Wednesday, 28 May 2014

FAWSL 1 - Early Season Review part two

    Part One of the FAWSL 1 - Early Season Review dealt with the 8 clubs and how there 2014 season had begun. Totally unpredictable and very competitive with Birmingham City Ladies leading the way undefeated on 8pts, have the slender advantage over the chasing pack as the season enters its season break with just 4 league matches played. All to play for when the season resumes at the end of June.

   Part Two - The SWF Blog Early Season Team

   It's early days the break in the season has come with just a 3rd of the matches played between the league and Continental Cup but I thought I'd have a go at picking out my team of the season so far, who has started well for their club, be they an established squad player or new signing. Based on the matches I have seen, highlights I've watched, reports I've read and a few stats I've looked at. Wasn't easy to narrow it down to 11 plenty more candidates and no doubt everyone's 11 will be different but this is the team I've picked out in the most commonly used formation in WSL 1... 4-3-3


     Most teams in the WSL 1 seem to go with the 4-3-3 formation with can easily become 4-5-1 when teams are under pressure or need to shore up shop.

    Was a tough one to pick one clear candidate there haven't been a fantastic amount of goals conceded by any team in WSL 1. Liverpool's back line has been as mean as any and that has been in no small part to their new signing Libby Stout in goal, she has pulled off some fantastic saves in the games I've watched so far.

The Defence

    At right back I went for Birmingham's Chelsea Weston. Has been a consistant performer, solid defensively, tracking back well, putting in blocks when required. Has also contributed going forwards has a good engine running up and down the flank.

  At centre back I have been very impressed by Arsenal's young England U19 player Leah Williamson. Despite the clubs indifferent start to the season she has performed well (one error aside) does her job well, tracks back and marks closely, still very much learning her trade hasn't looked out of place and has no doubt gained from playing along side Casey Stoney.

  Another central defender that has impressed has been Notts County's Scottish international defender Rachel Corsie, signed at the start of the season from Glasgow City. The Notts County side has been scoring goals, whilst at the other end not conceding many and Corsie has been very good in that department has a presence and a good header, is strong and is a danger in the opponents penalty box on set pieces too.

  Left back wasn't so easy to choose, there have been a few contenders, each shining in the odd game or too, only one has been a consistant performer in that position and that is Bristol's Corinne Yorston. Leads by example the Bristol back line is well drilled, carrying on her form from last season, a strong player will push forwards and offers an extra threat on goal.

The Midfield

    The midfield trio were the easiest to pick out in the end. Starting with Jade Moore of Birmingham, the midfield enforcer has started the season very well. Is a box to box type player with a great engine a strong tackle and range of pass. Has been bombing forwards quite a bit too getting into the box and causing problems.

   Moore is not the only Birmingham midfielder to get into the early season team, so too has the clubs new signing from Lincoln Ladies, Remi Allen. Already mentioned about how she was used very much in a defensive role for her previous club, not anymore now playing in front of Moore and Jo Potter she has liecence to get forwards has been amongst the goals is a battling player not letting opponents rest will come back to win the ball and her good early season form has been recognised by a call up to the senior England squad.

   Last player in this midfield trio is Bristol's Nicki Watts. Has started the season very well, looking to go forwards more than most and influence play higher up the pitch in more of a number 10 role, provides very good support to Bristol's other attacking players and works back quickly when they lose the ball. Is amongst the clubs leading goalscorers too.

The Attackers
   The WSL 1 is full of attacking quality narrowing it down to just three wasn't easy, but goals count for alot and no one has scored more so far amongst the 8 clubs than Notts County's Jess Clarke. Has been leading the line due to Ellen White's injury and has been in sparkling form. Has an abundance of pace is always looking to break and get in on goal can beat a player and has scored some great goals, that has earnt her a recall to the England squad.

   Part of Clarke's success though has come down to fellow team mate Dunia Susi. Playing in support of Clarke, Susi has found herself higher up the pitch than she usually operate's but can play anywhere down the right from full back to attack. Is like Clarke very quick, a good dribbler and covers alot of ground will go looking for the ball and has been scoring goals.

   The third part of this attacking trio goes to Eniola Aluko. Hasn't scored as many goals as some others but wins me over with her all round team play. Works extremely hard up front centrally or down the channels can hold the ball up well giving team mates time to get up in support is strong always looking to create an opening.

The subs bench

   I'll name 3 subs to go with the starting XI, all three have been playing well at the start of the season too... Ji So-Yun of Chelsea, the Korean international player is looking to be a very good signing for Emma Hayes.

   Natasha Dowie is a constant threat up front for Liverpool and has continued scoring goals for the club at the start of the season.

   At last but not least Birmingham's Melissa Lawley, puts in a good shift down the left for the club looking to link up with striker Kirsty Linnett, it is her ability and vision to track back and help out at the other end that has stood out.

Signing of the Season so far

   For myself it's Remi Allen (maybe I'm a little biased on this one) has started the season fantastically well, is a pleasure to see her in her new role higher up the pitch causing trouble, rather than breaking it up.

Emerging Players

    It can't just be about the new signings the clubs have made and let's face it there have been plenty, there is a development league and academy's we want to see young players coming forwards and being given the chance already mentioned Leah Williamson & Gabrielle George. Jess Carter was just 16 when she made her debut at left back for Birmingham in the Champion's League the performance was outstanding. Hannah Blundell has been doing well in Chelsea's back line, Ashley Hodson and Hannah Dale have been given a chance at Liverpool, Jade Bailey for Arsenal to name a few, encouraging to see.

    No doubt my starting XI will be different from everyone elses, who has stood out for you in WSL 1? Who will get better? Will any of these players perform consistantly enough all season to be in the season's ends team? I guess we'll just have to wait and see...


Tuesday, 27 May 2014

FAWSL 1 - Early Season Review part one

   Reaching the mid-season break in the 2014 FAWSL 1 campaign it has gone exactly as predicted... totally unpredictable! Has been a very competitive start to the season in WSL 1, with some unexpected.. although perhaps not unlikely results. It's hardly the mid-point of the season either with the 8 teams having completed just 4 of their 14 league matches each with the opening games in this years Continental Cup taking up as much of the playing calender.

    This though seems as good a time as any to write a 'mid-season' review of how the teams have faired in the league. Who have been my stand out signings so far. Which emerging players have done well. Lastly, I'll pick my team of the season so far.

   Part One - The Clubs

   Just 4 league games played, and it was just 1 or 2 played per club before attention switched to the Continental Cup group stages for 3 games before returning to league action so it hasn't been easy for any single club to pick up momentum and take advantage of a good spell of form, having the break fall when it has is almost like starting all over again come June 28/29th when the season resumes. So here is the WSL 1 league table as thing's stand after 4 matches played...

FAWSL 1 League Table
Pos Team Pl W D L F A GD Pts
Birmingham City Ladies
Bristol Academy
Notts County Ladies
Liverpool Ladies
Manchester City Women
Chelsea Ladies
Everton Ladies
Arsenal Ladies

    The table is very tight with just 3pts separating Birmingham City Ladies at the top down to Chelsea Ladies in 6th 

   Birmingham City Ladies

     A few peoples favourites to be occupying the bottom slot.. not be on top of the pile. Was always confident the club had too much quality to be in a relegation battle. Birmingham have started their WSL campaign really well no doubt helped by their fantastic run in Europe which saw them reach the semi-finals of the Champions League. Have 8pts having won 2 and drawn the other 2 matches. Although they had lost some experienced players over the winter, but still retained a solid core and have invested in some good young players such as Aoife Mannion & Meaghan Sargeant.

   David Parker and his management team have used this 'downing' of there teams chances to their advantage. Have played the matches I've seen so far at a high tempo, not letting the opposition settle on the ball, close down quickly then get the ball forwards, have arguably the strongest midfield trio in the league. Attacking options all over the pitch so far the young squad is doing the business.

   Bristol Academy

    Another team with attacking options all over the pitch Bristol were another team some feared for, however they go into the break sitting in 2nd spot, right where they finished last season. Do have one of the most settled squads despite losing manager Mark Sampson to England. Siobhan Chamberlain leaving for Arsenal was a loss. The club though kept the team together as they brought in Dave Edmondson to lead the management team.

    Goalkeeper Mary Earps was drafted in from Birmingham, Sophie Ingle from Chelsea but largely it's the same group that did so well last season. That togetherness and experience will stand them in good stead a hard side to break down. Have a more patient build up than some teams but with individual players such as Natasha Harding & Laura Del Rio that can finish well and set up a great final ball.

   Notts County Ladies

    A great start by the recently rebranded team. The team that has seen the most change over the close season, moving counties and virtually replacing the entire squad the club have been ambitious, have brought alot of players in, quite late in the transfer period too. The question would be, how quickly would they gel. Seems not very long at all have started the season well undefeated in the league with 1 victory and 3 draws.

   Have been rocked by the long term injuries to England striker Ellen White and New Zealand full back Anna Green. The injury to White though has meant Jess Clarke being the one to lead the line and her early season form has been outstanding with 9 goals scored and a recall to the England squad.
Notts County are another high tempo, quick to close you down side that are very dangerous on the counter attack whilst at the back being very hard to break down.

   Liverpool Ladies

    The defending WSL Champion's are level on points with Notts County with a similar record of 1 victory and 3 draws. Perhaps not the start Matt Beard would have wanted, however with no team breaking away from the pack the team will be happy enough going into the break. My tip a title winners, based on the fact they had a settled squad and had made some quality additions in the likes of Gemma Davison, Martha Harris & Lucy Staniforth.

   Their squad though has been restricted particulary in midfield due to long term injuries sustained by Staniforth and Nicole Rosler, whilst Kate Longhurst and Katie Zelem have missed games through injury at the start too which has left the squad looking a little thin. Natasha Dowie is scoring the goals and the team has a solid spine that is hard to get through. Will get players back after the break and look to push on.

   Manchester City Women

    I was concerned for Manchester City despite all the money and the PR surrounding the new WSL franchise. I felt they hadn't signed enough quality to compete with the established teams, have some very good individuals, again it was a case of how quickly would they gel. Their start to the season was poor with sucessive opening defeats, aswell as defeats in the Continental Cup. Finally though they got that all important 1st win in the Continental Cup against Everton Ladies at the Etihad stadium and haven't looked back since.

   Have gone on a run of form picking up 2 wins in the league that have seen them move onto 6pts along side Notts County and Liverpool. Seemed early on they were trying too hard to make thing's happen feel they are playing Jill Scott a little too high up the pitch need her back in middle along side Betsy Hassant make them harder to break down. Karen Bardsley too has returned in goal having missed the start through injury in goal.

  Chelsea Ladies

   Another team that had brought in a host of experienced players Chelsea were tipped as potential title challengers. Are in 6th place on 5pts but bearing in mind how tight the league is coach Emma Hayes won't be too worried. Like Notts County there are alot of new faces in the starting line up, that gel factor will take a few matches to settle. Korean Ji So-Yun looks to be a very good signing.

   With the players signed there is added pressure to do well climb the league but with so many teams changing personel around them it hasn't clicked quite yet. Once they get a settled line up it is potentally a very attack minded side full of goals. Do look vulnerable to the counter attack however, have strong squad to call upon.

  Everton Ladies

    Like Birmingham, Everton have been tipped for relegation, but just as David Parker has done coach Andy Spence has used this to fire up his team. Has worked brilliantly in the FA Cup as they have reached the final itself. In the league they have just 2pts from 4 played. Have lost experienced players over successive transfer periods.

   Have always been a team to invest in youth however and have good connections locally are relying on their homegrown talent coming through and doing the business. Have brought in youth too in England U17 international Gabrielle George and goalkeeper Megan Walsh. Will rely on the pacy Nikate Parris to score the goals, have proven they can compete with everyone, will need to be hard to break down when the season resumes.

   Arsenal Ladies

     Bottom team in this summary and bottom team in the league as far as predictions go.. no one would have gotten thus one right. Everton's opponents in this season FA Cup final, it is the clubs league form that has been out of sorts losing 3 league games in a row unheard of and has resulted in the too early resignation of manager Shelley Kerr. The introduction of the WSL has seen a shift in the women's footballing world. Arsenal are no longer the dominant force the team players want to go to.

    Had lost a large number of experienced players over the winter, hard to replace. Kerr I thought had done well in bringing in the experienced players she had. That biggy though getting them to gel, having two vastly experienced goalkeepers on the books was a stange one, that does need to be a settled position. Jordan Nobbs missing from the midfield through injury hasn't helped either. The FA Cup final aside Arsenal looked to be sitting back too deep and then not breaking quick enough with the ball, were not overwhelming teams like the Arsenal of old. Have the quality to turn it around no doubt the transitional period is still there for whoever takes over, the club will need the position filled quickly.

   Been fantastic for the neutral with no result being easy to call, no team is getting turned over in a match, results on the whole have had to be earnt. It's going to take a while to settle down after the break I can't see a team breaking away. Maybe the reality of relegation has caused teams to look over their shoulders a little too much, mustn't get beat before we think about winning a match? A point won't help much in that regards got to go for all three.

  Who do you think will win the title now?


Monday, 26 May 2014

SWF Blog 50 Match Challenge update - Games 31-40

   The games keep coming thick and fast, May has been another busy month in the women's footballing calender have reached #40 already which is incredible bearing in mind we're not even half way through the year, but with so many great match ups and intriguing encounters to choose from it has been easy to find a game... it's picking out which one to go to that has been the challenge.

   The South East Combination and Norfolk league's have played out which meant the majority of my last 10 games have been within the FAWSL 1 & 2 both league and Continental Cup ties with one epic Women's FA Cup semi-final and a County Cup Final too.

   So where have I been these past 10 matches... Games #31-40

                       Game #31 - Liverpool Ladies 6-0 Sunderland Ladies
                                           (Continental Cup Group Two) 3rd May

                       Game #32 - Manchester City Women 1-0 Everton Ladies
                                            (Continental Cup Group Two) 4th May

                       Game #33 - Nettleham Ladies 5-0 Winterton Rangers Ladies
                                           (Lincolnshire County Cup Final) 4th May

                       Game #34 - Chelsea Ladies 3-5 (aet) Arsenal Ladies
                                           (Women's FA Cup semi-final) 11th May

                       Game #35 - Aston Villa Ladies 0-2 Birmingham City Ladies
                                           (Continental Cup Group Three) 13th May

                       Game #36 - Doncaster Rovers Belles 0-2 Sunderland Ladies
                                           (Continental Cup Group Two) 15th May

                       Game #37 - Notts County Ladies 0-0 Liverpool Ladies
                                                    (FAWSL 1) 18th May

                       Game #38 - Arsenal Ladies 0-2 Birmingham City Ladies
                                                    (FAWSL 1) 21st May

                       Game #39 - Liverpool Ladies 1-1 Birmingham City Ladies
                                                    (FAWSL 1) 24th May

                       Game #40 - Aston Villa Ladies 2-0 Millwall Lionesses
                                                    (FAWSL 2) 25th May

    There's a bit of a break now but I've still got a few matches in June... both myself and the car need a rest.

   Next update in 10 matches time...

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Match Report - Aston Villa Ladies v Millwall Lionesses FAWSL 2

    An over night stop in Warrington had done little to improve the weather it was still pretty wet and miserable as I set off down the M6 for the 2nd match of my latest women's footballing weekender. The destination Coles Lane in Sutton Coldfield the home venue of Aston Villa Ladies, their opponents in this FAWSL league 2 encounter Millwall Lionesses.

   Now I've covered Aston Villa Ladies on the blog before and each time they have lost albeit by higher league placed opposition on 2 occassions. This is the 1st time I have watched them play in the league. After 4 games played however the club is yet to register a victory having played 4 picking up just 2pts, not the start they would have wanted.

   Millwall Lionesses in contrast have started the season well, are undefeated after 4 games played with 2 wins and 2 draws. Have over the close season signed some experienced players such as Kylie Davies & Sarah Quantrill aswell as bringing in Naomi Cole a very talented player and one to look out for. Trying to get round to seeing all the WSL 2 teams play this season and this was my 1st opportunity to take a look at Millwall.

   Aston Villa Ladies starting XI - Caitlin Leach, Hayley Crackle, Chloe Jones, Maisie Baker, Jade Richards, Sherry McCue (C), Olivia Furgusson, Katy Moran, Natasha Baptiste, Sarah Mayling & Alicia Robinson

   Millwall Lionesses starting XI - Sarah Quantrill, Angela Kiobel, Frankie Strugnell, Dionne Lennon (C), Naomi Cole, Kylie Davies, Lily Agg, Leeta Rutherford, Danielle Puddefoot, Emma Plewa & Cherelle Albert

    Rain wouldn't be a problem once again however as the pitch at Sutton Coldfield is artifical, it had though thankfully stopped by the time I arrived and blue skies were peeking through as Millwall lined up in white shirts and navy shorts & socks got the game underway against Aston Villa in their claret and blue shirts & socks with white shorts.

   It was a tentative opening with the ball travelling quickly from one end of the pitch to the other with neither side getting hold of it for very long. Aston Villa have the 1st effort at goal an good cross in from Olivia Fergusson on the right that Millwall goalkeeper Sarah Quantrill takes cleanly at her near post.

    Millwall are looking to play the ball through to their attackers quickly in the centre Danielle Puddefoot is almost played in has a yard on her marker, Jade Richards, however the central defender does well to track back and steal the ball from Puddefoot back to her goalkeeper Caitlin Leach before she can unleash a shot.

   Aston Villa have a free kick that is played high into the box by Chloe Jones, striker Natasha Baptiste is in the centre gets her head to it before Quantrill can claim the ball, but puts her effort wide.

     Richards plays a long ball forwards that Baptiste is able to run onto coming in from the right closes in on the box and has a strike for goal the ball flying over the bar. In the middle Aston Villa's Sherry McCue gets hold of the ball plays it into Baptiste her effort is blocked going behind for a corner. The resulting set piece is set over the bar.

    Millwall spring the offside trap Leeta Rutherford runs with the ball into the box, Jade Richards though comes back strongly to get a foot in to block loops up is heading for the back of the net, so easily an own goal but for Leach who raises an instinctive hand to pluck it down to safety.

    At the other end Aston Villa working the ball down the right send in another good croos for Baptiste to get her head onto but once again the attempt is put wide of goal.

   Millwall are forced into a change as Cherelle Albert has to come off, her replacement Lillie Fenlon-Billson.

   Aston Villa take the lead another well delivered cross put in from the right this time Baptiste central to goal gets a good head on it and sends it flying over Quantrill and into the back of the net 1-0.

    Millwall try to counter through Danielle Puddefoot, the ball is laid back into her path by Emma Plewa, left of goal Puddefoot's effort lacks power and is comfortably scooped up by Leach. Puddefoot has another attempt shortly after a long range effort from 30 yards that goes wide.

    Aston Villa have a corner comes into the far post Millwall's Lily Agg heads clear but only into the path of Alicia Robinson who tries to tee up a shot outside the box curling back in but too high.

                          Half-time Aston Villa Ladies 1-0 Millwall Lionesses

    It's Aston Villa to kick off the 2nd half, make a change at half time bringing on Maddy Cusack for Katy Moran, start brightly push Millwall back the vistors soak it up and counter through Lily Agg, the midfielder has a drive with the ball coming in from the left gets in a strike the ball is deflected off a Aston Villa defender for a corner which the home side clears.

    With Fenlon-Billson on the field it naturally gets a little spicy a few challenges are flying in from both teams. McCue gives a free kick away challenging Fenlon-Billson. 25 yards out Fenlon-Billson takes smashes it against the wall the ball spins out left to the unmarked Naomi Cole she has a go but sends her long range effort wide.

    Two changes then 1st the home side bring on Beth Merrick for Alicia Robinson, then Millwall replace Angela Kiobel with Abbie Igbovboa. Millwall have a great chance to equalise as Fenlon-Billson puts in a cross on the right into Agg at the near post she shifts the ball between her feet well losing her marker shoots, but her close range shot is straight at Leach.

   Aston Villa with a good move on the right Fergusson plays the ball into the path of Hayley Crackle she bursts to the by line puts in a fierce cross, Baptiste meets it, the effort blocked at close quarters inside the six yard box Millwall clear.

   Aston Villa have a player fouled out wide on the left the ball is played in perfectly from Sarah Mayling and there is defender Jade Richards to meet it with her head Quantill has no chance to save as the home side double there lead 2-0.

   Millwall have there own free kick out wide on the right Naomi Cole to play the ball in it his headed clear comes out to the left Fenlon-Billson has a shot that comes back across Aston Villa's goal Leach is quick to come out and catch.

    Millwall make their final change Lilli Maple coming on for Danielle Puddefoot as Aston Villa's Beth Merrick is down needing treatement she can't continue and is replaced by Emma Chatterton.

    Aston Villa have a chance Baptiste is almost caught by surprise at springing the offside trap is through on goal but breaking into the box blazes her shot over.

   Into injury time Millwall have one last chance to pull a goal back a long free kick that is delivered to the far post at the waiting Agg, the midfield cannot make clean enough contact with the ball and her effort goes wide. Full time and Aston Villa Ladies win 2-0 their 1st victory in WSL 2 and move onto 5pts going into the break, a strong solid performance. Millwall remain on 8pts in 3rd place in the table.

   A full programme of matches in WSL 2 today in the other games Doncaster Rovers Belles remain top after securing a 2-1 victory away to Yeovil Town Ladies. Sunderland Ladies came back from 2-0 down to win 2-4 away to Watford Ladies to keep pace with Doncaster at the top. An away win too for Durham Women at London Bees their 1st vicotry and points in the league and lastly no one is pointless going into the break as Oxford secured their 1st point with a 2-2 draw at home to Reading FC Women.


Saturday, 24 May 2014

Match Report - Liverpool Ladies v Birmingham City Ladies FAWSL 1

    Fair to say it's been raining today, was tipping it down when I left Norfolk earlier today and pretty much didn't let up for the entire journey. Now this was a case of deja vu as I've made this journey to Liverpool in the pouring rain to watch Lincoln Ladies take on Liverpool back in the WSL in 2012 thinking all the way 'this games going to get called off?' even stopped every hour to check twitter for info (don't tweet and drive people) only to arrive in the car park an hour before kick-off to discover it had finally been cancelled, it was a long way to go just to have a roast dinner let me tell you!

    Back then though Liverpool Ladies played at Skelmersdale on grass, now is a different story playing at the Select Security Stadium in Widnes the pitch is 3G so there was little danger of the game being called off due to the wet. Another footballing weekender it was nice to check into the hotel and chill a bit before travelling onto the match.

    The big games keep coming thick and fast in the WSL with Liverpool Ladies who had started their league campaign with a win and 2 draws hosting the team sitting in top spot following their mid-week victory over Arsenal Ladies.. Birmingham City Ladies (see previous match report). With 2 wins and a draw from their opening 3 league games Birmingham were leading the way on 7pts this match between the 2 is the last before the season takes a months break so both would be looking for the 3pts, Birmingham to extend their lead, Liverpool to over haul them and claim top spot themselves.

    Liverpool Ladies starting XI - Libby Stout, Lucy Bronze, Becky Easton, Gemma Bonner (C), Corina Schroder, Fara Williams, Amanda Da Costa, Hannah Dale, Martha Harris, Gemma Davison & Natasha Dowie

   Birmingham City Ladies starting XI - Becky Spencer, Chelsea Weston, Aoife Mannion, Kerys Harrop, Jess Carter, Jo Potter, Jade Moore, Remi Allen, Karen Carney (C), Melissa Lawley & Kirsty Linnett

      As it turned out the Security Select Stadium was bathed in sunshine as Birmingham in their blue colours got the match under way against Liverpool lined up in red. In the last game I watched Liverpool play away to Notts County Ladies manager Matt Beard made a tactical switch in the 2nd half moving Lucy Bronze from the centre of defence out to right back with Becky Easton going the opposite way. This was how Liverpool started tonight with Bronze at full back looking to bound down the right side of the pitch.

    Birmingham were unchanged from the team that beat Arsenal on Wednesday night, had put a lot into that performance would be interesting to see how well they had recovered. It was Liverpool with the opening chance Gemma Davison receiving the ball centrally has a driving run towards Birmingham's goal is closed down quickly scuffs her effort and the ball is deflected for a corner.

   The start is high tempo as you'd expect the ball travelling quickly from one end of the pitch to the other, notably for Liverpool, Davison is starting from a deeper position on the pitch behind the front trio looking to get the ball and drive forwards with it.

    Birmingham are working hard though to win it back, one move sees left back Jess Carter put a cross into the box Liverpool goalkeeper Libby Stout can't get to it as it comes to Melissa Lawley making contact with the ball the attacker puts it wide.

    Fara Williams plays the ball into the path of the advancing Lucy Bronze, she in turn plays it into Natasha Dowie, the ball is taken from her by a great tackle from Birmingham central defender Aoife Mannion. The ball is won back though and Davison this time delivers a cross from the right touch line that Birmingham goalkeeper Becky Spencer takes at her near post.

    Becky Spencer makes a save from a long range drive from Davison as she picks up the ball from the middle of the park once again. Liverpool are putting Birmingham under pressure with possession in and around their area with finding that cutting ball.

   Melissa Lawley is working hard to win the ball back tracking back to win possession and then look to run with the ball has an opportunity to feed in a cross from the right in the box Remi Allen can't make enough contact as Liverpool half clear comes out to Jo Potter 30 yards out who tries to float it back into the box, too close to Stout however and she takes the catch.

    Birmingham win a corner from a free kick delivered into the box, Jade Moore gets her head to the set piece but sends the ball wide of goal.

   Amanda Da costa is fouled 20 yards from goal, Fara Williams takes the free kick delivered with pace and accuracy Spencer does well to save tipping it round the post for a corner.

    Birmingham win a penalty as the ball is played long for Jade Moore to chase, Stout is off her line quickly looks to get to the ball with her legs but then takes out Moore, the referee points to the spot looked harsh as Karen Carney steps up to take powers the ball into the back of the net and Birmingham have the lead 0-1.

     Soon after Stout makes a fantastic save from point blank range might not have known much about it as the ball comes in from a corner Kerys Harrop is there on the six yard line to connect, straight at Stout. The pace of the game is furious both teams have half chances a cross just over a head and the keeper kicking clear before the striker can pull the trigger.

    Davison has another powerful run down the right puts a cross in the ball is cleared all the way to the halfway line, Gemma Bonner races onto it decides to have a strike from a good way out gets everything behind it is arrowing towards goal needs an outstretched glove from Spencer to push it over the bar.

   The last chance of the half is another good one for Liverpool, Bronze not content to maraud down the right flank finds herself crossing the pitch puts a cross in from the left falling central to goal Natasha Dowie is racing to meet it makes contact but sends it wide.

                 Half-time Liverpool Ladies 0-1 Birmingham City Ladies

    Liverpool get the 2nd half under way. Are looking to pressure Birmingham early on push them back, Amanda Da Costa has a shot from outside the box her effort is hit against team mate Martha Harris as spins away for a goal kick.

    The game is getting a little scrappy determination to win the ball leading to fouls being given away on both sides. Jade Moore wins the ball in the middle turns and runs, plays the ball into Karen Carney running she shoots the ball going over the bar.. but not by much.

    Hannah Dale for Liverpool has the ball 20 yards from goal has time to tee up a shot up, her effort going wide of the right hand post. Martha Harris is taken off, Kate Longhurst comes on for Liverpool.

    Liverpool's turn to win a penalty, this time as Hannah Dale inside the box going away from goal is tripped by Aoife Mannion, like the 1st one given away by Stout it looked harsh, but given it was Fara Williams to take and she slots it wide of Spencer to level the scores 1-1.

   Lawley on the run with the ball has a shot that is deflected comes back out to Moore who has a go her effort is deflected for a corner. Birmingham are enjoying a spell of pressure helped by Liverpool giving away free kicks one is delivered in dangerously from the left near the half way line to the far post where Kerys Harrop leaps to head the ball back into the danger area, Stout does well to jump in a crowd of players to claim the ball.

     Birmingham make a change bringing off Kirsty Linnett for Hannah Keryakoplis. Birmingham have a similar free kick this time though the ball is cleared by Liverpool and the break is on Davison with the ball powers forwards into the box left of Spencers goal she tries to put it across the keeper but she drops quickly and gets a glove to it pushing it wide... at least that's what I thought she did although a goal kick was awarded?

    Corina Schroder has a good run down into the left channel fires the ball into Davison inside the box, she plays it through to Hannah Dale at the far post who has an effort falling back however it is played into Spencer's arms.

    Dale comes off soon after to be replaced by Ashley Hodson. Birmingham press late on another well delivered Potter free kick from the right comes in dangerously is high is almost past Stout as she jumps to claim it but does well to pluck the ball out of the sky. One final effort for Birmingham a late free kick from Carney played in from a central position near the centre circle, the ball going over and out.

    Full time and the game ends 1-1, a tale of two penalties both seeming harsh but both converted a draw it is and both teams remain undefeated in the league going into the break with Birmingham still top on with 8pts and Liverpool moving into 2nd with 6pts.

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Match Report - Arsenal Ladies v Birmingham City Ladies FAWSL 1

    It has been an interesting start to the WSL season with some unpredictable results that has seen a very tight league table with no teams breaking away from the pack. Tonight saw 2 midweek fixtures taking place, Manchester City Women v Everton Ladies & Arsenal Ladies v Birmingham City Ladies. It is to the latter I travelled along to watch.

    Taking place at Borehamwood, the home of Arsenal Ladies this is actually the 4th time the 2 teams have faced each other this season with Birmingham City Ladies beating Arsenal Ladies twice over 2 legs of their European Champions League quarter final, and Arsenal getting some small measure of revenge by knocking Birmingham out of the Women's FA Cup at the quarter final stage.

    This though was the 1st league meeting between the teams, with their European commitments they are both a game behind their rivals having played 2 a piece. Birmingham have started with a draw and a victory to sit in mid-table whereas Arsenal have started with a draw and a defeat which see's them in the rather unfamiliar position at the foot of the table, a victory over Birmingham would see them move level onto 4pts with the midlands team. For Birmingham however this represented a chance to go top of the early league table with a win.

     Arsenal Ladies starting XI - Emma Byrne, Alex Scott, Leah Williamson, Casey Stoney, Emma Mitchell, Jade Bailey, Yukari Kinga, Kelly Smith (C), Shinubo Ohno, Freda Ayisi & Danielle Carter

    Birmingham City Ladies starting XI - Becky Spencer, Chelsea Weston, Aoife Mannion, Kerys Harrop, Jess Carter, Jo Potter, Jade Moore, Remi Allen, Melissa Lawley, Karen Carney (C) & Kirsty Linnett

   Taking up a position in the new stand a Borehamwood a nice modern construct, it's nice to see the stadium looking complete rather that the boarding that cordened off one side of the ground for most of last season. The weather bright a little cool after the mini warm spell, it was Arsenal Ladies in their red and white kit to get the match under way against Birmingham lined up in all blue.

     The early exchanges were fairly non eventful the ball going long from both sides as they looked to test each others formation out. Both more or less a 4-3-3 with Karen Carney & Melissa Lawley looking to support striker Kirsty Linnett for Birmingham. Freda Ayisi and Shinubo Ohno looking to provide support for Danielle Carter for Arsenal.

    On the left for Arsenal full back Emma Mitchell was looking make runs and support Shinubo Ohno whenever she could. It was Arsenal with the 1st effort a Danielle Carter strike from the outside of the box that was put wide of Becky Spencer's goal. Birmingham's Remi Allen was looking to get into the box and be a threat, stole the ball from ex-Lincoln team mate Casey Stoney as she intercepted a Kirsty Linnett cross from the right. The ball comes out to Aoife Mannion 30 yards out, the defender attempts to loft the ball back in it is too close to Emma Byrne and the goalkeeper takes the catch.

    Receiving the ball central Kirsty Linnett holds it up well, makes room to have a shot opening up her body for the strike it is on target from outside the D hasn't the power to beat Byrne as she drops quickly to make the save.

    Birmingham are working hard to press the Arsenal team, not letting them have the time on the ball to get the ball forwards to a team mate. Mitchell though makes a strong run into the left channel fizz's the ball into the box and the feet of Danielle Carter, surrounded by Birmingham defenders she manages to roll the ball out to the waiting Kelly Smith, who has a go from the edge of the box her effort going over the bar.

   Freda Ayisi has the ball at her feet powers her way forwards coming in from the right does well to get a shot away under challenge, it is however wide of the target. End to end stuff, the pace is frantic both teams, perhaps trying too hard to make that final ball happen, when it does come off for Arsenal they are thwarted by the linesmans flag.

   Jade Moore plays in a good ball from the right to team mate Remi Allen at the far post the Birmingham midfielder tries to hook to goal wards, Emma Byrne with a fantastic save to push the ball away.

     At the other end Becky Spencer needs some treatement after getting taken out inside her penalty box as she climbs to claim the ball from a corner kick.

   When play resumes it isn't long before Spencer is needed again as Kelly Smith steals possession from Birmingham, charges towards the penalty box out left unleashes a strike early it has power and height is going in under the bar, but for Spencer who does well to get a glove to it and push it over the cross bar.

                      Half-time Arsenal Ladies 0-0 Birmingham City Ladies

    A high tempo 1st half the ball travelling readily from one penalty box to the other it would be interesting to see if the pace could be maintained in the 2nd half or if it would bring about a mistake.
It was Birmingham to kick off the 2nd half.

   The visitors started the half the brighter keeping possession inside Arsenal's half. After Kirsty Linnett tries to steal the ball out on the left of the pitch the ball is played into Arsenal's penalty box Linnett is giving chase, defender Leah Williamson tries to lay the ball back to her goalkeeper hasn't seen Linnett coming into the box, the pass is short, Linnett is onto it Byrne dives on the edge of her six yard box and gets a glove to the ball, cannot hold onto it, Linnett stays composed and slots the ball into the back of the net 0-1.

    Remi Allen has a goal ruled off for offside after she runs through onto a ball played forwards by Linnett. At the other end another strong run from Freda Ayisi is halted as she closes in on goal full back Chelsea weston with a superb tackle to deny her.

   Allen has a crack at goal from 25 yards or so out the strike rising over the bar. Birmingham have their tales up are working hard causing Arsenal to give the ball away put themselves under pressure.
It's Karen Carney who wins the ball in the centre of the park, she plays it into Allen, who quickly slides it through into the path of Linnett running into the box the striker stabs the ball home to double Birmingham's lead 0-2.

    Arsenal are rattled, need to settle down. The experienced Rachel Yankey comes off the bench to replace Jade Bailey. It does little to slow Birmingham down, they have a free kick on the half way line floated into the box Jade Moore gets her head to it but her effort is sent wide. Allen plays the ball into the box for Moore to chase this time toe to toe with Leah Williamson they collide the referee giving the free kick Arsenal's way.

   Yukari Kinga comes off for Arsenal to be replaced by Christie Murray. Carney delivers a dangerous cross into the box from the left across the six yard line Byrne can't come it's going to the far post and the arriving Jade Moore, Williamson tracking back gets the danger clear.

    The final roll of the dice for Arsenal as Caroline Weir comes on for Freda Ayisi. Rachel Yankey out wide left for Arsenal gets in a good cross, but there is no one there to attack it as Spencer claims at the near post. Arsenal want time on the ball, Birmingham won't let them have it.

    Another good run from Melissa Lawley sees Carney played in she has a great run on goal comes inside the box but Williamson is back to make a good tackle and win a goal kick.

   Closing minutes and Birmingham make a double change taking off Kirsty Linnett & Karen Carney, bringing on Emily Simpkins & Hannah Keryakoplis. Kelly Smith has the final effort on goal a 25 yard drive that Spencer easily claims. Full time and Birmingham City Ladies win by 2 goals to nil.

    The victory sees Birmingham climb to the top of the WSL table on 7pts and leaves Arsenal bottom with a single point from 3 matches played. A strong perfomance from Birmingham to hussle Arsenal all over the pitch have plenty of attacking options.

    In the other match it was Manchester City Women who ran out 2-0 winners over Everton Ladies and sat top of the WSL themselves for 15 minutes now 2nd a point back from Birmingham the table is congested will a team find the form needed to break clear of the pack.. we shall see.


Sunday, 18 May 2014

Match Report - Notts County Ladies v Liverpool Ladies FAWSL 1

    After a couple of weeks of Continental Cup fixtures, this weekend saw a return to league action in the FAWSL 1 & 2 with a full programme of matches. Yesterday in WSL 2 Yeovil Town Ladies & Aston Villa Ladies shared the points with a 1-1 draw. Today saw a further 8 fixtures between the 2 divisions. My game of the day was the FAWSL 1 fixture between Notts County Ladies & Liverpool Ladies.

     After 2 games played each both teams sit top of the table, Notts County Ladies on top with the superior goal difference, so todays game represented a great chance for both teams to look to extend their lead. The weather was fantastic, summer I think (although it took long enough) has finally arrived bright and sunny, another decent crowd building inside Meadow Lane the scene was set.

     Notts County Ladies starting XI - Carly Telford, Amy Turner, Sophie Bradley (C), Rachel Corsie, Laura-Jane O'Neill, Sophie Walton, Katie Holtham, Desiree Scott, Dunia Susi, Jess Clarke & Aileen Whelan

    Liverpool Ladies starting XI - Libby Stout, Becky Easton, Gemma Bonner (C), Lucy Bronze, Corina Schroder, Fara Williams, Katrin Omarsdottir, Amanda Da Costa, Martha Harris, Gemma Davison & Natasha Dowie

     Both teams were set up to play the 4-3-3 formation as I've seen both employ so far this season. For Notts County though it was Aileen Whelan starting in the centre of the 3 up front as a pose to Jess Clarke, whose early season form has been fantastic. Liverpool's Martha Harris was given a role up top as the visitors in their red kit waited as Notts County in their purple and yellow kit got the match under way.

   The opening exchanges were quiet as both teams tried to suss each other out, Liverpool conscious of any dangerous through balls Notts County would look to make. When the ball did find a way through the centre goalkeeper Libby Stout was quickly out to gather the ball before Notts County's Dunia Susi could capitalise.

    In midfield for Notts County Sophie Walton does well winning possession, plays the ball through to Dunia Susi on her right she then finds Clarke coming in from the left on the edge of the box Clarke shifts the ball quickly between her feet and gets a shot away the ball though goes over the bar.

    Liverpool enjoy a period of sustained possession in and around the home sides penalty box, Gemma Davison out wide right gets a good cross in but no team mate is their to take advantage as Notts County clear. Moments later Dowie recieves the ball central turns quickly attempting to hook the ball goalwards her effort lands on the roof of the net.

    Liverpool win a corner the ball is played in dangerously from the left clears the near post Notts County goalkeeper Carly Telford tries to punch the ball away the attempt comes off a Liverpool body but wide.

    Jess Clarke and Dunia Susi switch sides on a number of occasions, in midfield the Notts County trio of Sophie Walton, Katie Holtham and Desiree Scott are winning the ball back well and looking to feed it out to the channel Clarke in particular has two good runs with the ball, both of which Liverpool eventually deal with.

    Dunia Susi has a opportunity centrally to have a run on goal however a great recovering tackle from defender Lucy Bronze stops her inside the box. Susi has another opportunity to try her luck centrally, this time Liverpool captain Gemma Bonner blocks her effort, the ball spins loose to the right of Liverpool's penalty area, Jess Clarke races onto it, pulls the trigger her shot flying towards goal, Libby Stout produces a fine save at her near post to deny her and give Notts County a corner.

    From the corner delivered from the right, Rachel Corsie on the penalty spot makes contact with the ball but sends her effort high over the bar. Liverpool are struggling in defence to cope with the movement of the Notts County attacking players are being pushed back which is creating a gap in between their defenders and midfielders that Desiree Scott is making the most off looking to influence play higher up the pitch.

    Liverpool do break late in the half the ball played through into the path of a good run from Amanda Da Costa she is through on goal Carly Telford though is quickly out of her box to make the clearance.

                                Half-time Notts County Ladies 0-0 Liverpool Ladies

    The scores level at the break neither manager made any changes at half time. Liverpool get the 2nd half under way. Immediately they are looking to press Notts County further up the pitch to win the ball earlier look to creat something. Gemma Davison with team mates closer to her is able to get on the ball and have a run into the right channel, wins a corner.

    The game is getting a little scrappy fouls are being given away by both sides, Liverpool give one away on the right near the half way line, Sophie Walton plays the ball into the box Susi gets her head onto it, her attempt on goal goes wide of the mark.

    Walton is having a good game in midfield running the ball down and then playing it into the forward players quickly, gets it to Susi who has Clarke making an over lapping run to her right gives her the ball, Clarke shoots as Stout rushes out to close her down, the goalkeeper does enough to foil her as she falls, Clarke tries again but Stout scrambles across and smothers the ball.

    Fara Williams plays in a dangerous free kick at the other end towaqrds the far post Da Costa gets her head to it, Telford though makes a good save.

   Notts have the best chance of the game then, Desiree Scott manages to beat the off side trap, Gemma Bonner rushes back to deal with her manages to block the ball but can't clear it far enough, Susi arriving lartches onto it and bursts into the area has a shot from ten yards out that has Stout beaten but to Notts County's dismay rolls narrowly wide of the far post.

    Liverpool change things slighty moving Becky Easton into the centre of defence and Lucy Bronze over to right back. Make a substitution bringing on Ashley Hodson for Martha Harris. Notts County take off Aileen Whelan for Emily Roberts.

  Notts County win a corner, the ball coming in to the penalty box Rachel Corsie is there again her effort though a repeat of her earlier attempt the ball going over the bar. It is Notts County with the late pressure Jess Clarke almost played through from another Walton pass wins a corner. The set piece delivered by Emily Roberts is dangerous threatening to go straight in Stout does well to pluck it out of the air before it creeps under the bar.

    Another change for Liverpool Da Costa comes off to be replaced by Hannah Dale. Notts County full back Laura-Jane O'Neill plays a good ball through to Susi in the closing minutes on the left she breaks into the box, shoots the effort is far too high. Injury time Notts County bring on Eleanor Clarke for Jess Clarke. The final whistle blows and the game ends 0-0.

     The result sees both teams move onto 5pts at the top of the league, Notts still leading the way. Liverpool worked hard and will probably take a point away from home in these early games of the WSL season especially with several players missing. Take nothing away from Notts County however it was a battling display keeping up a high tempo their midfielders covering alot of ground they will feel this is a good point earned.

     In the other games in WSL 1 today Everton Ladies & Bristol Academy drew 1-1. Manchester City Women continued from their recent good form in the Continental Cup to claim their first 3pts in the league with a 1-0 victory away to Arsenal Ladies, and Birmingham City Ladies beat Chelsea Ladies 2-1.

    In WSL 2 Doncaster Rovers Belles continued their 100% win rate at the start of the season with a 2 goal victory over Watford Ladies. Keeping pace with them with another 100% sucess rate in the league are Sunderland Ladies who beat London Bees at home 1-0. Reading FC Women hosted Durham Women winning the match 4-0 and Millwall Lionesses beat Oxford United Women 2-0.

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Match Report - Doncaster Rovers Belles v Sunderland Ladies Continental Cup Group Two

    My 2nd match in the Continental Cup competition this week saw me heading back up the A1 and to the Keepmoat Stadium to watch Doncaster Rovers Belles take on Sunderland Ladies in Group Two. The group is very tight with both Manchester City and Everton Ladies recording victories over Liverpool Ladies and Durham Women last night.

Continental Cup Group Two
  P W D L F A Pts
Doncaster Rovers Belles 2 2 0 0 5 2 6
Manchester City Women 3 2 0 1 4 3 6
Liverpool Ladies 3 1 1 1 7 2 4
Everton Ladies 3 1 1 1 3 1 4
Sunderland Ladies 2 1 0 1 3 6 3
Durham Women 3 0 0 3 1 9 0

    With two wins out of two Doncaster Rovers Belles could with a victory over Sunderland take a 3pt lead at the top of the group and be in a very strong position to qualify for the semi-finals. Sunderland Ladies in contrast would be looking to bounce back after suffering a heavy defeat to Liverpool Ladies in their previous Continental Cup match and with a victory would be back challenging to qualify for the semi-finals themselves.

    Doncaster Rovers Belles starting XI - Nicola Hobbs, Lyndsey Cunningham, Rhiannon Roberts, Leandra Little (C), Lauren Cresswell, Kasia Lipka, Beth England, Millie Bright, Reanne Thomas, Sue Smith & Jess Sigsworth

    Sunderland Ladies starting XI - Rachael Laws, Abby Holmes, Stephanie Bannon (C), Gemma Wilson, Victoria Greenwell, Kelly McDougall, Rachel Furness, Keira Ramshaw, Abbey Joice, Emma Kelly & Beth Mead

     A 7:45 ko the weather was pleasant still warm and bright as the visiters Sunderland kitted out in their red and white vertical striped shirts black shorts and socks kicked off the match against Doncaster kitted out in their yellow shirts and socks and blue shorts. Against Liverpool Beth Mead started up top and was pretty isolated straight away tonight the striker had support either side of her with Abbey joice and Emma Kelly.

    It was a cagey start from both teams the ball travelling the length of the pitch Sue Smith for Doncaster with an early cross from the left that is cleared by the Sunderland defence, whilst at the other end Beth Mead peeling off to the right lays the ball into the path of Abbey Joice her attempted shot blocked.

     The ball is played through the middle into Mead, the striker gets the better of her marker breaks free to have a strike at goal let's fly from 20 yards out the ball beating Nicola Hobbs in the Doncaster goal to sail into the back of the net 0-1 an early goal the perfect start for the visiting team.

   The game is more spread Sunderland are working hard to maintain a shape and limit Doncaster's ability to break in numbers have their full backs pinned back by keeping their own players up against them higher up the pitch.

   Doncaster chances are limited, Jess Sigsworth receiving the ball outside the box does well to turn and have a strike the shot though goes wide of the mark. Mead is played in again is clear of the Doncaster defence as she breaks into the box, Hobbs though is alert and quickly out to get to the ball.

    Beth England has a chance as she makes a good run down the right channel powering towards goal she unleashes a shot that hits the side netting. Sigsworth is then fouled out on the left 20 yards out the resulting free kick is sent wide of goal.

    Sunderland's Emma Kelly has a go for goal from long range 20 or so yards out the attempt goes over the crossbar. Sunderland win a free kick just over the half way line the ball is flighted into the danger area, Rachel Furness rises unmarked to header the ball home to double the visitors score 0-2.

    Lauren Cresswell steals a couple of yards has time to tee up a long cross into the box Sunderland goalkeeper Rachael Laws does well to punch clear under challenge from Millie Bright the ball comes out to Reanne Thomas who plays the ball into Jess Sigsworth but the no5 pulls her shot wide inside the box.

     Sigsworth with the ball has a powerful run towards Sunderland's goal from the right shoots from just outside the box Rachael Laws does well to save at the near post. Doncaster give away possession trying to bring the ball out from the back the ball coming to the feet of Sunderland no8 Kelly McDougall who strikes early, the ball swerving through the air curls away from the goal and wide.

                        Half time Doncaster Rovers Belles 0-2 Sunderland Ladies

   Sunderland had come with a game plan and executed it superbly, retricting Doncaster's ability to break in numbers, and defend well when required. Doncaster manager Gordon Staniforth makes two chances at the start of the 2nd half bringing on Victoria Williams and Ashleigh Mills for Lauren Cresswell and Beth England.

     It is Doncaster to get the 2nd half under way, immediately the home side is looking to pressure Sunderland higher up the pitch and push them back. Win an early corner the ball delivered to the far post Reanne Thomas heads the ball back across goal into Victoria Williams her header is pointblank at Rachael Laws and she makes the save.

      It is all Doncaster at the start of the 2nd half, Sigsworth is through on goal it's a one on one with Laws the keeper though stays big and Sigsworth's effort is played against her body, comes out to Smith on the edge of the box, she can't quite bring it under control quick enough, when she does get the strike away Laws has recovered enough to brush the ball onto the crossbar and it is eventually cleared.

     Smith beats the offside trap surges into the box from the right looks to cut inside then shoot, Laws produces another good save to send it behind for a corner. Sunderland are inviting pressure cannot get their forward players into the match to influence play as they had in the first half are living dangerously.

    Sunderland captain Stephanie Bannon heads the ball off the line after Sigsworth springs the offside trap once again plays the ball into the far post where Thomas is arriving, Laws is beaten for once but Bannon is there to make the saving clearance.

     The chances keep coming for Doncaster, Sigsworth puts a threatening ball in laws pushes it out wide of her goal into the on coming Thomas who heads over at close range at the far post. Sunderland make their 1st change bringing on Rebekah Bass for Emma Kelly.

     Kasia Lipka has a long range pop at goal that goes over the bar as they make their final change taking off Reanne Thomas and bringing on Hope Knight. A Smith shot is deflected by a Sunderland defender inside the box sending the ball into the side netting for a corner.

    Abbey Joice comes off for Sunderland to be replaced by Tyler Dodds. Doncaster break Smith out wide plays the ball into the box there is Hope Knight arriving inside the box she heads the ball against the cross bar it comes back out to her but the second attempt is easily gathered by Laws.

    Leandra Little is pushed up top in the closing minutes. Smith has another shot on goal from the right but once again Laws is well placed to make the save at her near post. The final whistle goes and Sunderland claim the victory 0-2 and the 3pts. Very much a game of two halves Sunderland with a dominant 1st half display their game plan working perfectly. The 2nd half was all Doncaster created all the chances and unlucky not to find the break through.

Continental Cup Group Two
  P W D L F A Pts
Doncaster Rovers Belles 3 2 0 1 5 4 6
Manchester City Women 3 2 0 1 4 3 6
Sunderland Ladies 3 2 0 1 5 6 6
Liverpool Ladies 3 1 1 1 7 2 4
Everton Ladies 2 1 1 1 3 1 4
Durham Women 3 0 0 3 1 9 0

     Doncaster remain top but are joined now by both Manchester City Women and Sunderland on 6pts, with Liverpool and Everton Ladies still in the mix on 4pts a piece very close in Group Two with each team having 2 games left to play.