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Women's Football News
Plymouth Argyle have won the South West Combination title for the third time following a closely fought race this season.
The squad had a major overhaul at the start of the 2012-13 season following the teams relegation from the Premier League, returning manager Kevin Rose gathering together a group of players with a nice balance of youth and experience. That season was always going to be a 'bedding in' period for the team, in preparation for a promotion challenge this term. They finished a creditable fifth place and showed enough to suggest that may be the case.
This season began with a couple of draws against Chichester City and Forest Green Rovers before the team slipped into top gear, playing some brilliant attacking football to record a seven-match winning streak that ended with successive defeats at Cornish rivals Newquay and Forest Green just before the Christmas break. With January a washout and the poor weather continuing through February and March and teams failing to turn up, it was difficult to pick up the rhythm, but the team continued to notch up the victories in their surge towards the top of the table.
Swindon Town had pulled clear of the pack for much of the season but their lead was gradually reeled in by the chasing sides. Exeter City, Chichester City and Forest Green Rovers all remained in the running until the later stages but Plymouth's charge proved to be an unstoppable one and the title was clinched with a 1-1 draw against runners-up and local rivals Exeter.
As well as the league, Plymouth also carried off the Devon County Senior Women's Cup following a 5-1 victory against Exeter City in the Final.
The girls were marshalled superbly by captain Katie Middleton who led by example. Katie has played in four or five different positions when required this season and has excelled in all of them, showing just how versatile she can be. Emily Mousley also had an excellent season in which she found the net 31 times in 23 league and cup matches.
There have been many good performances this season, notably victories at Swindon Town and Southampton Saints for the high standard of football played. The average age of the squad is between 19-20 years and still developing and improving, so hopefully they will do themselves justice in the Premier League next season as they continue to develop.
Off the pitch, a special mention should go to match day assistant Keith Phillips, father of Argyle's goalkeeper Michaela. He sees that the playing kit is always washed and ready on match days and is there to put up/take down goalposts etc, and also raises funds by collecting empty drinks cans for scrap. All clubs need people like him.
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