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Women's Soccer Scene
Wales Under-17 squad  
 Women's Football News 27 Aug 2014
 
The Wales Under-17 squad will play Northern Ireland in two forthcoming friendly matches. 
 
The games will be at the FAW Technical Centre, Dragon Park, in Newport and the squad will be managed by Jayne Ludlow.
 
The games are on Wednesday 27th August (3pm) and Friday 29th August (12pm). The matches are not open to members of the general public, though players' families will be allowed access.
 
The games are in preparation for the upcoming UEFA qualifiers in Latvia in October, when Wales will meet the hosts, plus Belgium and Belarus. 
 
Wales Under-17 squad:
Charlotte Estcourt (Chelsea), Chloe Hughes (CPD Bethel), Lily Stevens (Reading CoE), Lois Regan (Caernarfon Town), Kathryn Brown (Llanidloes), Jodie Buck (TBC), Bethan Jewitt (Bristol Academy), Hannah Miles (Bow Street), Hannah Cain (Sheffield United), Chloe Jones (Vale), Grace Thomas Parr (Bristol Academy), Shaunna Jenkins (Aberaeron), Ina Martin (Dafen Welfare), Gwen Davies (Bristol Academy), Evie Gane (Reading), Carys Wilkinson (Rhos), Sarah Saunders (Bristol Academy), Ellie Lake (Troedyrhiw B&G), Ashleigh Mills (Prestatyn Girls), Amber Roberts (Bristol Academy), Lauren Lyons (Tranmere Rovers), Jessica Williams (Llanyrafon), Chloe Chivers (Coed Duon), Shannon Hobbs (Prestatyn Girls).

 
 

Women's Soccer Scene
Northern Ireland youth squads  
 Women's Football News 27 Aug 2014
 
The Northern Ireland Under-17 and Under-19 squads are in action this week as they prepare for their upcoming UEFA mini tournaments. 
 
The U19s will play two friendlies against Estonia on Wednesday and Friday at the TNTK stadium in Tallinn (both 5.30pm kick offs) while the Under-17s will play Wales at Dragon Park, Newport on Wednesday (3pm) and Friday (12pm).
 
Next month, the 2014-15 UEFA Under-19 Championships first qualifying round Group Ten mini tournament will be hosted by Finland. Northern Ireland will kick off against Georgia (13th September), followed by a game against Greece (15th September), with the final game against Finland (18th September).
 
Meanwhile in October, the 2014-15 UEFA Under-17 Championships first qualifying round Group Five mini tournament will be hosted by Austria. Northern Ireland will kick off against Austria (18th October), before taking on Czech Republic (20th October) and Ukraine (23rd October).
 
Northern Ireland Under-19 squad:
Jacqueline Burns (Mid Ulster Ladies), Shannon Turner (Birmingham City), Jessica Poots (Lisburn Ladies), Rachel Newborough (Reading), Sarah Haddock (Linfield), Taylor Wright (Crusaders Strikers), Clara Mulvenna (Newry City), Amy McGivern (Crusaders Strikers), Chloe McCarron (Mid Ulster Ladies), Chloe McGlade (Cappagh Spurs Ladies), Chelsea Myles (Linfield), Victoria Carleton (Ballymena All Stars), Aoife Curran (Mid Ulster Ladies), Annie Timoney (Glentoran Belfast Utd), Cathy Rees (Mid Ulster Ladies), Amy Burden (Crusaders Strikers), Moya Feehan (Newry City), Aimee Mackin (Newry City), Kathryn Dane (Fermanagh Mallards), Emma McFarland (Mid Ulster Ladies). 
 
Northern Ireland Under-17 squad:
Kirsty McCaughtry (Cliftonville), Caiomhe Callaghan (Linfield), Blaithin Mackin (Newry City), Courtney Moore (Crusaders Strikers), Teresa Burns (Sion Swifts), Ellie Rix (Fermanagh Mallards), Brooke Baine (Crusaders Strikers), Kerri McIntosh (Sion Swifts), Emma McMaster (Cliftonville), Katie Martin (Glentoran Belfast Utd), Chloe Orr (Linfield), Emma Harper (Killen Rangers), Erin Mulholland (Mid Ulster Ladies), Jazmyn Murray (Crusaders Strikers), Lauren Robson (Linfield), Sarah Connolly (Mid Ulster Ladies), Rebecca Bassett (Glentoran Belfast Utd), Aiobheann Jones (Newry City).

 
 

Women's Soccer Scene
Maidenhead seeking players  
 Women's Football News 27 Aug 2014
 
Maidenhead United Reserves are still looking to add numbers to their squad for the upcoming season. 
 
All training sessions are held on Tuesdays and run by qualified coaches. The team competes in the Thames Valley County Women's Football League Division Two South.

If you would like to attend a session or would like further details, please contact michael_stevens_2@hotmail.com.

 
 

Women's Soccer Scene
Sheffield win battle of Champions  
 Women's Football News 26 Aug 2014
 
Sheffield FC's home match with Coventry City was the standout fixture on the opening day of the new look expanded FA Women's Premier League. 
 
Sheffield finished runaway Northern Division champions last season, clinching the title with five games to spare, while Coventry only secured the Southern Division crown in their final game, a sequence of four successive wins without conceding enabling them to pip Gillingham.
 
A play-off between the two champions was hinted at last term, but there was no time to organise one. To add further intrigue to this season's Northern Division opening encounter (Coventry have switched divisions) was the fact that Sheffield were unbeaten at home in the league last season (just five goals conceded), a feat they also achieved in 2012-13, while City did not lose an away league match, conceding just six times, three of which came in a draw at Keynsham.
 
While this was billed as an unofficial champion of champions clash to begin the 2014-15 campaign, this season will end with a play-off between the Northern and Southern Division champions which will give the winners a chance to go forward and win promotion to the FA Women's Super League in 2016, subject to fulfilling the off-field criteria required for WSL 2.
 
Sheffield's starting line up featured debuts for new signings Billie Murphy and Abbie McIver, while both Danielle Cox and Kimberley Turner added to the new faces in action when they came on at the interval. Coventry's line up included debuts for Samantha Quayle, Katie Lowder and Eleanor Towers, while Callan Barber, Jade Formaston and substitute Natalie Wilcox were all appearing for the first time since the 2013 part of last season.
 
Sheffield had the game's first attempt on goal with last season's top scorer Jodie Michalska getting in a shot inside the first minute, while home keeper Claire Wallhead had to claim a centre and smother the ball to prevent gifting a chance to Coventry's Katie Lowder shortly after.
 
A run from deep in the Coventry half was finished by a low strike from just outside the penalty arc by Michalska, but it was straight at Coventry keeper Susan Wood who had no difficulty effecting a routine save. However, Wood was beaten just a minute later as Suzanne Davies got into the area and from a few yards just off the left angle of the six yard box she drove in a low shot which got the better of Wood's dive to go in off the far post.
 
Wood prevented Sheffield doubling their advantage a few minutes later when she clutched the ball as Michalska got in a shot from a similar position to that from which Davies had scored.
 
Sheffield had the vital advantage of the game's first goal and Wallhead helped preserve the slender lead when she came out to smother and deny Callan Barber on 17 minutes. Coventry enjoyed some strong spells in the second part of the first half and their closest to an equaliser before the interval came on 40 minutes when Wallhead got down to hold Jade Formaston's header to meet Helen Dermody's corner.
 
The second half continued much as the first had ended with Coventry pressing, but not quite able to stretch Wallhead until just past the hour when Karen Clough got the better of Danielle Cox to fire in a shot which the Sheffield keeper held diving to her right.
 
Natasha Cooke got in a fine tackle to deny Samantha Quayle a shot at the expense of a corner, taken by Dermody and met by Destiney Toussaint whose downward header bounced up and was headed away at the post by Lynn Goodman. A few minutes later Clough turned Ellie Gilliatt, but Wallhead had anticipated well and came out to block Clough's 15-yard strike.
 
That was on 69 minutes as Coventry had been by far the more forceful since the interval and if a goal was going to come, it would surely be to level matters. But no, Wallhead claimed a cross on 71 minutes and turning defence into attack Sheffield advanced the ball down the right wing to Michalska. Knocking an up and under across the area, she ran on to meet her own pass to keep possession, take the ball ten yards further inside to a position almost dead centre of goal and then hammer home a left footed strike which flew inside Wood's left post.
 
If it had been a televised game, there would have been several replays as the goal was enthused over. It all but decided matters as Coventry rarely threatened subsequently and Sheffield, lifted, enjoyed more play in the attacking half than had been the case in the first part of the second half.
 
Two quality goals separated the sides at the finish as Sheffield were the only Northern Division team to keep a clean sheet on the opening day. 
 
Sheffield FC: Claire Wallhead, Natasha Cooke, Billie Murphy, Ellie Gilliatt, Lisa Giampalma, Carla Ward (sub Danielle Cox 45mins), Kerry Parkin (sub Kimberley Turner 45mins), Lynn Goodman, Suzanne Davies, Abbie McIver, Jodie Michalska. Subs not used: Jess Horsley, Kirsty Richardson, Nicole Kemp.

Coventry City: Susan Wood, Jade Formaston (sub Libby Piggott 74mins), Samantha Quayle, Callan Barber, Natasha Lynch, Destiney Toussaint, Eleanor Towers (sub Natalie Wilcox 35mins), Helen Dermody, Katie Lowder, Marie Gauntlett (sub Jade Mellor 54mins), Karen Clough.

(Report and photos by Julian Barker)

(top) Sue Wood claims a cross, watched by Suzanne Davies and Jade Formaston
(middle) Ellie Gilliatt gets in a shot for Sheffield
(bottom) Jodie Michalska on her way towards scoring Sheffield's second goal

 
 

Women's Soccer Scene
Derby hit six in opener  
 Women's Football News 26 Aug 2014
 
Derby County recorded the biggest victory on the first day of the new season in the Northern Division when they triumphed 6-3 away to Wolverhampton Wanderers. 
 
Melissa Johnson got the Rams off to a great start by giving them an early lead which was quickly doubled by Sam Griffiths. Nikki Ledgister made it three against her former club and Amy Perry put Derby further ahead just before half time. After the break, Dani Selmes pulled one back from the penalty spot but Lauren Steadman added a fifth for Derby. Wolves rallied with Abi Hinton scoring twice in quick succession but Derby were not finished and Natalie Reay became their sixth different goalscorer in injury time.
 
Sporting Club Albion started well with a 3-1 win at Newcastle Utd. Kayleigh Griffiths gave Albion a first half lead which was cancelled out by Stacy Crooks, but second half goals from Hazzana Parnell and Griffiths saw Albion home in a well contested game.
 
Stoke City had a good season last time around and they have made a promising beginning on this occasion by beating Nottingham Forest 3-1. Laura Garside, Hannah Bailey and Meg Bowyer were all on target for Stoke with Forest's response coming from Andi Bell.
 
The battle between last season's title winners went the way of Sheffield FC, who defeated Coventry City 2-0. Suzanne Davies and Jodie Michalska scored the goals to give Sheffield a winning start (see match report).
 
Newly promoted Huddersfield Town made a dramatic entrance to the top flight as they came from two goals behind to record a fine 3-2 win away to Blackburn Rovers. 16-year-old Katie Lockwood was the hero for Huddersfield as she netted the winning goal on her debut, to add to two earlier strikes from Emily Heckler after Rovers had gone ahead through Danielle Sheen and Sophie Jones.
 
Preston North End and Bradford City both finished in the top three last season and things were tight again this time as they battled out a 1-1 draw. Zoe Roberts gave City a first half lead which was cancelled out in the 73rd minute by Alison Taberner.

 
 

Women's Soccer Scene
Charlton lead goal charge  
 Women's Football News 26 Aug 2014
 
On a goal laden day in the Southern Division, Charlton Athletic lead the way following a 12-1 victory over Keynsham Town. 
 
Kit Graham led the scoring for the Addicks with a four-goal haul and there were hat-tricks for Sam Pittuck and Gemma Shepherd, with Amy Howlett and Emma Harrison also on target for Charlton, Justine Lorton-Radburn getting Keynsham's consolation.
 
Cardiff City Ladies also made an impressive start as they won 7-3 away to Portsmouth. Cori Williams found the net no less than five times and Lauren Townsend weighed in with a brace while Gemma Hillier hit a hat-trick for Pompey but ended up on the losing side.
 
Lucia Padillia was on target twice and Bianca Baptiste added the other goal for Tottenham Hotspur as they ran out 3-0 winners over Gillingham.
 
Brighton & Hove Albion's new look side opened up proceedings with a 3-1 victory against newly promoted Copsewood (Coventry). The Seagulls' goals came in a ten minute spell either side of half time, Fliss Gibbons giving them a lead which was doubled by Charlotte Gurr, Gibbons adding her second early in the second half before Sarah Rowles pulled one back for Copsewood.
 
Lewes acquitted themselves well in the league last season and they have started off well again, defeating Plymouth Argyle 2-0. Kate McIntyre and Sian Heather netted the goals for the Rookettes.
 
West Ham Utd meanwhile edged out Queen's Park Rangers 2-1 in their local derby. Kasha Petit gave Rangers a first half lead but Lindsey Morgan levelled for the Hammers on the hour and Kelley Blanchflower gave them victory with a late winner (see match report).

 
 

Women's Soccer Scene
Morecambe off to good start  
 Women's Football News 26 Aug 2014
 
Morecambe made a stunning start to life in the Premier League as they defeated Liverpool Marshalls Feds 6-1. 
 
Megan Doherty bagged a hat-trick for Morecambe, Hannah Paling weighed in with a brace and Georgia Lupton was also on target to see their side as the opening day leaders in Northern Division One.
 
Mossley Hill have also begun the season well, running out 4-0 winners away to Middlesbrough. Carmen Troiano bagged a brace for the Merseysiders, who went close to winning the Northern Combination last season, and she was joined on the scoresheet by Sophie Perry and Shelley James.
 
Two of the other newcomers to the league met each other at Norton & Stockton Ancients but it was visitors Guiseley AFC Vixens who emerged as 4-1 victors.
 
After a difficult few months, Leeds Ladies were able to put their problems behind them as the season began and record a 4-2 win against Stockport County. Sophie Varley scored twice for Leeds, Emma Bentley added another from the penalty spot and Erin White also got on the scoresheet late in the second half.
 
Chorley also opened up the new campaign with a victory, 3-1 over Chester-le-Street. Gabriella Difalco netted twice for the Lancashire side along with Scarlett Smith.
 
Tranmere Rovers meanwhile gave themselves a winning start as they edged out Sheffield Utd Community 2-1. 
 
Midlands Division One
Leafield Athletic made it a baptism of fire for newly promoted Steel City Wanderers as they beat them 5-1. Rachael Smith, Donna Hawkins, Leigh Dugmore, Charlotte Hughes and Hannah Boxley.all scored a goal apiece to give Dan Hearnden's side a great first result.
 
Rotherham Utd also made a smart start to the season, running out 4-1 winners over Curzon Ashton courtesy of doubles from Natalie Shaw and Amy Pollock.
 
Loughborough Foxes started well with a 1-0 victory over Leicester City Women. Jodie White settled matters with the only goal of the game via a header from a corner.
 
Solihull Ladies were also narrow 1-0 winners against newcomers FC Reedswood, given to them courtesy of a free kick by Jodie Lewis.
 
The spoils were shared in the other game between Leicester City Ladies and Mansfield Town, the sides finishing level at 1-1, Becky Preston was on target for City. 
 
South East Division One
Norwich City won a thrilling East Anglian local derby 5-3 against Ipswich Town. Natasha Snelling had a great day in front of goal for the Canaries by netting four times and Jordan Arnoup was also on target, despite Ipswich having pulled back from three goals down at one stage thanks to an Amanda Crump brace and Jasmine Cox.
 
Crystal Palace ensured that their return to Premier League football was a successful one as they won 2-0 away to Denham Utd. Roschelle Shakes opened the scoring for Palace after being set up by Mary Onianwa, who added the second before the break through a fine individual goal.
 
Enfield Town have also started well with a win on their travels, 2-0 at Cambridge Women thanks to goals from Regan Coleman and Lisa Kline.
 
C & K Basildon edged out Bedford Ladies by the odd goal in five. Hannah Porter, Zoe Rushen and an own goal earn last season's South East Combination runners-up the points from a well fought contest.
 
Milton Keynes Dons and Luton Town battled out a 1-1 draw, Jess McKay scoring for Luton. 
 
South West Division One
Forest Green Rovers have got off to a good start and they are the opening day leaders after they defeated Gosport Borough 6-2. Sophie Okey led the scoring for Rovers with a hat-trick and there was one apiece from Naomi Marshall, Rosie Bidder and Hayley Kent.
 
Swindon Town meanwhile opened up with a 5-1 victory over St Nicholas. Sarah Uzzell marked her league debut for Swindon by giving them the lead just ahead of the interval and Beth Thompson added a second straight after the restart. Thompson netted her second and Town went on to add further goals through Chynna Collings and Ellie Maynard, before Jess Wilson scored a late consolation for the visitors.
 
To complete a bad day for the newly promoted teams in the division, Cheltenham Town also went down 4-1 at home to Chichester City. Lauren Cheshire gave Chichester the lead from the penalty spot early in the second half and they quickly extended their lead through Lucie Challen and Becky Baron. Catherine Reilly gave Cheltenham hope when she pulled a goal back but Emma Alexandre sewed up the points for Chi with the fourth goal.
 
Shanklin meanwhile won 2-1 against Exeter City. Gemma Woodford and Chloe Parkes grabbed the goals to earn the Isle of Wight side victory from a good competitive game.

 
 

Women's Soccer Scene
Leaders maintain gap  
 Women's Football News 26 Aug 2014
 
Glasgow City remain seven points clear at the top of the Scottish Women's Premier League following a 3-0 away win over Hibernian. 
 
Goals from Cheryl McCulloch, Joanne Love and Denise O'Sullivan sealed a thirteenth straight win for City and set them up for Wednesday night's top of the table clash against Rangers.
 
Rangers are now the only side with a realistic chance of catching City and they kept those hopes alive by beating Aberdeen 5-1. Hayley Cunningham, Lisa Swanson, Kirsty Howat, Suzanne Mulvey and Megan Sneddon all scored a goal apiece with the Dons' consolation coming from Rebecca Dempster.
 
Celtic move up into third after coming from behind to win 3-2 against Spartans. The Edinburgh side got off to a great start with Trish McLaughlin giving them an early lead, before Heather Richards and Abigail Harrison turned matters around in Celtic's favour just ahead of half time. Julie Fleeting added a third after the break but Celtic needed to survive a late onslaught from Spartans, McLaughlin scoring her second and then Gemma Fay saved a late penalty from Sarah Ewens.
 
Hamilton Academicals remain at the top of the bottom section of the table despite going down to a 3-1 defeat at the hands of Inverness City. Natalie Bodiam, Kirsty Deans and Sarah Main were all on the scoresheet for Inverness with an own goal in reply for the Accies.
 
Forfar Farmington and Hutchison Vale meanwhile finished level at 2-2, a result which keeps Forfar out of the bottom two. Hutchie had trailed by two goals at the break before a second half fightback earned themselves a share of the spoils thanks to a Laura Gavin penalty and Bryony Ross.
 
The two teams at the foot of the table met each other in a crucial clash and it was Queen's Park who emerged as 4-1 victors over Buchan Ladies. Valentina Mazzoni was on target twice for the Spiders along with Nicole Montoya and Mhairi Lyle.

 
 

Women's Soccer Scene
Late joy for happy Hammers  
 Women's Football News 25 Aug 2014
 
Queen's Park Rangers 1 West Ham Utd 2
West Ham United grabbed a very late but thoroughly deserved opening day victory to spoil Queen's Park Rangers' return to the Southern Division of the FAWPL. 
 
Kelley Blanchflower scored 30 seconds from the end of additional time to clinch the points in manager Julian Dicks' first competitive game in charge as the Irons overturned a half time deficit. West Ham had hit the woodwork and had been denied by a string of fine saves by keeper Jo Ayre in the second half but, just as it seemed that the home team had clung on to a point, Blanchflower arrived at the far post to force home the winner from close range.
 
West Ham started the brighter, moving the ball around slickly and pressurising the Rangers defence. Ayre punched a dangerous cross clear, held a Stacey Little shot and Sarah McCrea was just too high with an effort from distance. Rangers nearly conceded an own goal with a misdirected back header just wide but took the lead on 24 minutes with a super move. Elly Maggs provided the through pass and the ball was worked from the right to an onrushing Kasha Petit on the left edge of the area where she finished coolly past Nikita Runnacles.
 
The goal settled Rangers somewhat but West Ham were still moving forward well. Blanchflower had an effort well held by Ayre on 39 minutes after a ball over the top. Runnacles did well to smother a dangerous free kick on the edge of her six yard box, but Rangers had offered little threat going forward despite going to the break a goal to the good.
 
Danica Revell made a well timed saving tackle to deny Stacey Sowden an early sight of goal for Rangers after the interval but West Ham were very close to an equaliser on 52 minutes. A fine through ball by Ruby Baxter released Vicky Kinsman who was twice thwarted by excellent saves from Ayre when through on the Rangers keeper.
 
Ayre was then out quickly to save from Emma Sherwood who also had a great chance five minutes later when set up by Kinsman, but she shot straight at Ayre.
 
Rangers were looking more dangerous themselves and Sowden nearly took advantage of a poor clearance but hit a shot narrowly wide. Petit went on a fine run and her cross looked to have set up a shooting chance but the Hammers defence blocked well. However it was West Ham who levelled on the hour when Lindsey Morgan sent in a looping header from the edge of the area which found the top corner. Little nearly gave West Ham the lead two minutes later but headed just wide from a Blanchflower corner.
 
Another inswinging corner from the same player was cleared off the line with loud claims for handball going unheeded on 71 minutes. As the end of the match drew closer, West Ham were piling on the pressure. A 30-yarder from Blanchflower crashed off the bar and Ayre did very well to save follow up efforts from McCrea and Kinsman on 88 minutes. Another ball over the top saw McCrea clear and she flicked the ball over the onrushing Ayre but the retreating Rangers defenders were able to smuggle the ball clear.
 
Deep into added time West Ham found the winner. .A deep free kick was helped back across a crowded six yard area and Blanchflower stole in to slip the ball under Ayre from five yards to the delight of players, coaching staff and travelling supporters.
 
There was barely time to restart the match and Rangers, who had defended bravely, were left deflated by coming so close to taking a point, but West Ham had shown them the challenge they will have to meet in stepping up from the former South East Combination. West Ham looked a well organised and highly committed team with Blanchflower, returning after a long absence through injury, having an outstanding match. 
 
Queen's Park Rangers: Jo Ayre, Jeta Bytyqi, Lauren Gage, Seun Odeniyi, Elly Maggs, Kasha Petit, Stacey Sowden, Sarah Staples, Sophie Ferguson, Katie Wilding, Leanne Mabey. Subs: Zemeka Clark.

West Ham United: Nikita Runnacles, Vicky King, Jess Barling, Ruby Baxter, Danica Revell, Lindsey Morgan, Sarah McCrea, Stacey Little, Vicky Kinsman, Kelley Blanchflower, Emma Sherwood. Subs: Alma Donohoe, Ellen Powles, Lily Mellors, Zoe Lipley-Hinton, April Bowers.
 
 
(Report by Patrick Higgins)

 
 

Women's Soccer Scene
Chelsea topple leaders  
 Women's Football News 25 Aug 2014
 
Chelsea 3 (Ji 33, Flaherty 52, Aluko 67) Birmingham City 1 (Mannion 65)
Chelsea went top of the FA Women's Super League thanks to a confident and largely comfortable victory over previous leaders Birmingham City. 
 
Ji So Yun gave the Blues the lead in the first half before Gilly Flaherty increased the lead early on in the second half. Birmingham, who have two games in hand over Chelsea, briefly got themselves back into the game, but Eniola Aluko restored Chelsea's advantage a few minutes later.
 
A cagey first 20 minutes saw little of note created by either side, with a series of strong challenges by both teams setting the tone for most of the game. It was Chelsea who started to take advantage once the game opened up, with Yuki Ogimi's half volley ricocheting off the bar before an Aluko effort clattered against the post.
 
The deadlock was finally broken on the half hour when an Ana Borges cross found an unmarked Ji So Yun in the area who was able to head home.
 
Birmingham had several chances, but found Marie Hourihan on top form as she strongly forced away numerous close range efforts.
 
Chelsea dominated the early stages of the second half and nearly doubled their lead early on when Aluko picked out Ji in the box, but the South Korean fired her shot into the side netting.
 
The breakthrough came after 51 minutes when Birmingham needlessly conceded a corner which was headed in by Flaherty.
 
Birmingham narrowed the deficit on 65 minutes when Aoife Mannion forced her shot past Hourihan following a corner but the two-goal cushion was soon restored when Aluko glanced home a header from close range following a Ji wide free kick on the left past Rebecca Spencer in the Birmingham goal on 67 minutes. 
 
Chelsea: Marie Hourihan, Ana Borges (sub Claire Rafferty 68mins), Hannah Blundell, Katie Chapman, Gilly Flaherty, Laura Bassett, Yuki Ogimi, Laura Coombs (sub Danielle Buet 84mins), Eniola Aluko (sub Atlanta Primus 89mins), Ji So-Yun,
Jackie Groenen. 
 
Birmingham City: Rebecca Spencer, Chelsea Weston (sub Cristina Torkildsen 90mins), Jess Carter, Emily Simpkins (sub Emily Westwood 52mins), Aoife Mannion, Kerys Harrop, Melissa Lawley, Remi Allen, Kirsty Linnett (sub Hannah Keryakoplis 84mins), Karen Carney, Jo Potter.

(Report by www.fawsl.com)

 
 

Women's Soccer Scene
Super sub Katie boosts Liverpool challenge  
 Women's Football News 25 Aug 2014
 
Liverpool 1 (Zelem 74) Notts County 0
Katie Zelem came off the bench to score with her first touch as Liverpool kept up their fight for the FA WSL title with a dramatic 1-0 win over Notts County on Sunday. 
 
County started the day second from bottom of the table, but their performance certainly suggested they are in a false position and with manager Rick Passmoor constantly communicating from the sidelines, they made life extremely tough for Liverpool.
 
Liverpool made a bright start to the proceedings and straight from the kick off, Kate Longhurst set off on a superb run that took her into the County penalty area, but despite Corina Schroder in acres of space in support to the left, the striker was caught in two minds and the ball was cleared.
 
County responded well and had a sustained spell of pressure in the Liverpool half with the pace and trickery of Jess Clarke proving tough for Becky Easton to handle. Liverpool were guilty of giving the ball away cheaply and they were almost punished on 13 minutes when Clarke cut past Becky Easton on the left and curled an effort just wide.
 
Play was then held up while Liverpool had two injury scares. Goalkeeper Libby Stout pulled up after taking a goal kick, but after treatment was able to continue while Easton limped off and had to be replaced by Amada Da Costa. On 25 minutes Natasha Dowie, starved of any service up to this point, tried a speculative lob that landed a couple of yards wide of the post.
 
The Reds missed an absolute sitter on 32 minutes. Lucy Bronze set off on a superb run down the right and her perfect pull back saw Schroder fire over the top of an open goal. It almost proved costly at the other end when Caitlin Friend broke clear only to see her effort superbly kept out by Stout.
 
Matt Beard's charges came mighty close to taking the lead after 54 minutes when Dowie met a Fara Williams free kick, only to see her header hit the post and then roll to safety across the goal line. Just past the hour mark a superb pass from Bronze sent Gemma Davison clean through on goal, but County stopper Carly Telford was the hero for the away side as she made a great block and then made a double save from Dowie's follow up effort.
 
However on 74 minutes, Liverpool made the breakthrough. Dowie did brilliantly to find Davison in space on the right, and her perfect cross fell to Zelem who fired home. Beard ran down the touchline in jubilation as the goal could prove so vital come the end of the season.
 
There was more drama four minutes later as Davison ran clean through on goal and after her first effort was saved, she then fell under a strong challenge. Referee Mr Cropp pointed to the penalty spot, and County were furious. Manager Passmore ran down the touchline to remonstrate with the fourth official. Dowie placed the ball on the spot, and after a second consultation with his assistant, the referee then completely changed his mind and gave a drop ball much to the fury of Beard and his team.
 
County ended the game with ten players when Sophie Walton received her second booking deep into stoppage time.
 
The victory now puts the Reds in second place, two points behind leaders Chelsea. However, third placed Birmingham are just a point behind Beard's side and have two games in hand. Liverpool Ladies are still to face Birmingham away and have four Super League games remaining. 
 
Liverpool: Libby Stout, Becky Easton (sub Amanda Da Costa 20mins), Nina Pedersen, Fara Williams, Gemma Bonner, Lucy Bronze, Kate Longhurst (sub Katie Zelem 73mins), Katrin Omarsdottir, Natasha Dowie, Gemma Davison, Corina Schroder.

Notts County: Carly Telford, Amy Turner, Danielle Brogan, Katie Hoyle, Rachel Corsie, Sophie Walton, Jess Clarke, Caitlin Friend (sub Ashleigh Plumptre 57mins), Aileen Whelan (sub Emily Roberts), Katie Holtham (sub Rachel Unitt 85mins), Desiree Scott.

(Report by www.fawsl.com)

 
 

Women's Soccer Scene
City shot down by Gunners  
 Women's Football News 25 Aug 2014
 
Manchester City 0 Arsenal 4 (Nobbs 5, Carter 58, Yankey 68, Stoney 82)
Manchester City returned to action on Sunday with a disappointing 4-0 home defeat to Arsenal. 
 
Goals from Jordan Nobbs, Danielle Carter, Rachel Yankey and Casey Stoney earned a convincing victory for the Gunners, who took the lead after just five minutes and never really looked like relinquishing it.
 
After almost a month without a competitive fixture, this encounter was always going to be a test of fitness and preparation but with the visitors in the same situation, a lack of match action could not be used as an excuse for City's display. Throughout the afternoon, the away side were sharper, more disciplined and more clinical as the hosts struggled to retain possession and ultimately, create chances.
 
After a slow start to the season, Arsenal have turned their campaign around, having notched five wins in all competitions since the mid-season break - including an FA Women's Cup final triumph - and they started the brighter at the Manchester Regional Arena.
 
Straight from the off, the Gunners fired a warning of their intentions and it was clear they did not make the trip up north for a point. They almost opened the scoring after just two minutes but Yankey's free kick flew over the bar.
 
The away side did not have long to wait to break the deadlock though, as Nobbs gave the North London outfit the lead with a stunning long range lob which sailed over Bardsley and into the back of the net. It was a shock to the system for the hosts and a test of their character of how they would react to falling behind against the country's most successful women's football team.
 
Under the watchful eye of Club chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak, City did respond well but struggled to create any real chances. Issy Christiansen almost found an equaliser on 16 minutes but she was called offside on one occasion before seeing a long distance effort pushed wide by Emma Byrne three minutes later.
 
That was the closest the home side came to equalising in the first half. Arsenal on the other hand looked dangerous on the break, as Yankey fired wide before the hosts' defence did well to block a number of efforts in a goalmouth scramble.
 
Just a goal behind at the break, the home side were still very much in the game but needed to change their approach in the second period to stand any chance of clawing themselves back level. In a bid to turn the game in City's favour, Nick Cushing brought on Natasha Flint and Keira Walsh at half time to replace Krystle Johnston and Emma Kete.
 
As the home side began to build some pressure though, they were hit with a hammer blow as the visitors doubled their lead against the run of play, when Carter fired a shot past Bardsley and into the corner.
 
The task of finding two goals against a well organised Arsenal outfit looked a tall order and any hopes of a comeback were dashed ten minutes later, when Yankey swept in Turid Knaak's cross from close-range to make it 3-0, effectively sealing the contest.
 
Eager to restore some pride, the home side pressed forward in search of a consolation. Steph Houghton and Emma Lipman both saw efforts well saved but again, City struggled to string passes together and break down the Gunners' back four, which also caught the hosts offside on a number of occasions.
 
Arsenal added a fourth through Casey Stoney with eight minutes to go to secure a thumping win for the away side, who narrow the gap between themselves and Cushing's side to a single point. 
 
Manchester City: Karen Bardsley, Abbie McManus, Emma Lipman, Betsy Hassett, Kathleen Radtke, Steph Houghton, Krystle Johnston (sub Keira Walsh 45mins), Jill Scott, Toni Duggan, Emma Kete (sub Natasha Flint 45mins), Issy Christiansen.

Arsenal: Emma Byrne, Alex Scott, Leah Williamson, Jade Bailey, Casey Stoney, Niamh Fahey, Turid Knaak (sub Freda Ayisi 86mins), Jordan Nobbs, Danielle Carter, Emma Mitchell, Rachel Yankey.

(Report by www.fawsl.com)

 
 

Women's Soccer Scene
Sweet day for Courtney as Belles close gap  
 Women's Football News 25 Aug 2014
 
Oxford Utd 1 (Simmonds 39)
Doncaster Rovers Belles 5 (Sweetman-Kirk 14,24,50, Williams 32,71)

Courtney Sweetman-Kirk hit a hat-trick as Doncaster Rovers Belles narrowed the gap on WSL 2 leaders Sunderland to two points with a powerful and commanding display at Abingdon. 
 
The Belles were quickly into their stride with Sweetman-Kirk having a shot saved in the opening minute by Demi Lambourne who also needed to keep out an angled effort by Sue Smith moments later.
 
Jess Sigsworth shot wide after cutting in from the right but the Belles' enterprising start finally brought reward on 14 minutes. Kasia Lipka supplied the through ball to release Sweetman-Kirk who planted a left foot shot past the oncoming Lambourne for the opening goal.
 
Sweetman-Kirk again had the ball in the net three minutes later as she headed a Sigsworth shot on into the net but an offside flag cut short any celebrations. Victoria Williams fired a shot past the post from Sweetman-Kirk's lay off as the Belles continued to dominate proceedings.
 
The second goal came just after the halfway point with Smith the creator, the former England star breaking down the right and jinking past Megan Alexander before her pinpoint cross picked out an unmarked Sweetman-Kirk who headed in from close range.
 
Oxford rallied and created their best chance so far, Gemma Simmonds' pass playing in Helen King who took the ball into the area but couldn't get enough power into her shot and the ball went narrowly past the far post.
 
Back came Doncaster with Lauren Cresswell floating a corner into the area and Williams rose highest to power a header past Lambourne for the third goal.
 
Lambourne needed to be swift when making a smothering save from Sweetman-Kirk following a powerful run by Sigsworth but Oxford were to hit back with a strike of their own just a minute later.
 
Katie Stanley did well to hold off a challenge from Cresswell on the right and found King, whose pass set up Simmonds to sweep the ball in from fifteen yards.
 
A good passing move from the Belles just before half time ended with Sigsworth's crossfield pass picking out Smith, whose low shot brought out a good save from Lambourne.
 
Oxford had kept themselves in the game with Simmonds' strike but five minutes into the second half, they shot themselves in the foot by giving away a sloppy goal. Lambourne played a short goal kick to Katherine Nutman but this was seized on and she was dispossessed by Smith who unselfishly passed up a chance to shoot and instead squared the ball for Sweetman-Kirk to complete a perfect hat-trick - left foot, right foot and header.
 
The same thing nearly happened again three minutes later as Smith again won the ball from an Oxford defender and set up a chance for Beth England who drove her shot over the bar.
 
Smith had been at her impish best on the ball and was inches away from a goal her display deserved when, after receiving a pass from Sigsworth, she curled a shot past Lambourne but against the bar and Sweetman-Kirk was unable to turn home the rebound.
 
Lipka and Williams had dominated matters in midfield with impressive displays and Williams was to crown her performance with a spectacular second goal as she shrugged off a challenge from Kayleigh Hines before finding the top corner with a 25-yard lob which dipped under the bar.
 
To their credit, Oxford did not give up and tried to reduce the deficit with Lauren Allison bringing out a save from Nicola Hobbs and Katie Stanley sending an angled shot wide following a good pass from Louise Fellows.
 
However the Belles had proved to be too strong on the day and had a great chance to extend their lead in the dying minutes when Lipka intercepted a throw in and found Sweetman-Kirk in front of goal but this time the striker skied her shot over the bar. 
 
Oxford Utd: Demi Lambourne, Jemma Connor-Iommi, Megan Alexander, Kayleigh Hines, Katherine Nutman, Amy Chivers, Katie Stanley, Lauren Allison (sub Laura Low 75mins), Gemma Simmonds (sub Holly Pickett 75mins), Helen King, Ella Franklin-Fraiture (sub Louise Fellows 61mins). Subs not used: Laura Nichol, Jody Marshall.

Doncaster Rovers Belles: Nicola Hobbs, Lyndsey Cunningham, Lauren Cresswell, Leandra Little, Rhiannon Roberts, Kasia Lipka, Jess Sigsworth (sub Molly Johnson 63mins), Sue Smith, Courtney Sweetman-Kirk, Victoria Williams, Beth England (sub Reanne Thomas 73mins). Subs not used: Megan Gover, Ashleigh Mills, Emma Johnson, Hope Knight.

Photos:

(top) Courtney Sweetman-Kirk breaks through to score the opening goal
(middle) Helen King steers a shot just wide, under pressure from Rhiannon Roberts
(bottom) Molly Johnson closes down Megan Alexander


 
 

Women's Soccer Scene
Bleazard blows away Bees  
 Women's Football News 25 Aug 2014
 
London Bees 0 Yeovil Town 2 (Bleazard 74,80)
Yeovil Town came away with all three points at The Hive on Sunday as they won 2-0 against London Bees. 
 
The game hung in the balance with just a quarter of an hour left on the clock, but the home side were ultimately undone by two moments of magic from the Glovers' Helen Bleazard in the closing stages.
 
It was Lucy Loomes who had the first real chance of the game for the Bees on ten minutes when she was played through by Amber Gaylor but goalkeeper Rachel Simkin came out quickly to smother her shot from just inside the area.
 
Yeovil countered immediately and this time it was Sophie Harris who was called into action, rushing out to block Bleazard's shot with her trailing leg.
 
There was a moment of panic for the Bees after 19 minutes when Harris collected what was adjudged to have been a back pass from Anneka Nuttall, leading Yeovil to be awarded an indirect free kick just inside the penalty area. It was taken twice after Paula Howells was penalised for encroaching too early, but the second attempt from Bleazard flew well over the bar.
 
Three minutes later it was Nuttall who came to the rescue, making a superb clearance at the back post to avert the danger caused by an excellent cross from Bleazard, in the thick of the action once again, after she had been played in behind by Katie Cook.
 
The Bees were creating chances of their own however, with Amber Gaylor going close midway through the first half with a fierce shot towards the top corner from the corner of the box which Simkin was forced to tip over for a corner. The home side were looking particularly dangerous on the break, with Simkin being called into action once again to clear a pass played through by Dawn Mallett for Loomes into the stands.
 
It was Mallett herself who went close on 37 minutes, winning possession high up the pitch before unleashing a dipping shot which flew narrowly over the bar.
 
The Bees came out of the traps quickly for the second half and nearly took the lead just a minute after the interval when Loomes cut inside the defender following Mallett's through ball but saw her shot saved by Simkin.
 
It was Yeovil who came the closest to breaking the deadlock on 62 minutes, when Sarah Wiltshire was played in behind the Bees defence, but Sophie Harris produced a superb save to tip the Welsh international's shot onto the bar.
 
Yeovil did however make the breakthrough on 74 minutes, when Bleazard collected the ball deep and twisted her way past two markers before sending a right footed shot past Harris and into the bottom left-hand corner to make it 1-0.
 
The Glovers would double their lead on 80 minutes, with Bleazard producing another moment of magic as she retrieved the ball after being dispossessed and sent a curling shot into the top corner of the net from all of 25 yards.
 
Yeovil nearly scored a third with just three minutes remaining after Harris got a fingertip to a fierce strike from early replacement Paige Stewart, before another substitute in Jemma Tewkesbury somehow managed to put the rebound wide from just a few yards out.
 
That proved to be the last moment of note for either side as Yeovil move to fourth in the table, following two wins on the bounce.
 
London Bees: Sophie Harris, Paula Howells, Billie Brooks, Samantha Chappell, Anneka Nuttall, Amy Cooper, Rebecca Anderson (sub Emma Davies 88mins), Amber Gaylor (sub Shanade Hopcroft 75mins), Dawn Mallett, Megan Goss, Lucy Loomes (sub Sydney Hinchcliffe 75mins).

Yeovil Town: Rachel Simkin, Kirsty Whitton, Jade Kirby, Shauna Cossens (sub Paige Stewart 24mins), Rachael Edwards, Natalie Haigh, Helen Bleazard, Jade Radburn-Lorton, Katie Cook (sub Vera Bernabe Payol 70mins), Sarah Wiltshire (sub Jemma Tewkesbury 82mins), Ellie Curson.

(Report by www.fawsl.com)

 
 

Women's Soccer Scene
Durham notch up second win  
 Women's Football News 25 Aug 2014
 
Millwall Lionesses 1 (Cole pen 10) Durham Women 2 (Dixon pen 3, Ness 21)
A penalty from Caroline Dixon and a powerful strike from Zoe Ness helped Durham to secure their second victory of the season in the FA WSL 2. 
 
It was Durham who started brightly, applying plenty of pressure to the hosts' back four through Yasmine Hardy and Beth Jennings. Capitalising on a defensive error by Millwall, Jennings was fouled to win the Wildcats a penalty duly converted by Dixon.
 
However Millwall found themselves back in the game seven minutes later when they converted a penalty of their own when Lily Agg was tugged back in the area. Anna Moorhouse, who was making her full debut for Durham, was unlucky not to have saved the penalty after guessing the correct way that Naomi Cole went.
 
Despite the setback, the Wildcats continued to hound their opposition and were having a lot of luck using the flanks to carve out opportunities. Emily Scott latched onto a break by Jennings but her shot was just wide; moments later the visitors won a free kick in a dangerous area but it failed to reach any of the Wildcats attackers.
 
Their hard work paid off in the 21st minute when Ness went on a commanding run and sealed it off with a fabulous finish to give the Wildcats a deserved 2-1 lead.
 
As the first half continued Durham were playing some of their best football this season and as well as creating opportunities up front, they were standing tall in defence. Both Sarah Wilson and Christon denied Millwall by getting a touch on the ball to deny the hosts' chances on goal.
 
Durham could have got themselves a third when Atkinson's cross into the box saw both Jennings and Hardy get a touch on the ball. The Wildcats' dominance was showing as Lillie Fenlon-Billson, who starred in the earlier fixture at New Ferens Park, had to drop back in order to get herself into the game.
 
The second half saw Durham continue in the same vein and their first opportunity came just two minutes into the half. Atkinson's searching cross almost met the head of Jennings but she could not get enough on it to direct it goalwards. Ness could have got a second goal when Atkinson's pullback found the Scotland U19 International but she dragged her effort wide of the post.
 
Jemma Purfield, making her first appearance since joining from Doncaster, entered the fray and had an immediate impact when latching on to Ness' pass to flash an effort across the face of goal. Jennings tried a speculative effort in the 62nd minute when the ball bounced in her favour, allowing the striker to pull off an overhead kick on goal that went well over the bar.
 
Whatever Millwall tried to throw at Durham, their defence was equal to the task with Wilson, Dixon, Jen King and Christon finding a way to block their attacks into the defence. On many occasions, Dixon was there with her head and Wilson produce a fantastic block at the death to deny Millwall when they found a sight of goal.
 
King went on a commanding run from defence, bringing the ball out of defence to send the ball forward to Jennings, only for the striker to be flagged offside.
 
Millwall were throwing the kitchen sink at Durham and despite appealing for a penalty in the final moments of the game, Durham held on to secure their second win in the WSL.
 
Durham Women: Anne Moorhouse, Ellie Christon, Yasmine Hardy (sub Jemma Purfield 45mins), Jennifer King, Sarah Wilson, Caroline Dixon, Beth Hepple, Emily Scott, Zoe Ness, Beth Jennings (sub Lauren Jordinson 81mins), Jordan Atkinson.

(Report by www.fawsl.com)

 
 

Women's Soccer Scene
Villa keep up improving run  
 Women's Football News 25 Aug 2014
 
Aston Villa 1 (Wilkinson 12) Watford 0
Aston Villa produced an awesomely assured performance to see off Watford and beat them 1-0 at Sutton Coldfield. 
 
Katie Wilkinson's goal was the decisive moment as she charged down keeper Lauren Davey with the ball flying directly into the net. The 1-0 scoreline, however, doesn't really do Joe Hunt's side justice as they played slick, incisive football for long periods with Emma Follis a constant menace on the wing.
 
It could have been a very different story if referee Simon Barrow had awarded a goal to the visitors on five minutes. Kim Farrow crossed from the right and Stacie Donnelly produced a stunning drive which cracked against the bar and down to the ground. The Hornets players and management screamed for a goal but the referee waved away the protests.
 
The hosts shifted gear from that moment and produced a mighty display. On 12 minutes, Follis headed wide while well placed but that disappointment was short lived.
 
Seconds later, Wilkinson took a chance by attacking a Davey clearance - it worked beautifully as the ball ricocheted home.
 
The hosts should have extended their lead before the break but a catalogue of chances went begging. On 20 minutes Wilkinson collected the ball in the middle ground and deliciously found Follis but the wing wonder's shot was straight at the keeper. Two minutes later, Villa had a double chance - Jade Richards miskicked in the box six yards out and then Wilkinson's follow up was brilliantly blocked by Chloe Gunn.
 
Wilkinson and Follis were proving to be double trouble for the visitors at this point as their pace, poise and power reigned supreme. Wilkinson's throughball to Follis on 28 minutes was too strong as the wide player flew forward while the striker fired over from ten yards out a moment later.
 
Keeper Davey had to be at her athletic best to tip over Follis's left foot curling drive on 36 minutes and just before the half time whistle, Wilkinson's free kick from 25 yards crashed against the crossbar and over. In between times, Watford's Emma Beckett tried her luck with a stunning strike from just outside the box but Caitlin Leach made a fine stop.
 
John Salomon, the visitors' boss, had his players in a huddle just before the restart - perhaps evidence of his desire to see them impose themselves more on the contest. It worked as the Hornets came back strongly after the break.
 
It was a much more even contest although the best opportunities still fell to the hosts. Wikinson's shot from the left side of the box was expertly saved just after the hour mark while moments before the final whistle, Dani Petrovic should have doubled the advantage, heading wide at the back post with the goal at her mercy.
 
The skipper won't have been too concerned though as the maximum haul ensured the team's fourth win on the spin. 
 
Aston Villa: Caitlin Leach, Hayley Crackle, Chloe Jones, Sherry McCue, Dani Petrovic, Jade Richards, Emma Follis, Maddy Cusack, Katie Wilkinson, Sarah Mayling (sub Lauren Walker 64mins)], Alicia Robinson. Subs not used: Carly Davies, Chloe Beattie, Elisha N'Dow, Olivia Fergusson, Beth Merrick, Natasha Baptiste.

Watford: Lauren Davey, Ellie Butterwick, Chloe Gunn, Josie Green, Renee Hector, Leighanne Robe, Emma Beckett (sub Ella Hill 68mins), Stacie Donnelly (sub Paige Logie 62mins), Kate Natkiel (sub Hollie Wride 79mins), Megan Wynne, Kim Farrow. Subs not used: Shayla Burgess.

(Report by www.fawsl.com)

 
 

Women's Soccer Scene
Academy add to Everton worries  
 Women's Football News 24 Aug 2014
 
Bristol Academy 5 (Natalia pen 3,10, Watts 38,72, Yorston 60)
Everton 2 (K.Jones 23, Chaplen 35)

Bristol Academy picked up three vital points but added to Everton's worries at the bottom of the WSL1 table. 
 
Five points had separated the teams going into the match but despite a first half fightback from Andy Spence's side, Academy produced a fine display of finishing to catapult themselves into a mid-table position.
 
The home side were handed the best possible start when, with just three minutes on the clock, Loren Dykes drove into the area and was tripped by Fern Whelan. Natalia Pablos Sanchon stepped up to send Rachel Brown-Finnis the wrong way from the penalty spot to give her side the lead.
 
Alex Greenwood drove over the bar from long range but Academy's fast start to the game brought further reward on the ten minute mark. Natalia intercepted a goal kick from Brown-Finnis and made her way to the edge of the area where she was denied by a good saving tackle from Lindsay Johnson. However the respite was only temporary for Everton, they were caught flat footed by the resulting corner which was taken short and Angharad James whipped in a cross which was not dealt with and Natalia fired home from six yards on the turn.
 
Kelly Jones was narrowly off target at the other end but Academy were constantly beating the Everton offside trap with Natalia and Natasha Harding being released down either flank. Harding was close to a third goal as she broke down the right and drilled an angled shot which went just past the far post.
 
However a minute later, Everton were back in the game with a fine strike of their own. Danielle Turner sent in a deep cross beyond the far post where Kelly Jones was waiting to fire a perfectly executed volley past Mary Earps and into the roof of the net.
 
A good move saw Academy go close again, Jaz Matthews' pass was dummied by Natalia and this allowed Harding through but her curling shot was just wide. Academy's midfield duo of James and Sophie Ingle were showing little signs of fatigue from playing for Wales against England less than 48 hours earlier as they dictated possession in the centre of midfield.
 
Everton had been inspired by the goal though and an even better strike was to get them on level terms. Brooke Chaplen picked up the ball midway in the Bristol half and carried the ball forward before unleashing a powerful shot which sailed past Earps for the equaliser.
 
Parity lasted for just three minutes though with Academy conjuring up a stunning response. Nikki Watts received the ball 30 yards from goal and her attempted lob to beat Brown-Finnis was judged to perfection, the ball dipping under the bar with the Everton keeper stranded.
 
Everton could have been level again two minutes later, after good work from Johnson who retrieved the ball from a Michelle Hinnigan corner. Johnson laid the ball back to Turner whose shot from the edge of the area rattled the bar.
 
After a first half in which both teams looked like scoring almost every time they attacked, things inevitably tightened up more after the break and it was Academy who seized the initiative as the hour mark approached.
 
Natalia slid a neat pass to put Harding through on goal but the Welsh international striker was denied by Brown-Finnis, who came off her line to block the shot with her legs.
 
A minute later though, the England goalkeeper was given no chance as Natalia once again was the creator, playing in Corinne Yorston who lifted her shot over Brown-Finnis and in off the underside of the bar.
 
The goal appeared to deflate the Everton players and Academy took further advantage with another excellent goal. A good passing move involving several players culminated with Grace McCatty crossing from the right and Watts steered the ball home for her second goal.
 
It could have been worse for Everton a minute later as Johnson slipped and Harding picked up the loose ball but Megan Walsh, who had earlier come on for the injured Brown-Finnis, was able to save. Johnson deflected a Natalia cross onto her own post and Turner made a superb goal line clearance to deny Dykes as an Academy side, with their confidence restored, finished the game well on top. 
 
Bristol Academy: Mary Earps, Grace McCatty, Corinne Yorston, Jaz Matthews, Jemma Rose, Sophie Ingle (sub Alex Windell 87mins), Natalia Pablos Sanchon, Angharad James (sub Frankie Brown 69mins), Natasha Harding (sub Gabrielle Bird 75mins), Nikki Watts, Loren Dykes. Subs not used: Cristina Vega Leandro, Laura Del Rio, Alice Evans, Georgia Evans.

Everton: Rachel Brown-Finnis (sub Megan Walsh 70mins), Vicky Jones, Alex Greenwood, Brooke Chaplen, Fern Whelan (sub Lucy Whipp 65mins), Lindsay Johnson, Danielle Turner, Michelle Hinnigan, Nikita Parris, Simone Magill (sub Paige Williams 52mins), Kelly Jones. Subs not used: Amy Kane, Gabrielle George, Millie Turner, Lauren Davies.

Photos:

(top) Lindsay Johnson slides in to make a great tackle on Natasha Harding
(middle) Grace McCatty in a chase for the ball with Simone Magill
(bottom) Mary Earps catches under pressure from Kelly Jones

 
 

Women's Soccer Scene
Sunderland fight back for vital point  
 Women's Football News 24 Aug 2014
 
Reading FC Women 1 (Kirby 41) Sunderland 1 (Furness 58)
Sunderland grabbed a precious draw in their quest for promotion with a second half equaliser away to Reading. 
 
Second best for much of the opening half, the Black Cats showed why they are unbeaten in WSL 2 with a determined second half showing which blunted the threat from the home side and mounted sustained pressure on the Reading defence. A goal from Rachel Furness cancelled out Fran Kirby's 42nd minute opener, both efforts being strikes of the highest order.
 
Lois Roche had a very good chance to open the score on two minutes but blasted over from eight yards after Kirby got free on the left. Reading were moving the ball round very effectively and the visitors were penned back for most of the first quarter of an hour. Roche sent a 25-yard free kick just over Rachael Laws' bar and Bonnie Horwood's header went wide from a corner.
 
A run from Furness won a corner on 15 minutes, the first time Sunderland had approached Nicky Davies' goal. Despite some well constructed moves by the Royals, Sunderland were looking strong in defence. Kirby was the main threat, driving into the area before curling a shot just wide on 38 minutes.
 
Four minutes later, the England international opened the scoring with a moment of class. Molly Bartrip did well to retrieve a loose ball from a corner and find Kirby wide on the left. Speeding past two challenges, Kirby moved along the 18-yard line before curling a right foot strike wide of Laws' dive.
 
Sunderland returned with renewed aggression and dominated right from the restart. Davies tipped over their first effort on target after 50 minutes but the equaliser was not long in coming. A free kick was awarded wide on the right and from Vicky Greenwell's lofted ball, Reading could only partially clear under pressure from Keira Ramshaw and Furness was on hand to bury the bouncing ball from ten yards.
 
Furness went close from distance as Sunderland pressed whilst Beth Mead was denied by a fine save by Davies from a sweetly hit volley on 75 minutes. Reading tried hard to regain some momentum but were unable to break down the Black Cats' defence. Shelly Cox sent in an inviting cross but
Melissa Fletcher's header was off target.
 
Later on Kirby was denied by a fine Greenwell tackle as she went to shoot but in truth, these were isolated sights of goal. Sunderland saw out time comfortably and kept the Reading defence fully occupied with their strength in the air and constant pressing when not in possession.
 
Sunderland were able to keep their unbeaten League record despite not being at their best whilst Reading will regret not being able to sustain their fine first half display. 
 
Reading FC Women: Nicola Davies, Rebecca Jane, Shelly Cox, Georgie Giddings, Molly Bartrip, Kirsty McGee, Bonnie Horwood, Lauren Bruton, Lois Roche (sub Cheryl Williams 66mins), Fran Kirby, Rebekah Haines (sub Melissa Fletcher 34mins). Subs not used: Grace Moloney, Laura May Walkley, Bianca Bragg, Alex Keown, Harriet Scott.

Sunderland: Rachael Laws, Abby Holmes, Vicki Greenwell, Steph Bannon, Hayley Sharp, Rachel Furness, Keira Ramshaw (sub Emma Kelly 79mins), Kelly McDougall, Beth Mead, Rebekah Bass (sub Megan Beer 86mins), Sophie Williams. Subs not used: Helen Alderson, Elizabeth McCubbin, Gemma Wilson, Lauren Briggs, Abbey Joice.

(Report by Patrick Higgins)

Photos by Susan Gutteridge:

(top) Abby Holmes holds off a challenge from Georgie Giddings
(bottom) Sophie Williams gets in a shot for Sunderland


 
 

Women's Soccer Scene
Cheltenham aim to continue progress  
 Women's Football News 23 Aug 2014
 
Cheltenham Town take their first ever steps into the FA Women's Premier League on Sunday following a busy summer which promises an exciting future. 
 
The Gloucestershire side finished as runners-up in the South West League last season, earning themselves a promotion place to the Premier League in the process. They have made a number of new signings to their squad and have made closer links to the men's club, earning praise from chairman Paul Baker.
 
They will now be able to use a club minibus for away games and are hoping to move their matches to Seasons, where the men's squad train. In September, Cheltenham are due to play their home game against Forest Green Rovers at Whaddon Road. All of this is really going to help them progress and attract even more new players across both squads in the coming years.
 
In terms of new players, Cheltenham have signed Leanne Godwin and Emily Skipp from Gloucester City, Jenny Brown-Wealls from C & K Basildon and Laura McGlone from Swindon Town. In total, the club has welcomed 13 new players who will strengthen the First team and Development squads. The club has a One Team philosophy and everyone plays for the CTLFC "No More Page 3" shirt.
 
As well as a busy pre-season with games against Cardiff City FC, Gloucester City and a "No More Page 3" derby against Nottingham Forest Reserves, the website at www.CTLFC.com has been further developed and they have a good following on their Facebook page and Twitter account @CTLadies.
 
Both squads are raring to go this season and the aims are to build on what was achieved during the last campaign and continue to build links with Cheltenham Town FC. This will enable them to build the foundations for the future rise of the club.
 
Cheltenham Town's first ever Premier League match is at home to Chichester City at Newlands Park this Sunday (2pm kick off).

 
 

Women's Soccer Scene
Shanklin in transition  
 Women's Football News 23 Aug 2014
 
Shanklin Ladies are very proud to be the only Isle of Wight ladies team and to be playing in the newly formed South West Division One of the FA Women's Premier League. 
 
Having secured a mid-table place last season in the South West Combination, they are looking forward to the challenge ahead. The players have a long season travelling many miles as far as Exeter, Swindon as well as closer to home in Southampton and Chichester, culminating in players having the opportunity to represent the Isle of Wight in the NatWest Island Games XVI Jersey 2015.
 
The Club is in a state of major transition - after eight years of great service the Reserve Team manager has stepped down and a number of players have retired. This has given the opportunity for a number of younger players and the reserves look set for an exciting season with a new look side. Any ladies (all abilities very welcome) interested in returning to the sport or fancy giving the game a try please get in contact, see contact details below.
 
The ladies have re-started a youth section spanning ages 7-15 in an attempt to bridge the gap between school and club football. Volunteers from within the ladies section including players have worked hard to get this going. The younger age groups are looking for friendlies and are about to begin a inter-club competition (more players welcome - contact our Secretary Julie Woodhouse on (07794) 448265 or email jsw56@hotmail.co.uk) . The Under-15s have formed a team to enter the Winchester and District Girls League and we are all looking forward to an exciting season.
 
Off the pitch the Club has suffered a turbulent time. With the improvement in performance for the first team after a major promotion, the demands upon the club have dramatically increased. The travelling costs are far greater than they have ever been, whilst the new League now demands a pitch barrier, dugouts and facility improvements. These are all financial challenges on an already stretched budget. With the excitement generated over the years of promoting girls/ladies football, the club are now looking for support to maintain the dramatic rise in interest in female football on the Isle of Wight.
 
Anyone interested in sponsoring, supporting, coaching, playing or just watching the team on a Sunday, please contact Julie on (07794) 448265 or e-mail jsw56@hotmail.co.uk or visit the website www.shanklinfc.co.uk for match reports and fixtures.

 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
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PLAYERS WANTED

 
Gedling Town Ladies
 
are looking for experienced and committed players aged 16 or over to help strengthen our current squad following our promotion to the East Midlands Women's Regional Premier Division. We would like to invite you to one of our training sessions where we guarantee you a warm welcome.
Training is held at 8pm on Thursday evenings at Colwick Recreation Ground Mile End Road Colwick Nottingham NG4 2DW

 
Sarah Wright: 0776 475 8389


 
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