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Women's Football News
FC Reedswood will be looking forward to life in the new look Premier League next season after capturing the West Midlands League title.
The Wolverhampton-based side clinched the title with a game to spare having spent most of the season chasing Birmingham & West Midlands Police who had led the table since the early stages.
Reedswood are jointly managed by Lee McPherson and Nat Poole, who unfortunately suffered a ACL tear and Meniscus damage during a pre-season friendly and was unfortunately ruled out for the season. Martin Watton took the role of assistant manager and was a great help all season, supporting the managers and offering his advice and experience to players. The side is captained by Laura Watton with Kathyrn Mudge as leading goalscorer - both players travel from Sheffield weekly to play for the club.
"In terms of important results, every game has been an important result for us this season," said secretary Kelly Williams. "Having set the target to win the league after narrowly missing out the season before, for the 2013-14 season the dynamics of the team changed and saw a stronger team ethic develop, which played a massive part in achieving our goal.
"As with many women's teams this season, we lost a few good players to teams in the league above and we lost three players to ACL tears - one of those was at the end of last season, another during pre-season and one during the second half of this season.
"We had a rough start to the season, suffering a 6-1 defeat to Wednesfield Town who have finished bottom of the league. We travelled with a thin squad due to holidays and injuries. It was nice to play them for our last game of the season and the result really showed how far the club had come winning the game 11-1."
With the injuries and players who had left, Reedswood spent a few weeks getting results through good organisation and the players' commitment to achieving the main target.
"One of the significant results at this time was the victory over Kingshurst away from home," recalls Kelly. "They were dominating the game with their fast attacking play and had deservedly gone one up after fifteen minutes. The dynamics of the team wasn't working, so Nat Poole made a substitution, bringing Ashleigh Wilcox on to play right midfield with specific instructions to defend her flank (as Kingshurst attacked in numbers down her side) and switch the ball to Stacey Arrowsmith on the opposite flank, enabling Stacey to play more of an attacking wing role and Tash Hughes pushing up front to stretch the Kingshurst defence. Within a minute of the change, Ash intercepted play, switched the ball to Stacey Arrowsmith who attacked the goal with pace and lobbed the oncoming keeper to draw level. We went on to win the game 3-1."
A few new players joined the team following this. Kathryn Mudge, a very experienced player who can play in any position, came to do a job for the club as a striker. Rebecca Knight, again a player who can play several positions, proved most effective as a forward who drops in the gap and builds play and Rosie Slade, an experienced defender, added organisation and speed to our defence. This was the depth to the squad the club needed and from that point on they went from strength to strength.
A couple of other key performances throughout the season were the 2-1 victory over Leicester City Ladies in the FA Women's Cup, where Kathryn Mudge demonstrated her ability in front of goal and Justine Lewis made some fine saves, Tash Hughes scoring the winner against title rivals B & WM Police away from home and Justine Lewis, again against TNS away from home, making some superb saves to keep a clean sheet in a 4-0 victory again against league rivals.
As Reedswood closed in on the title, they suffered a setback when losing to Allscott. "This was a blessing in disguise really," says Kelly. "It was the push we needed to dig in deeper and give more for the remainder of the season and the girls did just that, managing to keep Leamington Lions at bay with a 1-1 draw before finishing the season off with a great 11-1 against Wednesfield.
"Throughout the season there have been lots of individually good performances, but what made the difference this season was the team's ability to play as a team and not rely on a select few. The girls knew the aim was to win the league and that would take commitment and hard work in every position on the pitch and in every game we played.
"It really has been such a group effort; the managers have worked together to get the best out of the squad throughout the season, they have had to make some tough decisions but the squad have responded well and everyone has pulled in the same direction and were focused on our main aim to win the league and gain promotion."
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