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Women's Football News
Blackburn Rovers are one step away from returning to the League Cup Final following their 3-1 win away to Huddersfield Town on Sunday.
An own goal gave Blackburn a first half lead which was cancelled out just before the interval by Lucy Sowerby, before Lagan Makin and Saffron Jordan both scored during the second half to take the holders through to the semi finals.
Crawley Wasps, just like Blackburn, are chasing a trophy 'double' and they recorded another impressive win to join them in the last four. Kemina Webber and Darcey James netted the goals as Crawley notched up a 2-1 victory at Southern Premier Division title chasers Coventry Utd, who netted a consolation through Beth Merrick.
Milton Keynes Dons have reached the semi finals following a dramatic victory over Keynsham Town, in which they triumphed via a penalty shootout following a 2-2 draw. Laura Williams gave Keynsham a first half lead which was cancelled out by Leah Cudone, but Cristina Vega Leandro looked to have put the Somerset side through when she scored with fifteen minutes left. However, a last gasp equaliser from Amy Gooderham sent the game into extra time and as the game went into penalties, Emma Kirby saved two Keynsham kicks and Alice Hughes held her nerve to score the winning penalty and send her team into the last four.
Northern Premier Division
Leaders Blackburn Rovers were involved in the League Cup but their lead remains at thirteen points after second placed Sunderland were beaten 2-1 by Fylde Ladies. Sasha Rowe and Olivia Wild scored the goals for the Coasters who have gone level on points with Sunderland, whose reply came from Katie Barker.
Stoke City's hopes for a top two place took a slight knock as they were held to a 2-2 draw by Sheffield FC. After a goalless first half, Stoke twice took the lead through Kelsey Richardson and Ashleigh Hayes but Sheffield hit back on each occasion with equalisers from Milly Wortley and Holly Housley, to earn themselves another valuable point.
Middlesbrough added further despair to Bradford City's nightmare season with an 8-1 victory, which rekindles their chances of a top half place. Emily Scarr and Holly Manders each scored twice for 'Boro along with Emma Foster, Leonie Hutchinson, Tyler Dodds and Eve Marshall, whilst Bradford's consolation came from Harriet Jakeman.
Guiseley Vixens have leapfrogged Nottingham Forest in the table after winning their meeting 3-1. After Rebecca Thomas had given Forest a fourteenth minute lead, Guiseley hit back strongly with a double from Alarna Fuller putting them ahead at half time, and Kirstie Hunt sewing up the points during the second half.
Southern Premier Division
Leaders Chichester City received a huge blow to their title aspirations as they were beaten 4-2 by Cardiff City Ladies. Emma Jones hit a hat-trick for third placed Cardiff, who also scored through Chloe Lloyd, whilst Chi replied through Cherelle Khassel and Jess Lewry. Chichester stay two points ahead of Coventry Utd but have now played four more games, with Cardiff a further three points adrift.
Oxford Utd kept up their excellent run of form with a 1-0 victory over Gillingham, which keeps them in fourth. Flo Fyfe scored the only goal of the game to five the U's their eighth win in nine matches in all competitions.
Watford stay level on points with both Cardiff and Oxford following a fine 2-1 win away to Loughborough Foxes. Becky McGrother gave Loughborough a first half lead but after the break, Watford battled back to take the points when, after Helen Ward had levelled the scores, Alysha Stojko-Down netted the winning goal with six minutes remaining.
After five weeks of inactivity, Plymouth Argyle finally returned to action with a thrilling 4-3 victory against Queen's Park Rangers. Zoe Cunningham opened the scoring for Argyle after twelve minutes but Rangers hit back to go in front themselves, thanks to two goals in a three minute spell from Jo Wilson. Jessie Jones levelled matters on the half hour, the scoreline remaining at 2-2 at the break, before Cunningham netted her second goal, ten minutes into the second half. Mollie Taylor scored what turned out to be a decisive fourth goal for Plymouth with seven minutes remaining, despite Rangers giving them an uncomfortable finish after Wilson completed her hat-trick.
Division One North
After seeing their fourteen match unbeaten run come to an end in their previous outing, Burnley FC Women picked themselves up to get back on the winning trail again, a 5-4 success away to Norton & Stockton Ancients taking them twelve points clear at the top. Sarah Greenhalgh was on target twice for the Clarets along Lynette Craig, Vikki Eastwood and Danielle Cooper but Burnley, who were four goals ahead at half time, needed to withstand a spirited second half fightback from Norton, Bianca Owens hitting a hat-trick along with an own goal.
Chester-le-Street Town won 2-0 at Bolton Wanderers to move back into second place. The home side have been in magnificent form in the League Cup in recent weeks but this time, it was the Cestrians who took the points thanks to a goal in each half from Nichole Havery.
Brighouse Town and Leeds Utd remain in fourth and fifth place respectively after their meeting ended in a 1-1 draw. Leeds led at half time through a penalty from Emma Lee, before Brighouse battled back after the break and Charlotte Proud earned them a share of the spoils.
Crewe Alexandra meanwhile drew for the second time in three matches when sharing four goals with Morecambe. Beth Grice and Loren Cooper netted the goals for the Alex, whilst Morecambe replied through Megan Doherty and Carmel Daniel.
* On Tuesday night, Newcastle Utd battled out a 2-2 draw with second placed Chester-le-Street Town. Steph Ord scored both goals for Newcastle, whilst Chester-le-Street replied through Kacie Elson and Nichole Havery.
Division One Midlands
West Bromwich Albion's seemingly unstoppable march towards the title continued with a 2-1 victory over Long Eaton Utd. Natalie Murray and Rachael Howard netted the goals to give Albion a fourteenth straight win, with Long Eaton's consolation coming from Amy Pashley.
Birmingham & West Midlands Ladies are back in second place following their 5-1 success away to The New Saints. Evie Gallop netted a goal in each half to add to first half strikes from Natalie Gibson, Lauryn Bryan and Emily Painter, whilst the home side replied through Emily Ridge.
Bedworth Utd follow on in fourth as they defeated Nettleham 2-1. The two teams were promoted into this division at the start of the season and both have acquitted themselves well, but the spoils on this occasion went to Bedworth thanks to a second half brace from Sophie Wilson, before Abigail Murrell pulled one back for Nettleham.
Sporting Khalsa made it three league victories on the trot when beating Steel City Wanderers 4-0. Bethan Woolley netted two of the goals and she was joined on the scoresheet by Chloe Handy and Kiera Willdigg.
* On Wednesday night, Wolverhampton Wanderers returned to second as they won 3-1 against Sporting Khalsa. Anna Price, Anna Morphet and Jen Anslow scored Wolves' goals during the first half, with Natalie Morris replying.
Division One South East
With leaders Crawley Wasps in league action, Billericay Town cut the gap on them to four points with a 2-0 win away to Stevenage Ladies, thanks to goals from Sam Pittuck and Zoe Rushen.
Actonians Ladies held on to third place by winning 3-2 at Norwich City. Carla Williams gave Actonians a fifth minute lead which was quickly cancelled out by Chelsea Garrett but the lead was restored midway through the first half through Alessandra Barreca. Kate Parsons gave Norwich fresh hope when she equalised after the break but Barreca settled matters in Actonians' favour when she scored the winning goal with fifteen minutes remaining.
Sophie Le Marchand and Suaila Cardoso Queni were on the scoresheet as Leyton Orient returned to the top four through a 2-1 success at Cambridge Utd, whose reply came from Amber Cantwell.
Luton Town meanwhile stormed to their second league victory of the season, a 4-1 win against AFC Wimbledon which renews their hopes of climbing out of the bottom two. Zara Carroll, Jess McKay, Dionne Manning and an own goal saw Luton pick up three valuable points, Katie Stanley grabbing a consolation for Wimbledon.
Division One South West
Southampton Women are nine points clear at the top of the table after running out 5-0 winners away to Swindon Town. Manuela Naprta gave them an early lead with Laura da Silva adding a second, before they scored second half goals through Natalie Bavister, Jane Yeates and Hannah Samuels.
Chesham Utd are up into third place after scoring eight times without reply past Southampton Saints. Gemma Fraser led the scoring for the Clarets with a five-goal haul and she was joined on the scoresheet by Kate Bowers, Natasha Smith and Jaqueline Hanson.
Buckland Athletic maintained their challenge for a top three place by beating Poole Town 5-1. Sarah Stacey netted two early goals and Laura Gough added a third before the break. Sacha Paynter pulled a goal back for the Dolphins early in the second half but Buckland went on to seal the win as Emily Hannaford put them further ahead and Stacey completed her hat-trick late on.
Injury hit Brislington stay in sixth following their 3-1 victory over Maidenhead Utd. The home side led at half time through a goal from Abbie Kirby but Maidenhead hit back early in the second half to equalise through Simone O'Brien. Alice Kempski restored Brislington's lead with her first touch of the ball after coming on as a substitute, via a 25-yard strike, and Cheryl Baber made the game safe with a cross-cum-shot, five minutes from time.
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