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Women's Football News
Northern Premier Division
One more win will do for Blackburn Rovers to seal a third successive Northern Division title, moving themselves closer by winning 2-1 away to Hull City. Sophie Charlton scored a goal in each half to take Rovers past the 50-point mark once again, whilst Hull's reply came from Hope Knight.
Sunderland have increased the gap between second and third place to five points with a 4-1 victory over Guiseley Vixens. Bridget Galloway, Mollie Lambert, Grace McCatty and Niamh McLaughlin all got on the scoresheet to hand their team a fourth win in five matches, whilst Guiseley's consolation came from Sophie Walton.
Middlesbrough continue to finish the season well and are back in the top three after a 3-0 success away to Fylde Ladies. Both teams are still in contention for the runners-up spot but it was Middlesbrough who made it four wins on the trot, Emily Scarr scoring twice and Tyler Dodds adding the other.
The win takes 'Boro above Derby County who battled out a 1-1 draw in their local derby clash with Nottingham Forest. Helena Constantinou gave Forest an eleventh minute lead, which they held until the dying minutes when Stephanie Smith salvaged a point for Derby.
The points were also shared in the other game, as Huddersfield Town and Stoke City finished level at 1-1. Both goals came in the last seven minutes of the match, Kate Mallin putting Huddersfield ahead and Roisin Kivel equalising two minutes later.
Southern Premier Division
Coventry Utd extended their lead at the top to six points as they won 3-0 away to Watford. Maz Gauntlett gave the leaders an eighth minute lead and Natasha Merritt netted a second ahead of half time, before Gauntlett crowned the win by completing her double late on.
Cardiff City Ladies are now heading the chasing teams following their 3-0 success at Portsmouth. Emma Jones scored twice and Grace Horrell the other to earn Cardiff their ninth straight win in the league.
Oxford Utd also remain firmly in the running for a top two finish, which they kept up by scoring twelve times without reply past C & K Basildon. Emily Allen had a superb day in front of goal, scoring six times to almost double her league tally for the season. Georgia Timms weighed in with a hat-trick, Flo Fyfe netted a brace and Imogen Lancaster was also on target.
Gillingham made sure of taking home a point from their long, long trip to Plymouth Argyle after their meeting ended in a 1-1 draw. Zoe Cunningham gave Argyle a 20th minute lead, with the Gills replying through Millie Waud.
Milton Keynes Dons increased the gap between themselves and Queen's Park Rangers after narrowly beating them 3-2. Leah Cudone's early strike for the Dons was cancelled out by Lauren Jordinson and Sue Kumaning then put Rangers ahead for the first time after the break. However, two goals in a minute from Kerry Newman and Kim Farrow turned the match around in MK's favour and took them to their fifth league win of the season.
Division One North
Burnley FC Women came through another tough test unscathed in their title chase as they shared a goalless draw with third placed Brighouse Town. The result means that the Clarets require seven more points from their final five matches.
Chester-le-Street Town appear to be the main rivals to Burnley and they narrowed the gap on them to six points by winning 2-1 away to Morecambe. After Charlotte Gray had given Morecambe a first half lead, Elizabeth Thompson-Clarke levelled matters on the hour and Laura Hockaday ensured that the Cestrians' long trip to Lancashire was a successful one, when she scored the winner with four minutes remaining.
Liverpool Feds climbed up into fourth place with a late fightback in their 3-2 victory at Bolton Wanderers. The home side looked to be on their way towards picking up the three points when Rachel Hindle and Safron Newhouse put them two goals ahead during the first half, but Laura Bartup pulled one back for the Feds with seventeen minutes remaining and then goals in the final few minutes by Molly Farley and Jennifer Rogers completed a remarkable comeback.
Chorley made it two wins on the trot to keep up their upsurge in form and are back in mid-table after beating Leeds Utd 4-1. Emma Lee did put Leeds in front in the seventeenth minute but Katy Morris and Beth Donoghue netted in quick succession to give a rejuvenated Chorley side the lead and after the break, they went on to seal the points when Rebecca Kemp and Donoghue both scored just after the hour mark.
Division One Midlands
The top two in the league did not have a game on Sunday, so third placed Birmingham & West Midlands Ladies were the highest placed team in action and they consolidated their position with a 3-0 victory over Burton Albion. After a goalless first half, Emily Painter and Evie Gallop both scored in quick succession just after the hour and Painter put the final touches on the win with her second goal late on.
Bedworth Utd's hopes of a top three finish in their first season in the league took a knock as they went down to a 4-3 defeat at home to Long Eaton Utd. Jade Arber was Long Eaton's heroine as she hit a hat-trick and Ashleigh Evans was also on target, with Bedworth replying through Xena Dhillon, Kirsty Farnsworth and Jessica Lundie.
Nettleham meanwhile got back to winning ways with a 5-1 success against Solihull Moors. Abigail Murrell was on target twice along with Tia Johnson, Lucy Farrow and an own goal, whilst Solihull's first half consolation came from Chloe Bickley.
The New Saints recorded their biggest victory of the season with a fourteen goal blast against Steel City Wanderers. Lia Lewis and Emily Ridge each bagged hat-tricks whilst Kim Bebbington, Zoe Griffiths and Laura Pennington added two goals apiece, with Erin Taylor and Laura Morris completing the tally.
Division One South East
Crawley Wasps have taken themselves to within two victories of securing the title, following their 3-0 victory away to Luton Town on Sunday. All of the goals came during the first half, Amy Green and Naomi Cole putting Crawley two ahead inside the opening quarter hour, before Rachel Palmer made it three shortly before half time.
Billericay Town are looking on course for the runners-up after putting a halt to Cambridge Utd's run of form by beating them 2-0, courtesy of a goal apiece from Danica Dougal and Zoe Rushen.
Leyton Orient stay third following their 4-1 victory over Norwich City. Hayley Barton was on target twice for the O's along with Suaila Cardoso Queni and an own goal, with Chelsea Garrett replying.
Ipswich Town ended a run of six league matches without a win, with a 3-1 success at Denham Utd. Natasha Thomas netted a brace and Paige Wakefield the other for the Suffolk side, whilst the home side's consolation came from Kayleigh Currivan (see match report).
Stevenage Ladies meanwhile moved themselves to within two points of AFC Wimbledon after winning their meeting 2-1. Shona Chitate and Ashleigh Deacon scored Stevenage's goals, with the Dons finding the net through Caroline Bisson.
Division One South West
Keynsham Town are effectively one win away from winning the league title following their fourteen goal blast against Poole Town on Sunday. Even though they were without prolific goalscorer Kerry Bartlett who was injured, Laura Williams, Kelly Aldridge and substitute Ellison Roberts all scored hat-tricks along with singles from Justine Lorton, Libby Sims, Ellie Curson and Corinne Yorston plus an own goal.
Southampton Women's remaining hopes of a title challenge appear to have suffered a fatal blow as they were beaten 1-0 by Cheltenham Town, who boosted their own chances of finishing in the runners-up spot. An own goal midway through the second half gave Cheltenham victory and moves them back into third, seven points behind their opponents but with two games in hand.
Buckland Athletic's own chances of a top two place were dented as they went down to a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Larkhall Athletic. Kate German and Adele Hooper scored the goals for the Larks, with Buckland's reply coming from Sarah Stacey.
Southampton Saints narrowed the gap between themselves and Brislington to two points after beating them 4-2. Catherine Browning, Emma Eldridge, Sabrina Morriss-Manosalva and Libby O'Dell were all on target for the Saints, whilst Brislington responded through Paige Sawyer and Chelsea Heal.
Swindon Town meanwhile claimed their third league victory of the season when they defeated Maidenhead Utd 2-1. Milly Colford gave Swindon the lead on the stroke of half time and after Lucy Casey had equalised from the penalty spot early in the second half, Zoe Ridley settled matters in Swindon's favour with twenty minutes remaining.
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