Category Archives: FAWPL Championship Play Off

The Round-Up – 28/05/17

The Round-Up

Sunday 28th May

  The final edition of The Round-Up for the 2016/17 season  as the weekend saw the last fixtures played… well almost one to sneak in for Norfolk this Wednesday. Most teams played out a handful of games left to play in Essex and the biggest game in their history for FAWPL Southern Division Champions, Tottenham Hotspur Ladies as they took on the Northern Division Champions, Blackburn Rovers Ladies in the FAWPL Championship Play Off the overall winner clinching promotion to the FAWSL. The Supporting Women’s Football Blog was there to cover the match and you can read all about it below.

FAWPL Championship Play Off

FAWPL Championship Play Off – Tottenham Hotspur Ladies v Blackburn Rovers Ladies


  The Clash of the Champions this Sunday at The Valley for the 3rd FAWPL Championship Play Off match between Tottenham Hotspur Ladies & Blackburn Rovers Ladies. 

  The Champions from the FAWPL Southern & Northern Divisions meeting to decide the overall winner and with it promotion to the FAWSL. A huge game in the women’s football calendar the biggest game in the history of both clubs. Sheffield FC Ladies & Brighton & Hove Albion WFC have won the previous two FAWPL Championship Play Off matches to celebrate promotion to the FAWSL, who will join them?

  Based in the East of England I have seen Tottenham Hotspur Ladies a few times over the past few years are one of the most exciting attacking women’s football sides to watch in the country, although they haven’t acheived the success in the league that their potential showed. Was just a matter of a few tweaks here and there for manager Karen Hills to find the winning formula on a regular basis and this season that potential has born fruit. 

 A competitive league Tottenham Hotspur Ladies have led for pretty much the whole of the season keeping ahead of rivals, Coventry United Ladies, Cardiff City Ladies and Charlton Athletic Women with a long unbeaten record clinching the FAWPL Southern Division title on a memorable night at White Hart Lane itself. Successfully defending the FAWPL Cup as well as winning the Boux Avenue Cup Final a fantastic treble, setting up what maybe a historic quadruple. Attackers Bianca Baptiste and Wendy Martin have netted 25 goals each so far this season.

  Blackburn Rovers Ladies wrapped up the FAWPL Northern Division back at the end of March finishing 11 points clear of the rest of the field going the entire league campaign unbeaten winning 17 of their 20 games. Manager Gemma Donnelly building on from last season’s 3rd place finish. Have won a double this season themselves defeating Flyde Ladies 1-0 in the final of the Lancashire Women’s County Cup Final. 

  Have only lost twice this season and both of those games in cup competitions to the narrowest of margins going down 4-3 after extra-time in the FAWPL Cup. Their other loss against Tottenham at home in the FA Women’s Cup back in February losing 2-1 Bianca Baptiste with both goals the 2nd in the last minute. Have plenty of goals in their attack too with Saffron Jordan on 22 for the season, Ella Toone with 21 goals.

  The venue for today’s game The Valley, home of Charlton Athletic FC. A stadium very much set in the heart of the community, quite well hidden surrounded by residential properties. A little bit of research and there are plenty of places to park nearby once you know where to look. An all seater stadium capacity 27,111 fantastic to see another high profile venue hosting a women’s football fixture. A large pitch still in great condition despite the it being the end of the domestic season a little wear, but no more than I saw at Carrow Road on Monday night. Promised to be a very warm day hot and sunny left the coat in the car… was going to regret that later on. The size of the pitch and the heat could well play there part for both sides playing their final game of a long season. Up in the 2nd tier for this one an eagle eye view of the action, no chance of getting a ball in the face for my efforts today…

 Tottenham Hotspur Ladies starting XI – Toni-Anne Wayne, Lucia Leon, Leah Rawle, Jenna Schillaci (C), Renee Hector, Josie Green, Sophie Mclean, Maya Vio, Ronnell Humes, Wendy Martin & Bianca Baptiste.
 subs – Shannon Moloney, Riana Soobadoo, Eartha Pond, Kelley Blanchflower & Katie O’Leary.

 Blackburn Rovers Ladies starting XI – Danielle Hill, Danielle Whitham, Kelsey Pearson, Kayleigh McDonald, Ellie Stewart, Lynda Shepherd (C), Jess Holbrook, Ella Toone, Natasha Fenton, Faye McCoy & Saffron Jordan

 subs – Alex Taylor, Hannah Fryer, Ria Montgomary, Emma Rankin & Ellie Cook.

  The pre-match formalities done time for everyone inside the stadium to pause and reflect like so many other events across the country, a minutes silence to remember the 22 victims of Monday’s terrible bomb attack in Manchester along with those injured some still fighting for their lives in hospital.

  It’s Blackburn to get the FAWPL Championship Play Off match underway kicking off 1st half, wearing their away colours red shirts with maroon horizontal stripes, black shorts and red socks with Tottenham lined up in their traditional white coloured shirts with navy shorts and socks. A break in play early on after Tottenham captain Jenna Schillaci stays down after a challenge from Blackburn’s Natasha Fenton concern as she stays down gingerly back on her feet, Sophie McLean dropping into the back four whilst she is assessed off the pitch the crowd cheering when their captain is able to return.

  Blackburn look to get the ball into Fenton wide right winning the throw in the ball worked in field is sent high into the area the cross long to the far post looking to pick out Ella Toone is claimed high by goalkeeper Toni-Anne Wayne inside her six yard box. Tottenham come forwards the ball played into Martin over halfway she sends it on picking out Bianca Baptiste coming off the left flank getting in behind, Blackburn goalkeeper Danielle Hill out quickly to the top of her area to meet the striker sliding in stops the ball is hurt as she and Baptiste come together, the trainer on Hill is up on her feet after another lengthy spell of treatment.

  Hill is soon in the action again after the restart as Renee Hector comes forwards from the back with the ball for Tottenham rolls it on for Ronnell Humes attacking down the right side taking the ball to the byline clips it back in towards goal, Hill claiming it high above her head with runners closing in. A free-kick for Tottenham wide right inside the Blackburn half as Baptiste is  caught by Fenton players lining up along the top of the area as Baptiste plays the ball into the area a good punch from Hill as the delivery comes in centrally top of the six yard box falls to Lucia Leon just inside the box looks to place her header back in towards goal, Hill is able to claim.

  Warm out there in the opening 15 minutes players from both sides taking the opportunity to take on fluids. Both sides moving the ball about the pitch using it’s full width. Leon comes forwards with the ball from a goalkick has Humes aiming to get in behind ahead of her slides the ball into her run, Hill comes to block with her feet, Tottenham regain possession back with Leon wide right her cross long into the area is again claimed well by Hill with Baptiste coming in around the back. 

  Tottenham building some momentum getting hold of the ball Mclean on the ball plays the ball on for Humes to chase in behind on the right Hill out of her area wins the race slices her clearance, from the resulting throw in Hector is fouled taken quickly the ball rolled inside is squared into Baptiste her back to goal inside the D, knocks the ball away her intention to turn and strike the ball from 25 yards out her shot taking a deflection off Blackburn’s Ellie Stewart goes away for the corner kick.

  Taken by Schillaci on the right a good delivery into the six yard box, Hill comes through bodies near post to get a fist on the ball punch it away dropping to Humes just inside the area she attempts the 1st time lob the ball looping up and down lands on the roof of the Blackburn net. Leah Rawle with the opportunity to carry the ball forwards from left back for Tottenham links up with Martin in fired 25 yards from goal she helps it on into the area with Baptiste coming in off the wing a good challenge from Blackburn’s Kayleigh McDonald to deny her a shot on goal, wouldn’t have counted anyway as the assistants flag is raised for offside.

Jess Holbrook bringing the ball forwards for Blackburn Rovers Ladies

  Midway through the 1st half an intriguing contest both sides attacking with purpose, the ball brought on by Jess Holbrook for Blackburn the ball out wide right a throw won. Fenton sending a high ball into the area to claimed by Wayne. Pressure from Holbrook and captain Lynda Shepherd the ball played down the right as Blackburn come on again the ball played into Jordan’s feet outside the area right looks to get inside as she helps it on for Toone who rolling her mark plays the ball into Jordan 8 yards out gets her foot on the ball stabbing it past Wayne but also wide across the goal, Blackburn’s best chance of the game so far.

Tottenham’s Maya Vio winning the header against Blackburn captain, Lynda Shepherd

  A good spell from Blackburn, Shepherd pressing the ball in the middle charges it down firing the pass on for Toone ahead of her left outside the box 20 yards out goes for goal, pulls her shot away from goal wide of the ear post. 30 minutes on the clock, Kelsey Pearson coming on with the ball down the left for Blackburn plays the one two with Toone the full back going on her cross charged down by Hector.

 GOAL! 10 minutes of the 1st half left and Tottenham open the scoring the ball is played up to McLean inside the centre circle plays it into Martin to her right bringing it forwards, Baptiste makes a great run across the top of the area left to right, is onside as Martin threads the pass into her run, taking it on into the area wide of goal fires it back across the keeper, not much pace on the ball no one there to stop it however strikes the base of the far post the rebound taking it into the back of the net 1-0.

Bianca Baptiste scores the opening goal for Tottenham Hotspur Ladies

  Another good opportunity for Tottenham after the restart Schillaci’s tun to bring the ball out from the back left side rolls it on for Baptiste out wide, squares the ball into the area, Martin finding an extra yard of pace looking to get onto the end of it knocks it on getting a shot away as she is challenged the ball going away wide across the face of goal the corner given. Leon defends well against Toone at the back for Tottenham brings the ball forwards a long way up the pitch riding a tackle plays the ball into Humes wide right top of the area she fires it into Martin central attempts to help it on for Baptiste coming inside from the left, McDonald making a vital interception for Blackburn. 

Half-time Tottenham Hotspur Ladies 1-0 Blackburn Rovers Ladies

  A narrow lead for Tottenham at the break, have created  several chances going forwards looked the better side early on without finding the break through, Blackburn coming into the game almost opened the scoring themselves before Baptiste got in behind to score. Still all to play for 2nd half.
  No changes for either side as Tottenham kick off the 2nd half. Start well getting forwards with the ball Mclean slices her shot over the bar from just inside the box. Mclean bringing the ball forwards then picks out Martin drifting out to the right her cross into the box cut out by Stewart. Green is fouled by McCoy as she comes forwards the free-kick awarded 30 yards from goal, play is paused a problem for Wayne as she comes over to the bench looks like a problem with the goalkeepers contact lenses is fixed play resuming.
Tottenham Hotspur Ladies, Sophie Mclean
  Baptiste rolling the free-kick on for Schillaci to play into the area a great ball there to be attacked far post runners coming in it’s Blackburn’s Stewart who wins the header the threat cleared. Mclean with another good run plays the ball into Humes inside the area right corner her initial shot charged down rebounds back to her spinning strikes the ball on the half-volley her effort collected by Hill at her near post. 
  Up the other end Fenton sees a good diagonal ball into her down onto her chest outside the area right plays it central for Jordan in space outside the D does get over the ball her shot off target. Another free-kick for Tottenham in a similar position to their earlier opportunity Schillaci to play the ball into the area this time it’s Blackburn’s McDonald who gets the ball clear. A little frustration creeping in for Blackburn a few decisions going against them 2nd half, coming forwards Fenton on the right no cross on plays it back inside goes long to the left with Toone arriving in the box, knocking it forwards Hector gets a across recovering well to play the ball off Toone for the goal kick, the Blackburn attacker kicks the ball away in annoyance is yellow carded by referee Sarah Garrett.
  Blackburn come the closest yet to finding a leveller denied by the woodwork getting plenty forwards Holbrook out to Fenton wide right lifts the ball into the box across the six yard area Toone in around the back far post headers the ball down back across goal, Jordan throws herself at the ball connecting with her boot the ball flies up to smash against the crossbar, still in play Tottenham scramble it clear. Just past the hour mark the temperature has cooled clouds starting to build.
Blackburn Rovers Ladies, Saffron Jordan
  An hour played Tottenham attack the ball rolled into Humes on the right has Baptiste with her on that side sends the ball on down the line for her to chase down, Baptiste firing an inviting cross into the area, a slip by the defender in the middle the ball just behind Martin beyond looks to go after it left side take it back in towards goal is closed down and tackle by Whitham. 
 GOAL! Tottenham double their lead in the 66th minute Baptiste with  her 2nd of the match. Green bringing the ball on down the left sends Humes through on the left taking the ball in into the area cuts it back to Baptiste top of the area, power and pace moving to her right is well marshalled by the Blackburn defence yet she still manages to get a shot away cutting the all back across the keeper, Hill tries to readjust diving to her right but can’t get there 2-0.

 Tottenham make the 1st change of the game on 68 minutes bringing of Humes, Katie O’Leary who has been sidelined with injury for much of the season coming on. Into the last 20 minutes, Blackburn push forwards needing a response, Wayne collecting comfortably as Fenton tries her luck from distance. A great delivery from a corner kick for Tottenham from Schillaci, an inviting ball across the top of the six yard box Martin just missing her connection with the header. 
  A double change for Blackburn with 15 minutes left, Fenton and Toone the players coming off, Ria Montgomary and Emma Rankin on. Charging down a Tottenham ball in the middle, Holbrook hits it 1st time lacks the pace to trouble Wayne. Leon breaks forwards with the ball for Tottenham coming inside rolls the ball into Martin getting in behind centrally Whitman across to tackle slides in to win the ball inside the area.

Blackburn’s Faye McCoy holding off Tottenham’s Josie Green

  Into the last 10 minutes, Tottenham keeping possession at the back. Blackburn whenever they get the ball ball play t up into their attackers a throw on the left Stewart takes into McCoy playing it back to Stewart her cross into the area chested down by Jordan but won by Schillaci before the striker and fashion a shot. Blackburn keep possession players in and around the box as Whitham attacks down the right no way past Rawle wins a corner played high into the six yard box Wayne gets a glove on the ball knocking it out to the top of the area McCoy attempts to head the ball back in towards goal Wayne takes the ball down on her goal line.

  Both sides make another substitution the last throw of the dice for Blackburn Alex Taylor coming on for McCoy. Riana Soobadoo coming on for Rawle for Tottenham with under 5 minutes of normal time left. Blackburn throw everyone forwards Tottenham hold firm. 4 minutes of tie added on Shannon Moloney another who has missed much of the season through injury comes on for Tottenham replacing Vio. Leon surges forwards letting fly from 22 yards her shot swerving through the air is likely going wide Hill brings it down cleanly launches it up the pitch. 

  Blackburn send the ball up into the area Jordan with a deft header attempts to knock it down into the path of the onrushing Taylor, Wayne comes well sliding gets hold of the ball.

 GOAL! Tottenham seal the win in stoppage time as Wayne kicks the ball long bouncing over halfway, Blackburn with a high line Martin is after the ball striking it from 25 yards out lobbing the keeper the ball landing in the back of the net to make it 3-0. Martin’s is mobbed by her team mates in celebration. 

Tottenham Hotspur Ladies, Wendy Martin

 In the excitement Moloney has hurt herself ad is carried off Tottenham down to 10 to see out the game. Another injury concern late on as Blackburn play the ball on into the area a comfortable take by Wayne on the bounce top of the area she is clattered into by Taylor. Both need the trainer on Taylor is booked. Wayne is struggling but eventually gets to her feet albeit limping. Moloney having received treatment isn’t 100% ready to return but sent back on. Tottenham’s goal isn’t troubled as the final whistle blows and the celebrations begin.

Full time Tottenham Hotspur Ladies 3-0 Blackburn Rovers Ladies

Celebration’s at the final whistle as Tottenham win the FAWPL Championship Play Off
 Tottenham Hotspur Ladies win the FAWPL Championship Play Off, doing the quadruple to cap off a memorable season. Two well taken goals from Baptiste with Martin’s lob sealing the result. The FAWPL Southern Division Champions achieving promotion to the FAWSL. Looked the better side in the opening exchanges, although it was Blackburn who came closest to getting the opening goal before Baptiste saw Tottenham into the lead before half-time. Rattling the bar Blackburn worked hard to try and get back on level terms before conceding again. A tough one to take a bittersweet end to the season are Champions themselves little comfort at the final whistle but have had a superb season.
SWF Blog – Player of the Match

 A few contenders for the SWF Blog – Player of the Match today. Thought Lucia Leon did very well for Tottenham defensively and coming forwards with the ball, Sophie Mclean too was all action getting stuck in in the middle of the park and getting forwards. However her two goals set Tottenham on their way the 2nd particularly well taken, pace power and good movement up top the Player of the Match goes to Bianca Baptiste.
Champagne time!
Tottenham Hotspur Ladies, FAWPL Play Off Champions
  Congratulations to Tottenham Hotspur Ladies on winning today’s FAWPL Championship Play Off match and achieving promotion to FAWSL 2.
  Is subject to meeting the FA’s criteria of course but I suspect that will be a formality and look forwards to watching them compete in the FAWSL next season.
  An excellent crowd of 826 in attendance. My thanks to Charlton Athletic FC’s Tom Rubashow for his assistance today and to the clubs stewards who couldn’t have been more helpful a credit to the club.

Essex Women’s Premier Division

The final weekend of the season in Essex a few sides with games to play 4 clubs playing double headers to end their campaign. Chelmsford City Ladies secured runners up spot in the Essex Women’s Premier Division edging out Lawford Ladies picking up 4 points from their two games against Wickford Town Ladies. Mia Brisley netting a brace in a 2-0 win for Chelmsford City in the 1st game. The points were shared in the 2nd, Shannon Hughes and Tyler Christou on target for Chelmsford City, Wickford Town earning a point with a 2-2 draw ending their 1st season in the Premier Division in 9th.

In the other double header Walden Ladies couldn’t get the win they needed against Collier Row Tigers as they lost both games going down 2-0 and 8-0 which sees them finish bottom of the Premier Division a point behind Alresford Colne Rangers. The 6 point haul for Collier Row Tigers seeing them climb above Runwell Sports Ladies into 5th on goal difference on the final day.

Essex Women’s Division One

A big win away from home on the final day of the season against their closest rivals Corringham Cosmos saw Frontiers Ladies already Champions of Division One finish the season unbeaten with just the one draw. 7 points clear at the top in the end after Corringham Cosmos had pushed them all the way. Sharon Ferguson scoring 4 goals in the match. There were final day goals too for Hayley King, Kay Foy, Jackie Day and Claire Davidson in an 8-1 victory for Frontiers top goal scorers in the league with 133, edging Corringham by 2. It’s their defensive record that stands out with just the 7 goals conceded in the league all season, going to be a force to be reckoned with in the Premier Division next season.