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Strong finish takes Harworth home

Harworth Colliery are celebrating winning the Sheffield & Hallamshire League after a great finish to the campaign, in which they won seven of their last eight matches.

“Our first game of the season was against Cleethorpes Town in the Women’s FA Cup Second Qualifying Round, which was a tough test as they were a league above us,” manager Mark Thompson told Women’s Soccer Scene. “Seeing them off in a 3-0 win was some performance. Next Round saw us lose out to Wakefield Trinity but attendances for these games were 137 and 144 respectively, which for us was a fantastic showing.

“The County Cup saw us reach the quarter finals where we were beaten by Huddersfield Town Development out of the FA Womnen’s National League Reserves Section.”

Harworth took a little time to get into their stride in the league, as Thompson admitted. “Our league campaign got off to a bad start, believe it or not, with a 6-4 defeat to Barnsley Women’s Development,” he said. “Even though Sophie Thompson, our top goalscorer, scored an opening day hat-trick.

“By Christmas we were mid table so I challenged them to go unbeaten until the end of the season, which really would be the only way we would win the title. The players responded brilliantly, only dropping two points out of a possible 24 to seal the title.

“It was a tense final few weeks and more so the last game. We knew we had to be at our best and despite a few nerves, we were excellent throughout the game, knowing that only a victory would be good enough to win the league. If we lost against AFC Bentley, it would open the door for either themselves or Dronfield Town to steal the title from us. Our captain, Sophie Gray, rallied the Ladies in what was a win or bust game. Jasmine Blunt calmly tucked a neat penalty away, to settle the nerves and then our top goalscorer, Sophie Thompson, secured victory with a top quality finish to seal the Sheffield & Hallamshire Division One Title. Job done!  

“Important roles off the pitch have to be my coaching team, Nick Burton and Vicky Hogg, who were there every step of the way working the players hard in the training sessions and match days. We would not have done this without them.

“The Important roles on the pitch has to be all the team, if you don’t get the players on board on what you are wanting to do, then you may as well go home. They had the hunger, belief and the desire to win their second title in six seasons.”

Harworth Colliery squad: Charlotte Appleby, Rachael Bell, Jasmine Blunt, Laura Brinkley, Katherine Cunliffe, Tara Fisher, Abbie France, Sophie Gray, Rachel Harvey, Lori Hudson, Julie Key, Katie McCreadie, Grace Sanderson, Katie Scorer, Robyn Snee, Danielle Thompson, Sophie Thompson, Georgia Walker-Ellis.