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Women's Football News
Park Ladies are celebrating winning the S-Tech Cambridgeshire Women's League Championship South division after getting the better in a tight race.
"[The team] entered their new season apprehensive due to the age of the squad and physicality of other teams in the league," manager Rob Mitchell told Women's Soccer Scene. With half the team originating from youth football, starting in 2007 at Under-10 level, it is testament to their commitment throughout the years that they made it to the adult league.
"The coaching team knew they needed experience and strength to compete and made some excellent signings in defence and attack.
"At a pre season team meeting, the players agreed to attempt a top three finish, which all accepted would be a challenging prospect. Winning our first game helped against a tough established team in Little Paxton, the confidence grew and led to a great start to the season, seeing us in the top four after six games.
"As the season progressed, we managed to entice a few more players out of retirement and they enhanced the squad and pushed even the team even further.
"We had some epic battles during the season, which included a local derby against March Town Ladies in the cup which saw us victorious in an excellent 3-2 encounter. Our league form continued to improve and the table started to form by Christmas with St Ives, Milton and Riverside all looking good for a challenge.
"The second half of the season saw the league table twist and turn with St Ives holding top spot for the majority and Milton always being dangerous; a pivotal match was St Ives at home. After losing away, we had to win that match to close the gap and take advantage of the game in hand that we had. We won 1-0 in a tightly contested game and this gave us the belief to change our goals from top three to promotion.
"The title went right down to the final match, with St Ives beating Milton in the penultimate it left it for both teams play for the title on the final day. St Ives were awarded the points before kicking a ball which was a gutting end for their team but the pressure fell onto Park's shoulders were only a win would do to take the league.
"Park went away to fourth placed Riverside who play a similar style to us. The game started off very evenly until our flying winger Erin Powell netted from the right wing. Powell, on a mission, scored two more in the space of fifteen minutes which allowed us all to relax and enjoy the rest of the match, it ended 4-0 with Casey Ward completing the victory. Start the celebrations!"
Park Ladies are captained by Maddie Jackson and manager Rob Mitchell is assisted by Steve Jackson. Amy Newell ended as top goalscorer with 19, one ahead of Kirstie Smith, while wingers Erin Powell and Casey Ward netted 11 apiece. Special mention to all the players but especially experienced defender Gemma Hutton for coming out of retirement and calming the back four and keeper.
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