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Cardiff City Ladies moved up into fifth place in the FAWNL Southern Premier Division with a 1-0 victory over high riding Watford on Sunday.
We talked to Cardiff captain Cori Williams, who scored the only goal of the game. She praised her team for winning a tight match and looked forward to their forthcoming SSE Women's FA Cup tie with Durham Women whilst aiming to keep their good run going in the league:
WSS: That was a very good win for you on Sunday, was the game as close as the scoreline suggests?
CW: Yes, it was very competitive - both teams had chances to win the game, we were just lucky enough on the day we scored one of them.
WSS: That also makes it three clean sheets on the trot, and four in five games, how much confidence does it give the team to have a strong back four and a top goalkeeper in Laura O'Sullivan?
CW: We are in a process of building and I feel every week we are getting better and the more clean sheets we get, the more we will grow in confidence. Laura is a great addition coming back to Cardiff and having someone you trust behind you is always a bonus.
WSS: You got off to a great start to the season before going through a sticky patch around October/November, do you feel that you are hitting your best form now?
CW: I believe every week we are growing as a team and taking every game step by step.
WSS: Last season was a frustrating one for your team with a lot of narrow defeats, did the new faces who arrived during the summer make a big difference?
CW: Last season came with a lot of highs and a lot of lows like every season. We had a great run in the FA Cup and we competed well in the league. New faces coming into a team is always a good thing and when they come with experience like the girls have this year, it's always a positive.
WSS: You have no game this week due to the internationals but return next week away to Queen's Park Rangers, presumably you will be targeting that game to keep the good run going?
CW: We always work week by week and this game is no different. We will be going out with a set way to play, with trust and belief in each other and if we do the right things we will get the rewards.
WSS: The following week, of course, you play away to Durham in the FA Cup. Not the draw you would have wanted but is the team looking forward to the experience of that game?
CW: We always know in the FA Cup you can draw anyone and we will be prepared in the right way to get the right result. We've got a belief within the squad than we can challenge against anyone and what better way to test yourself than playing a team in the league above?
WSS: The Watford win takes you closer to the top three in the table, what is the main aim for the team for the remainder of the season?
CW: For us at the moment, we are in a place where we want to build as a team and progress week by week and see where that will take us. We believe we can compete with anyone in the league.
WSS: The title race is shaping up to be a very good one, can you see it remaining tight as the season goes on?
CW: Every year playing in this league it always goes down the last couple of games and I can't see this year being any different, it's a tough league with a lot of good teams.
Our thanks to Cori!
Photo by Neil Wildy
Norway 3 (Hansen 11,74, Utland 14)>
Scotland 1 (Weir 53)
Norway 3 (Hansen 11,74, Utland 14)
Scotland's year began with a loss against Norway in what was a hard fought match in La Manga.
Two early goals were a setback for Shelley Kerr's side but they grew into the game, hitting the back of the net through a Caroline Weir penalty kick. Norway scored another though to secure a win for the side ranked 13th in the world.
Shannon Lynn started the game following her impressive performance against USA with Frankie Brown also included. AFC Fiorentina star Lana Clelland led the line with Jennifer Beattie donning the captain's armband in Rachel Corsie's absence. The last time the two sides faced each other was this time last year when Scotland lost 3-0.
Fellow FIFA World Cup Qualifiers, Norway, started the game promisingly and were two goals to the good with 15 minutes on the clock.
After 11 minutes, a scintillating counter attack allowed Caroline Graham Hansen the chance of a shot in the box and she coolly chipped the ball into the corner of the net.
Immediately from the restart, Norway were close to making it two when Graham Hansen was clear in the box but this time Shannon Lynn did well to make the save.
Three minutes later and Norway scored again when Guro Reiten found the ball in the box following a defence splitting pass from midfield. She squared it to Lisa-Marie Utland who was able to tuck the ball home.
Scotland probed the Norwgians' goal for long periods of the half with the best chance coming shortly after the second goal when Lana Clelland curled an effort goalwards but saw it saved.
As the half progressed, Norway had a number of other efforts but Scotland dealt with their attacks well.
Claire Emslie and Joelle Murray came off the bench at the break with Emslie feeding the ball to Lizzie Arnot with one of her first touches. Arnot then shot towards goal and Caroline Weir hit the net but was adjudged to have strayed offside.
The Manchester City midfielder wasn't to be denied and scored with a penalty after 53 minutes. Leanne Crichton was bundled down in the box and Weir smashed the ball into the net, in off the post.
Caroline Graham Hansen was a stand out for Norway and she made it three when she was clean through on goal and coolly slotted beyond Lynn. Hansen nearly bagged a hat-trick but for the crossbar and then a great save from Lynn.
Scotland now take on Iceland on Monday at 3pm (UK time) in their final match of their training camp in La Manga.
They will then travel to Portugal at the end of February to compete in the Algarve Cup where they will face Iceland and Canada before playing a placing match.
Scotland: Shannon Lynn, Kirsty Smith, Jennifer Beattie (sub Joelle Murray 45mins), Frankie Brown, Hayley Lauder (sub Nicola Docherty 63mins), Leanne Crichton (sub Joanne Love 63mins), Christie Murray (sub Lucy Graham 82mins), Caroline Weir, Fiona Brown (sub Claire Emslie 45mins), Lizzie Arnot (sub Jane Ross 77mins), Lana Clelland. Subs not used: Jenna Fife, Zoe Ness, Abbi Grant, Chloe Arthur, Rachel Harrison, Erin Cuthbert.
Wales manager Jayne Ludlow has recalled Loren Dykes and Jessica Fishlock as part of the 24-player squad to face Italy on Tuesday 22nd January in Cesena.
Fishlock and Dykes join up with regulars Sophie Ingle, Natasha Harding and Angharad James as they continue with preparations for the UEFA Women's Euro 2021 qualifying campaign. They will look to inspire some of the younger squad members, as Ludlow has named four uncapped players and eight players under the age of 21.
Despite being named in the squad for the training camp, Kayleigh Green will be suspended for the match after being sent off in the side's goalless draw against Portugal in November. Meanwhile, Hayley Ladd could win her 50th cap if she takes part.
Ludlow's side will see the match as a tough test against an Italian side that will be taking part in the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup, which Wales narrowly missed out on qualifying for. The sides last faced each other in March 2018 in the Cyprus Cup, where a brace for Cristiana Girelli and a late goal for Greta Adami gave the Azzurri a 3-0 win.
The match will be available to watch live through the FAW's social media channels in conjunction with the Italian FA.
The game kicks off at 5pm GMT and will be played at the Stadio Dino Manuzzi in Cesena.
Chichester City 0 Coventry Utd 2
Coventry United progressed in the FA National League Cup with an excellent 2-0 away win over league rivals Chichester City.
This Third Round tie between the top two in the Southern Division was controlled virtually from start to finish by the Midlanders, strong in defence and lively in attack.
Chichester worked hard but were never given time on the ball and were grateful for a fine performance from Lauren Dolbear in goal and brave defensive work from the back three to keep them in the game.
Beth Merrick brought the first save from Dolbear in the 10th minute, clearing the ball for a corner after a 25-yard effort had struck the bar. The Chi keeper also did really to tip over a stinging Amber Hughes shot at full stretch on 15 minutes and then recovered to save from Amy Wathan after a poor clearance on 17 minutes.
Tammy Waine created the first Chichester chance with a header from a corner but Chenise Austin was well placed to clear off the line. The experienced Chi defender was also busy at the other end of the pitch, showing a cool touch to clear after another shot had cannoned off the bar on 32 minutes.
It was Natasha Merritt who gave United the advantage they deserved on 36 minutes with a powerful header from a corner on the right.
Hughes doubled the visitors' lead on 52 minutes, cutting in from the right wing to drive home a powerful shot from ten yards. The home side tried to rally but were unable to break down a strong defence to threaten Sue Wood's goal.
Indeed, Merritt nearly added a third with another header from a corner and Dolbear produced another fine save to deny Hughes with Laura Ingram clearing the rebound.
The dynamic of the tie was changed somewhat when Merritt was dismissed for a second bookable offence with 20 minutes left. With substitutes Jade Widdows and Tash Stephens adding some attacking threat, Coventry were forced to defend more than before, which they did with skill and strength.
Molly Clark forced a good save from Wood on 89 minutes, tipping over a 35-yard lob but that was close as Chi came to reducing the deficit.
For Coventry United it was an impressive response to the FA Cup exit at the hands of Crawley Wasps, whilst Chichester City can now continue their attempt to secure League glory in their best ever season, in direct competition with today's opponents.
Lauren Dolbear, Lauren Cheshire, Sara Tubby, Tiff Taylor, Laura Ingram, Molly Clark, Cherelle Khassal, Becky Barron, Helen Ogle, Tammy Waine, Gemma Simmonds. Subs: Jade Widdows, Jess Lewry, Natasha Stephens, Sharna Capel-Watson, Lauren Clark.
Sue Wood, Shannon O'Brien, Natasha Merritt, Jade Brook, Chenise Austin, Natalie Haigh, Nikki Miles, Beth Merrick, Maz Gauntlett, Amy Wathan, Amber Hughes. Subs: Helen Dermody, Lois Jefferies, Erin Riden, Jenna Roberts.
(Report by Patrick Higgins)
Photos by www.jamesprickett.co.uk:
(top) Lauren Dolbear saves with Shannon O'Brien and Tiff Taylor closing in
(middle) Jade Brook holds off Becky Barron
(bottom) Beth Merrick takes on Helen Ogle
East Midlands League
Leicester City Women Development preserved their lead of eight points in the Premier Division when winning 2-0 away to Rise Park. Second placed Oughtibridge WMSC scored five times without reply against Eastwood Community, Codi Melia bagging herself a four-goal haul and Kathryn Mudge adding the other. Ollerton Town were also 5-0 winners over Loughborough Students, Shoniqua Barnes was on target four times to add to Charlotte Appleby's earlier goal. Peterborough Utd completed a good day for the top four by beating Mansfield Town 3-1, courtesy of a Hannah Pendred brace and Emma Stevenson.
Boston Utd further extended their advantage in Division One North to seven points as they won 7-2 against Ilkeston Town. Toni McHamilton led the scoring with a hat-trick, Tracey Duxbury-Mead weighed in with a brace and there was one apiece from Keri Haywood and Ella Tuplin. Lincoln Moorlands Railway were held to a 4-4 draw by Arnold Town, despite a goal each by Lauren Churcher, Alice Hayes, Jade Baker and Lucy Warner-Bull. Kelly Clayton netted twice in reply for Arnold along with Jodie Ellis and Rebecca Widdowson. Hykeham Town are up into third after beating Calverton MW 10-1, led by hat-tricks from Millie Seaton and Courtney Limb. Zoe Hopewell added two and the tally was completed by Amie Barnes-Ford and Ellie Child.
In Division One South, Oadby & Wigston closed the gap on leaders Northampton Town to three points by winning 7-0 against Corby Town, Samantha Hargrave hitting a hat-trick and Lucy Phillips-Poole contributing a brace. Third placed Notts County also won, 5-0 against Thrapston Town to move away from the teams above them.
Eastern Region League
Division One side St Ives Town caused a surprise when they defeated Premier Division leaders Acle Utd 1-0 to reach the quarter finals of the League Cup. Tierney Coulson scored the only goal of the game during extra time. Cambridge City went through after beating Hutton 8-1 thanks to doubles from Erin Davies, Isabella Simmons and Shannon Shaw, with Charlotte Gillies and Carla Penny adding the others. Samaira Khan (2) and Storm Burrows were on the scoresheet as AFC Dunstable won 3-2 away to Division One leaders Bowers & Pitsea. Bedford Ladies won 1-0 against Wymondham Town with an own goal separating the teams and Peterborough Northern Star defeated Royston Town 5-1, Katie Steward hitting a hat-trick along with Chanade Henderson and Emma Pollard. Danielle Butler, Leah Cowan and Cerys Adams were on the scoresheet as Brentwood Town won 3-0 at AFC Sudbury and Harlow Town beat Haringey Borough 4-0 courtesy of a Poppy Binding hat-trick and Olivia Steele.
In the League Plate, Newmarket Town went through to the semi finals by winning 4-1 away to Hertford Town. Abbi Griffin was on target twice along with Beth Woodfield and Jodie Woodfield. Sophie Lanham and Georgina Huse gave Histon a 2-0 victory over Hatfield Peveral and Hoddesdon Town Owls defeated King's Lynn Town 5-0 thanks to Natasha Crick (2), Kristina O'Connell (2) and Rosy Woodhams.
London & South East League
AFC Phoenix maintained their fine run of form and it has taken them to the top of the table after beating London Kent Football Utd 4-2. Elizabeth Wicks scored twice along with Olivia Bennett and Rebecca May to see Phoenix complete a double over their opponents in successive weeks. They now head the table on goal difference from Whyteleafe who were 1-0 winners away to Eastbourne Town. Fulham FC Foundation meanwhile made it two wins on the trot when beating Parkwood Rangers 2-0 with goals from Mary Southgate and Rebecca Stormer.
Kent Football Utd had started the day as league leaders but were on League Cup duty instead, rounding off their group fixtures with an 8-0 victory over Aylesford. Amy Russ was on target five times along with Elizabeth Waldie (2) and Megan Burrows.
North East League
Runaway leaders Durham Cestria were not in action on Sunday and their advantage was trimmed to fourteen points, South Shields climbing up into second place after winning 7-1 away to Castleford White Rose. Dannika Purdham had a great day in front of goal by scoring six times, with Paige Lester adding the other. The win takes them above Hartlepool Utd who were beaten 3-2 by Harrogate Town for whom Sophie Tinson (2) and Grace Foyer were on target. Shirley Murphy, with a brace, Helen Moreton and Dee Swales scored the goals as Farsley Celtic defeated Rotherham Utd 4-2 whilst York City and Wallsend Boys Club shared six goals. Chantel Padgham, Chloe Precious and Jasmine Whitwell were on the scoresheet for York, with Wallsend replying through Cara Moran (2) and Samantha Deverdics.
Redcar Town made it eleven wins out of eleven with a 3-2 success in a well contested affair with Alnwick Town. Kirsty Armstrong and Stephanie Stafford were on target as Alnwick took a two-goal lead during the first half but after the break, Kenzie Parkes netted twice and Jenny Dixon the other as Redcar fought back to take the points. Consett Ladies remain five points behind after beating Cramlington Utd 2-0 thanks to Amy Wharton and Carolanne Hughes. Sunderland West End inflicted a first defeat of the season on Washington Association, goals from Emma Banks, Allison Ferris, Kay Mills and Jade Murray giving them a 4-2 victory. Jade Featherstone, Evie Thompson, Kim Robinson, Larissa Burkinshaw, Alex Hodgson and Vicky Gunn all scored to give Boro Rangers a 6-1 win against Prudhoe Town and Norton & Stockton Ancients Res edged out St Cuthbert's Ladies by the odd goal in nine, Louise Atkinson hitting a hat-trick with Ellie Hamilton and Paige Hunter adding the others.
Ossett Utd are just one match away from a perfect season, after running out 4-0 winners away to York RI. Jenna Wraith netted twice, with Emily Starkie and Chelsea Schofield also on target. Altofts Ladies went second as Nicola Smith, Louise Whitt and Elizabeth Hare gave them a 3-2 success at Wakefield. Sophie Eyre and Jodie Stancill scored the goals as Sheffield Wednesday won 2-1 against Harrogate Railway.
North West League
League leaders Tranmere Rovers went through to the last sixteen of the Argyle Sports Cup with a 3-0 win against Wythenshawe Amateurs. Warrington Wolverines were the only Division One side to knock out Premier Division opponents, beating Manchester Stingers 2-1. Penrith AFC came through a tricky tie with a 1-0 win at Stockport County Blues whilst Mossley Hill had a more straightforward route by beating Preston North End 7-1. Merseyrail Ladies and Stockport County were the victors in the all-Premier ties with successes against Accrington Girls & Ladies (6-0) and Wigan Athletic (4-2) respectively. Bury FC Women scored nine times without reply past Penwortham Town and Sir Tom Finney went four better against Leigh RMI.
Division One North leaders Blackpool went out of the competiton with a narrow 1-0 defeat to Chester FC Women. Blackburn Community were on the right side of a 1-0 scoreline, winning against Morecambe Res. Division One South table toppers West Didsbury & Chorlton fared much better as they won 2-0 against Liverpool Feds Res.
One tie went all the way to penalties, Altrincham going through at the expense of Workington Reds after the sides had shared a 2-2 draw. Curzon Ashton meanwhile won 4-3 after extra time against Division One North high fliers Carlisle Utd and Northwich Vixens were 5-1 winners over City of Liverpool.
South West League
Premier Division leaders Keynsham Town Development picked up the pace again on their return to action and regained their seven point lead after Rhianna Ben-Carew and Hannah Sims gave them a 2-1 victory over Portishead Town. Bishop's Lydeard were unable to go second as they were beaten 2-1 by Ilminster Town, for whom Maisie Parker scored both goals. Callington Town meanwhile defeated Forest Green Rovers 5-0, Keri-Ann Moxom netting twice along with Adele Brown, Eleri Griffiths and Chloe Williams. Torquay Utd claimed their third victory of the season when Charlotte Dymond scored the only goal of the game in injury time against Downend Flyers.
Emily Arrell bagged a hat-trick and Hayley Huckin was also on target as Wootton Bassett Town won 4-0 against Swindon Spitfires to keep their lead of two points in the Eastern Division. Second met third with Frampton Rangers winning a tightly contested match 1-0 against Cheltenham Town Development, a first half goal from Gabby Menghini separating the two teams. Laverstock & Ford shared a 2-2 draw with Almondsbury, who scored through Jamie Leigh Worlock and Sophie Cooper, whilst Jade Scammell and Aisha Anderson netted the goals as Oldland Abbotonians won 2-1 against local rivals AEK Boco, whose reply came from Shania Powell.
Plymouth Argyle Development stay seven points ahead in the Western Division after winning 4-3 against Alphington. Gabi Alphous (2), Nicola Champion and Faye Ivall were all on target for Argyle, with Helen Kukor (2) and Laura Burwood replying. Phoebe Baker and Alicia Martin gave Bideford a 2-1 win away to Pen Mill and Plympton Ladies defeated St Agnes 6-1 thanks to a four-goal haul from Shannon Workman, with Chelsea Robinson contributing a double. Weston Mendip kept up their improving form by beating Exeter & Tedburn Rangers 5-0 with goals from Ellie Oritt (2), Sarah Adams, Amy Clark and Natasha Crew. Sarah Badham bagged a hat-trick, along with an own goal, as Bude Town edged out Feniton by the odd goal in seven.
Southern Region League
The top two teams in the Premier Division made it through to the semi finals of the League Cup after contrasting quarter final ties on Sunday. Former winners Oxford City were pushed all the way by Southampton Women Development before eventually going through as 4-3 winners. Danielle Anderson netted two of their goals, with Lauren May and Leah McConnell adding the others. Southampton FC Ladies meanwhile had a smoother passage as they scored nine times without reply past Wargrave Ladies. Chloe Newton led the scoring with a five-goal haul, Caitlin Collighan added a brace while Rachel Woods and an own goal completed the tally. Molly Lygo-Jackson and Eleanor Boxall were on target as Abingdon Utd defeated Winchester City Flyers 2-0 and Wycombe Wanderers defeated New Milton Town 8-2, Tara Woodward netted five times and Chante Inniss contributed a hat-trick.
In the Chairman's Cup, Moneyfields claimed another Premier Division scalp as they booked their place in the semi finals. Katie Shorter, Ciara Boylan and Kim Whitcombe were on the scoresheet as they won 3-0 against Woodley Utd. Barton Rovers defeated Newbury Ladies on a penalty shootout after the teams had battled out a goalless draw, whilst Warsash Wasps put their league form behind them to reach the last four with a 3-1 victory over Eastleigh courtesy of a hat-trick from Megan Fox.
One match was played in the league on Sunday, in Division One where Alton Ladies moved above Wokingham & Emmbrook and into third place after beating them 3-1 with goals from Grace Felton, Jade Bolleau and Ella Williams.
West Midlands League
Sutton Coldfield Town have an advantage of four points following their goalless draw with Redditch Utd. Second placed Coundon Court were beaten 5-0 by Leafield Athletic who move to within one point of them, Lily Eustace netted twice for Leafield along with Ella Bridges, Sofi Liparis and Alice Rogers. Stacey Barley and Katie Sawyer were on target for Goldenhill Wanderers as they shared a 2-2 draw with fourth placed Crusaders, who replied through Paige Leonard and Bekkie Sloan, whilst Bonnie Mountford grabbed both goals as Coventry Sphinx won 2-1 against Knowle. Stockingford AA Pavilion defeated Worcester Utd 5-0 thanks to doubles from Kirsty Lonsdale and Jessica Sevellec, with Maria Hayword completing the scoring.
Leaders Leek Town eased into the semi finals of the Division One North League Cup with a 6-0 victory over Shrewsbury Town. Michaela Lockett was on target twice, with one apiece from Beth Cotterell, Chantelle Gallagher, Katie Gibbons and Alice Painter. Olivia Dixon hit a hat-trick as Stoke City Development won 7-3 against Wyrley Ladies, Amelia Jones added a brace with Jodie Foxhall and Sophie Taylor adding the others. Jenna Boddison (2), Rebecca Bown and Danielle Smith ensured that Shifnal Town were 4-0 victors at Port Vale and AFC Telford Utd defeated Florence 3-0 thanks to a Madison Jones hat-trick.
Sedgley & Gornal Utd are through to the last four in Division One South League Cup after a Rachael Green brace, Lauri Alexander and Shani Fieldhouse earned them a 4-0 victory away to Droitwich Spa. Solihull Utd were 2-1 winners at Stourbridge and Kidderminster Harriers beat Solihull Sporting 5-0 with goals from Kirstie Bavington, Beethan Dutton, Amber Ireson-Lawrence, Alex Nicklin and Sophie Richards. Kingfisher completed the semi final line up by defeating Leamington Lions 6-2, Jessica Lingham and Tessa Whittingham each netting twice along with Katherine Christopher and Elloise Russell.
The FA Women's National League has announced the draws for their cups:
LEAGUE CUP QUARTER FINALS
(to be played on Sunday 10th February)
Bolton Wanderers v Stoke City
Huddersfield Town v Blackburn Rovers
Coventry Utd v Crawley Wasps
Loughborough Foxes v AFC Wimbledon
LEAGUE PLATE QUARTER FINALS
(to be played on Sunday 10th February)
Barnsley v West Bromwich Albion
Liverpool Feds v Middlesbrough
Milton Keynes Dons v Keynsham Town
Stevenage Ladies v Gillingham
RESERVE SECTION LEAGUE CUP SEMI FINALS
(to be played on Sunday 17th February)
Newcastle Utd v Blackburn Rovers
Leicester City Women v Charlton Athletic
Blackburn Rovers stay two points clear at the top of Northern Division One after a Carra Jones hat-trick and Sarah Agger gave them a 4-2 victory away to Durham Women, who replied via an Alanah Scott double. Sheffield Utd remain close at hand in second as they beat Middlesbrough 3-1. Newcastle Utd meanwhile consolidated their position in the top half by beating Hull City 4-1, Anna Soulsby scoring all four goals.
The top of the table clash in Northern Division Two went the way of Guiseley Vixens, who won 1-0 against Chorley. Milly Ash scored the only goal of the game in injury time to take Guiseley level on points with Chorley, who hold on to the leadership on goals scored. Third placed Brighouse Town meanwhile kept themselves in contention by beating Barnsley 5-3. Stacey Buxton was on target twice along with Danielle Brown, Megan Manton and Ellie Richardson.
Leicester City made a swift return to the top of the Midland Division, thanks to a 6-0 victory over Sporting Khalsa. Shannon Henson and Natasha Hudson each netted twice, with one apiece from Rachel Brown and Imogen Hunt. Amelia Shiner scored the only goal of the game for Coventry Utd as they beat third placed West Bromwich Albion 1-0 and Nottingham Forest were 2-1 winners at Long Eaton Utd courtesy of first half strikes from Danielle Sanderson and Georgia Gladwin.
Tottenham Hotspur have opened up a lead of three points in the South/South East Division after they won 6-1 away to Watford. Rea Laudat netted a brace for Spurs and she was joined on the scoresheet by Therese Addison, Rebecca Evans, Ronnell Humes, Wendy Martin and Elisha Soula, after Jessica Biggerstaff had given Watford an early lead. Chloe Wilkinson and Monifah Akicah Emanuel scored the goals for third placed Millwall Lionesses in their 2-1 success against Milton Keynes Dons.
Charmaine True and Sandra Martin accounted for the goals as South/South West Division leaders Crystal Palace beat AFC Wimbledon 2-1 to stay two points ahead of Chichester City, who scored nine times without reply past Denham Utd. Lucy Cook, Gabriella Hobday, Francesca Webster and Natasha Wild all bagged braces for Chi, with Gracie White also on target. Natalie Skiverton netted the goal for Queen's Park Rangers as they shared a 1-1 draw with Lewes, who replied through Georgia Bowen.
Match winner matriarch Helen Ward knows she'll need to summon her nurturing nature as Watford Ladies face Manchester City in the Fourth Round of the SSE Women's FA Cup.
The Brent-born star has made a rousing return from giving birth to daughter Emily in 2014 and son Charlie in 2017, an experienced figurehead in a callow Golden Girls squad.
The 32-year-old was named SSE Women's FA Cup Player of the Round after firing four goals past Middlesbrough and expects her experience to be vital in cajoling her colleagues against City.
"It's a fantastic opportunity, especially for some of the younger members of the squad who won't have played against players of that calibre before," she said.
"It will be an eye-opener for some of us. The first 20 minutes are going to be key and the City players are all internationals at one level or another, so we'll have to deal with the tempo and intensity.
"We are quite a young team and I have been given the nickname Mummy by the girls! It's a different role to what I've had in the past and being a mother probably helps deal with that.
"It was a great team performance at Middlesbrough and while it's an honour to be named Player of the Round, I feel like it could have gone to any one of my team mates.
"We can't go to City and be overawed. It's going to be a platform for some of younger players to stake a claim.
"If they want to make a career out of football, these are the sorts of games they need to show they can do it. I've no doubt we'll go out there and give it our all - it's the FA Cup, why can't it be us?"
Yet there will be no surprises for Ward, the Welsh national team's all-time record goalscorer, when her National League South side take on the 2017 SSE Women's FA Cup winners.
The striker has been at the top of the women's game for nearly a decade, encompassing spells with FA WSL giants Arsenal, Chelsea and Reading.
An eventful 2018 saw Ward come within 90 minutes of earning Wales a first ever spot at this summer's Women's World Cup, only to lose to Phil Neville's Lionesses in a crucial qualifier. With Watford also losing their Tier 2 status last year, the mother figure is hoping a homecoming to the club that reared her can coincide with a return to the FA Women's Championship.
"When I had my second child at the start of last season, it felt right to come back and play closer to home," she said.
"I've got other things on in my life now I didn't have in the past and priorities change. Family comes first but football is still right up there.
"I wanted playing football to be something I didn't resent doing, so to come home was perfect.
"Last season didn't work out as planned on the pitch but it gave me the chance to regain full fitness after having Charlie and the support I've been given has been really good.
"The staff, the players, the management all showed a bit of love and compassion to me. I felt wanted and that was the main thing.
"I love playing for this badge and I'm hoping to help push us up the ladder in the right direction."
As the energy behind women's football, SSE's ambition is to support girls of all ages in England, helping them join in football from grassroots to the elite level. For more information on SSE's sponsorships and activities visit sse.co.uk.
(by Tom Harle, Sportsbeat)
Blackburn Rovers have opened up a six point lead at the top of the table with a thrilling 4-3 victory away to Huddersfield Town, who had started the day in second place.
Blackburn raced into a two-goal lead during the first half through Natasha Flint and Saffron Jordan but Huddersfield hit back to be on level terms at half time, thanks to Kate Mallin and Laura Elford. Two goals in the last twelve minutes by Lynda Shepherd and Jess Holbrook turned the game Blackburn's way, despite Brittany Sanderson pulling one back for Town in injury time.
Sunderland took the chance to climb into second by winning 10-1 against Bradford City, whose struggles continue. Keira Ramshaw led the scoring for the Wearsiders with a hat-trick whilst Bridget Galloway, Mollie Lambert and Grace McCatty each contributed doubles and Emily Hutchinson was also on target, with Falone Sumaili replying.
Stoke City are a further two points adrift following their 2-1 victory away to Doncaster Rovers Belles. Hannah Keryakoplis gave Stoke the lead midway through the first half and Amy Hughes added a second with fifteen minutes remaining, Emily Burgin pulled one back from the penalty spot late on but a spirited Belles side were unable to prevent Stoke from making it nine wins on the trot.
Fylde Ladies suffered a setback to hopes of challenging for a top two place when they were beaten 1-0 by Nottingham Forest. Samantha Conroy scored the only goal of the game, midway through the second half to take Forest further away from the bottom two places.
Middlesbrough put a disappointing FA Cup result behind them to defeat Sheffield FC 5-1 and move back into the top six. Eleanor Dale netted twice for 'Boro along with Emma Kelly, Leonie Hutchinson and an own goal, whilst Sheffield's consolation came from Megan Tinsley.
Southern Premier Division
The top two were involved in their League Cup but the gap between themselves and the chasing pack remains the second after third placed Watford were beaten 1-0 by Cardiff City Ladies. Cori Williams scored the only goal of the game for Cardiff who have moved themselves to within two points of their opponents.
Portsmouth seem to be finding their form again and a second win in successive weeks has taken them back into mid-table. Eilidh Currie netted midway through the first half and Jade Bradley added the second just after the hour, to seal for Pompey a 2-0 victory against C & K Basildon.
Gillingham meanwhile claimed their first league victory since October, 2-0 over Milton Keynes Dons courtesy of a goal apiece from Alice Bussey and Breon Grant.
Division One North
Burnley FC Women have now gone eight points clear at the top of the table following their 1-0 success away to Chester-le-Street Town. Sarah Greenhalgh scored the game's solitary goal, midway through the first half, to earn Burnley a tenth straight league win and sixth clean sheet in a row, seven in all competitions.
Barnsley stay second but lost a little ground to the leaders as they were held to a 3-3 draw by Morecambe. Yasmine Swarbrick gave Morecambe an eleventh minute lead, with Barnsley hitting back to go in front at the interval thanks to Darcie Kendall-Greene and Kathryn Smith. Swarbrick netted her second after the break and Jess Tait tipped the balance back in the Lancashire side's favour, before Drew Greene salvaged a point for Barnsley with an equaliser six minutes from time.
Brighouse Town were also held, sharing four goals with Liverpool Feds. All of the goals came in the second half, Carla Lee and Demi Devereaux were on target for the Feds whilst Brighouse scored through Charlotte Blythe and Abigail Housecroft.
Leeds Utd played their first league match since November but managed to lift themselves up into fifth place as they won 1-0 away to Crewe Alexandra. Rebecca Hunt settled matters with the only goal of the game, just after the hour mark.
Norton & Stockton Ancients are out of the bottom three places following their 2-1 victory over Chorley. Victoria Burton and Bianca Owens netted the goals for Norton, with Chorley replying through Lisa Topping.
* On Tuesday night, Chester-le-Street Town climbed up to third place after a goal in each half from Nichole Havery gave them a 2-1 win away to Norton & Stockton Ancients, whose reply came from Courtney Corrie.
Division One Midlands
West Bromwich Albion returned to league action with a tough trip to third placed Birmingham & West Midlands Ladies but a goal from Keeley Davies gave the leaders a 1-0 victory, which sees them open up a lead of six points.
Nettleham consolidated themselves in fifth place as they also won 1-0 away from home. A long range strike three minutes into the second half by Katie Thornley earned the Netts the three points against The New Saints.
Sporting Khalsa have gone level on points with Long Eaton Utd in mid-table after winning their meeting 2-1. Chloe May Coldicott and Bethan Woolley scored the goals for Khalsa, with Long Eaton replying through Ashleigh Evans.
Burton Albion ended a run of eight league games without a win with a 2-0 success against Solihull Moors. Jordan Atkin and Laura McQuilkin were the markswomen for Burton who have climbed back out of the bottom three.
Division One South East
With leaders Crawley Wasps on Cup duty, Billericay Town reduced their advantage to two points by running out 6-0 winners over Denham Utd. Jay Blackie and Esme Lancaster were both on target twice, along with Danica Dougal and Sophie Vale.
Leyton Orient remain in third following their 3-0 victory against Luton Town, Chloe McNee and Camila Pescatore both finding the net along with an own goal.
Actonians Ladies have moved back up to fourth place after they defeated Stevenage Ladies 5-1. Alessandra Barreca netted a first half double to give them a 2-1 lead at the break, with Shona Chitate replying, before Mariko Engels, Melissa Jung and an own goal sealed the points for Actonians.
Enfield Town twice came from behind to share a 2-2 draw with Norwich City and the point has taken them back into the top five. Aimee Durrant gave Norwich a first half lead which was cancelled out by Danielle Smith, Jodie Drake then put them back in front four minutes into the second half and this looked to have given Norwich victory until deep into injury time, when Lily Bruno salvaged a point for Enfield.
Cambridge Utd are out of the bottom three following a 3-0 win against AFC Wimbledon in which Jade Bell, Kelley Blanchflower and Mollie Coupar all scored for the U's.
Division One South West
Emma Pinner led the scoring as Southampton Women continued to stretch the pace at the top with a 5-0 victory away to Poole Town. Roxanne Lee-Stewart and Natalie Bavister netted the other goals for Southampton to preserve their lead of three points.
Keynsham Town stay hard on their heels in second place following their 4-1 success at Buckland Athletic. Laura Williams gave Keynsham the lead on the half hour, which they took into the interval, and two goals in a three minute spell from Ellie Curson and Kerry Bartlett put them in control. Sarah Stacey pulled a goal back for Buckland but Keynsham sealed the win two minutes later when Ellis Hillman scored their fourth.
Cheltenham Town resumed their campaign following the holiday break by winning 3-0 away to Maidenhead Utd. The Robins led at the break with a goal from Isobel Newns, before second half strikes from Ellie Briscoe and Annie Martin wrapped up the points.
The win takes Cheltenham back up into third place, ahead of Chesham Utd who battled out a 1-1 draw with Larkhall Athletic. Gemma Fraser was on target for the Clarets, with the Larks scoring through Kate German.
Southampton Saints ended a run of four league matches without a win when they defeated Swindon Town 3-1. Swindon led at the break with a goal from Milly Colford but a second half double from Alisha Buckingham turned the match in Saints' favour, before a late strike by Lisa Gilham secured the win.
Crawley Wasps continue to sweep all before them and are now in the last eight following a 5-3 win away to Plymouth Argyle. Crawley looked to be on their way to victory when Sian Heather and Kemina Webber put them two goals ahead but Plymouth came storming back, Kayley Lane reducing the arrears and a late equaliser from Katie Middleton taking the game to extra time. Webber scored her second to put Crawley back in front early into the extra period, with Plymouth once again levelling the scores through Leah Burridge. However, two goals in a three minute spell during the extra period wrapped up the game for the Division One South East leaders, Faye Rabson restoring their lead and Webber completing her hat-trick.
Bolton Wanderers also went through to the quarter finals on the back of a 3-1 extra time victory over Hull City, from the division above. Safron Newhouse was on target for Bolton during normal time, with Hull replying through Emily Smith, before Newhouse netted twice more to complete her hat-trick and a fine performance from her side.
The other Third Round tie was fought out between the top two in the Southern Premier Division and it was Coventry Utd who completed the quarter final line up with a 2-0 win away to Chichester City. The game was decided in the spell either side of the interval, Natasha Merritt opened the scoring for Coventry six minutes before half time and Amber Hughes doubling their lead early in the second half (see match report).
Cardiff Met Women played their first match since the break for the holidays and it turned out to be a very good day for them as they further strengthened their position at the top of the table.
The Archers ran out 5-0 winners over Rhyl Ladies to open up a lead of seven points over their nearest rivals. Lauren Townsend gave them the lead midway through the first half and Robyn Pinder added a second just ahead of half time. Madison Schupbach increased their advantage after the break and Naomi Clipston made it four, before Schupbach rounded off the scoring with her second goal, ten minutes from time.
Cardiff Met's position was further boosted by the news that Swansea City and Cardiff City Women had battled out a goalless draw. The Swans gave a debut to recent signing, American midfielder Lauren Smith, and went closest to scoring when Sarah Adams hit the post in first half injury time but neither side could make a breakthrough and therefore remain in third and fourth place respectively, with Abergavenny Women in second place.
A win would have taken Port Talbot Town level on points with Swansea and Cardiff but instead they were held to a 1-1 draw by Briton Ferry Llansawel, who registered their first point of the season as a result. Port Talbot looked to be on their way to victory when Laura May Walkley gave them the lead during the second half but as the game went into injury time, Renee Day grabbed an equaliser to give Briton Ferry a share of the spoils.
Cyncoed Ladies climbed above Llandudno Ladies after winning their meeting 2-1. Caitlin Bevan gave Cyncoed a first half lead which was cancelled out by Mari Gibbard ten minutes later, but Bevan's second goal in the opening minute of the second half turned out to be the decisive one as the Mighty Oaks picked up their third win of the season.
The FA WSL title race was opened up further on the weekend after Chelsea won 2-1 away to Arsenal to keep their hopes of retaining it alive and put a dent in the Gunners' challenge.
Chelsea started the game quickly and were rewarded midway through the first half when Erin Cuthbert headed in a cross from Hannah Blundell. Beth England had a goal disallowed for offside after the break but just after the hour mark, Cuthbert struck again with her second goal with a well executed volley. Arsenal rallied late on with Vivianne Miedema pulling a goal back and the Dutch striker almost rescued a point for her side when her shot was well saved by Hedvig Lindahl. Chelsea held on for a vital win which means they are now just three points off the pace, with seven matches to play.
Defeat for Arsenal gave Manchester City the chance to replace them at the top of the table, and they duly did so with a 3-1 victory at West Ham Utd. They took the lead when Caroline Weir ran through to score and Lauren Hemp made it two with a 25-yard strike. Jane Ross gave the Hammers hope when she scored against her old club after half time but City wrapped up the win when Nikita Parris netted their third, four minutes from time.
Birmingham City's hopes of keeping pace with the top three were dealt a blow as they were beaten 1-0 by Bristol City. Gemma Evans headed in the only goal of the game from a free kick on sixteen minutes, to give the Vixens a fifth win of the season and sixth place in the table.
Liverpool moved themselves closer to the mid-table positions when a late goal gave them a 2-1 success away to Yeovil Town. Courtney Sweetman-Kirk gave Liverpool the lead from the penalty spot following a foul on Yana Daniels but Yeovil battled back to get themselves back on level terms early in the second half, Emily Donovan latching on to Ann Marie Heatherson's through ball to score. Both teams pushed forward for a winner but as the game went into injury time, Sweetman-Kirk had the final say with an overhead kick to break Yeovil hearts and record their first win since October.
Brighton & Hove Albion were the only home team in the division to register a point on Sunday as they fought out a goalless draw with Everton. Aileen Whelan hit the bar early on with a 25-yard strike for the Seagulls and Angharad James went close at the other end but neither team could break the stalemate and had to settled for a point apiece.
Tottenham Hotspur have taken over at the top of the FA Women's Championship but the day was overshadowed by a serious injury which forced the abandonment of one game.
Charlton Athletic were entertaining leaders Manchester Utd but Addicks defender Charlotte Kerr was badly injured in a collision whilst United took the lead. The decision was taken to abandon the match after treatment was administered for an hour and the player was taken to hospital where, thankfully, her injury was diagnosed as not too serious.
It was Tottenham therefore who took over as leaders with a 3-0 victory over Lewes. Jessica Naz put Spurs in front just after the half hour and after Rianna Dean had made it two, early in the second half, Jenna Schillaci rounded off a good result for her side with the final goal on the hour mark.
Durham Women needed to battle back in the second half to earn themselves a 2-2 draw against improving Aston Villa. Lisa Robertson gave the Wildcats a first half lead which was cancelled out right away by Jodie Hutton, and then Villa went ahead on the stroke of half time thanks to Kerri Welsh. Durham pressed for an equaliser after the break and Villa's resistance was broken with fifteen minutes remaining when Becky Salicki scored from close range following a Beth Hepple corner.
Leicester City kept themselves in the top half of the table by beating Millwall Lionesses 3-2. Melissa Johnson opened the scoring with two minutes on the clock but shortly after Johnson's penalty had been saved by Charlotte Sansom, Millwall levelled the scores through Evie Clarke. Leicester were awarded another penalty soon afterwards, this time converted by Libby Smith, and Ella Franklin-Fraiture put them further ahead early in the second half. Millwall grabbed themselves a lifeline when Clarke scored her second - from the third penalty of the match - but they could not conjure up an equaliser and Leicester took the points from an entertaining affair.
London Bees got themselves back to winning ways with a 2-1 success against Crystal Palace. All of the goals came in the first half, Katie Wilkinson putting the Bees ahead in the sixth minute and after Andrea Georgiou had brought Palace back on level terms, Lauren Pickett settled a well contested game with a delightful lob on 24 minutes.
The draw for the FA Women's Continental League Cup semi finals has been made.
The draw was conducted during half time of the EFL fixture between Sheffield United and Queen's Park Rangers at Bramall Lane, the venue for the final of the competition on Saturday 23rd February.
The draw in full:
Arsenal v Manchester United
Chelsea v Manchester City
Ties will be played on Tuesday 5th or Wednesday 6th February.
Early bird tickets for the final that kicks off at 12.15pm on 23rd February are now on sale priced at £7.50 for an adult and £1 concession.
Stoke City made it through to the Fourth Round of the SSE Women's FA Cup on Sunday with a hard fought 2-1 win away to Derby County, courtesy of a late winning goal from Hannah Keryakoplis.
We talked to Stoke captain Meg Bowyer, who was full of praise for the effort put in by her team mates in achieving the win at Derby, whilst looking forward to their tie in the last 32 and the chance of taking on Championship side Aston Villa:
WSS: Well done on a fine win at Derby on Sunday, how hard did the team have to work for that result?
MB: It's always a close encounter when we face Derby, they're classed as our local rivals so we knew going into the game that we would have to work hard to grind a result out. Once we conceded we had to re-group quickly, we had to put the tiredness to the back of our minds and believe we had the quality to go on and win the game with a never say die attitude and we did. We live by the philosophy of "maximum effort is the minimum requirement" so no matter the level of team we come up against, we put in maximum effort.
WSS: The goal from Hannah Keryakoplis came at a perfect time for you, presumably it was a case of keeping your concentration from then?
MB: Yes, it was a great goal and it came at the perfect time for us! We knew Hannah coming on would give us fresh legs and quality, we're lucky to have the strength in depth to be able to make substitutions of Hannah's quality. She scored around the 90th minute, so we had about three minutes to see the game out - which felt like ten minutes! We've focused a lot on game management these last 18 months so that had to come into play, we had to keep shape, keep concentration and make sure the ball was in areas that couldn't hurt us.
WSS: That result makes it eight wins in a row in all competitions, surely confidence must be sky high right now?
MB: Yes it's a very good time for the club, the atmosphere at the training ground is very good and everyone is striving for the same thing! We're still in every competition and we're climbing the league table but we focus on staying grounded and taking each game as it comes. Hard work, grit and determination has got us to where we are now, so we aim to continue this and keep the good run going for as long as we can!
WSS: After two long journeys in the previous rounds, the draw has handed you a home tie with a Championship side in Aston Villa, how much will the team be looking forward to that one?
MB: We were joking around in the changing rooms after the win against Derby, saying I bet we get an away tie somewhere at the other end of the country! We're very happy that we have a home tie, and we are relishing the opportunity of playing against a Championship team local to ourselves. We already have some familiarity with Villa as our First Team Coach Chloe Jones was a long servant playing for them, along with our centre back Emily Owen, we also welcome back Hollie Gibson who was our left back last year as she left to join Villa in the summer so all those factors taken into account should make it an even more an interesting game! We have no pressure on ourselves, we continue to make our home ground a hard place for an away team to visit so it will definitely be one to watch!
WSS: In the meantime it is back to the league this week and an away game against Doncaster Rovers Belles, what kind of game are you expecting there?
MB: Any game in our league is a tough game, we have played Donny Belles previously this season and come away with a 5-0 win but we won't be focusing on that result. Donny Belles have had a change in form as of late and we will be conscious of this. We will go there and put in a performance that is hopefully worthy of bringing the three points home and keep our good run going.
WSS: What, realistically, are the aims for Stoke for the rest of the season?
MB: I think the main focus is to finish as high up in the league as we can, the highest we have finished in this league so far is fourth so we would be looking for a top three finish. Something we set our sights on at the beginning of the season is to have a good cup run, we want to win silverware, and we want to be in contention for every cup possible. With this we have to be realistic, we would aim to retain the County Cup, get as far as we can in the FA Cup and also we would ideally like to get to the final of the league cup as this is something we have never won. So it's a lot to aim for but I feel we have the capabilities of making this happen if we put the work in on the training ground.
WSS: Blackburn Rovers have matters in their hands in the title race right now, can you see anybody challenging them?
MB: Blackburn are a very good team and deserve to be top of the league, that being said, I don't think anyone in this league is unbeatable. There are quite a few teams in the league that are up there with regards to pushing Blackburn, Sunderland have come into this league strong and Huddersfield have also had a strong campaign so far. We are aware of Blackburn's form so far and keep an eye on results, however we focus on each game in hand rather than any opposition, we focus on winning each game we can and closing the gap between us and whoever may be top of the league.
Our thanks to Meg!
Home advantage turned out to be very important in the quarter finals of the FA Continental Tyres Cup, with all of the group winners advancing to the last four.
However holders Arsenal needed a dramatic late comeback in order to book their place in the semi finals, after looking to be on their way out against Birmingham City.
The Blues were handed a great opportunity to open the scoring in the eighteenth minute but Sari van Veenendaal saved Aoife Mannion's penalty to keep her side on level terms.
Birmingham did however take the lead on the hour mark, when Lucy Quinn scored from close range. The Blues remained in front until the last six minutes, when Danielle van de Donk headed in the equaliser from a Vivianne Miedema cross and as the game went into injury time, provider turned goalscorer as Miedema grabbed the winner to take Arsenal into the last four.
One team from the Championship made it through the group stages and Manchester Utd's run in the competition continued as they defeated West Ham Utd 2-0. An own goal, following a good run and cross by Lauren James, gave Casey Stoney's side the lead in the seventeenth minute and eight minutes into the second half, Jess Sigsworth scored a second to seal the win and take her side into the semi finals at the first attempt.
It was a night of happy returns for two Chelsea players as they swept through with a 4-0 victory over Reading FC Women. Fran Kirby was making her first appearance for two months and she wated no time in getting back on the scoresheet, finishing off a good move to put her side ahead after three minutes. As half time approached, Anita Asante, who is back in the side after a long injury lay-off, scored her first goal for the club with an angled drive. Brooke Chaplen headed wide from a good opportunity as Reading tried to find a way back into the game in the second half but Kirby killed off any hopes of a comeback when she scored her second goal against her former club, and she turned provider for the final goal late on when her cross was converted by Ali Riley.
Manchester City are seeking a third success in the competition and on Thursday night, they moved a step closer when they won 7-1 against Brighton & Hove Albion. Nikita Parris put them ahead after six minutes but Brighton's reply was a swift one, Danielle Buet scoring from the penalty spot following a foul on Ini Umotong. City were back in front at the mid-point of the first half thanks to Lauren Hemp, a lead which they took into half time. Caroline Weir drilled in a third from the edge of the area, early in the second half, before City powered in four more goals in the last five minutes. First, Hemp netted her second goal with a good run and finish, then Claire Emslie curled in a fifth. Georgia Stanway and Janine Beckie added further goals in injury time to round off the victory.
The FA has announced that the draw for the semi finals will take place on Saturday 12th January, at half time during the EFL match between Sheffield United and Queen's Park Rangers at Bramall Lane, the venue for the final of the competition on 23rd February.
Head coach Rehanne Skinner has named her England Women's U19 squad for the upcoming Algarve Tournament.
The 20-player squad are heading out to Portugal to take on Norway [Wednesday 16th January] and Netherlands [Sunday 20th January].
FIFA U20 World Cup bronze medallists Emily Ramsey and Esme Morgan are included along with several regular starting players in the FA Women's Super League. Jess Park, Hannah Griffin and Lauren James gained valuable experience during England's UEFA Women's U17 Championship campaign and have also received call ups.
The matches will act as vital preparation for the UEFA Women's U19 Championship elite qualifying round on home soil in April.
The Young Lionesses have been drawn in Group 6 alongside Italy, Sweden, Turkey with the top placed team in the round robin tournament qualifying for the Euro finals which will be staged in Scotland in July. The elite round matches will take place between 3-9 April.
Skinner said: "We're all looking forward to meeting up for our first camp of the new year.
"The camp and matches come at a great time and will offer us an important learning opportunity as we prepare and progress towards the elite qualifying round in April.
"We expect two tough and different tests against teams that regularly perform in UEFA Finals at this age group and are excited by both challenges."
England Under-19 squad:
Mo Marley has named her England Under-21s squad for this month's training camp.
The 22-strong squad, introduced for the current season as part of The FA's approach to youth development and providing a pathway for talented youngsters, will be based at St. George's Park between 14 and 17 January.
There are returns for goalkeeper Sian Rogers and forward Lauren Hemp, who was ruled out of the November camp due to injury.
Marley said: "We're all excited to meet up for our first camp of 2019. The players always enjoy training at the national football centre.
"The four-day camp gives us an opportunity to work as a group once again."
England Under-21 training camp squad:
Scotland will take on Canada and Iceland in the group stages of the 2019 Algarve Cup, as preparations for this summer's FIFA Women's World Cup in France continue.
Shelley Kerr will lead her side to what will be only their second-ever outing at the tournament, with Kerr herself having been involved on their previous appearance back in 2002.
With teams requiring an invitation in order to compete, involvement at the tournament represents a significant coup for the SWNT as they line up alongside 11 of the top sides in the women's game. Indeed, six of the competing nations will, like Scotland, be present in France this summer, highlighting the depth and quality of the competition.
Each team will play three matches at the tournament; following their two group stage matches, Scotland will then play a seeding match dependant on their group stage ranking, with the two group winners with the best records competing for the trophy.
Last year's title was shared between the Netherlands and Sweden after the final was cancelled due to heavy rainfall in the Algarve - to date, the only occasion on which this has occurred.
Fixture times and venues will be confirmed in due course, with the competition set to get underway on Wednesday 27th February.
2019 Algarve Cup Groups:
Group A: Canada, Iceland, Scotland
Group B: Spain, Netherlands, Poland
Group C: Norway, Denmark, China
Group D: Sweden, Switzerland, Portugal
The England Women's squad for the upcoming eight-day training camp in Qatar has been named.
The Lionesses will meet up in Manchester next Monday before travelling to Aspire Academy in Doha on Tuesday. There they will continue their preparation for the four-team SheBelieves Cup in the United States next month and the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup in France this summer.
Head coach Phil Neville has named a 28-player squad with returns for Manchester City's Demi Stokes following a lengthy injury lay-off, Reading's Jade Moore as well as 135-cap Karen Carney.
Manchester City goalkeeper Karen Bardsley, Seattle Reign's Jodie Taylor and Birmingham City striker Ellen White are also back after injury.
Neville said: "We're all really looking forward to meeting up for our first camp of 2019. "After a well-earned break in December, most of the players are back in club action and will be ready to push on.
"The SheBelieves Cup is a demanding tournament with quality opposition.
"This training camp in Qatar is crucial for our preparation and an ideal opportunity for us to work as a group as we begin an important year."
Billericay Town 3 Loughborough Foxes 4
Loughborough Foxes progressed to the Fourth Round of the SSE Women's FA Cup after a hard fought win away to Billericay Town.
The FA National League Southern Division side trailed briefly early on before scoring four times with some exciting attacking play. Ultimately. though. Foxes had to hang on after a spirited revival from the Division One South East hosts late in the tie reduced their advantage to one.
Billericay got off to the best possible start when Sam Pittuck drove home a bouncing ball from 20 yards beyond Amy Burle for a stunning opener on six minutes. However Foxes were in front before ten minutes had been played. Firstly, Rebecca Knight turned in a Shauna Chambers free kick for the leveller, then a minute later Becky McGrother was the quickest to react to a low cross from Knight after good play by Eva Rogers down the right.
Pittuck nearly levelled on 12 minutes with a lobbed effort inches wide as both teams attacked with great intent. Zoe Rushen had a shot well held by Burle whilst at the other end McGrother and Chloe Young both went close to adding to the lead.
The hosts were denied an equaliser by a superb save by Burle on 33 minutes after Karissa Rodney was put though by a defensive slip. The Foxes keeper got a strong hand to Rodney's 15-yard effort to turn the ball against the bar and recovered to grab the rebound.
The value of this save was shown within two minutes as the visitors extended their lead when Young released Rogers down the right and her cross was controlled by Knight and fired past Alex Baker in the home goal by McGrother.
Billericay finished the half well with three corners and continued to dominate on the restart. Pittuck was denied her second goal by Burle turning away a header and then had another headed effort which drifted just wide.
Two of Foxes' best players on the day combined for a fourth goal which seemingly would seal the win. Young measured another weighted through pass for Rogers cutting in off the wing and the finish was low and precise past Baker on 68 minutes.
For a time it seemed that the outcome was settled but Billericay always had a threat in attack and as the last ten minutes started it was Rushen who pounced to reduce the deficit from a right wing cross. When the same player added a neat third on 85 minutes the sizeable crowd started to believe in a miraculous comeback.
Loughborough were now under pressure every time the ball was sent forward early for the eager attackers to chase. Several times the ball bounced dangerously in the area but no clear cut opportunity fell for the hosts.
Fittingly the final effort of a fine contest was by Pittuck powering in another shot from distance but Burle held the ball at full stretch and the whistle blew to seal Foxes' progress.
It was easy to see why both clubs are having fine seasons in the league, full of attacking intent and invention matched with hard work but on the day it was the visitors who progressed to the draw for Round Four.
Alex Baker, Danica Dougal, Megan Jiggins, Jay Blackie, Lucy Jones, Esme Lancaster, Karen Stephanou, Sam Pittuck, Zoe Rushen, Lindsey Morgan, Karissa Rodney. Subs: Nicole Farmer, Nancy Butler, Courtney Lumley, Broghan Kelly, Nikita Runnacles, Kelsey Smith, Sophie Vale.
Amy Burle, Pip Cassidy, Ria Acton, Kate McLoughlin, Becky Matlock, Shauna Chambers, Chloe Young, Rebecca Knight, Eva Rogers, Becky McGrother, Charlotte Cooper. Subs: Laura Dexter, Charlotte Broad, Simran Singh, Laura Parsons.
(Report by Patrick Higgins)
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