Millwall Lionesses 1 (Babajide 65) Bristol City 2 (Emslie 11,66)
Bristol City regained the leadership of WSL 2 when a goal in each half from Claire Emslie gave them an important win at Millwall Lionesses.
The visitors started brightly and could have taken the lead early when Olivia Fergusson struck the bar with a deft volley when she connected to Emslie's cross.
The Vixens took the lead in the 11th minute when Emslie stroked the ball home from five yards after a neat cut back by Chloe Arthur.
After the break it was a similar story and Flo Allen was unfortunate not to double the lead when her audacious dipping shot from 35 yards rattled the bar in the 54th minute.
The Lionesses grew in confidence and drew level in the 65th minute when the ball fell invitingly for Rinsola Babajide, just on as a substitute, who slotted into an empty net from six yards.
Emslie put the visitors back in the lead a minute later though, when her speculative curling effort from 25 yards nestled into the bottom left hand corner of Grace Taylor's net.
Millwall Lionesses: Grace Taylor, Leighanne Robe, Grace Fisk, Billie Brooks, Leanne Cowan, Lilli Maple, Amber Gaylor, Bonnie Horwood, Megan Wynne (sub Georgina Giddings 79mins), Ashlee Hincks (sub Rinsola Babajide 61mins), Lucy Loomes. Subs not used: Emily Heaslip, Jordon Butler, Charlotte Gurr.
Bristol City: Caitlin Leach, Megan Alexander, Grace McCatty, Chloe Arthur, Hayley Ladd, Olivia Fergusson (sub Emily Syme 80mins), Claire Emslie (sub Paige Sawyer 90mins), Flo Allen (sub Ellie Wilson 79mins), Jodie Brett, Charlie Estcourt, Georgia Evans. Subs not used: Hannah Reid, Katie Jones.
(Report by www.fawsl.com)
Doncaster Rovers Belles 0 Birmingham City 1 (Linnett 61)
Birmingham City are within three points of the top of WSL 1 after substitute Kirsty Linnett gave them the points against a Doncaster Rovers Belles side which suffered another narrow defeat.
After a first half low on chances, Birmingham went ahead just after the hour, Linnett slotting home past Nicola Hobbs just thirty seconds after coming on.
Worse was to come for the Belles when influential striker Jess Sigsworth went down with a knee injury and appeared to make matters worse when she tried to return to the field - Belles had already lost Emily Simpkins in the first half.
Katrin Omarsdottir was twice denied one-on-one by Sophie Baggaley and Christie Murray missed a late chance to leave the Belles winless in the league and bottom of the table, whilst the Blues kept their ninth clean sheet in eleven matches.
Doncaster Rovers Belles: Nicola Hobbs, Sophie Barker, Rhiannon Roberts, Leandra Little, Maz Pacheco, Emily Simpkins (sub Sam Tierney 43mins), Kasia Lipka, Carla Humphrey, Katrin Omarsdottir, Jess Sigsworth (sub Lauren Cresswell 81mins), Christie Murray. Subs not used: Anna Moorhouse, Yasmin Mosby, Rachel Newborough, Marta Bakowska-Mathews, Sue Smith.
Birmingham City: Sophie Baggaley, Aoife Mannion, Emily Westwood, Jess Carter, Chloe Peplow, Connie Scofield, Andrine Hegerberg, Abbey Leigh Stringer, Kerys Harrop, Isobelle Linden (sub Kirsty Linnett 60mins), Charlie Wellings (sub Cheryl Edwards 90mins). Subs not used: Ann-Katrin Berger, Sian Johnson.
(Report by www.fawsl.com)
Everton 1 (M.Turner 20) Sheffield FC 1 (Dale 48)
Everton were dealt a setback to their promotion challenge when they were held to a draw by Sheffield FC, whose improvement continues.
The deadlock was broken when Millie Turner rose above her marker to head home Michelle Hinnigan's corner. Sheffield responded well to going behind and created two chances of their own shortly afterwards. First, Rhema Lord-Mears fired narrowly wide before Jodie Michalska was denied by Kirstie Levell.
After the break, the visitors drew level in the 48th minute when a flowing move resulted in Hannah Dale slotting home from ten yards out.
Following the equaliser, both sides pushed for a winner. Claudia Walker saw her shot fly agonisingly wide of Juliana Draycott's goal, while at the other end Michalska could not get a clean connection on the ball from a few yards out.
Chloe Dixon then dragged a shot inches wide before Carla Ward headed off the line to deny Megan Finnigan as the two sides shared the points.
Everton: Kirstie Levell, Vicky Jones, Millie Turner (sub Gabby George 68mins), Georgia Brougham, Danielle Turner, Michelle Hinnigan, Megan Finnigan, Kelly Jones (sub Jenna Dear 73mins), Claudia Walker (sub Krystle Johnston 68mins), Chloe Kelly, Rosella Ayane. Subs not used: Alex Brooks, Gabby George, Emily Hollinshead, Lauren Davies.
Sheffield FC: Juliana Draycott, Sarah Jackson, Billie Murphy, Carla Ward, Ellie Gilliatt (sub Chloe Dixon 68mins), Sherry McCue, Hannah Dale, Jodie Michalska, Emma Johnson, Rhema Lord-Mears (sub Sophie Jones 58mins), Chelsea Flanagan. Subs not used: Claire Wallhead, Olivia Wild, Kirsty Hanson, Kenedy Owen.
(Report by www.fawsl.com)
Millwall Lionesses are pleased to announce Lee Burch as their new First Team Manager until the end of the season.
Lee says: "I'm absolutely delighted to be joining Millwall Lionesses. It was a job role I was interested in from the moment I saw it. I had already been to watch the team vs Bristol City a few weeks ago and I was impressed with their performance, attitude and the whole set up of the day."
Lee previously spent seven years on the south coast working within Southampton and Hampshire's Centre of Excellence, developing female players for the elite pathway. He has also worked within the FA as a Skills Coach for nine years whilst gaining valuable managerial experience in men's non-league football. He is the holder of the UEFA A Licence, FA Youth Award as well as the UEFA B Goalkeeper qualification.
Burch continued: "The objectives are clear- to start to get the results and points on the board that the performances have warranted. The players and staff have remained positive and now we must get those rewards."
The club would like to thank Lauren and Andy for all of their hard work over the last couple of weeks and months. Lauren will continue her role as First Team Coach working alongside Lee and Andy will continue with the development squad.
Oxford Utd 0 Everton 1 (Hollinshead 76)
Substitute Emily Hollinshead scored the only goal of the game to give Everton an important victory in their quest for promotion from WSL 2.
The game began brightly with Everton having the better of the early possession and Rosella Ayane unleashed a shot from 25 yards which was fingertipped wide by Demi Lambourne. Oxford's team had been decimated by injuries and unavailability, particularly in the centre of midfield where they fielded defenders Riva Casley and Laura Rafferty. Nevertheless, the U's worked hard whilst Everton were probing on the ball.
A clever move saw Millie Turner's long diagonal ball forward cushioned across the face of the area by Michelle Hinnigan for Chloe Kelly who drove her shot wide. Kelly again fired over the bar after Krystle Johnston had headed on a cross by Vicky Jones.
Oxford's main threat was coming from the pace and power of Ini Umotong and the striker got in behind the defence as she chased a long ball forward and was hauled down on the edge of the area. Ellie Noble stepped up to take the resulting free kick but her effort was narrowly over the bar.
Everton continued to press but Oxford kept things tight and the visitors found it increasingly hard to break them down. Following good work by Ayane, Claudia Walker struck a shot which was well held by Lambourne who pulled off an even better save two minutes later, diving full length to keep out a firm effort from Krystle Johnston.
Johnston was inches off target with a snap shot from the edge of the area but a competitive, and often spicy, first half ended with the scoreline still goalless.
Everton made a substitution at half time with Gabby George coming on in the centre of defence and the England Under-19 international did an excellent job in the second half against the dangerous Umotong.
Nevertheless it was Oxford who had the first chance of the half and Umotong was heavily involved, powering into the visitors' half before her pass freed Ella Franklin-Fraiture on goal, however her shot lacked power and Kirstie Levell was able to save low down.
Opportunities were scarcer in the second half as both teams defended well, Everton still having the greater of possession and territory. Kelly played a good ball across the area for Johnston but she blazed her shot over the bar, and the frustration began to grow for Everton.
With fourteen minutes remaining, Everton won a corner on the right. Hinnigan floated her kick to the far post and after Kelly's header had been blocked, Hollinshead reacted quickly to touch home the rebound and put her side in front.
Everton almost grabbed a second from another corner with Millie Turner's header being blocked and then Jess Frampton cleared off the line to deny Ayane. Oxford had given their all but were unable to fashion another chance and Everton had ground out an important victory to keep themselves on the tails of the top two.
Oxford Utd: Demi Lambourne, Laura Nichol, Jess Frampton, Riva Casley, Madison Lee, Rosie Lane, Ini Umotong, Laura Rafferty, Ellie Noble, Ella Franklin-Fraiture, Georgia Timms (sub Sophie Baker 82mins). Subs not used: Hannah Cox, Charlie Deeley, Steph Weston.
Everton: Kirstie Levell, Vicky Jones, Danielle Turner, Kelly Jones, Georgia Brougham (sub Gabby George 45mins), Millie Turner, Krystle Johnston (sub Jenna Dear 67mins), Michelle Hinnigan, Claudia Walker (sub Emily Hollinshead 73mins), Chloe Kelly, Rosella Ayane. Subs not used: Alex Brooks, Megan Finnigan, Lauren Davies.
(top) Vicky Jones takes on Ella Franklin-Fraiture
(middle) Krystle Johnston is challenged by Jess Frampton
(bottom) Gabby George under pressure from Ini Umotong
Reading FC Women 1 (Fletcher 47) Birmingham City 1 (Linden 74)
Reading's search for an FA WSL 1 victory continues after a 1-1 home draw against Birmingham City.
Ahead early in the second half, Reading appeared for a while to be heading for a vital win, but were pegged back late on by a Blues team which created several good chances to take the points.
Freda Ayisi headed over from a Jess Carter cross early on for Birmingham whilst Melissa Fletcher shot straight at Ann-Katrin Berger when played in by an excellent Sophie Perry pass on 11 minutes. Perry had a 30-yard free kick held by Berger, then Becky Jane sent a dangerous low cross which just eluded Fletcher at the far post on 31 minutes.
Birmingham's best attack of the half came a minute later. Neat interplay between Isabelle Linden, Ayisi and Andrine Hegerberg set up Charlie Wellings for a crisp low shot which was well saved by Reading keeper Mary Earps. Linden then headed wide from another excellent Carter cross from the right as the visitors ended the half well, but the blank scoreline reflected play accurately.
Reading were ahead within two minutes of the restart. Fletcher was fouled on the left edge of the area and a short free kick released Emma Follis for a driven cross which was met perfectly by Fletcher for a close range headed finish.
Birmingham responded with increasingly dangerous intent. Kylie Davies made a crucial last ditch block to deny Linden, then Earps sprang to her right to turn away Hegerberg's curling shot after a short corner on 56 minutes.
Rachel Rowe had Reading's best effort of the half with a 25-yard effort just wide before Kerys Harrop set up the equaliser with a delightful cross from the left which Linden met with a firm downward header wide of Earps on 77 minutes.
Birmingham pressed on for the winner, Wellings being denied by a fine Earps save low to her left from another headed effort on 87 minutes. Blues had a good chance to win the match in the final seconds after good work by lively substitute Chloe Peplow but Linden sent a header over the bar from close range.
Both teams thus recorded their fifth draw of the season, so the outcome was probably predictable. Other results meant that Reading gained ground on teams around them so, despite losing the lead late on, the draw may prove to be important for the home team.
Reading FC Women: Mary Earps, Rebecca Jane, Kayleigh Hines, Kirsty McGee, Emma Follis (sub Remi Allen 74mins), Lauren Bruton, Jade Boho-Sayo (sub Nia Jones 80mins), Kylie Davies, Sophie Perry, Melissa Fletcher (sub Helen Ward 68mins), Rachel Rowe. Subs not used: Chloe Sansom, Molly Bartrip, Lois Roche, Laura May Walkley.
Birmingham City: Ann-Katrin Berger, Alex Windell, Jessica Carter, Kerys Harrop, Freda Ayisi (sub Connie Scofield 57mins), Isabelle Linden, Andrine Hegerberg, Abbey Leigh Stringer (sub Chloe Peplow 68mins), Mel Lawley, Charlie Wellings, Aoife Mannion. Subs not used: Sophie Baggaley, Cheryl Edwards, Corina Schroder, Coral-Jade Haines, Sian Johnson.
(Report by Patrick Higgins)
Photos by www.jamesprickett.co.uk:
(top) Jade Boho-Sayo shields the ball from Abbey Leigh Stringer
(middle) Mary Earps tries to gather under pressure from Kerys Harrop and Abbey Leigh Stringer
(bottom) Lauren Bruton shrugs off the attentions of Andrine Hegerberg
Notts County 1 (Clarke 48) Manchester City 5 (Ross 6,41, Scott 25, Stanway 45, Christiansen 74)
Manchester City returned to action with an emphatic victory at Meadow Lane which ensures that they stay on top of WSL 1.
The league leaders made a strong start to the game and took the lead with six minutes on the clock, Jane Ross stealing in to stab past Megan Walsh for the opening goal.
A short corner led to the second goal, Megan Campbell whipping in a cross for Jill Scott to head firmly home and Ross finished off a good move, curling in from the edge of the area to make it three.
City netted a fourth on the stroke of half time, from another corner which was initially headed away by Rachel Williams for Georgia Stanway whose effort took a deflection on its way into the top corner.
County were given a lifeline early in the second half when Williams was brought down in the area and Clarke scored from the penalty spot.
Both sides were dealt an injury blow with Abbie McManus and Fern Whelan each being stretchered off, before Izzy Christiansen crowned the win with a half volley sixteen minutes from time.
Notts County: Megan Walsh, Danielle Buet, Laura Bassett, Fern Whelan (sub Maja Krantz 71mins), Amy Turner, Jade Moore, Jo Potter, Leanne Crichton (sub Aivi Luik 78mins), Ellen White, Rachel Williams (sub Aileen Whelan 78mins), Jess Clarke. Subs not used: Angharad James, Alice Hassall.
Manchester City: Karen Bardsley, Lucy Bronze, Steph Houghton, Abbie McManus (sub Demi Stokes 63mins), Megan Campbell, Keira Walsh, Jill Scott, Izzy Christiansen (sub Tessel Middag 78mins), Nikita Parris, Jane Ross, Georgia Stanway (sub Toni Duggan 84mins). Subs not used: Marie Hourihan, Daphne Corboz, Zoe Tynan, Ella Toone.
Watford 0 Aston Villa 2 (Merrick 35, Baptiste 45)
Aston Villa cemented their position in the top half of the WSL 2 table and denied Watford the chance of a third straight home win with two goals shortly before half time.
The opening stages had been fairly evenly contested but ten minutes before the break, an unfortunate goalkeeping error gifted Villa the lead. Beth Merrick's cross from the right had looked to be going safely into Lucy Gillett's hands, only for the goalkeeper to misjudge and see the cross drift into her goal.
This pushed momentum firmly into Villa's path and just before half time, Natasha Baptiste doubled the lead with a lovely curling effort.
During a tamer second half, Baptiste had the best chances and could have had many more by the time the final whistle blew. Gillett was her foe on two occasions, denying the Villa striker with a couple of good saves.
A weak header from a Hannah George cross and some inaccurate shooting after a break by Nicola Potts also prevented Baptiste from adding to her tally.
Watford: Lucy Gillett, Nicole Pepper, Lauren Jordinson, Ruby Baxter, Phoebe Read, Anneka Nuttall, Ellie Mason, Giulia Ferrandi (sub Sahara Osborne-Ricketts 87mins), Jordan Littleboy, Anne-Laure Davy, Charlotte Kerr (sub Katie Stanley 77mins). Subs not used: Amber Tullett, Hannah Samuels.
Aston Villa: Grace Moloney, Amy West, Maddy Cusack, Katy Moran, Hannah George, Beth Merrick, Alys Hinchliffe (sub Nicola Potts 80mins), Kerri Welsh (sub Mollie Rouse 80mins), Grace Smith, Sarah Mayling, Tash Baptiste. Subs not used: Chloe Beattie, Hayley Crackle, Lucy Porter, Robyn Tallis, Elisha N'Dow.
(Report by www.fawsl.com)
Sheffield FC 2 (Lipman 44,70) Millwall Lionesses 2 (Hincks pen 21, Gurr 78)
Millwall Lionesses hit back to earn themselves an important point and prevent form team Sheffield FC from continuing their climb up the WSL 2 table.
Millwall started the game well and took the lead just before the midway point of the first half when leading scorer Ashlee Hincks successfully converted from the penalty spot.
The home side reacted well to going behind but it wasn't until a minute before half time that they managed to level the scores. After Jodie Michalska's shot had been well saved by Sarah Quantrill, Emma Lipman was on hand to tuck home the rebound for her first goal in three years.
Sheffield were to go in front for the first time with twenty minutes remaining - and lightning was to strike twice. Following a good build up, Lipman netted her second with a superb strike which gave Quantrill no chance.
Sheffield's joy was to last just eight minutes though, as Millwall came up with an equaliser. A short corner resulted in Hincks delivering a dangerous cross into the area and Charlotte Gurr turned the ball home from close range to give her side a share of the spoils.
Sheffield FC: Jules Draycott, Sherry McCue (sub Chloe Dixon 74mins), Danielle Cox (sub Sophie Jones 64mins), Billie Murphy, Ellie Gilliatt, Hannah Dale, Jodie Michalska, Carla Ward, Emma Lipman, Emma Johnson, Chelsea Flanagan. Subs not used: Claire Wallhead, Sarah Jackson, Rhema Lord-Mears, Olivia Wild, Kenedy Owen.
Millwall Lionesses: Sarah Quantrill, Billie Brooks, Leighanne Robe, Jordan Butler, Leanne Cowan, Lilli Maple (sub Charlotte Gurr 70mins), Bonnie Horwood, Ella Rutherford (sub Amber Gaylor 63mins), Megan Wynne, Rinsola Babajide (sub Lucy Loomes 76mins), Ashlee Hincks. Subs not used: Grace Fisk, Georgie Giddings, Leigh Nicol.
Chelsea 4 (Aluko 13,84, Ji So-Yun 69, England 89) Doncaster Rovers Belles 0
Chelsea rediscovered their winning form with a four-goal blast which gets their title challenge back on track.
The Blues had had a little stutter in recent matches but the result was not really in doubt after Eniola Aluko gave them the lead early in the first half.
The Belles made it through to the half time at just 1-0 and could have had an equaliser in the 54th minute when Carla Humphrey shot straight at goalkeeper Rebecca Spencer.
Substitute Gemma Davison then helped put the game beyond the visitors' reach as she got free and squared to Ji So-Yun for Chelsea's second midway through the second half.
Aluko added a third, a thumping right footed effort, before Beth England's close range effort in the 89th minute rounded off the scoring against her former club.
Chelsea: Rebecca Spencer, Niamh Fahey, Gilly Flaherty, Millie Bright, Ana Borges, Ji So-Yun, Karen Carney (sub Miri Taylor 82mins), Jade Bailey (sub Gemma Davison 59mins), Claire Rafferty (sub Hannah Blundell 53mins), Eniola Aluko, Beth England. Subs not used: Frances Kitching, Zoe Cross.
Doncaster Rovers Belles: Nicola Hobbs, Sophie Barker, Rhiannon Roberts, Samantha Tierney, Mayumi Pacheco, Kasia Lipka (sub Lauren Cresswell 74mins), Katrin Omarsdottir (sub Marta Bakowska-Mathews 82mins), Emily Simpkins, Carla Humphrey (sub Sue Smith 70mins), Christie Murray, Jessica Sigsworth. Subs not used: Anna Moorhouse, Rachel Newborough, Yasmin Mosby.
(Report by www.fawsl.com)
Yeovil Town 4 (Wiltshire 5, Bleazard 16, Heatherson 87,88) Durham Women 0
Yeovil Town ensured that they made a quick return to the summit of WSL 2 with a display of clinical finishing on an emotional day for leading scorer Sarah Wiltshire.
The Welsh international striker scored her side's opening goal before announcing after the game that she will be missing the remainder of the season due to pregnancy.
The visitors barely had time to acclimatise to their surroundings before Yeovil took the lead, Wiltshire lifting the ball over Durham goalkeeper Helen Alderson from the edge of the area. Helen Bleazard almost added a second moments later, only for Alderson to tip her effort onto the bar and over.
Falling behind seemed to buoy the Wildcats, with Emily Roberts firing over from close range before the same player fed Sarah McFadden who fired straight at Beth Howard.
Despite these chances, Durham found themselves two down on 16 minutes as Bleazard fired home a free kick from the edge of the area.
This didn't deter the visitors though, who continued to push forward - Beth Hepple twice testing Howard while Natalie Gutteridge fired over from the edge of the area.
There was a chance for the Glovers to add a third before the break as Bleazard was adjudged to have been brought down in the area. Helen Alderson, however, had other ideas and repelled Wiltshire's spot kick before denying the same player from the edge of the area minutes later.
The second half saw Durham push forward seeking the goal that would bring them back into the game. Gutteridge just couldn't convert Jordan Atkinson's cross from close range, while Beth Hepple was agonisingly close as she saw her powerful effort cannon off the underside of the bar.
Yeovil were still creating chances though, and Alderson did well to keep out Nadia Lawrence's effort and Ann Marie Heatherson's follow up. Becky Salicki then did well to tackle Lawrence as she threatened to pull the trigger before Danielle Carlton fired over from distance.
There was to be a third for the hosts as Heatherson reacted quickest to turn home a cross at the far post. The same player then added a fourth moments later as she latched on to a long ball and lobbed it over the head of Alderson.
Yeovil Town: Beth Howard, Kayleigh Green, Hannah Short, Nicola Cousins, Helen Bleazard, Ellie Curson, Steph Williams (sub Jessie Jones 74mins), Danielle Carlton (sub Natasha Knapman 83mins), Kelly Snook, Sarah Wiltshire (sub Nadia Lawrence 64mins), Ann Marie Heatherson. Subs not used: Kelly Aldridge, Emily Donovan, Lauren Townsend, Charlotte Haynes.
Durham Women: Helen Alderson, Ellie Christon, Sarah Wilson, Becky Solicki, Emily Roberts, Sarah McFadden, Rachel Lee, Jordan Atkinson (sub Sarah Eadon 81mins), Beth Hepple, Nicola Gibson (sub Annabel Johnson 32mins), Natalie Gutteridge (sub Tyler Dodds 73mins). Sub not used: Chloe Macek.
(Report by www.fawsl.com)
Photo: Jordan Atkinson takes on Nicola Cousins (Susan Gutteridge).
Sunderland 0 Arsenal 4 (Losada 10, Nobbs 24, Carter 49, Williams pen 53)
Arsenal kept themselves in the WSL title race with an emphatic victory over Sunderland, who remain just ahead of the bottom two places.
Sunderland started brightly at the Hetton Centre but it was the Gunners who took a tenth minute lead. Danielle Carter got the better of Victoria Williams in the home area, the Sunderland defender bringing her down, with the referee awarding a penalty. Fara Williams saw her spot kick beaten out by Rachael Laws but Vicky Losada followed up to bury the rebound high into the net.
The goal of the match came from Jordan Nobbs, combining superbly with Danielle van de Donk before beating Laws with a delightful finish off the outside of her right foot.
Sunderland youngster Madelaine Hill went inches wide but Arsenal continued to have better chances with Nobbs hitting the post and Casey Stoney shooting over.
Carter put the result beyond doubt early in the second half as she finished emphatically into Laws' top left hand corner from Dominique Janssen's cross and Williams buried a 53rd minute penalty after Danielle Brown caught van de Donk.
Nobbs almost brought the curtain down on a virtuoso display against her former club with a last minute volley, which just cleared the bar.
Sunderland: Rachael Laws, Danielle Brown, Hayley Sharp, Steph Bannon, Victoria Williams, Abby Holmes, Lucy Staniforth (sub Kelly McDougall 86mins), Rachel Furness (sub Charlotte Potts 58mins), Madelaine Hill (sub Stephanie Roche 58mins), Brooke Chaplen, Beth Mead. Subs not used: Hilde Olsen, Megan Beer, Keira Ramshaw, Emma Kelly.
Arsenal: Sari van Veenendaal, Alex Scott (sub Marta Corredera 68mins), Casey Stoney, Jemma Rose, Doninique Janssen, Jordan Nobbs, Fara Williams (sub Emma Mitchell 61mins), Vicky Losada, Danielle van de Donk (sub Katie McCabe 73mins), Natalia Pablos Sanchon, Danielle Carter. Subs not used: Sian Rogers, Rianna Dean, Lotte Wubben-Moy, Asisat Oshoala.
(Report by www.fawsl.com)
Bristol City 3 (Brett 6, Cooper og 11, Estcourt 78) London Bees 0
Bristol City went top of WSL 2 after two early goals fired them towards victory over London Bees at Stoke Gifford.
The home side were quickly into their stride and were rewarded when Jodie Brett fired them in front with six minutes on the clock, drilling a powerful shot from 25 yards which went in off a post.
Things got worse for the Bees just five minutes later as a mix up from a free kick saw them concede a corner, which was taken quickly and Claire Emslie's cross was diverted into her own net by Deanna Cooper.
City continued to power forward with Emslie having a shot saved by Sophie Harris and Grace McCatty went close to netting a third when her far post header from a Brett corner was just off target.
London Bees gradually began to come more into the game and they produced their first effort on goal, a low strike from Jo Wilson which was gathered by Caitlin Leach, but at the other end two minutes later, a good build up ended with Chloe Arthur working herself an opening before dragging her shot wide.
Leach was called into action again with a save from Cooper's header but it was the Vixens who finished the first half on top, going closest when Emslie fired wide after latching onto a pass from Flo Allen.
The Bees needed to find a way back into the game as the second half started and it nearly came within two minutes of the restart. Evdokia Popadinova did well to shake off the attentions of Frankie Brown before clipping a neat cross over to the far post for an unmarked Ashleigh Goddard but it was fractionally too high for the Bees skipper and she could only send her header over the bar.
City responded with Olivia Fergusson heading narrowly wide from an Emslie cross and Charlie Estcourt having a shot charged down but the Bees were looking more of a threat going forward in the second half and Nikki Watts brought out a save from Leach.
Emslie had been in fine form out wide for City and she was involved as they scored a match clinching goal with twelve minutes remaining. After cutting in from the left, her shot was blocked by Cooper but the ball ran loose for Estcourt whose strike took a slight deflection before looping over Harris.
Emslie was inches wide with a powerful strike a minute later and Megan Alexander forced a good save from Harris after being put through by Allen, as City rounded off a win which keeps their promotion challenge on course.
Bristol City: Caitlin Leach, Flo Allen, Megan Alexander, Jodie Brett (sub Ellie Wilson 82mins), Grace McCatty, Frankie Brown (sub Hayley Ladd 71mins), Chloe Arthur, Georgia Evans, Charlie Estcourt, Olivia Fergusson (sub Paige Sawyer 76mins), Claire Emslie. Subs not used: Hannah Reid, Rhian Cleverly, Katie Jones.
London Bees: Sophie Harris, Aoife Hurley, Danielle Scanlon (sub Sydney Hinchcliffe 64mins), Rebecca Anderson, Deanna Cooper, Emma Beckett, Evdokia Popadinova, Ashleigh Goddard, Jo Wilson, Nikki Watts, Paula Howells (sub Evie Clarke 78mins). Subs not used: Imogen Riches, Holly Greenwood, Andria Georgiou, Merrick Will, Bethan Davies.
(top) Flo Allen makes a challenge on Paula Howells
(middle) Charlie Estcourt goes close with a second half effort
(bottom) Claire Emslie shields the ball from Aoife Hurley
SWPL 1 league leaders Glasgow City have made their second mid-season signing swoop with the capture of former US youth international Haley Rosen.
Following on from the signing of Irish Under-19 international defender Keeva Keenan, City have signed Rosen, a Stanford University stand out who played a crucial role in her team's NCAA campaign to the last eight at the end of 2015. Following her graduation from Stanford this year, Rosen signed for NWSL Washington Spirit Reserves and leaves them to join City.
The 5' 9" Rosen can play in midfield or attack and adds more strength and depth to Scott Booth's talented squad. Commenting on signing Haley, Booth said: "We are delighted to announce the signing of Haley Rosen. Glasgow City are continually trying to bring in the best footballing talent whether home or abroad and Haley will strengthen our squad considerably. Haley and Keeva Keenan will be great signings for the club and we wish them every success."
Rosen added: "I am so excited for the incredible opportunity to be a member of Glasgow City. I am so grateful to the club for believing in me as a player and as a person, and I can't wait to wear the Glasgow orange."
Oxford United have been awarded a walkover from their unplayed FA Women's Super League 2 match away to Millwall Lionesses.
The fixture had been due to take place in May at The Den, but was postponed because the stadium was being used for a men's game.
The FA WSL Management Committee discussed the matter at a recent meeting, where it was decided that the tie would be awarded to Oxford United and the the match would not be played.
Millwall Lionesses have announced that they are appealing the decision.
England's final home UEFA Euro 2017 qualifier will be played at Notts County's Meadow Lane stadium.
The Lionesses, who are aiming to top Group Seven, will play Estonia on Thursday 15th September (7.05pm KO). England have already qualified for next summer's tournament, which will take place in Netherlands, after beating Serbia 7-0 in Stara Pazova in June.
Tickets are priced £7.50 for adults and £3.50 for children. A family ticket is available, via phone booking only, priced £15 (two adults and two children) while group booking discounts apply. Tickets can be bought via TheFA.com/Tickets or by calling (0115) 955 7210.
England beat Estonia 8-0 in the reverse fixture in September 2015, with debut goals from Izzy Christiansen and Danielle Carter, who scored a hat-trick on her only senior appearance to date.
Notts County captain and England defender Laura Bassett said: "Meadow Lane is a fantastic stadium and I can't wait to go there with England.
"There is a real support for and interest in women's football in Nottingham. Hopefully having an international match here will help us to build on that and that we attract a good crowd too.
"We're determined to top this qualifying group to give ourselves the best possible chance of success at next summer's tournament as well as getting a win in front of our supporters in our last home qualifier."
Matthew Alexander, chief executive of Notts County Ladies, said: "It's an honour for Notts County Ladies Football Club to be able to welcome the national side to our stadium.
"Domestically, we have one of the highest attendances in the League and this is a fantastic opportunity to get the fans into Meadow Lane and demonstrate the support that the city of Nottingham has for women's football."
Nottingham was named the first ever City of Football in September 2014 by Sport England and received £1.6m to get more people in the area playing football regularly.
The pilot scheme also has particular focus on encouraging more girls and women to play football, along with promoting the local FA WSL and FA WPL clubs, and supporting the women's game as a whole.
Leafield Athletic Ladies FC are delighted to announce the appointment of Tom Blaymires as First Team Manager/Coach.
Tom is a young manager with a successful track record in junior football and will be hoping to continue that success in the women's game. Tom will be assisted by his father Mark as they look to replicate their successful partnership at the Solihull based club.
"Following relegation after many years in the FAWPL, we have had to take stock of our position as a club and a squad and set realistic objectives for the future," said club secretary Michelle McCormack. "It was obvious following our first meeting with Tom and Mark that they shared our vision and philosophy and we are sure that they will be successful in embedding these into the very young and new First Team squad we are assembling."
"I just want to say a big thank you on behalf of myself and my coaching staff for the opportunity that has been given to us by this fantastic club with a great history," added Tom Blaymires. "Even though we can learn a lot from the past, my job is to write the future and lay the foundations for a brand of football that will excite players and fans alike, so buckle your seat belts! Football is a team game and that is exactly what I plan on creating.....a TEAM that this club can be proud of."
These are exciting times to be part of Leafield as season 2016-17 will see them return to their Rumbush Lane home, now known as Dickens Heath Sports Club following the refurbishment of the clubhouse and building of brand new changing facilities. The First Team pitch has also had significant drainage work undertaken on it.
One of Blaymires' first tasks is to recruit some experienced players that want to be part of this new era at the club. For more details of training venue and time please contact Tom on (07970) 674396 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
YTFC Get Pedalling returns this week as 44 riders and support crew leave for the long journey to Durham on Tuesday in preparation to begin their long journey home starting on Wednesday morning.
The team return to Huish Park at 11am on Sunday morning to take in the vital Yeovil Town Ladies game against Durham Women.
The ride is to raise awareness of the Ladies club and to begin raising funds as the club look to develop a program that will see members of the team visit schools around Somerset five days per week.
Speaking on behalf of Get Pedalling, Ben Tupman said: "We decided to try a summer ride this year and we thought it would be nice for our riders to enjoy training in the warmer conditions of Spring!
"This year's ride was organised to highlight the great work being done by Yeovil Town Ladies both on the pitch and their plans to help schoolchildren around Somerset by giving assemblies and coaching sessions based around a healthy and active lifestyle.
"The ride has also given people a chance to raise money for their chosen charities of their choice, meaning many organisations will benefit from this years Get Pedalling event."
The cyclists will ride from Durham to Skipton on Wednesday (climbing nearly 6000ft over 72 miles). Thursday sees them riding to Crewe (climbing over 6500ft). Friday will be a long journey of 90 miles to Hereford followed by a nervy crossing of the Severn Bridge to spend Saturday night in Weston super Mare. They will then leave Weston at 7am to ensure their arrival at Huish Park for 11am where they will be greeted by family, friends and fellow supporters to watch the crucial FA Women's Super League game that kicks off at 12noon.
Yeovil Town Ladies manager Jamie Sherwood, who will be riding the daily mileage on a static gym bike in Cardiff to show his support, said: "The fact that 44 friends of the Yeovil Town brand will put themselves through a challenge like this shows the true meaning of the club motto Achieve by Unity.
"We're very proud to have the team cycling in our colours and we will all be there to greet them on their return on Sunday. I hope that the people of Yeovil, along with the fans of Yeovil Town will join us for the afternoon where we hope to celebrate three vital points towards our quest for promotion to the top flight of the women's game."
The ride has been supported by local businesses, with Jones Building Group being title sponsor for the third year running, as well as owner Dave Jones, Managing Director Mark Porter along with a number of Jones staff taking part.
Old Mill have sponsored the ride and have David Maslen riding. We Do Vans have supplied the support vehicles alongside Dorset Vehicle Rentals with Ben Tupman and Alan Jane riding under the Westbury Packaging sponsorship banner.
Tickets for the FA Women's Super League match v Durham are available to purchase on the day at £5 per adult and £2.50 for children & concessions, or in advance by clicking on the club's website.
Ben Tupman added: "We really hope to break the record attendance for the Ladies at this game. The level of commitment Jamie, his team and staff give to the club is simply phenomenal and it would be fantastic if we could create a big crowd and incredible atmosphere as the team looks to secure a place in the promotion spots this season."
Birmingham City 1 (Wellings 86) Sunderland 0
Charlie Wellings scored a late opportunist goal to extend Birmingham City's unbeaten run to nine matches and lift her side up to fourth place in the WSL 1 table.
In a gruelling match played in stifling conditions at the Autotech Stadium, there were few opportunities of note at either end during the opening 20 minutes although the home side were having the better of possession. The first real chance came via an error when a bad kick out by Rachael Laws was latched onto by Melissa Lawley who raced into the area but she dragged her shot wide.
Sunderland responded with Lucy Staniforth driving a free kick wide from 25 yards but another set piece for the visitors two minutes later led to a chance at the other end. The ball was quickly intercepted by Jess Carter whose pass released Wellings who held off a challenge before her shot was saved by Laws.
The best moments of the game were coming from Lawley who was in lively form and a great run took the winger past two defenders before her cross was deflected into the path of Andrine Hegerberg but the Norwegian skied her shot well over.
Wellings had header saved by Laws before a busy end to the first half saw chances at both ends. Rachel Furness drilled a low shot from the edge of the area which Ann-Katrin Berger gathered low down, following good work by Brooke Chaplen, then the Blues responded with Lawley's pass releasing Hegerberg in the area but Hayley Sharp came to the rescue with an excellent block. Sharp was to go close herself at the other end from a Staniforth corner, her far post volley cannoning off a Birmingham defender and landing on the roof of the net.
The second half started as slowly as the first had done until just before the hour mark, when Lawley managed to escape the attentions of Danielle Brown and drove in a low cross which Steph Bannon sliced towards her own goal but the Sunderland skipper was relieved to see the ball fly straight at Laws.
Laws was again called into action as she came off her line to make a smothering save at the feet of Wellings who had exchanged passes with Freda Ayisi on the edge of the area. Birmingham continued to have a lot of possession but their build up was a little slow, with the exception of Lawley who continued to buzz around and cause a threat down both flanks.
Staniforth tried another long range shot which went straight at Berger and then Beth Mead, who had been unusually subdued all match, looked to have got in when she latched on to Madelaine Hill's pass but Kerys Harrop did extremely well to get back and foil the prolific striker with a well timed tackle. The Wearsiders were also dealt a blow when Furness was forced off with a head injury.
The game looked to be drifting towards stalemate until four minutes from time, when Carter's long throw into the area was inadvertently flicked on by Hill, the ball looping over Laws and back off the bar for Wellings, who was in the right place to sidefoot home from six yards.
There was little time for Sunderland to reply and Birmingham successfully ran down the clock for their fourth league win of the season and their seventh clean sheet in eight matches.
Birmingham City: Ann-Katrin Berger, Alex Windell, Jess Carter, Chloe Peplow (sub Isabelle Linden 45mins), Aoife Mannion, Kerys Harrop, Freda Ayisi (sub Marisa Ewers 90mins), Abbey Leigh Stringer, Charlie Wellings, Melissa Lawley, Andrine Hegerberg. Subs not used: Connie Schofield, Sian Johnson, Sophie Baggaley, Kirsty Linnett.
Sunderland: Rachael Laws, Danielle Brown, Abby Holmes (sub Megan Beer 81mins), Rachel Furness (sub Charlotte Potts 71mins), Steph Bannon, Hayley Sharp, Lucy Staniforth (sub Keira Ramshaw 76mins), Victoria Williams, Beth Mead, Brooke Chaplen, Madelaine Hill. Subs not used: Hilde Gunn Olsen, Stephanie Roche, Emma Kelly.
(top) Alex Windell clears away from Madelaine Hill
(middle) Rachael Laws is challenged by Kerys Harrop
(bottom) Danielle Brown under pressure from Jess Carter
Watford 3 (Davy 45,56, Ferrandi 48) Oxford Utd 2 (Franklin-Fraiture 14, Umotong 20)
Watford moved level on points with Millwall Lionesses and opponents Oxford United after a second successive WSL 2 comeback home victory.
Having overturned a one-goal deficit against Everton, the Golden Girls went one better against the U's. Deservedly trailing to a very good Oxford first half showing, Watford crucially reduced the arrears just before the break, then powered ahead by the hour. A very determined last half hour from all the Watford players held off late pressure to seal a fine win.
Oxford took the lead with a delightful move, Holly Pickett's chipped though ball being lobbed home by Ella Franklin-Fraiture in the 14th minute. Ini Umotong doubled the advantage with a trademark second, outpacing the central defence before firing home on 20 minutes.
Nothing had been seen of Watford's attack and Oxford were very close to extending their advantage on a couple of occasions. Right on half time though, Watford found a way back with a fine goal. Ellie Mason cleverly flicked on a right wing cross for Anne-Laure Davy to beat the last defender and finish past Hannah Cox.
Watford were much stronger in the second half and soon levelled. Giulia Ferrandi, who had a fine match, timed her run to perfection to meet a through ball to beat the Oxford defence before shooting past Cox.
Cox made a fine save from an Anneka Nuttall free kick, then Mason's drilled corner caused havoc in the Oxford defence. Another Mason corner provided the winning goal, Davy leaping high to power home her second and Watford's third.
Oxford took a while to respond from this stunning reversal, indeed Ferrandi went close to a fourth on 67 minutes, firing over when well placed. However, with Umotong, Franklin-Fraiture and Georgia Timms all threatening, it took fine displays by Ruby Baxter and Sahara Osborne-Ricketts in particular to restrict Oxford to half chances as the pressure mounted.
Watford are starting to recover from a very difficult start to the season. First WSL goals from Davy and Ferrandi were the highlights but there were plenty of other strong performances.
Watford: Lucy Gillett, Amber Tullett, Jordan Littleboy, Nicole Pepper, Anneka Nuttall, Ellie Mason, Phoebe Read (sub Charlotte Kerr 79mins), Sahara Osbourne-Ricketts, Giulia Ferrandi (sub Hannah Samuels 87mins), Anne-Laure Davy, Ruby Baxter. Subs not used: Sophie Cheadle, Mollie Burgess, Lauren Jordinson.
Oxford Utd: Hannah Cox, Jess Frampton, Riva Casley, Rosie Lane, Ini Umotong, Lauren Allison, Ella Franklin-Fraiture, Holly Pickett (sub Stephanie-Anne Weston 79mins), Laura Nichol, Laura Rafferty, Madison Lee. Subs not used: Demi Lambourne, Sophie Baker, Georgia Timms, Charlotte Deeley, Ellie Noble.
(Report by Patrick Higgins)
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