Sunday 24th February
Perfect weather for the final weekend of February last year we had the Beast from the East this time around it was positively tropical in comparison with bright sunshine and warm temperatures far from the expected for this time of year and no one was complaining.
Sad news too with many clubs up and down the country pausing before their matches in memory of Jordan Dawes who passed away after losing her brief battle with liver cancer. The 18-year-old goalkeeper life all too short, touched many in that time, a great smile, a talented goalkeeper whose previous clubs include Charlton Athletic Women and Kent United. A life taken too soon rest in peace Jordan.
Plenty of action across all leagues this Sunday, we begin the action in the FAWNL. One remaining game to be played in the last 8 of the FAWNL Cup. Crawley Wasps Ladies still with a 100% league record leading the way in South East Division One travelling once again to play Coventry United Ladies, themselves with an unbeaten record laying 2nd in the Southern Premier Division. The two sides having met already one this season at the start of 2019 in the FA Women’s Cup, Crawley Wasps winning the game 2-1 to knock their higher league opponents out of the competition.
This Sunday’s quarter final tie no less competitive the dead lock broken with 37 minutes on the clock Kemina Webber who had already seen an effort ruled off for offside fed the ball inside the box and slotting home to make it 1-0. That the advantage for Crawley at the break. Coventry pushing for a reply early in the 2nd half, Beth Merrick getting the equaliser with a looping header back across the face of goal to make it 1-1 with nearly an hour played. Merrick coming close with a strike over the bar moments later. Crawley winning a corner up the other end Naomi Cole sending the ball long to the far post Darcey James with the header to send the ball back in and restore the visitors lead. Defending it was a repeat of the FA Cup game with Crawley winning 2-1 to reach the last 4 and will be at home to Bolton Wanderers Ladies this coming Sunday a place in the final for the winners.
Like the FAWNL Cup their was one outstanding quarter final tie left in the Plate competition with Milton Keynes Dons Ladies at home taking on South West Division One side Keynsham Town Ladies. The visitors getting themselves into the lead midway through the 1st half. The Southern Premier Division side getting themselves back on level terms before the break with Leanna Doyle putting Leah Cudone through on goal to make it 1-1. Both sides with chances 2nd half Keynsham rattling the woodwork, the game entering the final 20 minutes the visitors were awarded a free-kick 20 yards out scored to retake the lead. The clock rapidly running down Milton Keynes levelled the scores at the death to force the game into extra-time Amy Gooderham with the goal. The hosts coming close to winning the game in the extra period it remained 2-2 to head into a penalty shootout. 3-3 after the regulation 5 into sudden death, Emma Kirby saving for Milton Keynes. Alice Hughes scored to send them through 5-4. Milton Keynes at home to Liverpool Feds Women in the semi-finals this coming Sunday.
FAWNL Southern Premier Division
Six league wins in a row now for Cardiff City Ladies in the Southern Premier Division as the 3rd placed side won at home this Sunday in the process seeing league leaders Chichester City Ladies suffer back to back defeats. The damage done in the opening half hour the Welsh side getting themselves into a 3-0 lead with Emma Jones scoring a hat-trick. Her 1st on 6 minutes the 2nd quickly followed by the 3rd midway through the 1st half. Jess Lewry pulling it back to 3-1 late in the 1st half. That was how the scores remained going into the final 5 minutes, a 30 yard strike from Chloe Jones securing the win for Cardiff, despite Cherelle Khassel getting a goal for Chichester in the 88th minute. A 4-2 win for Cardiff in 3rd position leading the chasing pack close the gap to Chichester to 5 points with two games in hand.
Is a 3 way tie of 28 points in 3rd, 4th & 5th in the Southern Premier Division table with Oxford United Women another form side in 4th position 5 wins in a row in the league themselves now unbeaten in 7 to climb the table. Were at home to Gillingham FC Ladies this Sunday, another close game a single goal winning the game coming from Florence Fyfe her 9th goal of the season seeing her become joint top scorer with Emily Allen winning the game 1-0 for Oxford.
Points dropped in recent games had seen Watford FC Ladies slip from 3rd to 5th. Have bounced back with an unbeaten run of 3 matches in the Southern Premier Division. 7 points collected in that time the latest 3 points coming away to Loughborough Foxes Women this Sunday. Watford coming back from trailing 1-0 at half-time to win the game 2-1 with a winning goal 6 minutes from time. Rebecca Mcgrother putting Loughborough 1-0 up in the 1st half. Helen Ward equalising for Watford 12 minutes into the 2nd half with her 17th goal of the season. The winner struck late on Alysha Stojko-Down scoring her first goal of the season to see the visitors return home with the 3 points.
A 7 goal thriller in the other game played in the Southern Premier Division at the weekend with 2nd bottom side Queens Park Rangers Women travelling down to the South West to play Plymouth Argyle Ladies. Zoe Cunningham putting the hosts into the lead in the 12th minute the advantage short-lived with QPR levelling moments later through Jo Wilson. 3 minutes later QPR were in front themselves Wilson striking again to make it 2-1. Jessie Jones bringing it back to 2-2 for Plymouth on the half hour. 2-2 at half-time. Cunningham with her 2nd of the match putting Plymouth back into the lead in the 56th minute. The game entering the final 10 minutes Mollie Taylor extended the home sides lead to make it 4-2, but again QPR responded with a quick reply Wilson on target scoring her 3rd ad completing a hat-trick setting up a tense finish to the game Plymouth holding on however to win the game 4-3.
FAWNL South East Division One
4 games in South East Division One this Sunday. Crawley Wasps leading the way involved in the League Cup it was another opportunity for 2nd placed Billericay Town Ladies to close the gap on them to 4 points. Were away to Stevenage Ladies this Sunday. In need of the points themselves have a growing injury list despite that put in a good defensive display to keep thier opponents at bay, goalkeeper Hannah Vandersluis pulling off a number of saves. Hit the post up the other end Amy Josland with the strike. Billericay are scoring goals and have a number of prolific players in their side the Essex side getting in front on the hour Zoe Rushen finding the back of the net. It wasn’t until the final minute that the 3 points were secured Sam Pittuck with the strike to see the game won 2-0. Billericay have played 2 more than Crawley.
In 3rd position in the South East Division One table Actonians Ladies are now unbeaten in 8 games in all competitions. A long trip up to Norfolk this Sunday to take on Norwich City Ladies in the league. A lively start to the match with Carla Williams firing Actonians into a 5th minute lead. Norwich hitting back straight away with Chelsea Garrett firing home to make it 1-1 in the 7th minute. Alessandra Barreca has been Actonians main goal threat in recent seasons and her 19th strike of the season in the 21st minute saw the visitors leading 2-1 at half-time. Kate Parsons introduced to the action for Norwich in the 57th minute she levelled the scores at 2-2 with the game entering the final 20 minutes. Actonians were soon back in front Barreca with her 2nd of the match and 20th of the season scoring what would prove to be the winning.
Leyton Orient WFC had suffered 3 straight defeats in the league going into this Sunday’s away trip to Mildenhall Town FC to play Cambridge United Women. The hosts taking the lead through a fantastic 25 yard strike from Amber Cantwell. Sophie Le Marchand always a threat on the attack for Leyton Orient put in behind the defence levelling the scores before half-time. The visitors going on to win the game by a single goal scoring again in the 2nd half, Egle Trezzi in midfield playing the ball on for Suaila Cardoso Queni running across the back line top of the area slotting the ball past the advancing goalkeeper. Leyton Orient up a place to 4th position.
Luton Town Ladies had found themselves adrift at the bottom of the South East Division One table a tough season to date just 4 points on the board going into the week. Earned a useful point against a much improved Enfield Town Ladies with a battling 0-0 draw at Enfield on Wednesday night. This weekend were away to AFC Wimbledon Ladies. The hosts enduring a run of 4 straight defeats in all competitions going into the game. Luton started well captain Zara Carroll firing home from a free-kick to put the visiting side 1-0 up inside 3 minutes. Dionne Manning rounding the keeper to make it 2-0 inside the opening 15 minutes. Manning with the assist on the half hour for substitute Remi Bains to score. 3-0 up at half-time. Katie Stanley pulling a goal back for Wimbledon midway through the 2nd half. Jess McKay found the bottom corner in the closing minutes to see Luton win the game 4-1 just their 2nd win of the season and close the gap to Denham it 2 points, both Stevenage and Cambridge in danger of getting dragged into the battle at the bottom now on 14 points each.