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Women's Football News
Northern Premier Division
Blackburn Rovers have completed a magnificent league season with another victory, this time beating Guiseley Vixens 5-1. Rovers' prolific strike duo of Saffron Jordan and Natasha Flint each bagged braces, to take their combined total in the league to 61, and Natasha Fenton added the other goal for Blackburn who have won the title by a margin of 21 points, whilst Charlotte Gill netted a consolation for Guiseley.
Sunderland have taken the runners-up spot following their 5-2 victory over Sheffield FC. After a traumatic time last summer, the Wearsiders have responded very well this season and a goal apiece from Katie Barker, Maria Farrugia, Bridget Galloway, Georgia Gibson and Niamh McLaughlin gave them the result they needed for second place. Milly Wortley and Emma Johnson replied for Sheffield who have consolidated themselves and can look forward to a brighter future.
Derby County did all they could by winning 3-0 at Doncaster Rovers Belles but it was not quite enough to push Sunderland out of the runners-up position, leaving them third on goal difference - the club's highest ever finishing position. Hannah Ward and Cara Newton put Derby two ahead at the break, with Andi Bell scoring the third in the opening minute of the second half.
Huddersfield Town also came within a whisker of a top two place, finishing just one point behind the teams above them following an eleven goal blast against Bradford City, who are likely to be relieved the season is over. Laura Elford led the scoring for Town with a hat-trick, Lucy Sowerby contributed a brace and there was one apiece from Arianne Parnham, Lucy Roberts, Kerry Hope, Kate Mallin and Sarah Dobby as well as an own goal.
Fylde Ladies completed their campaign in a top half place after they defeated Stoke City 3-1. Jenna Carroll, Sadie Mitchell and Emily Hollinshead put the Coasters three goals ahead at half time, before Amy Hughes netted a second half consolation for Stoke.
Nottingham Forest finished off on a winning note, with a 5-3 success at Hull City which means they climbed above the home side. All of Forest's goals came during the first half, Precious Hamilton netting twice along with Aimee Hickingbotham, Grace Walters and Helena Constantinou, with Hull's replies coming from Rebecca Beech, Hope Knight and Holly Johnson-Collier.
Southern Premier Division
The season ended with a top of the table clash and although the title was not on offer, the match lived up to its billing with Cardiff City Ladies and Champions Coventry Utd battling out a 1-1 draw. Grace Horrell gave Cardiff the lead early in the second half but deep into injury time, Coventry earned themselves a share of the spoils through a neat finish from Beth Merrick.
Third placed Chichester City meanwhile also drew, 2-2 away to Gillingham. Maddison Chamney-Farrand and Breon Grant were on target for the Gills, with Chichester replying through Laura Ingram and Kim Stenning.
None of the top four teams managed to win on Sunday, but none of them were beaten either, with Oxford Utd also picking up a point against Loughborough Foxes. After a goalless first half, Becky McGrother gave Loughborough the lead with twelve minutes remaining and Emily Allen replied shortly after to ensure that the U's went home with a share of the points.
Watford end the campaign in fifth place after winning 3-2 against Plymouth Argyle, who finish one place below them. Adekite Fatuga-Dada and Katie O'Leary put the Golden Girls two ahead at half time and Alysha Stojko-Down added a third early in the second half, before Argyle staged a late fightback with goals from Helen Bleazard and Zoe Cunningham.
Milton Keynes Dons stormed to a 4-0 victory over C & K Basildon, which means they will finish outside of the bottom three. All of the goals came in the last fifteen minutes, Leah Cudone giving MK the lead before Louise Naylor, Alice Hughes and Kim Farrow all joined her on the scoresheet.
Queen's Park Rangers meanwhile won for the second time in three matches, 2-1 against Portsmouth. Courtnay Ward-Chambers gave Rangers the lead during the first half and after Alex Collighan had equalised for Pompey, Jo Wilson scored the winner with seventeen minutes remaining.
Division One North
Burnley FC Women picked up their eighteenth win of the season on Sunday and end the season having won the title by a margin of thirteen points. A goal six minutes into the second half from Samantha Fleck gave Burnley a 1-0 victory over Chorley, the Clarets keeping their fourteenth clean sheet in their successful campaign.
Brighouse Town meanwhile won 3-1 away to Leeds Utd and this result means that they will finish as runners-up for the second season in succession. Kayleigh Bamforth, Lavinia Nkomo and Emma Pilling were all on target for Brighouse, with Leeds' consolation coming from Rebecca Hunt.
Chester-le-Street Town had started the day in second place but their hopes of runners-up were shattered by a 5-1 defeat at the hands of Norton & Stockton Ancients. Bianca Owens hit a hat-trick for Norton as their free scoring end to the season continued, with Louise Atkinson and Shannon Reed adding the others, whilst the Cestrians' consolation came via an own goal.
Barnsley meanwhile came away from Newcastle Utd with a 2-1 win under their belts. Rebecca Olley did give Newcastle a fifth minute lead but Drew Greene brought Barnsley level just before half time and an own goal settled matters in the Yorkshire side's favour during the second half.
Liverpool Feds earned themselves a fifth place finish after running out 10-2 winners over Morecambe. Emily Douglas was on target five times for the Feds and Laura Bartup hit a hat-trick, with Jennifer Rogers adding the other two, whilst Natalie Broad and Carmel Daniel netted Morecambe's replies.
After 21 matches without a win, Crewe Alexandra ended their season on a happy note when they beat Bolton Wanderers 1-0. Amanda Fallon scored the only goal of the game, just after the half hour mark.
Division One Midlands
The last remaining unbeaten record in the league was ended on Sunday, as title winners West Bromwich Albion went down to a 3-1 defeat at the hands of runners-up Wolverhampton Wanderers. Jade Cross netted twice for Wolves and Lowri Walker added the other, with Natalie Murray replying.
Birmingham & West Midlands Ladies follow on and finished up with a 9-2 victory over Solihull Moors. Nadia Bacciochi, Evie Gallop, Emily Painter and Steph Weston all scored twice and Shannie Jennings added the other, whilst Solihull netted through Chante Douglas and Abbie Taylor.
Sporting Khalsa have taken a top four place after they defeated Bedworth Utd 4-1. Paige Kavanagh netted a first half brace, with Angelique Morley and Chloe Handy adding the others, Bedworth's consolation coming from Kirsty Farnsworth.
Long Eaton Utd also moved up the table on the back of a 4-0 success away to Steel City Wanderers. Jade Arber, Laura Sears, Kate Wright and Viktoria Adam were all on target for Long Eaton.
The New Saints were another team to end the season in good form, Laura Morris bagging a hat-trick as they won 9-1 against Burton Albion. Kim Bebbington, Jodie Bragan, Laura Pennington, Emily Ridge, Erin Taylor and Katie Doster rounded off the victory by also getting on the scoresheet.
Division One South East
Crawley Wasps picked up yet another victory to complete their campaign, this time winning 2-1 away to Leyton Orient. The home side had started the game with hopes of a top three place but it was Crawley who took the points thanks to Darcey James and Naomi Cole, with Lisa Holmback replying.
Norwich City meanwhile produced one of their best results of the season when beating Billericay Town 4-2 and guaranteeing themselves National League football next season. Chelsea Garrett scored twice, along with Millie Daviss and Sasha Diston to give Norwich the result they required, whilst Sam Pittuck and Zoe Rushen netted for Billericay.
Enfield Town finish in third place following their 2-0 victory over Denham Utd. Molly Peters gave Enfield the lead just ahead of the hour mark and Kathering Long sealed the points with the second.
The win for Enfield takes them ahead of Actonians Ladies who were beaten 1-0 by AFC Wimbledon. Becky McLaren-Johnson scored the only goal of the game for the Dons as they finished the season with three successive wins.
Ipswich Town finish one place above Cambridge Utd after winning their meeting 3-2. Abbie Lafayette, Zoe Cossey and Natasha Thomas were all on target for Ipswich, with Cambridge's replies coming from Mollie Coupar and Amy Howlett.
Stevenage Ladies were 3-0 winners against Luton Town. Amy Makewell, Erin Pope and Ellie Searle scored the goals for Stevenage.
Division One South West
Southampton Women have finished as runners-up in the division for the second season in a row and they ended their campaign by sharing a goalless draw with fourth placed Buckland Athletic (see match report).
Larkhall Athletic have ended their season with a six-match unbeaten run after finishing level at 1-1 with Cheltenham Town. In a match which marked stalwart goalkeeper Nicki O'Connell's final match for the club, Amanda Blakeley was on target for the Larks whilst Cheltenham, who have had a fine season, scored through Annie Martin.
Chesham Utd ended their campaign by beating Poole Town 6-1. Gemma Fraser led the scoring with a hat-trick, Jaqueline Hanson weighed in with a double and Kate Bowers was also on target, whilst the Dorset side's consolation came from Hollie Agombar.
Swindon Town maintained their improving finish to the season with a 3-2 victory over Brislington. Polly New and Rianne Lewis scored for Swindon, along with an own goal, with Brislington replying through Polly Wardle and Paige Sawyer.
Maidenhead Utd ensured they will finish off the bottom of the table after winning 1-0 away to Southampton Saints. Aine McKeever scored the only goal of the game to give Maidenhead the result they needed to move above Poole on goal difference.
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