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Women's Soccer Scene
An interview with... Anya Welch (Briton Ferry Llansawel)   Share This 
 Women's Football Wales Premier League News - 7 May 2021
 
Wales Premier League News - An interview with... Anya Welch (Briton Ferry Llansawel) - 7 May 2021 - Women's Football NewsIt has not been the easiest of seasons for Briton Ferry Llansawel in the Orchard Welsh Premier Women's League but the last couple of weeks have shown a lot of promise for them, with two successive 1-0 victories taking them to the verge of sixth place.
 
We talked to Briton Ferry midfielder Anya Welch, who admitted that the team's confidence has been boosted by their recent results and feels that the team can only improve from this point and going into next season:
 
WSS: Well done on a good win on Sunday, would you say that was one of your best results of the season?
AW: Obviously beating Aberystwyth last weekend was a great result, but the win against Cyncoed really solidified our competitiveness as a team as we push our way up the table, and challenge for their spot.
 
WSS: This came hot on the heels after beating Aberystwyth last weekend, how much confidence did you take from that win into the Cyncoed match?
AW: Beating Aberystwyth last weekend reinforced confidence in our ability to challenge in the league. The team has worked extremely hard this season and this result was a testament to the team's commitment and capability.
 
WSS: The goal from Lucy Powell came as early as the seventh minute, did things become tougher as the match went on?
AW: After Lucy's brilliant goal, we continued to put Cyncoed under pressure with a powerful attack. Even with what felt like an endless number of injuries towards the end of the game, the girls were resilient and backed each other up in every single challenge. Overall, it was a hearty team performance.
 
WSS: It is also two clean sheets in a row now, that will surely make your defence and goalkeeper very happy?
AW: I think this has made the team, as a whole, very proud, and has reminded us how far we have come as a group. This form doesn't surprise me; I wouldn't want to come up next to our skipper either! Hopefully, we can continue this trend over the next few games.
 
WSS: It has been a stop-start season for the league, but do you think that playing regularly in the last few weeks has helped the team find its best form?
AW: Playing regularly has definitely allowed us to get back into a rhythm, and it's a shame that this form has come towards the end of the season. But we have been in such a privileged position to be able to play during such an unprecedented time, so it is hard to complain. Hopefully, next season will be a bit more normal, and we will be able to replicate these solid performances.
 
WSS: The Cyncoed win has taken your points tally into double figures, just one point behind sixth place and a large margin ahead of the bottom two. Are you now setting your sights on a top six finish?
AW: We have the ability, determination, and support as a club to be challenging Cyncoed for their place. It is important that we put 100% into our remaining two fixtures, which we are more than capable to get something from.
 
WSS: This Sunday you are away to Cardiff City, what are your thoughts ahead of that game?
AW: It's going to be an exciting occasion for everyone having the opportunity to play in Cardiff Stadium. There is no bobbly pitch that we can blame out touch on! Hopefully, we will have most of our team back fit and ready to put in a strong performance. The results of our last two league games have stood us in good stead for the challenge.
 
WSS: Do you feel that the team is more comfortable playing at the top level now, and can you push on and continue to improve next season? 
AW: The last few seasons in the WPWL have been a journey, but we are now at the stage that we are a competitive team in the league, grinding out solid performances week-in-week-out. We also have a great bunch of players pushing through the ranks, five of which recently had their first-team debuts. I can only see the team becoming more of a nuisance for the opposition, every week. Next season will be our best one yet.
 
Our thanks to Anya!
 

 
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Women's Soccer Scene
Championship joy for Saltash   Share This 
 Women's Football English County and other Leagues News - 7 May 2021
 
 
English County and other Leagues News - Championship joy for Saltash - 7 May 2021 - Women's Football News
 
Saltash United have enjoyed a great first season, which has seen them carry off the East Division title in the Earthbound Electrical Cornwall Women's League.
 
The team was formed in 2020 and got off to a great start, winning 5-1 against Callington Town Res in their opening game. This wa followed by four more wins which took them to the top of the table, comprising of two double figure victories over Charlestown and other successes against Wadebridge Town and Foxhole Stars.
 
After the season had been brought to a halt, play finally resumed in mid-April and Saltash returned to action with what they deem their two more important results of the season, a 3-0 win in the return match away to Callington and beating local rivals Saltash Borough 7-5 - the result which confirmed them as East Division Champions.
 
Saltash United are managed by Dave Hengle and Wes Westlake, with Katie Mace as captain and the team's top goalscorer, with 18 league goals to her name, and also vice captain is Hayley Ranachan.
 
The club would like to say thank you to Darren Mace, who has volunteered his time to run the line any chance he gets, as well as Chairman, Dave Bishop and Steve and Julie Morley at the club who work so hard behind the scenes.
 
The Ashes still have one game remaining on Sunday 16th May, at home against Saltash Borough. They have played and won all nine games and are hoping to make it ten and an unbeaten season!
 
Saltash United squad: Tracy Beards, Jodie Billington, Jade Bryan, Lucy Chilcott, Mandy Cox, Chelsea Easton, Katherine Endacott-Foster, Amber Evans, Yasmin Franklin, Dani Harper, Jazmine Hervin, Sam Kotlinska, Mia-Mae Lawrence, Madeline Leppard, Jodie Lobb, Maisie Lovell, Katie Mace, Chloe McJury, Lucy Molseed, Rachel Odette Cain, Hayleu Ranachan, Laura Shaw, Devon Simmonds.
 

 
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Women's Soccer Scene
Championship joy for Saltash   Share This 
 Women's Football English County and other Leagues News - 7 May 2021
 
 
English County and other Leagues News - Championship joy for Saltash - 7 May 2021 - Women's Football News
 
Saltash United have enjoyed a great first season, which has seen them carry off the East Division title in the Earthbound Electrical Cornwall Women's League.
 
The team was formed in 2020 and got off to a great start, winning 5-1 against Callington Town Res in their opening game. This wa followed by four more wins which took them to the top of the table, comprising of two double figure victories over Charlestown and other successes against Wadebridge Town and Foxhole Stars.
 
After the season had been brought to a halt, play finally resumed in mid-April and Saltash returned to action with what they deem their two more important results of the season, a 3-0 win in the return match away to Callington and beating local rivals Saltash Borough 7-5 - the result which confirmed them as East Division Champions.
 
Saltash United are managed by Dave Hengle and Wes Westlake, with Katie Mace as captain and the team's top goalscorer, with 18 league goals to her name, and also vice captain is Hayley Ranachan.
 
The club would like to say thank you to Darren Mace, who has volunteered his time to run the line any chance he gets, as well as Chairman, Dave Bishop and Steve and Julie Morley at the club who work so hard behind the scenes.
 
The Ashes still have one game remaining on Sunday 16th May, at home against Saltash Borough. They have played and won all nine games and are hoping to make it ten and an unbeaten season!
 
Saltash United squad: Tracy Beards, Jodie Billington, Jade Bryan, Lucy Chilcott, Mandy Cox, Chelsea Easton, Katherine Endacott-Foster, Amber Evans, Yasmin Franklin, Dani Harper, Jazmine Hervin, Sam Kotlinska, Mia-Mae Lawrence, Madeline Leppard, Jodie Lobb, Maisie Lovell, Katie Mace, Chloe McJury, Lucy Molseed, Rachel Odette Cain, Hayleu Ranachan, Laura Shaw, Devon Simmonds.
 

 
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Women's Soccer Scene
Cliftonville lead fledgling table   Share This 
 Women's Football Club News - 7 May 2021
 
Cliftonville Ladies hold on to the early leadership of the Danske Bank NI Women's Premiership after they won 3-2 against Linfield Ladies on Wednesday night.
 
Kirsty McGuinness and Marissa Callaghan ensured that the Reds were two goals ahead at half time, before Rebecca Bassett gave Linfield hope by pulling one back midway through the second half. Toni-Leigh Finnegan scored from the penalty spot to give Cliftonville an important win, despite Rebecca McKenna reducing the arrears in injury time.
 
Glentoran made sure of keeping pace with Cliftonville, thanks to a 3-0 victory away to Sion Swifts. The match was goalless at half time but a 15-minute hat-trick in the second half from Kerry Beattie saw the Glens to their second straight win.
 
Crusaders are off the mark following their 4-1 win against Derry City. Lisa Armour and a Danielle McDowell penalty gave Crusaders a two-goal lead, before 17-year-old Grace Donaghey pulled a goal back for Derry via a long range free kick. Mairead McCann and Emily Wilson then added further goals to seal Crusaders' first points.
 

 
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Women's Soccer Scene
Chelsea lead on final bend   Share This 
 Women's Football FA WSL news - 7 May 2021
 
FA WSL news - Chelsea lead on final bend - 7 May 2021 - Women's Football NewsChelsea will go into the last day of the season with matters in their hands in the title race after both contenders recorded victories this week.
 
With Emma Hayes' side on Champions League duty on Sunday, Manchester City went top of the table with a 4-0 victory against Birmingham City. Chloe Kelly scored twice inside the opening quarter of the game, before Esme Morgan and Sam Mewis crowned the win with further goals late on. However, the result was marred for City as they lost Kelly during the second half with a knee ligament injury which will leave the striker out for several months.
 
The onus was on Chelsea to win at Tottenham Hotspur to regain the leadership and they duly did so, with a 2-0 success. The goals of Sam Kerr have become increasingly important to the Blues as the season has progressed and the Australian striker scored twice, either side of half time, to complete a perfect week for her side. Victory at home to Reading FC Women on Sunday would clinch another title for Chelsea, whilst Manchester City will be away to West Ham Utd.
 
Arsenal have all but secured third place, thanks to a hard earned 2-1 win away to Everton. Katie McCabe put the Gunners in front midway through the first half, but Megan Finnigan looked to have earned Everton a share of the spoils when she equalised sixteen minutes from time. However in injury time, Kim Little scored from the penalty spot to give Arsenal a win which means that only a virtually impossible swing in goal difference can keep them out of the top three.
 
Manchester Utd are the team which are chasing them and they kept those slim hopes alive by winning 1-0 at Bristol City, who will be hoping for a turn of fortunes themselves on the final day. An own goal from the unfortunate Yana Daniels, twelve minutes from time, has left City needing to win their last match to stand any chance of survival.
 
Reading FC Women meanwhile moved back into the top half as they defeated Brighton & Hove Albion 3-2. Fara Williams, in her final home match for the Royals, gave them a first half lead from the penalty spot but in a remarkable three minute spell before the break, Danielle Carter made it two but Lee Geum-Min netted twice for the Seagulls to bring them level. Natasha Harding put Reading back in front ten minutes after the restart and this time they held on for their fifth win of the season.
 
West Ham Utd and Aston Villa fought out a goalless draw which means that the Hammers can now breathe easy but Villa effectively need a point to be sure of staying up.
 
Photo - Bristol City striker Ebony Salmon is pursued by Kirsty Hanson of Manchester Utd (Will Cheshire).
 

 
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Women's Soccer Scene
Moneys into semi finals   Share This 
 Women's Football Regional Premier Souhthern News - 7 May 2021
 
Regional Premier Souhthern News - Moneys into semi finals - 7 May 2021 - Women's Football NewsWoodley Utd 0 Moneyfields 9
Moneyfields marched into the semi finals of the Southern Region League Subsidiary Cup with a nine-goal victory over Woodley United.
 
Both clubs had qualified for this quarter final encounter from their respective group stage matches, but Moneys simply had too much power and experience for the spirited home team.
 
Woodley had the first effort on goal through May Hamblin and the opening fifteen minutes were fairly even. Moneyfields took the lead through Roxy-Lee Stewart with a good low finish.
 
Woodley defended strongly until just after the half hour when Kayleigh Tonks crossed for Kim Whitcombe to head home. A Tonks penalty extended the lead shortly after.
 
Hamblin nearly pulled a goal back with an excellent run beating two defenders before rattling the bar with a curling 20 yard effort but right on the break Tonks broke clear of the defence to score her second and Moneys' fourth.
 
Sheree Bell-Jack added a fifth soon after the restart and then Ciara Boylan scored the sixth on 56 minutes. Things looked bleak for the hosts when Bell-Jack tapped in just before the hour having previously struck the underside of the bar.
 
However, Woodley rallied well with Ellen Surtees going close with a well struck inswinging corner then Hamblin again breaking clear only to be denied by fine save from Lauren Sayler.
 
The rest of the match was Woodley goalkeeper Nicole Haines starring with a series of fine saves to frustrate all the Moneys' attackers, repeatedly beating away shots from Tonks and Bell-Jack and coming bravely off her line to collect numerous times.
 
It took two high quality efforts to defeat the Woodley keeper, a volley from skipper Sophie Kingsley-Cabell from a Carla Nicholson corner then a superb 20-yard strike from Kira Vallely after an initial shot had rebounded back to her on 82 minutes.
 
Moneyfields will face a repeat of their thrilling Vitality FA Cup match up with AFC Bournemouth CST in next week's Subsidiary Cup semi final with New Milton Town and Abingdon United making up the last four.
 
Woodley Utd: Nicole Haines, Holly Wilkins, Eva Thomas, Rebecca Gooch, May Hamblin, Clara Stringer. Ellen Surtees, Bethan Poole, Paige Hunt, Jess Tripp, Charlotte Crook.
 
Moneyfields: Lauren Sayler, Sophie Kingsley-Cabell, Sokhara Goodall, Emma Eldridge, Meghan McKeag, Carla Nicholson, Ellie Bloomfield, Roxy Lee-Stewart, Kim Whitcombe, Ciara Boylan, Kayleigh Tonks. Subs: Kira Vallely, Olivia Pinhorne, Sheree Bell-Jack, Melissa Lawrence.
 
(Report by Patrick Higgins)
 
Photos by www.jamesprickett.co.uk:
 
(top) Eva Thomas is up against Moneyfields duo Emma Eldridge and Melissa Lawrence;
(middle) Sophie Kingsley-Cabell hooks the ball away from May Hamblin;
(bottom) Holly Wilkins tries to close down Kayleigh Tonks;

 

 
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Women's Soccer Scene
Bridgwater stadium plans announced   Share This 
 Women's Football Club News - 7 May 2021
 
Club News - Bridgwater stadium plans announced - 7 May 2021 - Women's Football NewsBridgwater United Football Club together with Bridgwater United Community Sports Trust, are delighted to reveal plans in conjunction with Sedgemoor District Council, for the renewal and rejuvenation of the under used land located off Bristol Road.
 
The pioneering project at Bristol Road Playing Fields will be the first of its kind providing a joint community and sports trust complex that will be the central location for Bridgwater United Community Sports Trust delivery programmes. The development will also establish a dedicated stadium and training facility for the Women's First Team of Bridgwater United FC, and joint Youth Academies.
 
The land is currently maintained by Sedgemoor District Council, with the main activity being a dog walking spot and is surrounded by housing on two sides. The other two sides enveloping the land are a railway line and a cemetery. At nearly 11 acres, the site once held multiple 11-a-side pitches for recreational sport and all parties involved are determined to deliver a valued community asset that will once again see sporting activity return to the site to address the current shortfall of football and sports related facilities within the town of Bridgwater.
 
As part of a wider overview of the project, improved footpaths and cycle ways along Bristol Road are planned to provide improved pedestrian access to the proposed development, reducing the reliance on motor vehicles. Once inside the complex, people will be greeted by a community park with children's play areas, activity areas, enjoyable walking and dog walking routes, picnic areas, provision of an outdoor gym and a mixture of 5-a-side 3G and multi-sport hard-court playing surfaces and community football pitches. The newly built pavilion will service the park with toilets, changing rooms, classrooms and a café, providing a safe destination to enjoy leisure and recreational activities for all to enjoy.
 
These extraordinary plans will incorporate a state-of-the-art Women's Stadium for Bridgwater United FC Women that will be able to accommodate up to 3,000 spectators with a more than adequate parking provision. Having a dedicated stadium reaffirms the Club's ambition of competing in the top flight of the Women's Football Pyramid, The Barclay's FA Women's Super League (FAWSL) and it will become a destination point for football across the region. The stadium will also be constructed to allow for expansion should the need arise in the future with all scheduled maintenance of the entire self-sustaining complex met by Bridgwater United Football Club and its Community Sports Trust.
 
Both Bridgwater United Community Sports Trust and Bridgwater United Football Club are currently working towards a public consultation in partnership with Sedgemoor District Council with further details to be communicated at the appropriate time.
 
Commenting on this exciting announcement, newly appointed Bridgwater United Community Development Manager Oli Moore said: "All partners involved within this project believe that Bridgwater and the county of Somerset is a fantastic place to live and work. Our vision for Bristol Road Fields will showcase the pride we all have in our area by investing in our community. It will be a hub for all to enjoy and will bring health and wellbeing benefits with it."
 
Adam Murry, CEO of Bridgwater United FC commented: "Sport has this amazing, unique way of making a positive impact in society. Whether it's helping children, communities or even nations, sport makes a difference on a daily basis. Sport and recreation is about helping build stronger, healthier, happier, and safer communities.
 
"Communities that participate in sport and recreation develop strong social bonds, are safer places and the people who live in them are generally healthier and happier than places where physical activity isn't a priority. The Bristol Road Playing field's proposal is a pioneering project that Bridgwater United FC with the help of Sedgemoor district council, will deliver a fantastic community and varied sports facility and serve as a destination point that Bridgwater and Somerset can be proud of.
 
"With the Football Club's stadium vision underway and ownership secured, the successful launch of the Bridgwater United Community Sports Trust and local support for this going from strength to strength, and launch of the Bridgwater United's youth Academies this month, it is a very exciting time that I am proud to be part of.
 
"I would also like to express my sincere thanks to Tim Mander and the SDC leadership team, Bridgwater Town Council and all other relevant parties who are all determined to put the Bridgwater community at the forefront of their agendas, for their valued commitment in helping us towards achieving this fantastic vision for the community."
 
Chief Operating Officer Ewan Greenhill remarked: "This is a landmark complex for Bridgwater, Somerset, and the Country as a whole. Nowhere to our knowledge in the country does a Sports Trust have its own facility to deliver its practical life changing sessions nor does a football club operating anywhere in the Women's Football Pyramid have its own ground and training pitches. This complex will provide pioneering opportunities for all."
 
Chairman Bob Buckingham added: "This announcement further reinforces our strong commitment to our community and is another important milestone in what will, I am sure, be an exciting and inspiring journey to our success, both on and off the field."
 
Sedgemoor District Council provided the following statement: "Sedgemoor District Council has been delighted to work with both Bridgwater United FC and the newly formed Bridgwater United Community Sports Trust and is keen to support what is clearly an exciting and innovative project. Clearly there is some way to go before the project is close to delivery but the signs so far are very positive. The Council encourages the BUCST to continue to work with the local community and awaits the submission of a planning application with much interest."
 
Letters of support for this project have been received from The Football Association (FA), Somerset Activity & Sports Partnership (SASP), Sparks Somerset, Bridgwater Foodbank, Bridgwater & Taunton College, Association of Colleges (AOC) and many others.
 

 
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Women's Soccer Scene
Julie Chipchase   Share This 
 Women's Football Club News - 7 May 2021
 
The sad news reached the women's football community this week of the passing of Julie Chipchase at the age of 60, following a short illness.
Julie's name will always be synonymous with Doncaster Belles, from the time she joined the club as a player in the 1970s. She became a regular member of the side which dominated women's football in England for over a decade, before moving into coaching, initially with the reserve team. Two years later she took over the first team and was at the helm for six years, before moving on to take over the manager's job at Leeds United in 2003, where she stayed for a further six years.
 
She worked for the Football Association as a County Coach Developer, which included delivery of the FA's Coach Education courses, CPD events and developing the FA's tutor workforce, whilst developing and supporting coaches. She also worked with England at Under-15, Under-17 and Under-23 level.
 
In 2013, Julie returned to Doncaster Rovers Belles as Director of Football and as a member of the board, where she stayed for the remainder of her life.
 
Fondly known as ‘Chippy' throughout the women's game, Julie was a pioneer of the women's game and well liked and respected by everyone she met. She is a huge loss to women's football and will be sadly missed by everyone.

 

 
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Women's Soccer Scene
SWPL 2 season to resume   Share This 
 Women's Football Scottish WPL2 News - 7 May 2021
 
The Scottish Building Society SWPL 2 season, which was halted just before Christmas, is set to resume early next month and will play to a conclusion.
 
Scottish Women's Football (SWF) have been lobbying for the return of SWPL 2 since the suspension of football in late 2020. However, without testing SWPL 2 has had to follow the Scottish Government roadmap.
 
SWF requested an earlier return to contact training of Monday 26th April. Unfortunately, that request has been declined and SWPL 2 must continue to follow the Scottish Government roadmap.
 
This means that SWPL 2 teams will return to contact training on Monday 17th May. With a commitment from all teams in the league to complete the season based on two rounds of fixtures, SWF will continue to work with the SWPL 2 working group and all teams in the league to agree a schedule to allow the league to play to a conclusion.
 
The league has a total of eight fixtures left to play, commencing Sunday 6th June. Having played ten games already, the season will be concluded after two full rounds of fixtures as agreed by clubs unanimously all as part of the league's COVID contingency planning process. SWPL 2 will then conclude on Sunday 4th July with two teams gaining promotion to SWPL 1 and no teams relegated.
 
The last match played in SWPL 2 was on 20th December, when Glasgow Women won 2-0 against St Johnstone. Aberdeen currently have a lead of seven points at the top of the table, with Dundee Utd, Hamilton Academicals and Partick Thistle leading the chasing teams.
 

 
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Women's Soccer Scene
Chelsea march into Final   Share This 
 Women's Football UEFA Women's Champions League - 7 May 2021
 
Chelsea have become the second English team to reach a European Final, and the first for fourteen years, after they overcame a first leg deficit in their UEFA Women's Champions League semi final by beating Bayern Munich 4-1 at Kingsmeadow on Sunday, to complete a 5-3 victory on aggregate.
 
Chelsea were handed a pre-match boost with the return of key defender Magdalena Eriksson, who had missed the first leg, and they got off to a great start as Fran Kirby exchanged passes with Sam Kerr before slotting home to put them ahead, both in the match and on away goals, inside the opening ten minutes.
 
Bayern responded strongly to the setback and it took a good block from Jess Carter to keep out a goalbound shot from Lineth Beerensteyn but there was nothing they could do as Sarah Zadrazil crashed home a 25-yard shot of the underside of the bar to bring the scores level on the day, and restore their one-goal advantage overall.
 
Two minutes before half time, Chelsea got the goal they craved to tie everything up again. Ji So-Yun has scored a number of crucial goals for the Blues over the years and she came up trumps again, this time scoring with the rebound from a free kick after her initial shot had been blocked.
 
The game remained in the balance throughout the second half until six minutes from time, when a Carter free kick was headed in at the near post by Pernille Harder, to put Chelsea in front on aggregate for the first time in the tie.
 
One goal would still be enough for Bayern at this stage though and they piled on immense pressure in the final few minutes. Although not completely composed at times, Chelsea held on as the ball was rained into their area and the sucker punch came five minutes into injury time.
 
Chelsea were able to clear and, with Bayern goalkeeper Laura Benkarth up with her attackers, Kirby picked up the ball and was able to run almost the length of the pitch and into the empty net for her second goal on the day, and to spark wild celebrations over reaching the Final for the very first time.
 
Chelsea's opponents in the Final, in Gothenburg on Saturday 16th May, will be FC Barcelona after they defeated Paris Saint-Germain 2-1 in their second leg, and 3-2 on aggregate.
 
Dutch winger Lieke Martens was the heroine for Barcelona as she scored both goals during the first half, putting them two ahead at one stage and although Marie-Antoinette Katoto pulled one back for PSG ahead of half time, Barcelona saw the game out to reach the Final for the second time in three years.
 
The UEFA Referees Committee has announced that Riem Hussein will referee the 2021 UEFA Women's Champions League final between Chelsea and FC Barcelona. The match will be played at Gamla Ullevi in Gothenburg, Sweden, on Sunday 16th May.
 
The 40-year-old German, an international referee since 2009, will be taking charge of her first UEFA Women's Champions League final after having been appointed as fourth official for the 2017 final between Olympique Lyonnais and Paris Saint-Germain in Cardiff, Wales.
 
Hussein has officiated at two matches in the UEFA Women's Champions League this season - the Round of 16 first leg match between FC Rosengĺrd and SKN St. Pölten, and the Round of 32 first leg encounter between Juventus and Olympique Lyonnais. She was also selected as a referee for the FIFA Women's World Cup 2019 in France and UEFA Women's EURO 2017 in the Netherlands, taking charge of three matches at each tournament.
 
At the final in Gothenburg, Hussein will be assisted by Katrin Rafalski from Germany and Austria's Sara Telek. The fourth official is Katalin Kulcsár from Hungary. The video assistant referee (VAR) role has been assigned to Germany's Bastian Dankert, and he will be accompanied by his compatriot Christian Dingert. The reserve assistant referee is Julia Magnusson from Sweden.
 

 
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Women's Soccer Scene
Leicester crown magnificent season   Share This 
 Women's Football FA Women's Championship News - 7 May 2021
 
The FA Women's Championship season came to a close on Sunday in entertaining fashion, with the five matches producing a total of 22 goals.
 
Leicester City have had a tremendous season and this was crowned with a 4-0 victory over Charlton Athletic at the King Power Stadium, followed by the presentation of the trophy. Natasha Flint opened the scoring midway through the first half and Hannah Cain added a double ahead of the break, before a Shauna Vassell own goal made it four with five minutes remaining. The win means that Leicester reached the 50-point barrier in their final match and have won the title by a margin of eight points.
 
Durham Women took the runners-up spot as they powered to a 7-1 win against Coventry Utd. Kathryn Hill and Molly Sharpe put the Wildcats two ahead inside the opening six minutes, Destiney Toussaint reducing the arrears moments afterwards, with Beth Hepple contributing a brace before half time. Bridget Galloway removed any hopes of a Coventry fightback on the hour and Durham went on to finish off the best season in their history to date with further goals from Ali Johnson and Abby Holmes.
 
Liverpool finish the campaign in third place after a second half comeback saw them held to a 2-2 draw by mid-table London City Lionesses. The Reds needed a victory to stand any chance of a top two place and they went into a two-goal lead, Becky Jane and Amy Rodgers scoring either side of half time. The Lionesses did not give up though and after Harley Bennett gave them hope by pulling a goal back, Lily Agg earned them a share of the spoils as she headed in the the equaliser, nine minutes from time.
 
A late, late goal saw Sheffield Utd end their season on a winning note, 2-1 away to Blackburn Rovers. After United goalkeeper Fran Kitching had saved an early penalty from Elise Hughes - her second spot kick save in successive weeks - Katie Wilkinson confirmed herself as the Championship's top goalscorer by giving the Blades an eleventh minute lead with her seventeenth league goal of the campaign. Blackburn hit back after the break, Aimee Hodgson firing in the equaliser ten minutes into the second half and this looked to be enough to give them a point until Jade Pennock headed in an injury time winner for Neil Redfearn's side.
 
Crystal Palace meanwhile lifted themselves into a mid-table position as they won 2-1 against fifth placed Lewes. Amber Gaylor put Dean Davenport's side in front just ahead of half time, with the Rookettes battling back after the break and levelling the scores through Danielle Lane, five minutes after the restart. With four minutes remaining, Lewes were unable to clear a corner and Lizzie Waldie was on hand to tuck the ball home for the winning goal for Palace.
 

 
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Women's Soccer Scene
Swansea back on top   Share This 
 Women's Football Wales Premier League News - 7 May 2021
 
Swansea City stepped up their title challenge and returned to the top of the Orchard Welsh Premier Women's League by running out 5-0 winners over Cascade Youth Club.
 
The Swans led at the break through an early goal from Stacey John-Davis and Kelly Adams made it two just ahead of the hour mark. Katy Hosford made it three before John-Davis rounded off the scoring with two late strikes, to complete her hat-trick and take her side three points ahead of Cardiff Met Women, who did not have a game.
 
Cardiff City Women are in the driving seat to take a top three place following their 3-0 victory against Port Talbot Town. All of the Bluebirds' goals came in the first half, Phoebie Poole continuing her recent good form by scoring in the opening minute and then adding a second, before Danielle Green added the other goal two minutes before half time.
 
Abergavenny Women returned to winning ways with a 2-0 success away to Aberystwyth Town. Ffion David gave Abergavenny the lead after 25 minutes and Caitlin Davies wrapped up the win with the second goal after the break.
 
Briton Ferry Llansawel made it two wins and two clean sheets on the trot when they won 1-0 against Cyncoed Ladies. The only goal of the game came with seven minutes on the clock, Lucy Powell scoring to move Briton Ferry to within one point of the sixth placed Mighty Oaks.
 

 
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Women's Soccer Scene
Regional Leagues round-up...   Share This 
 Women's Football Regional Premier East Midlands News - 7 May 2021
 
East Midlands League
Mansfield Town are the winners of Group A in the Trevor Clifton Trophy after winning 2-0 against Notts County Development. Natahsa Leach and Ellie Marshall scored second half goals to put them beyond the reach of their rivals. County finish in second place, just ahead of Arnold Eagles who defeated Sherwood FC Women 2-1 with goals from Demi-Leigh Crofts and Amy Gauvrit.
 
A goalless draw with Notts County Women means that Derby County Academy will qualify as Group B winners. Rise Park meanwhile finished off their group matches by winning 2-1 against Loughborough Students, thanks to goals from Katie Platts and Jessica Waplington.
 
The group decider in Group C went the way of Northampton Town, who took top spot with a 3-0 victory over Northampton Town. Gracie Williams gave Northampton a first half lead, before Leah Cudone contributed a brace after the break. Emma Aspinall, Yasmin Hilton and Sophie Tew were amongst the scores as Oadby & Wigston ran out 5-1 winners away to Thrapston Town.
 
Rotherham Utd have taken top spot in Group D on goal difference following their 6-2 victory against Oughtibridge WMSC. Nat Shaw led the scoring with a hat-trick and there was one apiece from Rachel Hale, Helen Lynskey and Amy Pollock. Chesterfield meanwhile defeated St Josephs Rockware of Worksop 4-2 but it was not quite enough, although they will still go through to the League Cup stage.
 
Beaumont Park made it three wins out of three in Group E, thanks to a 5-1 success away to Leicester City Ladies. Coalville Town Ravenettes have taken second place by beating AFC Leicester 2-1, Aleksandra Wawrzycka and Clair Dolman scoring their goals.
 
The final match in Group F saw second place on the line and it is Sleaford Town who go through with Lincoln Utd, after a goal apiece from Paige Wright, Jenny Hollingworth, Morgan Blackledge, Amy Bird and Verity Dixon gave them a 5-0 victory over Lincoln Moorlands Railway.
 
Eastern Region League
Cambridge City Development finished on top of Group A in the Challenge Cup, claiming their third straight win when beating AFC Dunstable 2-1, thanks to a goal each from Freya Goddard and Philippa Witherspoon.
 
Bedford Ladies maintained their 100% record in Group B, making it three wins out of three with a 3-1 success against Harlow Town. Mathilda Fidler was on target for Bedford along with Freya Hobbs and Hannah Meadwell.
 
Leigh Ramblers have opened up a lead of three points in Group C after they won 5-2 away to Stevenage Women Development. Rebecca Dalgarno, Molly Giles, Georgia Holdaway, Isabelle Wallings and Beth Cooper netted the goals for Leigh, with Melody Jones and Paige Pryor replying.
 
In Group D, Colney Heath notched up their first points when they defeated St Ives Town 2-0. Lily Hall and Nicola Puddick were the markswomen for Colney as they inflicted a first defeat on St Ives.
 
London & South East League
Ashford Town (Middx) extended their lead at the top of Group A in the Spring Round Robin to five points after they won 3-1 at Dartford. Ashley Cheatley, Jade Johnson and Chloe Farrell were on the scoresheet for Ashford, with Elizabeth Adams replying. Eastbourne Town meanwhile won for the first time, 2-1 against Saltdean Utd.
 
Clapham Utd are the new leaders of Group B following their 3-2 victory over Denham Utd. Letitia Campous-Lennon, Holli Demirel and Phoebe Layden all scored for Clapham who have a lead of three points at the top. Kiz Fergus netted twice and Zuzanna Wojtaszewska added the other as New London Lionesses opened up their group fixtures with a 3-1 win against Hackney, whose consolation came from Amy Nicholson.
 
In Group C, Ashford Ladies made it two wins out of two when they edged out Herne Bay by the odd goal in seven. Rebecca Wyatt hit a hat-trick for Ashford and Yasmin Howard added the other, whilst Bay responded with a Gemma Shepherd double and Kate Foster penalty.
 
Parkwood Rangers have taken over at the top of Group D after sharing a 3-3 draw with Hassocks. Zoe Evans, Connie Lewin and Jessica Watkins all scored for Parkwood, whilst Hassocks netted through Katherine Chappell, Jess Craig and Claire Stevens. Megan Cranford, Katie Young and Brooke Nicholson-Rogan were all on target as Lewes Foundation Squad won 3-1 away to Newhaven, who netted a consolation through Katie Franks.
 
Southern Region League
AFC Bournemouth CST booked their place in the semi finals of the Subsidiary Cup with a 5-1 victory against Ascot Utd. Abingdon Utd join them after beating Southampton Women Res 8-1. Kiera Isaac led the scoring for Abingdon with a hat-trick, Beth Hawtin weighed in with a brace and there was one apiece from Tiana Russell-Cartwright, Olivia Hazell and Abbie Smith. New Milton Town meanwhile advanced on penalties against Oxford City after the teams had shared a 1-1 draw. Olivia Bessant was on target for New Milton, with Ellie White replying for Oxford, before New Milton triumphed 4-3 in the resulting shootout. Moneyfields complete the semi final line up after scoring nine times without reply past Woodley Utd. Kayleigh Tonks and Sheree Bell-Jack each bagged doubles for the Moneys along with Ciara Boylan, Sophie Kingsley-Cabell, Roxanne Lee-Stewart , Kim Whitcombe and Kira Vallely (see match report).
 
Eastleigh are through to the Final of the Subsidiary Plate following a twelve-goal blast in their semi final with Tilehurst Panthers. Samantha Hide was on target five times and Lucy Nightingale contributed a hat-trick, with Amber O'Reilly, Manuela Naprta and Leah Shave also scoring. Eastleigh's opponents in the Final will be AFC Bournemouth CST Development, who defeated Abbey Rangers 3-1 thanks to Rosie Eden (2) and Terri Harvey.
 
Post Lockdown Cup (West Midlands)
Crusaders must wait and see if they are to finish on top of Group A after sharing a 1-1 draw with Sutton Coldfield Town. Crusaders have a lead of three points but Sutton will overhaul them on goal difference if they win their final match. That game will be against Solihull Ladies Utd, who won for the first time, 2-0 against City of Stoke.
 
It is a remarkably similar story in Group B, where Coventry Sphinx lead by three points following their goalless draw with Knowle who can win the group with a victory in their final game against Tamworth, who were 4-0 winners over Coundon Court in the other game.
 

 

 
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Duo keep up chase after City   Share This 
 Women's Football Scottish WPL News - 7 May 2021
 
Glasgow City will go into their meetings with their two title rivals over the next week with a three point lead at the top of SWPL 1, thanks to a 3-1 victory over Spartans at the Broadwood Stadium on Sunday.
 
All of the damage was inflicted by City during the first half, Arna Sif Asgrimsdottir giving them the lead midway through the first half before Joanne Love broke through to score the second and Ode Fulutidilu made it three with a fine strike from the edge of the area. Spartans pulled one back after the break through Katherine Smart but it was to be consolation, despite City being reduced to ten players with ten minutes remaining when goalkeeper Erin Clachers was dismissed for a foul.
 
Rangers kept up the pressure in second place with a six-goal blast away to Motherwell. Chantelle Swaby opened the scoring after twenty minutes, before Chelsea Cornet and Zoe Ness provided fine finishes ahead of half time. Kirsten Reilly then netted a double during the second half to round off the win, either side of a goal from Lizzie Arnot.
 
Celtic remain five points off the pace as they also recorded a convincing victory on their travels, 8-0 at Forfar Farmington. Anna Filbey put the Hoops ahead with two minutes on the clock and they went on to register further goals ahead of the interval from Isibeal Atkinson, Sarah Ewens and Sarah Teegarden. Chloe Craig went on to make it five during the second half whilst Filbey netted her second and Mariah Lee scored two headers to complete Celtic's biggest win of the season and end two miserable matches for Forfar.
 
Hibernian avenged a defeat by Hearts earlier in the season by running out 6-0 winners in the return meeting at Ainslie Park. Ellis Notley opened the scoring for Hibs after four minutes, with Amy Gallacher netted twice ahead of half time. Carla Boyce made it four within a minute of the restart and three minutes later, Gallacher completed her hat-trick. Rachael Boyle rounded off the win for Hibs when she scored from the penalty spot on the hour mark.
 

 
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An interview with... Sarah McFadden   Share This 
 Women's Football Euros News - 30 Apr 2021
 
Euros News - An interview with... Sarah McFadden - 30 Apr 2021 - Women's Football NewsEarlier this month, Northern Ireland qualified for a major women's tournament for the first time when they completed a 4-1 aggregate victory over Ukraine in the play-offs.
 
We talked to midfielder Sarah McFadden, who has played a major role in her side's greatest achievement to date and she spoke to us about their successful campaign and hopes for the future:
 
WSS: Congratulations from all of us Sarah! Has it sunk in yet, what this Northern Ireland team has achieved and in a relatively short space of time?
SM: Not really to be honest and I don't think it will until we are walking out at the Euros next summer. On Tuesday I was walking into work and I forgot the play-offs were over and we won them. I had to pinch myself, it was as if the past few weeks were a dream!
 
WSS: How big a difference has Kenny Shiels made since he took over the job?
SM: Kenny and his background staff have been amazing, they have just changed the whole mentality of our team and for us all as individuals, winning is the only option no matter who we play. Every training session we do is always related to how we are going to play and every situation that we might face in that game is covered. The detail we are provided on other teams and how we are going to beat other teams is more than I have ever experienced in all my years of football. When we go into matches, I am not even that nervous any more as I know the sidelines will problem-solve anything and I know what my job is, so I just have to do it.
 
The main difference and why we have been successful though is the improvement of the home-based players training three to four times a week with Kenny and his team. They have all shown so much dedication over the past year and that has shown in their performances, with seven of them starting in the play-off games last month and many others being used throughout the campaign. They have stepped up and it's really showing when you now have such competition across the squad and this improves everyone.
 
WSS: The group didn't start well with two heavy defeats against Norway, but that turn out to be a blessing in disguise?
SM:We got a lot of confidence out of both games, even though we did suffer heavy defeats. We didn't change our philosophy and it was really early in our journey. We knew if we could play out from the back through the midfield against Norway, we could do it against anyone in our group. Again it was about us not being scared to do anything against them and that has helped us for the remainder of the campaign.
 
WSS: Do you think that the 2-2 draw away to Wales was a pivotal moment for you, performance wise as well as the result?
SM: At the time we didn't realise how important Ashley Hutton's goal would have been. We played very well and I don't think Wales expected us to play how we did. We went toe to toe with a team of professional players and matched them all over the field and that give us confidence again. Only a few years previously we had played Wales and got beaten well off them twice. They were far superior to us so again the improvement in such a short time was evident for all of us to see.
 
WSS: After a great win in Belarus, was that the moment that you felt you could get the runners-up spot?
SM: When our keeper got sent off, I am not going to lie, I thought the dream was over but then Furney [Rachel Furness] scored that header at the back post and that's when I thought this is written in the stars for us. After the game - I wish it was filmed - but we all stood holding each other, praying and watching the Norway v Wales game knowing that if Norway beat Wales it was back in our hands. When the result came through, it was when we thought this is our time, we are going to do this.
 
WSS: Many people have said that your win in the first leg in Ukraine was Northern Ireland's greatest ever win, would you go along with that?
SM: For sure, due to the nature of the game and the pressure that comes with a play-off, the fact Ukraine are ranked 24th in the world and had been to three previous play-offs and we won the game like seasoned pros. At international level we have never played a game at this sort of level and pressure, most of our players are young and inexperienced, we had six squad members injured, of which three of these would have started. With all these things to consider it was by far Northern Ireland's greatest win. It was for sure an underdog story.
 
WSS: The maturity and control the team showed in the second leg was admirable, did you always feel that everything was under control during that match?
SM: For the majority of the first half I was a little worried, I just felt that Ukraine came out flying and were playing so much faster than the away leg. When we got to half time with 0-0 and rode the storm, that's when I thought I don't think they can play any faster than that so now we can up our game and get a goal. Once Marissa scored I knew we were going to win the tie. Ukraine's heads went, confidence drained from them, even though nothing had really changed we had something else to defend now and we were in control until the end. When you have two experienced and outstanding CB's like Julie Nelson and Ashley Hutton behind you it gives you lots of confidence.
 
WSS: When considering you have also been missing several key players for most of the group matches, let alone the play-offs, does that make it an even better achievement?
SM: There has been such a strong emphasis on the squad from day one and now we know why it has been so important. If you look at Rebecca McKenna she epitomises what our squad has been about. Rebecca didn't even get selected for some squads throughout the campaign. She could have easily given up but she didn't she waited for her chance and when it came in the two biggest games of the campaign and our lives she stood up and was our best player over the two play-off games. Before the last two games, if you had said to us we would have won the play-offs without our best player in Rachel Furness I would have said no chance. Then again our captain stands up, has the game of her life, plays in Rachel's position in the last game of the play-offs and scores the goal to help take us through. So although we had injuries it was so nice to see people step up and do what they could for the team. Everyone was so tuned in on their roles and responsibilities that all of us had every confidence. This is what we have been all about all campaign and it's the reason we have got to where we are everyone has the same goals and willing to do what they can to win.
 
WSS: How confident are you that Northern Ireland can build on this and qualify for more tournaments in the future, are there many good youngsters coming through at youth levels?
SM: Now with Kenny in charge, the youngsters are improving so quickly and are in the best position to develop and step up over the next 2-3 years. We are only going to improve and the fact we are now in higher pots means we will hopefully have better chance in future qualification. We don't want to stop here, this is only the start, from the outside people probably think we will be happy to make up the numbers next summer in England and happy not to qualify again but while Kenny is in charge, that won't be enough ever. We are all going to work hard this year and continue to build on this. We want to create a legacy in the future for all the boys and girls coming through in Northern Ireland that making up the numbers is never enough.
 
Other than the five oldies in myself, Julie, Rachel, Ashley and Marissa, the rest of the squad are young and have a great chance to build on this and continue to qualify. For the old girls, there will come a day when we stop playing but while Kenny is in charge, I think most of us will have to be forced out eventually rather than retiring voluntarily. We have learned so much over the past few years and just want to keep playing and improving because playing for Northern Ireland at the minute is the best experience of our lives and we don't want to give it up!
 
Our thanks to Sarah!
 
Photo - Irish FA/PressEye

 
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World Cup qualifying groups draw   Share This 
 Women's Football World Cup News - 30 Apr 2021
 
The draw for the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup qualifying groups has been made.
 
England, semi finalists in the last two tournaments, will face Euro 2022 qualifers Northern Ireland as well as Austria, who reached the Euro 2017 semi finals. North Macedonia, Latvia and Luxembourg are the other countries in the group.
 
Scotland will be up against Spain, as well as Ukraine, Hungary and the Faroe Islands, whilst Wales will be up against France, Slovenia, Greece, Kazakhstan and Estonia.
 
The fixtures for each group will be announced in due course.
 
Draw in full:
 
GROUP A
Sweden, Finland, Republic of Ireland, Slovakia, Georgia
GROUP B
Spain, Scotland, Ukraine, Hungary, Faroe Islands
GROUP C
Netherlands, Iceland, Czech Republic, Belarus, Cyprus
GROUP D
England, Austria, Northern Ireland, North Macedonia, Latvia, Luxembourg
GROUP E
Denmark, Russia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Azerbaijan, Malta, Montenegro
GROUP F
Norway, Belgium, Poland, Albania, Kosovo, Armenia
GROUP G
Italy, Switzerland, Romania, Croatia, Moldova, Lithuania
GROUP H
Germany, Portugal, Serbia, Israel, Turkey, Bulgaria
GROUP I
France, Wales, Slovenia, Greece, Kazakhstan, Estonia
 

 
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Ellesmere Port win title decider   Share This 
 Women's Football English County and other Leagues News - 30 Apr 2021
 
 
English County and other Leagues News - Ellesmere Port win title decider - 30 Apr 2021 - Women's Football News
 
Ellesmere Port Town emerged as 3-2 winners against Ashville Youth Ladies in Sunday's title decider in the Cheshire Women's League Championship West division.
 
Although the various stoppages during the campaign limited the season to just five league games, playing each other once, the division was always a close one at the top with three teams in contention at one stage.
 
Ellesmere Port opened up their season back in October and defeated Whitchurch Alport 8-0 in their opening match, before sharing a 2-2 draw with Brookvale Utd the following week.
 
However, they had to wait exactly six months before playing their next league match but made up for lost time on their return, winning 4-0 away to Frodsham Juniors. This was followed by a twelve-goal victory against Malpas Women which set them up for the title showdown against Ashville Youth, who had won their previous four games and went into the match needing to avoid defeat to be crowned Champions, but it was Ellesmere Port who took the honours with a 3-2 victory. "For the neutral, it was an unbelievable end-to-end game with passion, desire and some great football all round," Goalkeeping coach Sam Phillips told Women's Soccer Scene.
 
Ellesmere Port Town are managed by Nigel Basnett, with Luke Jones as First Team Coach and Sam Phillips undertaking the roles of Goalkeeping Coach and Physio. They play their home matches at Whitby Sports & Social Club in Ellesmere Port.
 
The team is captained by Lydia Ward and their leading goalscorer is Chelsey Hodgin with ten to her name, including a six-goal haul in their penultimate match against Malpas.
 
Back Row: Sam Phillips (Coach), Nigel Basnett (Manager), Helen Cann, Keri Sampson, Lucy Carlin, Chelsey Hodgin, Sam Oakes, Sarah Newton, Emily Mcubbing, Lydia Ward, Luke Jones (Coach)
 
Front Row: Leanne Sampson, Louise Wilson, Lindsey Taylor, Dani Painter, Aimee King, Ella Walmsley, Amy Jones, Claire Hannigan.

 

 
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Darts back in business   Share This 
 Women's Football English County and other Leagues News - 30 Apr 2021
 
English County and other Leagues News - Darts back in business - 30 Apr 2021 - Women's Football NewsDartford Res 3 Sevenoaks Town 2
The South East Counties league, like many others around the country, is back in full swing for what remains of this stop-start season.
 
The thriving Kent sections of the SECWFL are engaged in the Spring Round Robin 2021 where 48 clubs are divided into eight groups of six, with the eight group winners contesting a knockout finale.
 
In Group D, Dartford Women Reserves faced Division One rivals in Sevenoaks Town and gained their first win since the resumption with a well contested 3-2 victory. Dominant in the first half and leading 2-0, the Darts were put under pressure by a transformed Sevenoaks for much of the second period but managed to find the crucial third goal which ensured the three points stayed at Prince's Park.
 
Dartford started really well and created several decent chances before the 15th minute opener, when a good early pass by Georgia Culpitt sent Alex Foulds clear to finish low past Maddie Smith.
 
Lizzie Nugent twice went close to extending the lead whilst the same combination which had created the first goal drew a fine save from the Sevenoaks keeper low to her left on 25 minutes.
 
Just after the half hour, Darts added a second goal when an inviting Aimee Ascott cross was met with a fine volley by Annie White. Nugent struck the post close to the break as the home team completed a very impressive first 45 minutes.
 
Sevenoaks needed to come out strongly on the restart and they did exactly that, pulling a goal back on 50 minutes with a Natalie Graves penalty. Tackling strongly and moving the ball early to their forwards, Sevenoaks pressed Dartford back for much of the time, although the home defence protected keeper Nasa Eke well and she was quick off her line to collect through balls.
 
The best chance of an equaliser fell to Luci Dorling whose shot from the edge of the area rolled inches wide on 85 minutes. Dartford seemed to have settled the outcome three minutes later courtesy of another fine finish by White but Sevenoaks replied immediately with the best goal of the match on 89 minutes.
Elizabeth Gregory somehow evaded two defenders close to the left touchline before turning and firing a powerful drive past Eke from the edge of the area for a super finish.
 
Dartford saw out the match well to claim the three points but the most important thing is that both teams, along with hundreds of players all over the SECWFL, are back out on the pitch.
 
Dartford Res: Nasa Eke, Lara Botten, Annie White, Jamie-Lee Cartwright, Natalie Summers, Aimee Ascott, Anna MacDonald, Chloe Hall, Georgia Culpitt, Alex Foulds, Lizzie Nugent. Subs: Rhiannon Staggs, Sarah Cole, Hannah Botten, Brittani Rumble, Claire Hylands, Lauren Hockley.
 
Sevenoaks Town: Emily Orchin, Sarah Gavaghan, Lucy McPherson, Natalie Graves, Sarah Palmer, Luci Dorling, Maddie Smith, Elle Wybrow, Annie-Mai Lucas, Elizabeth Gregory, Shannon Hyner. Subs: Shelley Golding, Caroline Kemp.
 
(Report by Patrick Higgins)
 
Photos by www.jamesprickett.co.uk:
 
(top) Luci Dorling in possession, pursued by Chloe Hall
(middle) Natalie Graves tries to win a header against Claire Hylands
(bottom) Elle Whybrow is challenged by Aimee Ascott

 

 
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Women's Soccer Scene
England legend Fara to hang up boots   Share This 
 Women's Football England International News - 30 Apr 2021
 
England International News - England legend Fara to hang up boots - 30 Apr 2021 - Women's Football NewsThe end of the Barclays FA WSL season will also bring the end of an era in women's football with the news that Fara Williams, England's most capped player of all time, will retire from the game.
 
The 37-year-old made the announcement on Twitter this week to bring the curtain down on a stellar career in the women's game, spanning more than 20 years and saw her win 172 caps for her country, scoring 40 times - only Kelly Smith has scored more.
 
Fara in action against Spain (www.jamesprickett.co.uk).
Fara's career began with Chelsea before moving to Charlton Athletic in 2001 and in November of that year, she won her first England cap against Portugal at the age of 17. Her first start, also against Portugal the following February at Fratton Park, also saw her score her first goal via a free kick.
 
After winning the Premier League Cup with Charlton in 2003-04, she joined Everton at the end of the season and spent eight years with the Toffees, winning another League Cup in 2008 and two years later, she helped Everton win the FA Women's Cup.
 
In 2012, Fara made the move to Liverpool and the following year - after seven second place finishes with Charlton and Everton - she won her first Championship when the Reds beat Bristol Academy in a title decider in the final game of the WSL season. Liverpool then retained the title a year later in dramatic fashion, Fara having scored a vital goal against Birmingham City from the halfway line in their penultimate game.
 
A two-year spell with Arsenal was followed by a move to Reading FC Women in 2017, where she remained for the remainder of her career.
 
In international football, Fara played in an astonishing seven major Finals for England as well as Team GB in the 2012 Olympic Games. She played in the Euro 2009 Final in Sweden, where England lost to Germany, and in 2015 scored a penalty in a World Cup semi final against Japan, where England were beaten before going on to win the bronze medal match 1-0 against Germany - again, courtesy of a Fara Williams penalty.
 
As well as her record breaking career for her country, Fara has won many awards during her career. In 2002 she was FA Young Player of the Year and was named as FA Player's Player of the Year in 2009, the year Everton narrowly missed out on the title by losing the last game of the season to Arsenal. She was also recognised at England level by winning the FA International Player of the Year in both 2007 and 2009. In 2016, she was awarded the MBE in the New Year's honours list for services to women's football and charity.
 
A precocious talent as a youngster, Fara could light up a match with a moment's brilliance and often popped up with a crucial goal. Blessed with a great range of passing and a powerful shot on goal, Fara possessed a razor sharp football brain - the aforementioned goal against Birmingham being a prime example - capable of unlocking defences at any moment. It was also no surprise that throughout her career, she gained a reputation for scoring free kicks that she fully justified on many occasions.
 
Though often shy when dealing with the media, but always polite, friendly and helpful, Fara became a very popular person both on and off the pitch and someone who was always worth listening to.
 
In December it was announced that Fara would be a part of the FA's Elite Coach Placement Programme and would work with the England Under-17s alongside then Head C0ach Gemma Grainger.
 
Next season, it is going to seem strange without seeing the great Fara Williams out on the pitch, with that range of passing and shooting. She will be greatly missed. Happy retirement Fara, and thank you.
 
Photo - Fara in action against Spain (www.jamesprickett.co.uk).
 

 
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Women's Soccer Scene
Football unites for social media boycott   Share This 
 Women's Football FA News - 30 Apr 2021
 
The FA, Premier League, EFL, FA Women's Super League, FA Women's Championship, PFA, LMA, PGMOL, Kick It Out and the FSA will unite for a social media boycott from 15.00 on Friday 30 April to 23.59 on Monday 3 May, in response to the ongoing and sustained discriminatory abuse received online by players and many others connected to football.
 
The Football Associations of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have also announced a similar stance for the same period as have clubs and media outlets across the country.
 
This has been scheduled to take place across a full fixture programme in the men's and women's professional game and will see clubs across the Premier League, EFL, WSL and Women's Championship switch off their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts.
 
As a collective, the game recognises the considerable reach and value of social media to our sport. The connectivity and access to supporters who are at the heart of football remains vital.
 
However, the boycott shows English football coming together to emphasise that social media companies must do more to eradicate online hate, while highlighting the importance of educating people in the ongoing fight against discrimination.
 
In our letter of February 2021, English football outlined its requests of social media companies, urging filtering, blocking and swift takedowns of offensive posts, an improved verification process and re-registration prevention, plus active assistance for law enforcement agencies to identify and prosecute originators of illegal content. While some progress has been made, we reiterate those requests today in an effort to stem the relentless flow of discriminatory messages and ensure that there are real-life consequences for purveyors of online abuse across all platforms.
 
Boycott action from football in isolation will, of course, not eradicate the scourge of online discriminatory abuse, but it will demonstrate that the game is willing to take voluntary and proactive steps in this continued fight.
 
Finally, while football takes a stand, we urge the UK Government to ensure its Online Safety Bill will bring in strong legislation to make social media companies more accountable for what happens on their platforms, as discussed at the DCMS Online Abuse roundtable earlier this week.
 
Edleen John, The FA's Director of International Relations, Corporate Affairs and Co-Partner for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, said: "It's simply unacceptable that people across English football and society more broadly continue to be subjected to discriminatory abuse online on a daily basis, with no real-world consequences for perpetrators. This needs to change quickly, and we continue to urge social media companies to act now to address this. We will not stop talking about this issue and will continue to work with government in ensuring that the Online Safety Bill gives sufficient regulatory and supervisory powers to Ofcom. Social media companies need to be held accountable if they continue to fall short of their moral and social responsibilities to address this endemic problem.
 
"We have recently seen how powerful it can be when everybody is united for the good of the English game. We are calling on organisations and individuals across the game to join us in a temporary boycott of these social media platforms, to show solidarity and unite in the message that English football will not tolerate discrimination in any form."
 
Premier League Chief Executive Richard Masters said: "Racist behaviour of any form is unacceptable and the appalling abuse we are seeing players receive on social media platforms cannot be allowed to continue.
 
"The Premier League and our clubs stand alongside football in staging this boycott to highlight the urgent need for social media companies to do more in eliminating racial hatred. We will not stop challenging social media companies and want to see significant improvements in their policies and processes to tackle online discriminatory abuse on their platforms.
 
"Football is a diverse sport, which brings together communities and cultures from all backgrounds and this diversity makes the competition stronger. No Room For Racism represents all the work we do to promote equality, diversity and inclusion and tackling discrimination."
 
Trevor Birch, Chief Executive of the EFL said: "EFL clubs have expressed a clear desire to take a united stand against abhorrent racist, discriminatory, and threatening abuse on social media platforms which we fully support alongside the rest of the football family.
 
"While we recognise the value and role social media plays in our game, online abuse will not be tolerated and we will continue to strongly pursue all avenues open to us to affect change.
 
"The boycott is only part of the work being undertaken in this area but further highlights the need for social media companies to take additional responsibility for the inappropriate and unwelcome behaviour that appears on their platforms.
 
Simone Pound, Director of EDI at the PFA said: "Social media channels represent an extension of the working environment for professional footballers, and as the players' union, we are committed to finding solutions that better protect our membership and the wider community from online abuse.
 
"As part of our work to address this issue, which started with the 24-hour #Enough boycott of social media channels, the PFA has been pushing for collaboration between the platforms, the game, the Government, police and CPS to find solutions and protect players from the abuse they face daily.
 
"In 2021, with a collective voice, we can hold social media companies to account and send a powerful message to a global audience - abusive behaviour is unacceptable."
 
Sanjay Bhandari, Kick It Out Chair, said: "Social media is now sadly a regular vessel for toxic abuse. This boycott signifies our collective anger at the damage this causes to the people who play, watch and work in the game. By removing ourselves from the platforms, we are making a symbolic gesture to those with power. We need you to act. We need you to create change.
 
"We need social media companies to make their platforms a hostile environment for trolls rather than for the football family. We need the Government to hold its nerve and keep its promises to regulate. The Online Safety Bill could be a game changer and we aim to help make that happen. There should be no space for hate and everyone can play their part. If you watch, work in or love the game, join in."
 
Richard Bevan, Chief Executive at the LMA said: "The LMA fully supports the social media boycott across the professional game. A unified silence will send a loud and powerful message to those that perpetrate online abuse that their actions will no longer be tolerated, and to the social media companies that they have a responsibility to do everything in their power to eradicate online hate.
 
"We also urge Government to understand the significance of this collective action and to ensure that its Online Safety Bill delivers appropriately strong legislation."
 
Kevin Miles, Chief Executive of the Football Supporters' Association said: "The Football Supporters' Association is fully behind the game's efforts to stamp out online hate and discrimination and will join next weekend's social media boycott. Much media attention has rightly focused on the vile abuse aimed at players, managers and journalists in the men's and women's game and we see that aimed at fans groups too. It has to stop.
 
"Many of our most active fan groups tell us that they have received disgusting abuse when they are doing nothing more than trying to represent their supporter base. It's a threat to the very existence of supporter organisations who are run by volunteers in their spare time. As fans we stand with players, managers, referees and all in the game in calling for the social media companies to step up."
 
The Football Association wishes to point out that Barclays FA WSL will be available for viewers to watch on the FA Player as usual.
 
Women's Soccer Scene will be uniting with all of the other organisations and supporting them by joining the social media boycott over the weekend.
 

 
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