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Women's Football News
Queen's Park Rangers will be in the top flight of women's football next season, having regained their status at the first attempt following relegation a year ago.
Rangers were pushed all the way in their ultimately successful title quest as they were locked in a two-horse race with C & K Basildon, which went to the very last match of the season.
Both matches with C & K ended in tightly contested draws and there were other very important results during the course of the season. In November, they came from behind to beat local rivals Denham Utd 5-2, a Sophie Fogarty hat-trick spearheading a win which took them top of the league for the first time in the season.
The penultimate match away to Norwich City was arguably the most important game of the season with Norwich still in with a chance of winning the league themselves, while anything but a win for QPR would have given C & K Basildon the lead heading into the final game of the season. Scores were level at 1-1 before two goals in the final 10 minutes from Leah Jones and Stacey Sowden won the game. The win which finally clinched promotion back to the Premier League came on the final day of the season, 2-1 at Luton Town. QPR started the day second and knew a win would clinch the title but needed two goals from Stacey Sowden to secure victory after falling behind early on.
The team is managed by Martino Chevannes, assisted by Tony Smith along with Miguel De'Souza (First Team Coach) and Steve Bate (Goalkeeping coach), while Justin Hill is Physio. Elly Maggs, one of the club's longest serving players, is club captain and led by example in midfield whilst Stacey Sowden topped the league's scoring charts with 28 goals since arriving in September.
Other key players in the squad include goalkeeper Jo Ayre, a mid-season signing from Tottenham Hotspur who helped preserve the meanest defensive record in the league, defenders Gemma Rudman and Lauren Gage, midfielder Leah Jones and Sophie Fogarty who shone on the wing for Rangers this season, where her pace and trickery carved out countless opportunities for her team mates as well as scoring an impressive 13 goals.
Off the pitch, QPR Ladies' profile has enhanced significantly during the 2013-14 season with prominence on the QPR website and matchday programme while its official Twitter (over 3,000 followers) and Facebook (over 1,600 likes) accounts have helped spread the word on social media.
Photo - Kevin Richards
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