reaching their first FA Cup Final in five years.
Manchester City were pushed all the way until the dying minutes by Bristol City but Nick Cushing's side emerged as 2-1 winners to become the only side to record an away victory in the Fifth and Sixth rounds. The reigning Champions took an early lead when Lucy Bronze's was punched away by Caitlin Leach but cannoned back off City captain Hayley Ladd and into the net. The home side picked themselves up and equalised on the stroke of half time through a well taken goal from Claire Emslie and in the second half, the Vixens withstood increasing pressure from the Citizens until six minutes from time when a deflected effort by Nikita Parris gave Man City the goal they needed to match their best ever run in the competition to date.
Liverpool are the other remaining team to have never won the Cup and they kept those hopes alive with a 2-0 victory over Notts County. The Reds have not had the best of records against the Lady Pies in recent seasons but got off to a great start when Caroline Weir gave them a third minute lead with a low shot. County hit back with Rachel Williams going close but Liverpool added a second when Natasha Harding curled a shot home midway through the first half. Both teams had opportunities from that point but there was to be no more scoring and Liverpool take their place in the last four.
Chelsea are one step away from a third successive trip to Wembley after they overcame an early setback to run out 5-1 winners over Sunderland. Lucy Staniforth put the Wearsiders ahead early on from the penalty spot before Chelsea hit back with two goals apiece from Ramona Bachmann and Hannah Blundell, before a late header from Drew Spence completed the scoring (see match report).
SSE Women's FA Cup - Road to the Final
Arsenal brought Tottenham Hotspur's FA Cup run to a crashing end last Sunday with a commanding 10-0 win which included a hat-trick from Danielle van de Donk and further goals from Danielle Carter (2), Dominique Janssen, Kim Little, Chloe Kelly, Beth Mead and Katie McCabe. The Gunners will be on their travels in the quarter finals to Birmingham City, who beat the other remaining Premier League club, West Bromwich Albion, 2-0 with Jess Carter and Ellen White on target.
Birmingham City Ladies Football Club was formed in 1968 by a group of female fans who played local friendly matches until 1970. Initially the Club joined the Heart of England League in 1970, and played in the league until 1973 when it underwent a major restructure and become known as the West Midland Regional League in 1974. The Club was successful during this period, winning these leagues five times during the entire 70's and 80's (1971-72, 1974-75, 1976-77, 1987-88, 1988-89), amongst other trophies.
The Club ran into difficult times during the 90's, with many staff and player changes. As a result it created an academy of young players to try to regain stability. Many eventually played for the senior team. In 1998 Birmingham City Ladies was promoted to the newly created Midland Combination League and in their first season won the league, thus gaining automatic promotion into the National Northern Division. After two seasons, Birmingham Ladies gained promotion to the top flight of women's football, joining the FA Women's Premier League.
The academy had begun to produce players for the first team at this point, and Laura Bassett became the first Birmingham City Ladies player, from the academy or otherwise, to appear for England at full international level.
The club's high profile manager of the time, Marcus Bignot, signed big name players including Rachel Yankey and Alex Scott for the 2004-05 season and Birmingham finished fourth. The club ran into financial problems when Birmingham City withdrew its support, and had to let major players go before the start of the 2005-06 season, which they finished in sixth position. The club was only able to continue after a player's parent donated £10,000. Also in 2005, the Club's junior sides joined the newly formed Centre of Excellence league in the Central Warwickshire area. Birmingham won their eighth consecutive Birmingham FA County Cup in 2008 before a number of established players either retired from the game or moved on to other clubs. They began to rebuild and finished 2008-09 in fifth place (losing out on fourth place only through inferior goal difference) and left Redditch United for a new stadium at Stratford upon Avon.
In March 2010, the Club was announced as a founder member of the FA WSL. The Club's successful application was underwritten by Birmingham City's owner Carson Yeung. In December 2010, Birmingham City announced the signing of several international players to their WSL squad. In June 2011 the Centre of Excellence's future was secured with the allocation of a new FA licence for 2011-12 season onwards; which realigned the current development pathway for women's football in England.
The Club became inaugural members of the newly formed FA WSL in 2011 and came close to winning it at the first attempt, leading for most of the campaign before being overhauled by Arsenal. They also reached the Continental Cup Final but once again found Arsenal in the way at Burton Albion F.C. The season was notable for the goal scoring exploits of Rachel Williams who finished as leading scorer as well as winning the FA Players' Player of the Year Award. Due to the second place finish, Birmingham qualified for a place in the 2012-13 UEFA Women's Champions League round of 32 for the first time in their history. Drawn against Italians Bardolino Verona, Birmingham won the first leg 2-0 but lost 3-0 at the Stadio Marc'Antonio Bentegodi, after extra time, to exit the competition at the first hurdle.
In May 2012 the Club won their first FA Women's Cup, beating Chelsea on penalties in the final at Ashton Gate. Also in 2012, for the second consecutive year, the Club finished second in the FA WSL and were runners-up in the Continental Cup Final, both to Arsenal. The second place finish in the league qualified Birmingham for the 2013-14 UEFA Women's Champions League round of 32.
In 2014, Blues ladies reached the semi final of the UEFA Women's Champions League where they eventually bowed out to Swedish side Tyreso FF in the second leg away. The same year, Birmingham finished third in the FA WSL. The 2016 season saw them come close to another major trophy when, adding to a fourth place finish in the league, they reached the Continental Cup Final and were unlucky to go down to a 1-0 defeat to Manchester City after extra time.
The last few months have seen a lot of change at the club with Birmingham City Football Club taking over the running of matters on and off the pitch. David Parker has stepped down as manager with Marc Skinner taking over the reins, and he will be assisted by Leanne Hall and Heather Cowan has returned to the club as General Manager. Kerys Harrop - who is the club's longest serving player - has been appointed as club captain with Emily Westwood taking the vice captain's role. The squad has been strengthened with England striker Ellen White as a high profile signing as well as the likes of Paige Williams, Emma Follis and Sarah Mayling to add to a number of youngsters being produced through the ranks.
Birmingham City (from):
Ann-Katrin Berger, Sophie Baggaley, Paige Williams, Meaghan Sargeant, Jess Carter, Kerys Harrop, Freda Ayisi, Sarah Mayling, Ellen White, Bella Linden, Andrine Hegerberg, Abbey Leigh Stringer, Marisa Ewers, Emma Follis, Charlie Wellings, Chloe Peplow, Connie Scofield, Emily Westwood, Coral Haines, Sian Johnson, Aoife Mannion, Keeley Davies, Ellie Brazil.
Sari Van Veenendaal, Alex Scott, Emma Mitchell, Fara Williams, Leah Williamson, Chloe Kelly, Jordan Nobbs, Danielle Carter, Kim Little, Carla Humphrey, Vyan Sampson, Anna Moorhouse, Jodie Taylor, Katie McCabe, Heather O'Reilly, Jemma Rose, Dominique Janssen, Danielle Van De Donk, Beth Mead, Lotte Wubben-Moy, Charlie Devlin.
SSE Women's FA Cup - Road to the Final
Liverpool were pushed all the way by Everton in their Fifth Round tie before emerging as 2-1 winners after extra time, Shanice van de Sanden scoring the winning goal to take her side through to the quarter finals where they will play Notts County. Jade Moore, Kirsty Linnett and an own goal gave County a 3-2 victory over Yeovil Town to reach the last eight once again.
Although this is a new chapter for Notts County Ladies, as they compete in the FA Women's Super League, there have been chapters gone before them. The club was founded in 1977 by Bill Godward and his daughter Tina. It wasn't an easy ride for the team who suffered relegation from the First Division within their first five years. However, the club remained strong, and despite just losing out on bouncing back to the First Division, the club travelled abroad to compete in a tournament in Holland in 1982. The competition was a success for the club, with the ladies finishing a highly respectable third among prestigious clubs of the time, Rotterdam and Amsterdam. Unfortunately for Bill and his daughter Tina, after ten enjoyable years, the team folded.
The current incarnation of the club was formed in 1995, as Lincoln Ladies. The team finished runners-up in the Premier League Northern Division in four seasons, before seeing their bid to be part of the all-new WSL accepted, and they played in the league's first season in 2011.
In the early part of 2013, it was announced that the team would move to Nottingham from the 2014 season - the rebrand proving necessary to meet new WSL requirements. It was a new era for the club, under the guidance of Notts County chairman Ray Trew. The move allowed the players to become full time, as well as having one of the biggest home stadiums and attendances of all WSL clubs.
That last season as Lincoln Ladies saw the club's biggest achievement to date as they reached their first major Final, going down to a late Kim Little goal and a 1-0 defeat to Arsenal in the Continental Cup at Underhill.
Many players moved with the club from Lincoln to Notts, including Sophie Bradley, Jess Clarke, Amy Turner, and Sophie Walton. The club also announced the high profile signings of Desiree Scott, Carly Telford, and Ellen White for the inaugural Notts County WSL season.
2015 was the most successful season for the club so far, as the team reached both the FA Cup (played at Wembley for the first time) and Continental Cup finals, only to lose out to Chelsea and Arsenal respectively.
Rick Passmoor is starting his fifth season as the club's manager, assisted by Colin Walker. Laura Bassett will once again wear the captain's armband and signings ahead of the new season include the likes of Louise Quinn, Kirsty Linnett, Shelly Provan and Bianca Bragg.
Siobhan Chamberlain, Martha Harris, Casey Stoney, Gemma Bonner, Sophie Ingle, Kate Longhurst, Caroline Weir, Shanice Van De Sanden, Danielle Gibbons, Niamh Charles, Ali Johnson, Amy Rodgers, Katie Zelem, Mollie Green, Alex Greenwood, Becky Flaherty, Paige Cole, Meg Taylor, Ashley Hodson, Natasha Harding, Satara Murray.
Notts County (from):
Carly Telford, Chelsea Weston, Shelly Provan, Dani Buet, Louise Quinn, Fern Whelan, Jess Clarke, Rachel Williams, Kirsty Linnett, Jo Potter, Aileen Whelan, Megan Walsh, Jade Moore, Amy Turner, Angharad James, Leanne Crichton, Bianca Bragg, Elizabeta Ejupi, Charlotte Steggles, Niamh Cashin, Laura Bassett.
Liverpool Marshalls Feds moved into fifth place in Northern Division One with a 4-0 victory over Leeds Ladies on Sunday and, with games in hand, can still make up ground on the teams above them.
We talked to captain Chantelle Thompson, who scored one of the goals against Leeds, who admitted that she is pleased with the team's recent form and insisted that they could still launch a late challenge for a top two place:
WSS: Well done on your result on Sunday, do you think that the 4-0 scoreline reflected the game as a whole?
CT: I think we dominated the game and controlled possession. We had three cleared off the line and a couple of chances we probably should have done a bit better with, so the scoreline could have been more but to be fair to Leeds, they forced our keeper into pulling off two tremendous one-on-one saves, so they could have grabbed a couple themselves.
WSS: That makes it ten goals in two games against teams in the top half, has there been any particular reason for the team hitting good form?
CT: After the long FA Cup run against higher opposition, I think it took a bit of steam out of the girls and we had another dip in form in the league. Last weekend we just regrouped, reminded ourselves just to enjoy it and kind of forget about the pressure we have been putting ourselves under. We played some very good football in both games and to score that many goals is always a bonus.
WSS: The goals in recent games have largely been spread around the team, that must be a big boost to everyone's confidence?
CT: Yes, it's a massive boost knowing that everyone is contributing to the goals, it gives everyone a lift and also takes the pressure of the strikers. In the last two games we have had eight different goalscorers, which just shows the patterns of play we have been working on in training are paying off. Our defence share 15 goals between them this season, which means we can be a threat from all over the pitch.
WSS: This week you play third placed Chester-le-Street, who are having a good season. You haven't played them yet, how tough a match are you expecting?
CT: I expect a very tough game against Chester-le-Street, for me they've always been a team I respect. Last season I thought they were probably one of our toughest opponents out of the whole campaign. They're physical but also can get it down and play so we will expect nothing less than a battle on Sunday.
WSS: You also still have to play Guiseley, do you think those three games will go a long way towards deciding where you finish up?
CT: Yeah, of course I think they will decide where we may end up, seven games to go and we are looking to win every single one and will try our best to do so.
WSS: Do you still believe that you can finish in the top two?
CT: Why not? Yes, we have to win all our games and rely on Hull dropping points but they have some tough games left themselves with Chorley, Guiseley and Chester-le-Street left, stranger things have happened!
WSS: Having done well in both major cups, has it been a satisfying season overall so far?
CT: It's been satisfying in a way because we have not only competed but beaten top, well established teams in the league above so for us we know on our day we can and should be competing in that league. Unfortunately our aim this season was promotion so yes, there have been positives, but the league was our main aim and we haven't performed as well as we should have. We still have the Liverpool County Cup which will be coming up soon, so we will be looking to win some silverware this season.
WSS: The club has been so close to promotion in the last few years, how confident are you that you can go all the way and make the step up in the near future?
CT: It has been really frustrating to come so close and then lose out towards the last few games of the season. The Northern Premier is where we want to be and I have no doubt that with our squad we should be up there. Hopefully next year will be our year.
Our thanks to Chantelle!
After a traumatic pre-season, when the club was forced to withdraw the first team from the FA Women's Premier League, they started the South West Women's League season with some trepidation with a team that was largely last year's Under-18s.
After a bright start, the young players found that open age football was a big step up from age group football, both in pace and physicality, no better example being the trouncing received from Buckland Athletic in the Bristol Soccerworld Cup, which brought some stark truths home.
Undeterred, the players continued to progress and will look back on their first senior season with pride, having gone through the season undefeated in the league, and with several players making good progress in their development.
The season began with a trip to Team Mendip and confidence was gained immediately with a 7-0 victory, followed by another win against Ilminster Town. Next up was a tough trip to Oldland Abbotonians and a hard fought 2-2 draw - which turned out to be the only league match that Forest Green failed to win. The team never looked back after winning the next match 4-2 against AEK Boco, who were to be their nearest rivals throughout the season, and the title was clinched with two games remaining when they beat the same opponents 3-1 with goals from Sophie Okey, Sian Towler and Charlie Rowlands. On Sunday, they won 1-0 against Ilminster Town to complete their eleventh victory in a row in the league and will finish on top of the table by a margin of at least seven points.
Greg Simonds was charged with the task of guiding the team and has led the club to what is actually its second title in three seasons, assisted by coach Lorea Sarobe and Strength & Conditioning Coach, Chris Perifimou. Sam Morris is club captain and leading scorer is Charlie Rowlands, with 14 goals to her name.
Carli Lloyd marked her Champions League debut with a goal as Manchester City Women handed themselves the advantage with a 1-0 win in their quarter final first leg tie against Fortuna Hjorring.
The double FIFA World Player of the Year opened the scoring in a dominant display for the Blues at the Bredband Nord Arena.
Direct, hungry and tireless in and out of possession, the visitors restricted their hosts to mere half-chances and could have extended their aggregate lead.
City manager Nick Cushing made two changes to the side that defeated Reading in the FA Cup at the weekend, as Kosovare Asllani and Jane Ross replaced Nikita Parris and Georgia Stanway. Karen Bardsley took her place in goal, shielded by a back line of Demi Stokes, Steph Houghton, Abbie McManus and Lucy Bronze. Keira Walsh was employed in defensive midfield with Lloyd and Jill Scott in the centre. Mel Lawley and Asllani occupied the wings while Ross led the line up front.
Captain Steph Houghton and 2016 top scorer Jane Ross had spoken beforehand of their side's intention to net an away goal and from kick-off, the Blues went in search of one.
The first real chance arrived on 18 minutes when Lloyd was denied well by Maria Christiansen from close range, before Lucy Bronze struck the woodwork with a hooked effort a minute later.
The American capitalised with her second chance though, powering a bullet header past Fortuna ‘keeper Maria Christiansen from Ross' delivery, after Jill Scott had stolen possession in a dangerous area.
The Blues continued where they left off after the break. Aside from two long range off target attempts from Tamires and Florentina Olar and a cross-shot that Karen Bardsley tipped over, Hjorring rarely threatened.
Lloyd almost doubled her lead but dragged Kosovare Asllani's drilled cross wide, while Houghton saw a header cleared off the line. Nikita Parris then fired over, having played a neat one-two with Ross. Bronze was also unfortunate not to double the advantage as she was first thwarted by Christiansen and then headed the rebound wide.
As it turned out, one goal would be enough on the night. Will it be enough to progress? Find out in a week's time...
City host Fortuna at the Academy Stadium in the second leg on Thursday 30th March (7pm) and tickets are available. The winners will play either Olympique Lyonnais or VfL Wolfsburg in the semi finals, Lyon having won the first leg 2-0 with goals from Camille Abily and Dzsenifer Marozsan.
Maria Christiansen, Tuija Hyyrynen, Tamires, Nevena Damjanovic, Janelle Cordia, Camilla Larsen (sub Caroline Moller 56mins), Nora Heroum, Florentina Omar, Sarah Hansen (sub Francisleide dos Santos Barbosa 78mins), Frederikke Thogersen, Luna Gewitz. Subs not used: Guro Pettersen, Louise Ringsing, Dominika Conc, Caroline Rask, Laura Frank.
Karen Bardsley, Lucy Bronze, Demi Stokes, Keira Walsh, Abbie McManus, Steph Houghton, Kosovare Asllani (sub Nikita Parris 67mins), Jill Scott, Jane Ross, Carli Lloyd, Melissa Lawley (sub Toni Duggan 77mins). Subs not used: Ellie Roebuck, Marie Hourihan, Tessel Middag, Izzy Christiansen, Georgia Stanway.
(Report by manchestercity.fawsl.com)
Chelsea midfielder Erin Cuthbert has been included for Scotland Under-19s Elite Round matches against Republic of Ireland, Finland and Ukraine at the start of April.
The six group winners and the runner-up with the best record against the teams first and third in their pool qualify will join hosts Northern Ireland in the finals from 8 to 20 August. The draw is in Belfast on 22 June.
Scotland were last in action in March when they defeated Italy and Germany and drew against France.
Scotland's first group game is on 4th April when they take on Republic of Ireland, before playing Finland two days later (3pm). The last game will be against Ukraine on Sunday 9th April (2pm).
Scotland Under-19 squad:
Becca May was the heroine for her side as she notched a second half hat-trick to seal victory after a goalless first half in which the better of the opportunities went Cambridge's way.
Cambridge started the game brightly with Ceylon Hickman having a shot charged down and the Light Blues continued to enjoy the better of the early stages. Hickman was almost played in by a good cross from Katy Edwards and the same player also brought out a save from May Martin.
Cambridge were to go even closer when Xelia Mendes-Jones broke clear on goal with only Martin to beat but her curled effort struck the outside of the post.
The first half ended goalless but Oxford came out strongly at the start of the second half and this brought an early reward. Two minutes after the restart, Caroline Ward's pass released Becca May on goal and she planted her shot inside the far post to open the scoring.
Cambridge responded well to going behind and, when Gerda Bachrati whipped a free kick into the area, Hickman managed to direct a header goalwards and it bounced in off the post to level the scores.
Oxford had looked a different side in the second half though, and they were soon to get themselves back in front again. May got in behind the Cambridge defence from a long ball and unleashed a cross-shot which dipped over Laura Bleehan and into the back of the net to restore her side's lead.
Becca Hirst forced a save from Martin at the other end as Cambridge tried to get back into the game again but with five minutes remaining, Oxford sealed the game. May chased down a long ball forward and finished confidently to complete her hat-trick and seal a third successive triumph for Oxford in the annual fixture.
To complete a good day for Oxford University, the men's team also won their Varsity match, the 3-2 victory rounding off a double success.
Photo - www.jamesprickett.co.uk
East Midlands League
League leaders Mansfield Town finished their season by going down to a 3-0 defeat at the hands of Peterborough Northern Star, who scored through Louise Barbour, Jessica Farchica and Chanade Henderson. They must wait to see if their points tally will be enough but favourites Sheffield Utd are six points behind and have six games still to play. The Blades won 5-0 against third placed Bedworth Utd, Melissa Celi netting twice along with Jennifer Pearson, Tania Marsden and Sophie Bell. Nettleham also scored five times against Arnold Town, goals coming from Abbie Murrell (2), Holly Newman, Sophie Wallis and Elise Keyworth, whilst a solitary strike from Beth Wilcockson gave Mansfield Hosiery Mills victory at Rise Park. Kettering Town eased to a 6-0 victory over Notts County Development, Mikaela Welford and Brodie Betts netting doubles along with Laura-Beth Sutherland and Sam Christie.
The title race is over in Division One North as Ollerton Town picked up the result they wanted to confirm themselves as Champions. Natalie Gibson and Rachel Murray scored the goals as Ollerton won 2-0 against Draycott Victoria. Calverton MW head the chase for runners-up following their 2-2 draw with Sleaford Town, who scored through Jade Baker and an own goal. Hayley Brown and Demi-Leigh Crofts were on target for Calverton. Amy Kay and Sue Green scored the goals as Grimsby Borough also drew 2-2 against Lincoln Moorlands Railway, who had earlier led through Lauren Churcher and Ashleigh Roberts.
Leicester City Women Development followed up a midweek win by beating Corby S & L 6-0 to power eight points clear at the top of Division One South. Steph Gale hit a hat-trick and others came from Rosie Axten, Brianna Brown and Natalie Hurst. Loughborough Foxes Vixens were 5-2 winners over Riverside LFC and AFC Leicester won at Heather LFC thanks to a goal from Jade Lang.
Eastern Region League
Bedford Ladies preserved their lead of three points in the Premier Division as Natasha Fensome and Charlene Moreton gave them a 2-1 win away to Brentwood Town. The two teams immediately below them in the table met each other and it was Haringey Borough who won 3-1 against AFC Dunstable to stay on Bedford's heels. Julia Carruthers scored twice and Klesha Darroux added the other for Haringey who still have matters in their own hands in the title race but Dunstable's challenge is now over. Indeed, Acle Utd are the only other team who can still threaten the top two by winning their games in hand. AFC Sudbury made up ground on third place when Megan Partridge netted the only goal of the game in their victory at Billericay Town. Royston Town and Writtle meanwhile battled out a 3-3 draw, Sam Tinsley (2) and Grace Leslie were on target for Royston with Emma Ridings (2) and Sophie Vale replying.
Colney Heath have moved level on points with Division One table toppers Cambridge City, albeit having played five games more, after a Holly Sheridan goal gave them a 1-0 win over Offley & Stopsley. Steffany Cowell, Sherrie Evans, Leah Littlechild and Hannah Marshall were all on the scoresheet as Stevenage Ladies Res beat Ipswich Wanderers 4-0 to go fourth. Little Thurrock Dynamos won 5-0 against Hoddesdon Town Owls, Georgia Fraser and Danielle Styles each bagging braces along with Sophie Dowman.
London & South East League
Leyton Orient need two more points from their remaining three matches to sew up the title after they beat Aylesford 2-0 to return to the top of the table. Ellie Davies and Naomi Stirling scored the goals to put the O's on the verge of being crowned as Champions. Second placed Crawley Wasps completed their fixtures with a 4-2 defeat at the hands of London Corinthians, who are the only team left with any chance of catching Orient. Emily Hart netted twice along with Elizabeth Adams and Laura Susarta, with Suzanne Davies and Faye Rabson replying for Crawley. Watford Development were another team to see their hopes come to an end as they were beaten 5-2 by Camden Town, who scored through Francesca Boggi (2), Ann Harvey (2) and Teagen Kopfler.
North East League
League leaders Norton & Stockton Ancients are through to the semi finals of the League Cup after they defeated York City 4-1. Nyci Thorns and Jessica White netted two goals apiece, with Ellie Randall replying. Barnsley are also through with a 2-0 victory over Southern Division leaders Farsley Celtic, given to them by Danielle Lowe and an own goal. Wallsend Boys Club became the third club to book their place in the last four as Elizabeth Campbell and Michaela McHugh scored in their 2-0 success at Tynedale.
In the Premier Division, York City ran out 6-1 winners away to East Yorkshire Carnegie. Kayleigh Davis was on target twice along with Megan Bramham, Eleanor Regan, Nicola Brown and Martha Ohr. Bridie Pitsch, Becky Shaw and Lauren Turner all scored to give Oughtibridge a 3-0 victory over Wakefield.
Durham Cestria will have to wait a little longer before they can secure the Division One North title after they were beaten 3-2 by South Shields, whose goals came from Chloe Sharp, Paige Lester and Dionne Fleming. Hartlepool Utd won 3-0 at Blyth Town Lions and can still catch the Wildcats, Lottie Portas, Hannah Lambert and Jade Pye were all on target.
Westella & Willerby won 4-0 against Doncaster Belles (Women's) thanks to goals from Natalie Bell, Charmaine Pinder, Amy Ward and Sam Workman to stay in second place in the Southern Division. Sheffield Wednesday were 4-2 winners at Ossett Albion, Michelle Wakelin (2), Emily Higgins and Kathryn Mudge were on target for Wednesday with Liz Mees and Nicola Swift replying for Albion. Leanne Baggley, Chelsea Bailey and Charlotte Bell all scored for Courts City in their 3-3 draw with Harrogate Railway, who responded through Louise Donnelly, Jodi Hodgson and Laura Savage.
North West League
Bolton Wanderers are closing in on the Premier Division title and their 7-0 victory over Birkenhead means that they require four points from their final three games to make sure. For the second week running, Blackburn Community and CMB Ladies battled out a draw, this time their meeting was goalless.
The top three in Division One South were not in action and Ellesmere Port Town follow on after they drew 1-1 with Curzon Ashton. Liverpool Marshalls Feds were beaten 3-2 by Chorltonians who recorded their second victory in a row and move into mid-table. Egerton meanwhile picked up an important point from a goalless draw with Altrincham.
South West League
Buckland Athletic booked their place in the Bristol Soccerworld Cup Final with an 11-1 victory over Cheltenham Civil Service. Kirsty Caunter bagged herself a four-goal haul, Hayley Chamberlain and Helen Kukor each added doubles and there was one apiece from Laura Gough, Carla Staddon and Corinne Potts with Beth Tovey replying. Buckland will play Alphington in the Final, date to be announced.
Premier Division leaders Marine Academy Plymouth were held to a 2-2 draw by Bishop's Lydeard. Gemma Chilcott and Kitty Wells were on target for Lydeard, with Emily Eaton and an own goal replying for Marine. Yeovil Town Intermediate have gone level on points with the leaders after beating Torquay Utd 4-0 thanks to Jodi Cornwall, Jemma Tewkesbury, Olivia Watts and Georgia Mann. Alana Willson scored the only goal of the game as Downend Flyers beat Charlestown 1-0 and Keynsham Town Development won 3-0 against Middlezoy Rovers to move above them in the table, goals coming from Justine Lorton-Radburn, Charley Morrison and Stephane Nascimento.
Newly crowned Eastern Division Champions Forest Green Rovers completed their successful season with a 1-0 win away to Ilminster Town, courtesy of a goal from Rachel Isaac. Ilminster's defeat means that Oldland Abbotonians move above them into third after beating Team Mendip 4-1 with Vicky Mundy, Amy Street, Leanne Burge and Aimee Taylor all scoring a goal apiece.
Callington Town stepped up their challenge to finish as runners-up in the Western Division by scoring eight times without reply past Illogan Ladies. Kate Nicholls scored a hat-trick, Stacey Derrick weighed in with a brace and the tally was completed by Amy Hemingway, Siobhan Ellyatt and KElly Philips. Lauren Boyle, Stacey Jeffery, Sam Metters, Chelsea Robinson and Billie Swan ensured that Plympton Ladies beat Newquay Celtic 5-1 and Exeter & Tedburn Rangers won 3-2 against Activate thanks to Gemma Anderson (2) and Caragh O'Brien.
Southern Region League
League leaders Oxford City suffered a blow to their title hopes as they were beaten 4-2 by Chesham Utd. Natalie Adams and Gemma Fraser each scored twice for Chesham who trail Oxford by seven points but are back in third place, due to Southampton Women scoring eight times without reply past Newbury Ladies. Laura Gilbank and Sheree Bell-Jack each bagged braces and there was one apiece from Philippa Holden, Chelsie Hay, Kirsty Bell and Katherine Wiseman. An Abi Canvin double gave Marlow a 2-0 win at Milton Keynes City and Winchester City Flyers also netted eight against Team Solent, goals coming from Hannah Chaffey (2), Charlotte Warhurst (2), Georgina Axton, Louisa Castle, Lauren Pearce and Francesca Thornton.
Ascot Utd maintained their lead of four points at the top of Division One after Amy Woollard, Lauren Broadhurst, Hannah Evans and Courtney Gibbons gave them a 4-1 victory over Wargrave Ladies. Olivia Jones netted twice and Caitlin Steele the other as second placed New Milton Town defeated Winchester City Flyers Res 3-0. Barton Rovers lost ground with a 3-0 defeat at the hands of Woodley Utd who scored through May Hamblin, Tiffany Newland and Rosie Page-Smith, and Oxford City Nomads were also 3-0 victors against Alton Utd thanks to Gina Ianniello, Amy Pipe and Amy Chivers.
West Midlands League
Burton Albion are five points away from landing the league title after a 1-0 win over Leamington Lions on Sunday. Jemma Grimadell scored the only goal of the game to take Burton seven points clear at the top. Lye Town are in third place following their 3-2 success against Leafield Athletic in which hit Clair Williamson hit a hat-trick.
The title race is over in Division One North though as Stockingford AA Pavilion were crowned as Champions following their 6-2 victory over second placed Leek Town. Following early pressure, Stockingford opened the scoring through Sharni Turnbull with Amanda Turnbull grabbing their second goal. Leek struck back through Isabel Wretham but Catherine Smith's header made it 3-1 at the break. Amanda Turnbull then scored her second and Piv's fourth goal early in the second half. However, Leek Town reduced the deficit through Elise Skelding. Amanda Turnbull completed her personal hat-trick with a wondrous 40-yard strike from the touchline and against the wind that left Stockingford's supporters gasping. Sharni Turnbull made it 6-2 with a lovely finish to complete a result which gives their side an unassailable lead. Shrewsbury Town's hopes of finishing second took a knock as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Shrewsbury Juniors, Tania Prior netting their goal with Katie Doster replying. Natasha Tezgei (2), Megan Baldwin and Holly Salt gave Stone Dominoes a 4-2 victory over Florence and Wyrley Ladies were 4-0 winners over Bilbrook thanks to a Laura Cumberledge brace, Ellesse Birkett and Charlotte Fanning.
Worcester Utd have gone five points clear at the top of Division One South with a 4-1 success away to Stourbridge and they require two points from two games to secure the title. Rubery Ladies meanwhile won 3-0 against Kenilworth Town and are up into fourth place.
Solihull Utd are through to the Final of the Division One South Cup after they beat Coventry Development 1-0 in the semi finals, Nicole Connor scoring the only goal of the game.
Northern Division leaders Huddersfield Town won 1-0 against Bradford City with a goal from Tara Duce to complete their fixtures and they must wait and see if they are to land the title. Only Blackburn Rovers can now overhaul them and they effectively need to win one of their remaining two games, following their 6-0 victory over Guiseley Vixens. Abby Bennett and Georgia Stevens each netted twice along with Alice Adams and Ellie Doggett. Newcastle Utd have finished their games and sit in second place, Siobhan Jones led their scoring with a hat-trick as they beat Hull City 5-1, Amy Hargrave and Jessica Ellison adding the others. Bianca Owens netted four and Savanna Robson added the other as Middlesbrough ran out 5-0 winners over Fylde Ladies.
Stoke City are back on top of the Midland Division following their 3-0 victory away to TNS Ladies in which Rachael Ball, Jasmin Limb and Courtney Jones scored their goals. Cardiff City Ladies stay fourth but are only four points off the pace after Kerry Bartlett's four-goal haul and Jasmine Turner gave them a 5-1 success at Loughborough Foxes. Coventry Utd meanwhile defeated Sporting Khalsa 8-2, Jessica Lundie and Elizabeth Steele each bagging hat-tricks with Lucy Stead and Elizabeth Stocks also on the scoresheet.
In the Southern Division, Portsmouth have moved into second place following their 3-0 win over Southampton Saints, Alexandra Iusan netting twice along with Kayleigh Tonks. Queen's Park Rangers returned from Lewes with a 3-2 victory under their belts, courtesy of Neethu Haridas, Emma Godden and an own goal. West Ham Utd defeated C & K Basildon 4-0 and a solitary goal from Charlotte Murphy gave Milton Keynes Dons the points against Denham Utd.
Birmingham City are the new leaders of the FA WSL Development League Northern Division after they won 5-0 at Aston Villa, Anna Linden hitting a hat-trick with Antonia Smith adding the other two. Manchester City went level on points with second placed Liverpool by scoring nine times without reply past Notts County. Toni Duggan, Beth O'Donnell and Keeley-Shaye Goodwin all scored twice along with Lucy Ashworth-Clifford, Brenna McPartlan and an own goal. Doncaster Rovers Belles claimed their second win of the season when beating Sheffield FC 4-2. Robyn Harris struck the opener from 25 yards on fifteen minutes and also made it 3-1 just past the hour as she scored her first goals for Belles. Megan Tinsley made it 1-1 on 25 minutes, but Harris squared the ball across the face of goal from the left of the area to set Lauren Breen up to restore home advantage. It was Breen's first involvement in the action; she had only been on the pitch less than two minutes, having come on for Sophie Walton who played nearly half an hour in her comeback game as she bids to gain match fitness following pregnancy. Olivia Leslie headed the Belles' fourth on 75 minutes, while Jess Heald netted Sheffield's second near the end.
Chelsea's 3-1 win at Oxford Utd has taken them top of the Southern Division on goal difference, thanks to strikes from Lauren Pickett, Nicole Douglas and Gilly Flaherty. Reading FC Women are within one point of the leadership after a Hannah Knapton hat-trick, Mahlah Catline, Beth Burgess, Georgia Clifford and Molly Bartrip saw them to a 7-0 victory over Watford. London Bees edged out Millwall Lionesses by the odd goal in five and Arsenal ran out 4-1 winners away to Bristol City.
Northern Division One
Guiseley Vixens have returned to the top of the table on goal difference following their 2-0 victory over Chorley. Sarah Danby and Olivia Thackray netted the goals during the first half to take their team back above Hull City, who have played three games more than Guiseley.
Chester-le-Street Town's season continues to go from strength to strength and they have entered the top three after winning 2-1 away to Mossley Hill. Nichole Goundry-Havery and Laura Hockaday were on target for the Cestrians who move above Chorley into third, while the home side replied through Amy Hughes.
Liverpool Marshalls Feds meanwhile defeated Leeds Ladies to climb back up to fifth. Chantelle Thompson opened the scoring just after the half hour and Carina Mendes added a second before half time. Amy Seagraves and Abby Pope wrapped up the win for the Feds with further goals during the second half.
Midlands Division One
League leaders Loughborough Foxes returned to action with a difficult trip to Birmingham & West Midlands Ladies but maintained their lead of four points with a 4-0 victory. Rebecca-Jane Knight, Eva Rogers, Charlotte Cooper and Emma Pilling were all on target for the Foxes.
Sporting Khalsa stay in second place after they also won 4-0 against Loughborough Students. Jodie Lewis was on target twice for Khalsa along with Megan Wilton and Lauren Walker.
TNS Ladies moved up to fifth on the back of a 5-0 success away to Leicester City Ladies. Lia Lewis gave them the lead after twelve minutes and Madison Jones added a second leading up to half time. After the break, Kim Bebbington further extended their advantage and they went on to crown the win when Emily Ridge and Charlotte Canlett also got on the scoresheet.
Solihull Ladies are back out of the bottom two following a crucial 3-2 win at Rotherham Utd. Victoria Grieve opened the scoring for Solihull midway through the first half, with Amy Pollock equalising five minutes later. Natalie Courtney restored the lead after the break and Jessica Howard sealed the points with the third, despite Nicole Cooper pulling one back for the home side late on.
South East Division One
Gillingham are pulling away at the top of the table, going five points clear after scoring seven times without reply away to Enfield Town. Fliss Gibbons, Charlotte Gurr and Kallie Balfour netted two goals apiece for the Gills, with Rosie Kmita adding the other goal.
AFC Wimbledon's hopes took a huge blow as they were beaten 2-0 by Actonians Ladies, who are back in fifth place after scoring through Alessandra Barreca and Hannah Olofsson.
Actonians move above Luton Town who were leading Norwich City 1-0 with a goal from Zara Carroll when the match was abandoned after Norwich captain Kate Parsons suffered a knee injury. We wish her well.
Denham Utd ran out 5-0 winners over Lowestoft Town, who remain in the bottom two. Jennifer Banfield led the scoring for the Middlesex side with a hat-trick, while Natalie Murray and Aimee Durn joined her on the scoresheet.
Ipswich Town edged out Stevenage Ladies by the odd goal in five. Hollie Clement netted twice for Ipswich along with Aimee Harrison, while Stevenage replied through Rosy Woodhams and Bolu Fisher.
South West Division One
Chichester City now head the table by thirteen clear points after they defeated Exeter City 5-0. Molly Clark netted a goal in each half and also on target were Lucie Challen, Kally Ambler and Charley Wilson-Blakeley.
Plymouth Argyle returned into second place as they scored six times without reply past Maidenhead Utd. Natasha Knapman hit a hat-trick for Argyle, whose other goals came from Mollie Taylor, Danielle Barr and Becky Atkins.
Basingstoke Town picked up an important point from a 1-1 draw against Larkhall Athletic. Jasmine Meichle was on target for Basingstoke, with the Larks scoring through Lizzie Barratt.
Cheltenham Town got back to winning ways with a 4-0 success away to Shanklin. Ella Hitchcox bagged a brace for Cheltenham, with Ria Salleh and Jane Wiltshire also getting on the scoresheet.
Hibernian are the early pacesetters in SWPL 1 and are the only team to have won both of their opening matches after scoring six times without reply past Aberdeen.
Lizzie Arnot had a great day in front of goal as she bagged a hat-trick and also on target for Hibs were Rachael Small, Katey Turner and Amy Gallacher.
Celtic and Glasgow City meanwhile played out a 1-1 draw which leaves both teams on four points, having won their respective opening games. Celtic took a first half lead through Natalie Ross, with City hitting back after the break and earning themselves a share of the spoils when Leanne Ross' corner was headed in her own net by the unfortunate Kerry Montgomery.
Spartans sport the division's other unbeaten record after they won 1-0 away to Hamilton Academical. The only goal of the game came with twelve minutes remaining when Simone McMahon found the net following a corner.
Stirling University bounced back from an opening day defeat to win 5-3 against Rangers and register their first points of the season. Nicole Pullar was on target twice for Stirling along with Jade Gallon, Katy Morris and Rebecca Galbraith, while Rangers replied with a Hannah Robertson double and Claire Adams.
Three teams are level on points at the top of the fledgling SWPL 2 table, headed by Forfar Farmington who won 2-1 away to Jeanfield Swifts. After a goalless first half, Laura Parsley gave Forfar the lead and after Danni McGinley had levelled matters for the home side, Forfar scored the winner with four minutes remaining through Cheryl Kilcoyne.
Hearts are in second place after winning 1-0 at East Fife. The only goal of the game came from Stacey Hutchison during the first half.
Glasgow Girls are the other team on six points as they also won against newly promoted opponents. Lauren Coleman and Kirsty McDonald scored the goals as Glasgow won 2-1 against Motherwell.
Buchan Ladies came from a goal down to beat Edinburgh University Hutchison Vale 2-1 and record their first points of the new season. EUHV took the lead with a goal from Fiona Boslem before Buchan hit back to snatch victory with late strikes from Sophie Anderson and Jo Murphy.
Swansea City staged a late fightback in order to claim a vital 4-3 win over Cardiff City FC and preserve their six point lead at the top of the Orchard Welsh Premier Women's League.
Cardiff got off to a great start and led by two goals inside the opening twenty minutes, Shannon Evans giving them an early lead before going on to add her second. Katy Hosford then brought the Swans back into the game by pulling one back on the stroke of half time. Hannah Daley restored the two-goal advantage early in the second half and although Jodie Passmore replied quickly, Cardiff looked to be holding out for a result which would keep their own title hopes alive. However with two minutes remaining, Hosford brought the scores level with her second goal of the game and deep into injury time, Katie Davies completed the comeback by grabbing a late winner which may prove to be a vital strike when results are assessed at the end of the season.
Cardiff Met Ladies made sure of maintaining the gap in second place by running out 4-0 winners over Briton Ferry Llansawel. Jassie Vasconcelos opened the scoring midway through the first half and Chloe O'Connor added a second five minutes before half time. Lowri Savage scored a decisive third with eleven minutes remaining and O'Connor crowned the win with her second goal late on.
Abergavenny Women are not giving up the fight in third place and they kept their hopes alive by beating Port Talbot Town 2-0. Both goals came in the last fifteen minutes, the prolific Lyndsey Davies breaking Port Talbot's resistance by giving them the lead and Lauren Boyd adding the second shortly afterwards.
The North Wales derby match between Rhyl Ladies and Llandudno Ladies ended with honours even as the sides shared a 1-1 draw. Llandudno took a first half lead through Rosie Hughes and they remained in front until second half injury time, when Amy Webster struck to earn Rhyl a valuable point.
Liverpool goalkeeper Siobhan Chamberlain is on a mission this season, desperate to add a second SSE Women's FA Cup winners' medal to her collection - but the shot-stopper knows work needs to be done before her side can realise their dreams.
The Reds were drawn against fellow FA Women's Super League 1 side Notts County in the sixth round after their 2-1 win against rivals Everton last weekend, knowing that victory would put them just one game away from another final.
Liverpool have never won the famous trophy, finishing runners-up in 1995 and 1996, but Chamberlain knows what it tastes like having being a part of the Arsenal squad which beat Everton in 2014.
The England keeper, 33, was at the draw for the sixth round of the SSE Women's FA Cup at Holly Lodge Girls' College in Liverpool, where two pupils, Isabelle Randles, 12 and Mona Dimitrova, 16, drew the numbered balls out of the iconic velvet bag.
She also took part in a question and answers session, alongside club mate Gemma Bonner, with students, and admits there is nothing quite like the SSE Women's FA Cup final as they prepare for their last eight clash.
"The SSE Women's FA Cup Final is always a magical day when you get there, it is the experience of the whole build up and the added spice at Wembley," she said.
"Every kid has dreamt of walking up those stairs at Wembley and lifting the cup, and that will inspire every single player in the last eight.
"We said before the draw, if we could get a home tie then we would be happy with that.
"Notts County is always going to be a tough game. They have a lot of internationals in their side and they had a great result to get through so we know it is going to be close.
"We know it is going to be a battle so we need to prepare well and hopefully get a good result on Sunday, but we came through against Everton which was massive.
"There was added pressure in that one because if you lose you will never live it down. They pushed us all the way but now we are looking on."
The sixth round ties will be played on Sunday March 26th and each winning club will receive £6,000 from The FA prize fund.
Holly Lodge Girls' College was chosen to host the draw thanks to its partnership with Teach First, a charity supported by SSE that aims to address educational inequalities in English and Welsh schools.
There were four cracking ties picked out, with holders Arsenal, fresh from a 10-0 victory against rivals Tottenham Hotspur in the fifth round, drawn to play Birmingham City - who have a new manager in Marc Skinner.
Elsewhere, former champions Chelsea will face Sunderland, while Chamberlain's former side Bristol City host FA WSL 1 champions Manchester City.
Meanwhile, Liverpool defender Gemma Bonner knows her side's poor run against bogey side Notts County must end if they have are to have any chance of lifting the SSE Women's FA Cup this season.
"We have played Notts a lot of times and they seem to be a bit of a bogey team for us over the last couple of years," she said.
"We are expecting a tough game, Notts County are a very physical, well-drilled side. We have to make sure we recover from yesterday's game and perform well at the weekend.
"We are delighted to get a home draw, we expected no easy tie with all the sides being in FA Women's Super League 1 but we have to match their physicality and we need to do everything right in order to come away with the right result."
Tickets are now on sale for the SSE Women's FA Cup Final on Saturday 13th May at Wembley Stadium connected by EE. For the second consecutive year, kids go free to the final. Adult tickets cost £15 and can be purchased here: https://ticketing.thefa.com/
by Charlie Bennett, Sportsbeat
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