Sunday 12th January
FAWNL Southern Premier Division
Watford Ladies ending 2019 top of the Southern Premier Division 3 points clear of nearest challengers Crawley Wasps Ladies who like Watford had suffered just one defeat in the first half of the season following promotion as South East Division One Champions the season before and with Watford’s home game against Portsmouth FC Women falling foul to the weather, it presented a opportunity for Crawley Wasps to move back level on points at the top of the table. A tough test though with an away trip to another side making a strong start to the season Plymouth Argyle Ladies who ended 2019 with back to back defeats in the league after a long winning streak of 7 matches following an opening day loss away to Crawley Wasps.
Plymouth hit by injuries, Crawley Wasps starting well getting on the front foot few chances created the score 0-0 at half-time the 2nd half looked to be heading the same way both sides defending well the game closing in on the final 10 minutes, Plymouth seeing Katie Middleton Sin Binned for decent the hosts down to 10, Crawley Wasps attacking the ball on the right played central picked up by Rachel Palmer free 25 yards out to line up a great left foot strike to put Crawley Wasps into the lead and see the 3 points won.
Plymouth off the back of a 3rd successive defeat drop down to 4th in the Southern Premier Division table overhauled by Cardiff City Ladies the Welsh side making the trip to Kent on Sunday to play Gillingham Ladies who beat Cardiff 1-0 in the reverse fixture on the opening day of the season. A competitive start by both sides Gillingham suffering a blow midway through the 1st half as they were reduced to 10 Bethany Powell sent off. Cardiff taking the lead moment later Cori Williams heading in to make it 1-0, a 2nd goal coming for the visitors in first half stoppage time Williams on target to make it 2-0. Cardiff pressing for a 3rd goal went further ahead early in the 2nd half Carrie sending the ball home to make it 3-0 on 54 minutes. A quickfire double with 10 minutes to go sealing a 5-0 victory for Cardiff, Nadia Lawrence with a goal to make it 4, Williams wrapping up her hat-trick to take her goals tally for the season to 9.
Cardiff now a point ahead of Plymouth it is incredibly tight in the top half of the Southern Premier Division table with just 2 points between the sides making up the top 6. Oxford United Women joining Plymouth on 21 points in 5th spot with an away win against Keynsham Town Ladies on Sunday. Oxford opening the scoring inside the opening 15 minutes Georgia Clifford’s making a run down the left whipping in a cross for Cheryl Williams to turn in at the far post. Keynsham battling their way back into the game Oxford creating good chances Keynsham equalising on the stroke of half-time a curling shot finding it’s way into the top corner. Oxford straight back into the lead at the start of the 2nd half another left wing cross Stephaney Bent to tap home. Oxford pressuring the home defence in search of more goals a 3rd coming on the hour, Brogan Moore pouncing in a shot fumbled by the goalkeeper putting the visitors 3-1 ahead Williams striking from the edge of the box a minute later to net her 10th goal of the season. Oxford dominating adding a 5th goal with 10 minutes left Georgia Clifford scoring her first league goal for the club. A 6th coming moments later with Carly Johns scoring to keep pace match Williams tally of 10 for the season.
Yeovil Town Women making up the top 6 with a big home win at the weekend over struggling Hounslow Women 2 points behind 3rd placed Cardiff. A battling performance to earn a point away to bottom side Chichester City Ladies last weekend the game finishing goalless. Hounslow with just 3 points haven’t won this season 2nd bottom fighting to stay in the league faced a Yeovil side with plenty of goals in them would finish the afternoon as the Southern Premier Division’s leading goalscorers. Early pressure from the hosts Hounslow’s goalkeeper making a couple of saves. Sarah Wiltshire putting Yeovil into the the lead getting onto the end of a ball put in by Charlotte Buxton with 20 minutes played. Meesha Dudley-Jones adding a 2nd goal for Yeovil just a 2 minute later put through to score by Katie Jones. Wiltshire scoring her 2nd of the match 5 minutes later to see Yeovil in control of the match a penalty stroked home by Annie Heatherson in first half stoppage time seeing Yeovil leading 4-0 at the break. Wiltshire on target for her 17th goal of the season completing her hat-trick 5 minutes into the start of the 2nd half. Ellie Strippel making her debut for Yeovil marking the occasion with a goal with the game entering the final 15 minutes. Wiltshire making it 7-0 with her 4th strike of the match in the 81st minute the final score 8-0 to Yeovil with Megan Wood scoring with 3 minutes left to play.
Despite making a bright start to the season Milton Keynes Dons Women winning their opening two matches a poor run since has yielded just one more point. 6 straight losses to end 2019 despite some battling performances particularly in the cup competitions. Bringing in a host of new players were looking to get 2020 off to a positive start as they hosted bottom side Chichester City Ladies at the Stadium MK on Sunday. Milton Keynes creating opportunities early on, Chichester still in search of their first win of the season beginning 2020 with a goalless draw with fellow strugglers Hounslow Women last weekend with a couple of chances of their own over the bar. Jade Bell’s cross/shot from the wing finding the back of the net to put Milton Keynes 1-0 midway through the first half. Jamie Rowlands with a with a great save to deny Milton Keynes a 2nd goal late in the first half. Leading 1-0 going into the 2nd half. Around the hour Milton Keynes doubling their lead combination play between Louise Naylor and Kim Farrow seeing Jessica Driscoll score from the resulting cross. Emma Kirby off her line to make a fantastic save to in the final 5 minutes for Milton Keynes ensuring they kept a clean sheet and began the year with a much welcome 3 points.
FAWNL South East Division One
Ipswich Town Women ending 2019 4 points clear at the top of FAWNL South East Division One unbeaten in their first 9 matches played dropping just 2 points those coming back on the opening day a home draw 1-1 with AFC Wimbledon Ladies. Reaching the 4th Round of the Women’s FA Cup beating Southern Premier Division side Portsmouth FC Women last weekend were back in league action this Sunday with a top of the table clash against… AFC Wimbledon Ladies. One of a host of sides making a strong start to the season very tight in the top half of the South East Division One table, Wimbledon like Ipswich undefeated long into the first half the season suffering a 1-0 defeat to Actonians Ladies in their final game of 2019 to end that record. Up to 2nd in the table 4 points the gap to Ipswich. The visitors getting off to a fantastic start with Elouise King racing onto captain Amanda Crump’s fantastic forwards pass to turn inside outside the box and send a shot in off the bar to make it 1-0 inside 3 minutes. Wimbledon goalkeeper Charlotte Ferguson suffering a head injury bandaged up the game resuming making some vital saves to keep the scoreline at 1-0 with Ipswich pressing. Ipswich ending the first half with 10 Lucy Egan in the Sin Bin for descent the disadvantage continuing into the 2nd half.
Ipswich back up to full strength with was Wimbledon’s turn to go down to 10 however Stephanie Mann with shown a straight red the hosts a goal and player down with a mountain to climb 2nd half. Ipswich pushing forwards Ferguson on hand making several vital saves to deny to frustrate Ipswich. The game turned on it’s head in the closing minutes Wimbledon pressing just one goal in it new signing Lily Stevens sending a thunderous free-kick onto the crossbar. Five minutes left to play Wimbledon awarded another set-piece Steven’s with another well taken strike Ipswich goalkeeper Nikita Runnacles with a tremendous save getting a glove up to the ball fell to a Wimbledon players crossed back into the six yard box Georgia Heasman launching it into the back of the net. 1-1 the game deep into stoppage time Steven’s over another free-kick 40 yards out struck well again Runnacles unable to get to it the ball over her dropping into the back of the net to see Wimbledon snatch a 2-1 win at the death and end Ipswich’s unbeaten record closing the gap to the leaders to just a point.
That result seeing thing’s really tighten up in the top half of the FAWNL South East Division One table, just 6 points separating the top six now positive results at the weekend for 3 more of those sides seeing 3rd placed Billericay Town Ladies who were in FA Cup action pushed down to 6th spot in the table, the Essex side with 2 games in hand on the leaders. Leyton Orient WFC now within 3 points of Ipswich themselves as they won the 3 points away to 2nd bottom Cambridge City Ladies at Ely City FC on Sunday. Early chances for Leyton Orient, Cambridge goalkeeper Dominika Szary wit a couple of saves, Leyton Orient’s top scorer Otesha Charles getting hold of the ball at the top of the box making room to get a shot away low across the keeper to make it 1-0. The visitors pushing for a 2nd goal Ellie Stenning sending in a cross at the near post with half an hour played. 2-0 the lead at half-time Cambridge improving 2nd half creating opportunities without really testing the goal keeper pulled it back to 2-1 with 20 minutes left Bella Simmons heading in at the near post. Leyton Orient keeping them from scoring a 2nd to win it 2-1.
Enfield Town Ladies just a point further back from Leyton Orient in 4th spot were hosting Cambridge United WFC who had ended the year with a confidence boosting 3-0 home with over Leyton Orient. Always a tough game between themselves and Enfield. The pair contesting a goalless first half. Enfield awarded a penalty 3 minutes into the start of the 2nd period. Beth Lumsden placing the ball into the bottom corner to give the hosts the lead. Nuala McKevitt captaining Enfield doubling the advantage on the hour heading home from inside the six yard box. Sophy Stonehouse saving a penalty up the other end for Enfield to keep their clean sheet intact Tyra Mills scoring in injury time to see Enfield take the points with a 3-0 victory.
AFC Basildon Women up to 5th in the South East Division One table coming out on top in a high scoring game away to Norwich City Women at the weekend. Basildon hitting Norwich on the break to score an early goal in the match Chelsea Garrett pulling Norwich back level with a quarter played finding the top corner to make it 1-1. Basildon soon coming back to restore their lead a strike from the edge of the box to find the top corner, the hosts failing to clear the ball leading to Basildon going 3-1 ahead. Aimee Durrant seeing a great strike from distance go in off the post to get it back to 3-2 in the 35th minute. Basildon though restoring their 2 goal cushion before half-time to go into the changing rooms 4-2 up. The Essex side further extending their lead early in the 2nd half a counter attack making it 5-0 in the 50th minute. Basildon capitalising in Norwich mistakes going 6-2 up Garrett firing home to score her 2nd of the game for Norwich midway through the 2nd half. Basildon making it 7-3 with a shot from distance the game into the final 15 minutes a corner for Norwich Reeanna Cook getting a touch to put it over the line, Basildon going up the other end to score an 8th of the game and take the points home with an 8-4 win.
Women’s FA Cup
One more game to bring you and seeing as it features two more clubs from FAWNL South East Division One is worth a mention as Billericay Town Ladies and Actonians Ladies the two lowest league placed sides left in the competition met this Sunday in the 3rd Round of the Women’s FA Cup. History to be made a trip to Championship side Lewes FC Women. Postponed from last Sunday played at Aveley FC under the lights. An action packed first half Billericay’s Karissa Rodney capitalising from a corner to score at close range after a header from a corner smashed down of the crossbar in the 10th minute that goal the difference between the sides going into the break. Actonians a threat all game attacking came back to level the scores midway through the 2nd half top scorer Alessandra Barreca through on goal scoring from the tightest of angles. 1-1 with 15 minutes to play Actonians turning it around to take the lead a corner swung into the six yard box from the left headed home by Barreca to put Actonians 2-1 ahead. Billericay awarded a penalty soon after Therese Addison striking a powerful low drive into the back of the net. Extra-time looming the game deep into stoppage time Billericay winning a corner the high ball looped into the six yard box evading the keeper, the ball going in off Billericay captain Lindsey Morgan to see the game won at the death 3-2.