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Women's Football News
St Nicholas became the first club to win a Regional League title this season when they beat Bridgwater Town 3-1 on Sunday to be crowned as South West Women's League Premier Division Champions.
Although they had led the table for most of the season, they were not in a position to win the league until a few days before when nearest rivals Cheltenham Town drew 2-2 with Swindon Spitfires.
St Nicholas started the season well, winning their first two games, but then picked up only one point from the next three matches, all at home. They then embarked on a run of eight straight victories which carried them to the top of the league.
During this period, St Nicholas also enjoyed a fine run in the F.A.Women's Cup with wins against Bridgwater Town, Southampton Women and Basingstoke Town before a fine 1-0 victory away to Forest Green Rovers in the First Round Proper. This earned them a meeting with Premier League side Cardiff City Ladies and acquitted themselves well on the day, despite going down to a 3-0 defeat.
The run of wins ended with them being beaten 2-1 by Cheltenham Town but they never looked back from this point, winning all of their last six matches including a vital success against Truro City, thanks to a late goal from Joanne Gay. Despite a very nervous performance in their last match at Bridgwater, they picked up the result they needed to wrap up the title.
St Nicholas are in their fifth season of senior football and are a part of the main club which has been a thriving youth football club based in Chipping Sodbury near Bristol. After a successful run in girls football, the team entered the Gloucestershire County Women's League and won Division Two at the first attempt, as well as the League Cup. The following year they went close to honours by finishing as runners-up in Division One as well as reaching the League Cup Final once again but this time losing to Quedgeley Wanderers.
They accepted promotion to the South West Women's League and enjoyed a great first season in the league, carrying off the Eastern Division One title at the first attempt and have now maintained their record of being promoted in every season.
John Seymour, who is also Club President, formed the first girls team back in 2002 and has managed the current team through the age groups to the present day. He is assisted by Eddie Lambe with Kevin Cooper as physio.
Becky Rexworthy scored the title clinching goal and found the net 18 times in all, well supported by Jade Gamlin who netted 15 goals despite making a number of appearances in goal. Captain Sophie Sweet missed the early part of the season with a broken leg but returned to lead her side to the title but her stand-in, talented young midfielder Rianne Lewis, sustained a serious knee injury during a friendly against Yeovil Town near the end of the season.
It has been a remarkable rise for St Nicholas from girls football to the new look Premier League in just a few years, with the same core of players.
Squad: Elise Soper, Gemma Rallison, Jess Wilson, Serena Smith, Natalie Coles, Rianne Lewis, Mel McIlwraith, Sophie Sweet, Becky Rexworthy, Jade Gamlin, Abi Winnett, Adele Hooper, Charlotte Davis, Jennifer Jones, Joanne Gay, Amy Ford, Anna Denning, Kirsten Prior, Amy Jefferies, Alice Blunsdon, Ruby Bagge, Ava Byrne.
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