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Women's Football News
Northern Premier Division
Loughborough Foxes, on their return to the Northern Premier Division, recorded the largest victory on the opening day of the new season when they won 7-3 away to Hull City. Becky McGrother, the Foxes' leading scorer last season, has started off well this time around by finding the net four times, with Shauna Chambers, Rebecca Knight and Charlotte Cooper adding the others. Ellie Tanser, Rachael Ackroyd and Emily Smith were all on target for Hull.
Middlesbrough made a promising start with a 5-2 victory over Nottingham Forest. Emily Scarr, Tyler Dodds and Beth Dale put 'Boro three ahead at half time, with Rebekah Bass adding a fourth after the break. Forest fought back to reduce the arrears through Precious Hamilton and Isabel Sullivan but Dale sealed the points for Middlesbrough with her second late on.
Stoke City were 3-0 winners against Sheffield FC. Alison Hall opened the scoring midway through the first half, with Tanisha Smith making it two just before half time. Roisin Kivel wrapped up the win for Stoke with the third goal, two minutes into the second half.
Last season's runners-up, Sunderland, face a tricky assignment away to newly promoted West Bromwich Albion but came through the test with a 2-0 victory. Bridget Galloway put the Wearsiders in front in the 26th minute and Katie Barker made the points safe with the second goal, ten minutes from time.
The other promoted team had better fortunes as Burnley FC Women came from two goals behind to record a fine 3-2 win against Derby County. New signings Ellie Gilliatt and Hannah Keryakoplis gave Derby a two-goal lead during the first half, before Levi Rathburn netted either side of half time to bring Burnley back on level terms and Sarah Greenhalgh completed the comeback with three minutes remaining by scoring the winner from the penalty spot.
Fylde Ladies were another side to stage a fightback from two goals behind, this time to earn themselves a 2-2 draw away to Huddersfield Town. Kate Mallin and Lucy Sowerby both struck just before half time to put Town in a strong position but Georgia Stevens pulled one back two minutes after the interval and Georgia Payton ensured that the Coasters picked up a share of the spoils with an injury time equaliser.
Southern Premier Division
Yeovil Town are looking towards a much brighter future following several anxious months and relegation from the FA WSL, and they marked their first match back in the National League by scoring nine times without reply past Hounslow Women. Sarah Wiltshire marked her return to the club by hitting a hat-trick and Kelly Aldridge also bagged a treble, with Ann Marie Heatherson (2) and Meesha Dudley-Jones also getting on the scoresheet.
Milton Keynes Dons have got off to a good start, winning 3-0 away to a young Chichester City side. Rebecca McShane opened the scoring for the Dons in the thirteenth minute and Dominika Netschova secured the win with a goal in each half.
Newly promoted Crawley Wasps have opened up with a victory, 2-0 against Plymouth Argyle. Sam Pittuck put Crawley ahead midway through the first half, before debutant Tash Stephens wrapped up the win ten minutes after half time.
Watford made the trip to Portsmouth and returned with a 2-0 win under their belts. Helen Ward gave the Golden Girls the lead on the quarter hour, and the Wales international striker secured the points with her second in first half injury time.
Gillingham recorded arguably the result of the day when they won 1-0 away to last season's runners-up Cardiff City Ladies. The South Wales side had been unbeaten at home in the league since April 2018 but Grace Harrison scored the only goal of the game eight minutes before half time. The Gills were also indebted to a superb performance in goal from Cara Davies with a string of good saves including a second half penalty.
Division One North
Brighouse Town are the opening day leaders following their 3-0 victory against Chorley. Having finished as runners-up in each of the last two seasons, Brighouse's quest to go one better this around got off to a good start thanks to a goal apiece from Laura Bartup, Annabelle Cass and Charlotte Proud.
Barnsley also had a good campaign last time around and have got off the mark by beating Newcastle Utd 2-0. Both of Barnsley's goals came during the first half, Drew Greene giving them the lead just after the quarter hour and Lindsey Tugby adding the second.
Chester-le-Street Town were the only team to record a victory away from home on the day, spoiling Stockport County's return to the National League by defeating them 2-0. Nichole Havery put the Cestrians in front in the eighth minute, with Katie Ellison sealing the win midway through the second half.
Bradford City put the misery of last season behind them and a new start this season has brought an opening 3-2 win against newly promoted Durham Cestria. Bradford were beaten in every match they played in the previous campaign but a Falone Sumaili hat-trick brought an end to that unwanted run, although they were forced to endure a nervous end to the match when Hannah Greenwood and Erin Third reduced the arrears with late strikes for Durham.
Bolton Wanderers fielded a new look side with eight new signings and took the points with a narrow 1-0 success against Norton & Stockton Ancients. Lucy Golding settled a closely contested game by scoring the only goal during the first half.
Another tight match saw Leeds Utd emerge as 1-0 winners over Liverpool Feds. Molly Havard ensured that Leeds picked up three points when she netted the game's solitary goal, seventeen minutes from time.
Division One Midlands
Birmingham & West Midlands Ladies had a great campaign last season, finishing in the top three, and have made a promising start this time around as they returned from The New Saints with a 5-1 victory under their belts. Jade Grove netted twice inside the opening twelve minutes, before an own goal reduced the arrears for the home side. However, two goals in a three minute spell from Holly Rogers and Tanya Dickinson put BWM firmly in control, before Rogers completed the win with her second late on.
Leafield Athletic made a stunning impact in their first match back in the league, winning 3-0 away to Doncaster Rovers Belles. Daisy-Mai Clements netted a brace for the newly promoted side, with Alice Rogers also on target for Leafield.
Long Eaton Utd finished off last season in good form and began this campaign with a victory, 3-1 against Solihull Moors. Kathryn Pagan gave Moors an early lead which they took into half time but after the break, goals from Kirsty Allen, Nicola Emery and Amy Pashley turned the match around in Long Eaton's favour.
Wolverhampton Wanderers went close to promotion last season and are off the mark this time, thanks to a 3-1 victory over Lincoln City. Wolves also needed to come from behind as Lincoln (formerly Nettleham) went ahead early on through Jeorgia Carr, but new signing Lois Jefferies and Jamilla Palmer ensured that Wolves led at the break and Jefferies wrapped up the win with her second on the hour.
Leicester Utd completed a good day for the newly promoted sides in the division when they defeated Burton Albion 2-0, thanks to a goal apiece from Natalie Hurst and Chantelle Robinson.
The spoils were shared as Bedworth Utd and Sporting Khalsa battled out a 2-2 draw. Emily Walker put Khalsa ahead in the fifth minute, with Bedworth hitting back to go ahead through Amanda Whalley and Abbie Taylor before Beth Gallagher earned Khalsa a point with a late equaliser.
Division One South East
Leyton Orient took the opening day honours in Division One South East and made it an uncomfortable start for newcomers Cambridge City as they ran out 5-1 winners. Hayley Barton put the O's in front after three minutes, with City battling back to level the scores through Karly Tolentino. Egle Trezzi restored Orient's lead ahead of the break and in the second half, they added further goals thanks to Danielle Griffiths, Sophie Le Marchand and Belen Ripoli Douton.
The other newly promoted side, Kent Football Utd, were also beaten in their tough opening game, going down 5-2 to last season's runners-up Billericay Town. Jay Blackie was on target twice for Billericay along with Danica Dougal, Zoe Rushen and Lindsey Morgan whilst KFU replied through an Amy Russ and Shannon Burden.
Norwich City are off to a winning start, notching up a 4-2 success away to AFC Basildon. Aimee Durrant netted twice for Norwich along with Megan Todd and an own goal, whilst Poppy Binding and Sophie Spencer-Webb replied for the home side.
Caroline Bisson marked her first appearance for Actonians Ladies by scoring both goals in their 2-1 victory away to Stevenage Women, who had led at the interval through a strike from Amy Makewell.
Enfield Town were a third team to notch up a victory on the road, 2-1 at Cambridge Utd. Katherine Long gave Enfield a first half lead which was cancelled out by Charlotte Crisp, before Laura Baker gave Enfield the points via a late winner.
Ipswich Town and AFC Wimbledon had to settle for a point apiece as their encounter finished in a 1-1 draw. Helen Ogle gave the Dons an eleventh minute lead, with Ipswich hitting back for a share of the spoils with a goal from Abbie Lafayette.
Division One South West
Buckland Athletic are the opening day leaders following their 4-0 victory away to Maidenhead Utd. Sarah Stacey led the scoring for the Devon side with a hat-trick and Natalie Warman added their other goal.
Southampton Women, who have finished as runners-up for the last two seasons, have started well this time around, winning 5-2 at Brislington. Jane Yeates hit a hat-trick which included a stunning 30-yard strike, along with Lauren Clark and a Kellie Warren penalty, with Cheryl Baber and Rebecca Pritchard replying for the home side.
Three second half goals saw newly promoted Southampton FC to a 5-2 success at Chesham Utd. Shannon Sievwright netted twice for the Saints, Ella Pusey and Shannon Albuery adding the others along with an own goal, whilst Rebecca Bloor and Kate Bowers were on target for Chesham.
Fellow newcomers Exeter City also had a good day, running out 3-0 winners over Larkhall Athletic. Sophie Gillies, Anthea Kaptein and Zoe Watkins all scored a goal apiece for Exeter.
Cheltenham Town have strengthened their squad with a number of new signings during the summer and they have got off to a winning start, beating Poole Town 2-0. The first half was goalless but after the break, Mai Butler put Cheltenham in front and they wrapped up the points when Abby Bevan netted the second midway through the second half.
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