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Women's Football News
Guiseley AFC Vixens can look forward to life in the Northern Division of the FA Women's Premier League next season after carrying off the Northern Division One title at the first attempt.
The Yorkshire side were only promoted to that level last summer and took a little time to adjust to their new league. "The season started in a promising manner when we won the first two games," manager John Shirt told Women's Soccer Scene. "But we then lost three out of the next five league games and it became very clear that virtually every team in the league was capable of beating any other team."
However Guiseley began to come to terms with the higher standard and started to pick up good results against the top teams. "November probably saw our best performance of the season in beating a very impressive Liverpool Feds team 5-3 at home," says John. "We were somewhat disappointingly knocked out of the FA Cup in December by our local rivals Leeds Ladies but in truth, the lack of fixture congestion probably did us a favour and we only suffered one league defeat in the remainder of the season.
"The real turning points in the season came in February when in consecutive weeks we found ourselves trailing in the last ten minutes at both Mossley Hill and Morecambe but on both occasions, the spirit and determination in our club allowed us to come back and win both games. Without those two wins we would not have been able to keep the pressure on league leaders Liverpool Feds who were themselves winning virtually every game!"
Ironically it was Leeds who were to end up doing Guiseley the ultimate favour. After Guiseley had completed their fixtures with a lead of two points, it meant that Liverpool Feds needed to win their last match in order to overhaul them but they were beaten 1-0, meaning that Guiseley had won the title.
"Winning the league was very much a team effort but as goals win matches it would be remiss not to mention the achievements of Tanya Rich who scored a staggering 24 goals in 21 appearances and was the league's leading goalscorer," says John, who was assisted by Coaches Julie Grundy and Amanda Maslin-Barr, with Michelle Walsh as captain.
"We know that next season [in the Northern Division] will be extremely challenging but we look forward to testing ourselves at the top level in the women's Winter Pyramid."
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