Sunday, 28 May 2017

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.

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

FAWSL 2 - Spring Series Review

 It began back on Saturday 11th February, London Bees hosting FAWSL 2 newcomers Brighton & Hove Albion WFC at The Hive for the opening match of the one off Spring Series competition ending 3 and a half months later with Everton Ladies topping the table and lifting the trophy on the very same pitch this past Sunday.

Everton Ladies, FAWSL 2 Spring Series Champions
  A little review of the mini-season that has just taken place. The Spring Series introduced by the FAWSL to bridge the gap as the league prepares to move back in line with the rest of the women's football pyramid from the start of the 2017/18 season. A bold and risky move by the FA but the decision taken for a number of reasons, improve scheduling of fixtures? Help the national side better and better suit the pyramid with 98% of the games played over the winter. Meaning that teams can win promotion and be relegated from the FAWSL for the 1st time in its history.

  Onto the Spring Series, basically to bridge the gap the sides from FAWSL 1 and 2 playing each other once in a league format with the overall winners getting their hands on the trophy. Mentioned in my preview way back when some of the pro's and con's. Was a nothing to lose competition, teams able to bed in new faces, new coaches, new tactics etc. Most likely benefit Brighton  Hove Albion WFC the most as they enter the league give them time to find their feet. Anything that needed addressing could be ironed out. Would they be glorified friendlies? I don't think so competitive football is what everyone would expect and that is certainly what we got. It's an exciting league to watch good football and talented footballers on show and since it's introduction in 2014 FAWSL 2 has come into it's own.

  Below is the FAWSL 2 Spring Series final league standings.


  Spring Series winners in FAWSL 2 winning the title away to London Bees on the final day. Have had a strong campaign dropping just 5 points from their 9 games played with 7 wins the Spring Series top goal scorers with 25 goals coupled with the meanest defence letting in just 7 up the other end. 

  The club has had to deal with a few tough season's since the inception of the FAWSL the 1st to be relegated from FAWSL 1. As other sides budgets have grown have lost a host of big names moving to rivals. A club that has always prided itself on bringing youth players through the ranks, manager Andy Spence a firm believer in that tradition, has continued to bring players through sometimes forced to but the club has a stable base pushing the top sides for promotion since, the club getting a deserved reward by lifting the Spring Series trophy.


  Back in FAWSL 2 after a difficult and disappointing season following their return to FAWSL 1 after their enforced 'relegation' in 2014. Struggled not picking up a point all season until winning on the final day with their relegation already confirmed. The Spring Series a chance for the club to get over any hangover from being relegated although I suspect there wasn't much of one, things to address that went against them last season but starting later than most were still amongst the favourites to win the Spring Series.

  Beating Durham and a 3-3 draw with Everton looked to see them off to a good start, however Everton's form meant that draws against Watford Ladies and Brighton & Hove Albion WFC were costly in the end, just the one defeat that coming against Millwall Lionesses, Doncaster Rovers Belles clinched runners-up spot finished 4 points behind Everton. Top scorer Courtney Sweetman-Kirk missed most of the previous season through injury but back to full fitness now has kept her goal scoring record for the Belles netting 10 during the Spring Series the leagues top scorer.


  The Spring Series didn't quite go to form as most would have predicted there was a surprise package gatecrashing the top 3 as Millwall Lionesses finished the campaign strongly. Having been sliding down the FAWSL 2 table since promising beginnings back in 2014 and another change of manager it looked like another campaign of struggle as they began the Spring Series with 2 straight defeats. Drew the next 2 matches to get points on the board. After that Lee Birch's side never looked back going on to win all 5 of their remaining games to propel the club up the table and certainly restore some belief and confidence to take into the new season. The 2nd best defensive record in the league too.


  Have one of the most stable squads in the FAWSL 2 also a young squad with players always coming through haven;t always hit the heights the team has the potential to reach. A new home this season at Tamworth FC. Came back from 4-1 down against Durham Women FC in their final fixture this Sunday to win the game 5-4, Alys Hinchcliffe with the winning goal in injury time lifting Aston Villa above Durham into 4th position in the final FAWSL 2 Spring Series standings. Along with Doncaster Rovers Belles are the league's joint 2nd top goalscorers with 19, their goals spread out amongst the whole squad losing just the 2 games those against the top 2.


  The club continues to go from strength to strength both on and off the field, are closing the gap on North East rivals Sunderland AFC Ladies be becoming the top women's football side in the region. Another side tipped to do well, potentially win the Spring Series a stable playing squad. Will ultimately be disappointed with a final placing of 5th missing out on runners-up spot having been there for most of the season with a final game last gasp defeat away to Aston Villa Ladies.  


  The new comers to FAWSL 2 winning the 2nd FAWPL Play-off game against Sporting Club Albion to follow Sheffield FC Ladies the previous season. The FAWPL Southern Division Champion's as I mentioned would have been one of the clubs to most benefit from the Spring Series being able to get a feel for the league stepping up as a squad to a higher level. George Parris named interim manager for the Spring Series following the Play-off win. Drew their 3 opening Spring Series matches, 2 lowest scorers in the league but hard to beat the draw specialists in the end with 4 from their 9 games, 3 defeats, 2 wins including a final day 3-1 win at the Amex Stadium lifting them up into 6th season, sets them up well for the season to come.


  A difficult start to live in FAWSL 2 for London Bees since 2014 have struggled managerial changes a high player turn over. That looked to have turned a corner in 2016 with Dave Edmondson coming in as manager got them playing some good football and results started to improve. Started the Spring Series well undefeated in their opening 3 games with a draw and 2 wins, however just the one win has followed since and a disappointing end to the campaign with 4 straight defeats sees them end in 7th position. 


  There were several who feared Watford Ladies weren't going to start the Spring Series after 2 seasons of struggling at the bottom of the table, no manager and players leaving in large numbers over the close season a lack of information coming from the club and the news the club was forfeiting it's FA Women's Cup game against Doncaster Rovers Belles on the eve of the Spring Series it all turned around rapidly. The hugely experienced, Keith Boanas was announced as manager, the former Estonia National Women's team manager with little time to assemble a squad new signing were announced so catching the eye.

 A new lease of life for the club narrow defeats to start the season frustrating as a new team learnt about each other. Off the pitch the club became one of the most active on social media things going from strength to strength players stepping up from lower leagues making an impact good to see the wins finally coming towards the ed of April back to back against the 2 bottom sides Watford finishing 8th will have benefited more than any from the Spring Series and came have a positive outlook going forwards.


  Sheffield FC Ladies will be hoping this Spring Series was just a case of 2nd season syndrome and results will improve dramatically for the better come the new season after finishing 2nd bottom in the table with just the 2 wins from their 9 games. Won their opening fixture before suffering 3 straight losses before picking up their 2nd win. 4 straight defeats to end the season. Not getting beaten heavily just not scoring enough up the other end. An ambitious club will be looking for improvement over the summer to get themselves back in amongst the title challengers.


   Oxford United Women finish with the wooden spoon bottom of the table the only side in the table not to have won a game during the Spring Series with just the 2 draws from their 9 matches played. A new manager taking over this term, Andy Cook working with Karl Milgate taking over from Les Turner. The club producing alot of home grown talent had started to improve in FAWSL 2. Bringing in Ini Umatong from Portsmouth FC Ladies the striker was FAWSL 2 top goalscorer last season, has been a marked woman this time around scoring just the 4 goals for Oxford that combined with a total goals tally of just 7 in the league goes along way towards their league position. Discounting their 4-0 loss to Doncaster Rovers Belles on the final fixture however they haven't been heavily beaten at all. 

 Work to do over the close season all sides know a 10 plus goal scorer will do wonders for you league position in FAWSL 2 as they stop and prepare for the next challenge for the league. A competitve league will no doubt be the case next season to with the battles at both ends of the table carrying weight from now on.

One side from FAWSL 2 won't be kicking off the new season in the league however as the FA announced it's plans to fill the hole in FAWSL 1 caused by the devastating news of Notts County Ladies folding, with the FAWSL 2 sides being allowed to bid for the place. Similar to the franchise bids made by the clubs in the past needing to meet a number of criteria as they would have had to to earn promotion anyway. League position will be a factor too however and winning the Spring Series you would have thought put Everton Ladies in pole position. The FA thought Notts County's was a good plan to however and look what happened there? Lessons learned we hope.


Congratulations to Everton Ladies on their Spring Series success a trophy for the cabinet.



Sunday, 21 May 2017

Match Report - London Bees v Everton Ladies

 The 2nd game from this Saturday's double header at The Hive, the FAWSL 1 Spring Series may be only half way through it's fixtures however it's the final round pf games from the FAWSL 2 Spring Series with London Bees hosting table toppers, Everton Ladies with just a point needed from their final game to clinch the one off series title.

  The games paced out a bit further apart in the FAWSL 2 Spring Series, Everton Ladies have looked strong all season suffering just the one defeat in their 8 matches played to date that a narrow loss away to surprise packages Millwall Lionesses. 6 wins and a draw undefeated in their last 5 games including 3 straight wins come into the game knowing the Spring Series trophy is almost in their hands a superior goal difference meaning even a loss today wouldn't be a disaster however the club will want to become Champions with a final day win, boost the confidence going into the new season no end. For Everton manager Andy Spence always looking to bring youth players through the ranks, something's being forced to in recent seasons this will be a well deserved achievement for the club.

  London Bees can't finish any higher than 6th place in the FAWSL 2 Spring Series table a win needed to guarantee the position, as both Watford Ladies or Brighton & Hove Albion WFC could yet catch them if they were to win their final games. Will be disappointed with that position however after making such a promising start to the Spring Series undefeated with 7 points from their opening 3 games. Only one more win has come since and have lost the last 3 games in a row.

  Playing at The Hive for the last time in the Spring Series will be looking to end on a high take that into the new season. Looks like the showers that affected the earlier game are fading away the sun bright behind the West Stand as the two sides walk out onto the pitch. 

  London Bees starting XI - Sophie Harris, Ocean Rolandsen, Sophie Fogarty, Emma Beckett, Amber Tullett, Rebecca Anderson, Tricia Gould, Ashleigh Goddard (C), Paula Howells, Evie Clarke & Jo Wilson.
  subs - Amelia Boyle, Lucy Loomes, Alysha Stojko-Down, Holly Greenwood, Katherine Huggins

  Everton Ladies starting XI - Kirsty Levell, Georgia Brougham, Danielle Turner, Megan Finnigan, Gabby George, Michelle Hinnigan (C), Mollie Green, Faye Bryson, Kelly Jones, Aileen Whelan & Simone Magill
  subs - Vicky Jones, Fern Whelan, Chantelle-Boye Hlorkah, Amber Stobbs, Olivia Chance, Claudia Walker & Emily Hollinshead.

  Everton another side to bring players in from folded Notts County Ladies welcome the return of defender Fern Whelan along with striker Aileen Whelan, the former named amongst the substitutes, with the latter starting. It's London Bees to kick off the 1st half, wearing white shirts with an orange and black striped sash across the front, black shorts and white socks. Everton lined up opposite wearing blue shirts with white shorts and socks.

  Everton pressure the ball right from the start Kelly Jones cutting out a pass in the middle sends it forwards with Aileen Whelan looking to get into the area left the ball into her path knocks it to the right for Simone Magill, trying to shift it inside the area is tackled by London Bees, Amber Tullett.

  Tricia Gould brings the ball forwards for London Bees left side closing in on the top of the area sends it across looking to pick out Jo Wilson in the middle, can't reach it runs on picked up by Evie Clarke right side tries to force her way into the box, no way through as Gabby George and Danielle Turner close her down. 

Everton Ladies, Gabby George

  Sophie Fogarty is fouled on the left side a free-kick in a wide position outside the box 25 yards out. Emma Beckett comes forwards from the centre of defence to take it, a let off for Everton as her inswinging strike fired in with plenty of power smashes against the upright before dropping down into the box and being scrambled away. 

London Bees, Sophie Fogarty with Everton Ladies, Simone Magill

  London Bees captain, Ashleigh Goddard controls well in the middle sees Forgarty on the move down the left picks her out with the pass, sends the cross into the the area, George getting her head on the ball clears for Everton. Everton get the ball up the other end win a throw deep on the right into Mollie Green she turns inside drives into the box fires the ball in across the six yard box is intercepted by Beckett at the near post and cleared up field.

  An Everton corner on the left an inswinging ball played in high Tullett gets up high to head away for London Bees. Whelan and Magill link up well up top for Everton bring about another corner from the opposite side, another good delivery, this time goalkeeper Sophie Harris with a confident claim for London Bees. Beckett cuts the ball out near post as it is fired into the area for Magill to attack after Georgia Brougham and Faye Bryson combine well on the right for Everton.

Amber Tullett gets up high to head the ball clear from the corner for London Bees

  Moving past the opening 15 minutes of the game Everton starting to build some momentum, captain Michelle Hinnigan winning the ball in the middle driving on with it plays a great through ball in behind the London Bees defence sending Whelan through on goal, looks to stab the ball past Harris coming racing out to close her down sliding in the keeper makes a fantastic save grabbing the ball before it can escape her. 

  Less than a minute later Harris is called into action again producing another great save, Magill played through on goal to the right shoots from inside the box Harris pushing the ball wide of her near post conceding the corner. The goalkeepers heroics continue as Harris produces a quality double save from the resulting corner the ball long to the fire posted knocked down back towards goal Harris going to ground blocks then as the ball is fired back at her saves with her feet the ball deflected out to the right send back in across the face of goal goes wide of the far post.

A busy 1st half for London Bees goalkeeper, Sophie Harris

  Jones plays the ball on into Whelan outside the box a good turn before sending the ball wide right for Magill, going on cuts it back to Green arriving at the top of the box central her shot is blocked. Jones carries the ball forwards moving right crosses into the area, Beckett wins the header with Whelan closing in, out to the left Turner sends the ball in near post Harris claiming well. Green plays the ball into Magill drifting in space on the right takes on the shot from the top of the area the ball over the bar midway through the 1st half.
Everton Ladies, Mollie Green
opens the scoring
 GOAL! Everton's pressure eventually tells as they open the scoring in the 28th minute, Jones plays the ball on for Magill out on the right again, back to Jones who rolls it into Whelan inside the box right of goal turn and hit the ball blocked the deflection coming to Green outside the area left of the D goes for goal her shot taking a wicked deflection of a defender taking it away from Harris central into the back of the net 0-1.

  Everton keep coming winning the ball from the restart go forwards Hinnigan on for Green taking the ball on onside the box moving right looks to fire a shot back across the keeper, Harris making a good save grabbing the ball low to her left. Paula Howells gets control of the ball in the middle for London Bees moving left drives forwards whipping in a ball from 20 yards out, it's George who gets her head on the ball to clear for Everton. 

  A corner kick for Everton on the left just past the half hour the ball into a central position, Whelan gets up highest sends her headed ball wide across goal. Fogarty does well inside the box to defend a cross fired in long from the left has Whelan and Green either side of her brings the ball down well keeping it close to her body before playing it clear.

  GOAL! Everton double their lead good build up play on the left side it's Turner who plays in a fantastic ball from the wing top of the area over the runners near post falls on a plate for Hinnigan central a top draw header to send the ball angling back across the keeper and into the top corner 2-0.

Everton Ladies captain, Michelle Hinnigan

  Opportunities for London Bees up top have been limited as the game moves into the last 10 minutes in the 1st half. Goddard brings the ball forwards has Howells to her left finding her with the pass the cross is played into the box, George their to deal with it again far post. Magill receiving the ball from a throw in turns her marker taking the ball down the line putting the ball into the six yard box Whelan getting her head on the ball places her effort over the top. 

London Bees, Paula Howells

  Goddard with another forceful run forwards plays the ball into Wilson the striker shifts the ball left to right between her feet before shooting the strike blocked by Everton's Megan Finnigan. Magill robs the London Bees defence of the ball as they get caught in possession at the back on the left the ball rolled into the middle with Hinnigan bombing on meeting the ball strikes 1st time putting her attempt over the bar. 

  Into the last 2 minutes of the 1st half and Harris continues to make the saves to keep her side in the match Hinnigan driving on with the ball through the middle puts it on for Magill into the box left of goal blasts the ball in towards goal the London Bees keeper saving excellently with her legs to keep the ball out. 

 Half-time London Bees 0-2 Everton Ladies

 Everton Ladies good value for their 2-0 lead at the break have created plenty of chances in front of goal only some superb goalkeeping from Sophie Harris for London Bees has kept the score down. Few opportunities up the other end goalkeeper Kirsty Levell rarely called into action, Beckett's strike against the bar the closest the home side have come. Need a better 2nd half if they are to get back into the game.

  A change for London Bees at the start of the 2nd half Tullett off to be replaced by Lucy Loomes. Everton to get the 2nd half underway on the attack right from the off, a throw in right the ball put into Jones' feet as it is played across the top of the area, goes for goal a low drive blocked by Beckett. 

London Bees, Rebecca Anderson

  Whelan taking the ball out to the left wins Everton a corner kick, taken short before being delivered into the box the ball headed clear falling to Jones outside the box hits it hard back in towards goal taking a deflection flies up over the bar. London Bees break from the corner Anderson bringing the ball out of the area looks to release Wilson up top, Turner the last defender does well to close her down. Bryson puts the ball wide from inside the six yard box for Everton as she gets onto the end of a cross fired in from the left. 

Everton Ladies, Faye Bryson

 A change for Everton 10 minutes into the 2nd half bring off Bryson sending on Vicky Jones twin sister to Kelly. It's Vicky who puts the ball on for Turner getting in behind the London Bees defence on the left puts a great cross into the box Green arriving headers the ball down, straight at Harris saves will going to ground. Everton keep coming forwards, Magill playing the ball into Whelan central no way through plays the ball out to Turner left clips a cross back into the six yard box, Harris gets her arms up to claim the ball.

 Another change for Everton Claudia Walker entering the game replacing Green in the 61st minute. A throw for Everton level with the top of the box on the right side into Magill, sends the ball inside to Whelan letting the ball run across her strikes it her shot swinging away from goal. Wide again from Whelan soon after as Vicky Jones comes on with the ball looks to put the ball inside for Walker the ball evading her central come onto Whelan strikes the ball from outside the box. 

 GOAL! Penalty! The ball on the left played into Walker the Everton attacker is brought down as she enters the area, dusts herself down to take it. Hits the ball hard and low into the bottom corner of the net guessing right Harris almost reaches it with her dive Everton extend their lead in control of the game with 20 minutes left play 0-3.

Claudia Walker converts the penalty to put Everton Ladies 3-0 up

 London Bees make a change Wilson coming off to be replaced by Alysha Stojko-Down up front. Everton continue to dominate possession of the ball keeping it in and around the London Bees area. Walker with the ball on the left cuts inside before letting looses a shot from 20 yards the ball swerving through the air sails over the bar. Vicky Jones with a strike at goal from 20 yards right of goal as she comes onto a Magill lay off from inside the box the shot held by Harris. 

Alysha Stojko-Down winning the header for London Bees
  Everton make their final chance with 80 minutes on the clock, Olivia Chance coming on for Magill. Goddard is injured for London Bees can't continue, Katherine Huggins comes on. Loomes pushes forwards for London Bees left side allowed the shot the ball is blocked inside the area. A free-kick for London Bees inside the Everton half as Gould is fouled. Beckett to play the ball down the right the cross put in Finnigan heads the ball out of the area comes to Howells hits it hard taking a deflection goes away for the corner kick. The ball in from the left is met by Fogarty near post sees her header blocked. 

 GOAL! Not long left on the clock now Everton keep on pressing forwards the ball played into Walker has time to shoot 25 yards out and hits a cracking ball ball in curling away from Harris flies into the back of the net her 2nd of the game to make it 0-4 virtually the last action of the game as the final whistle blows and Everton Ladies celebrate winning the FAWSL 2 Spring Series.

Full time London Bees 0-4 Everton Ladies

  A 4-0 win for Everton Ladies looked the better side from start to finish getting forwards seeing plenty of the ball, 2 goal each half would have been more if not for the magnificent saves from Harris. A on off competition and Everton Ladies win the trophy.

The Prize

SWF Blog - Player of the Match

 The SWF Blog - Player of the Match goes to Everton Ladies captain Michelle Hinnigan leading from the front a driving force in the middle well backed up by Kelly Jones getting hold of the ball bringing it on setting up chances and scoring too.

Everton Ladies, FAWSL 2 Spring Series Champions

  Congratulations to Everton Ladies on winning the FAWSL 2 Spring Series a great achievement for all the players, staff and fans.


Match Report - Arsenal Ladies v Birmingham City Ladies

 A double header from The Hive this afternoon, up first Arsenal Ladies take on Birmingham City Ladies in the FAWSL 1 Spring Series.

  The Spring Series a one off competition being held to bridge the gap between now and the FAWSL switching to a winter format to return back in line with the rest of the women's football winter period. A good decision? We will see. Each team to play each other once for the Spring Series title. Everyone a fixture down due to the sad news of Notts County Ladies folding. Ironically one of the reasons for the switch was the poor fixture scheduling the season spread out to long, yet the FAWSL 1 Spring Series will be played in just over 6 weeks. 

  That means the fixtures are flying by the Spring Series well underway most sides already halfway through their fixtures. Liverpool Ladies who have recruited well over the close season leading the table with 4 wins and a draw from 5 played. 

  Arsenal Ladies are currently 4th in the table undefeated but off the pace of the leaders with 3 draws and a win from their 4 games played so far. A win today would left them into 2nd over Chelsea Ladies and Manchester City Ladies who play later in the weekend.

  Birmingham City Ladies began the Spring Series with a new manager in place, Marc Skinner taking over from the long serving David Parker. Got off to a great start reaching the FA Women's Cup Final, beaten at Wembley by Manchester City Women. Currently in 6th place  in the table with 5 points from the 4 games they've played like Arsenal Ladies have the opportunity to go 2nd today.

  The games coming thick and fast both sides have large squads and are using them. Birmingham having already signed striker Ellen White from Notts County Ladies before their collapse have also added former player Rachel Williams to the squad, having started on the bench on Wednesday in Birmingham's 2-0 win at home to Bristol City Women, starts against Arsenal today. 

  Arsenal have also strengthened their squad over the close season, the return of Kim Little delighting their fans. Have also recruited recently retired USA International, Heather O'Reilly and Sunderland AFC Ladies hotshot Beth Mead to add fire to their attack. Irish International defender Louise Quinn also joining after never getting to kick a competitive ball for Notts County. 

  Today's game at The Hive, Arsenal using the ground with Borehamwood's Meadow Park unavailable. A great surface to play on the West Stand opposite the changing rooms and Pecking Order Restaurant open to the match. The best way to describe the weather, changeable. Bright and sunny one moment heavy showers the next one downpour coming just before the game.

Sunshine one minute showers the next, Coral Haines enjoying the warm-up

  Arsenal Ladies starting XI - Anna Moorhouse, Alex Scott (C), Leah Williamson, Lotte Wubben-Moy, Anna Patten, Fara Williams, Jordan Nobbs, Heather O'Reilly, Danielle Carter, Danielle Van de Donk & Beth Mead.
  subs -  Sari Van Veenendaal, Louise Quinn, Dominique Janssen, Carla Humphrey, Kim Little, Chloe Kelly & Jodie Taylor.

  Birmingham City Ladies starting XI - Sophie Baggaley, Meghan Sargeant, Paige Williams, Emily Westwood (C), Aoife Mannion, Abbey Stringer, Sarah Mayling, Jess Carter, Adrine Hederberg, Ellie Brazil & Rachel Williams.
  subs - Coral Haines, Kerys Harrop, Chloe Peplow, Freya Ayisi & Sian Johnson.

 Dry with the sun out as the two sides walk out onto the pitch, it's Birmingham to get the game underway, taking the kick-off wearing and all blue strip with white trim, with Arsenal lined up opposite wearing red shirts with white across the shoulders and sleeves, white shorts and red socks.

  GOAL! A fantastic start to the game from Birmingham as they score inside the opening minute. The ball played long out to the right wing is worked down the pitch the ball is sent into the box a great delivery coming in across the face of goal, Rachel Williams gets up to power her header into the back of the net open her account for the Spring Series and score on her return to the club 1-0.

  Paige Williams operating on the left for Birmingham carries the ball forwards sends a long diagonal ball trying to pick put Sarah Mayling on the opposite side, the ball is retrieved on the byline cut back into the area, Rachel Williams after it is tackled by Lotte Wubben-Moy, Arsenal get the ball clear. A shaky start from Arsenal, Birmingham pressing early have started well.

 Jordan Nobbs has the ball for Arsenal fired forwards into Beth Mead, outside the box back to goal has Leah Williamson coming on available for the pass lays the ball back into her, striking the ball from 30 yards out is on target, goalkeeper Sophie Baggaley is right behind the shot takes it cleanly for Birmingham. 

  A bit of hesitation at the back from Arsenal sees Birmingham striker Ellie Brazil rob Anna Patten knocking the ball on into the area goes after it, Anna Moorhouse in goal for Arsenal is quick to respond getting out to the striker win the race for the ball making the claim.

Goalkeeper Anna Moorhouse can reach the ball before Birmingham's Ellie Brazil

  The game has settled a little Arsenal beginning to get hold of the ball higher up the pitch, the pass from the middle finds Heather O'Reilly on the move into space down the left whips a high cross into the box, Jess Carter coming back to help defend gets her head on the ball near post and gets plenty of clearance with her header. Mead charges down a back pass to Baggaley inside the box Nobbs onto the ball 25 yards out fires her shot over the bar. Up the other end Rachel Williams battling to win the ball plays it out to Paige Williams on the left goes for the shot from distance her effort whistling over the bar.

Birmingham City Ladies, Abbey Stringer

  Rachel Williams closing the Arsenal defence down as they are caught in possession at the back again gets in behind left side of the box lets fly shooting across the keeper, Moorhouse gets her fingertips to the ball putting it over for the corner kick. From the right the ball goes long picked up by Rachel Williams she fires a return ball across the face of goal no one connects picked up by Adrine Hegerberg is put in towards the top of the area Birmingham captain Emily Westwood meets it hitting the ball hard rising smashes against the crossbar dropping down into the six yard box, Moorhouse is able to claim it. All this in the opening 10 minutes of the match.

  Arsenal get forwards on the left O'Reilly winning a corner, defended at the near post a 2nd corner the result. The delivery longer this time Westwood getting her head on the ball knocks it out to the edge of the area, Danielle Van de Donk bringing it down shifts the ball between her feet gets a shot away puts it straight into Baggaley. From one end to the other as Rachel Williams helps Baggaley's goal kick on with Brazil away to the left reaching the top of the area her shot lacking any pace is easily gathered by Moorhouse.

 Patten comes across puts in a good tackle on Hegerberg as she is released through the middle as Rachel Williams wins the ball. Fara Williams brings the ball on through the centre for Arsenal spreads the play out to the left with Williamson getting forwards taking the ball into the corner sends a high ball into the area, Aoife Mannion heads the ball behind for Birmingham. The visitors deal with the initial delivery into the area but don't get the ball away won by Van de Donk the ball is put back out to Nobbs wide right, her cross into the area goes long just a little too high for the leaping Wubben-Moy at the far post.

  Arsenal captain, Alex Scott comes away with the ball at the after being caught losing a shin pad in the process, has also gained a nasty cut on her shin which requires treatment on the side lines leaving Arsenal temporarily down to 10.  Williamson comes on down the left supporting O'Reilly the cross comes in cleared by Birmingham falls to Mead 25 yards out left of the D rolls her marker before sending in a low shot, Baggaley gets down low and right behind it makes the save.

Arsenal Ladies captain, Alex Scott coming away with the ball
minus her shin pad 

  Another cross in from the left from O'Reilly, Baggaley coming for it near post misses the ball hitting her drops favourably straight at Westwood's feet the defender clears. A spell of pressure from Arsenal, Van De Donk and O'Reilly linking up from the resulting corner the ball from the right up the line for Fara Williams her cross long for O'Reilly far side top of the area fires it back into the mix headed away by Mannion. Arsenal retrieve Danielle Carter fouled as she tried to get into the area. A dangerous position 25 yards out right of the D, Fara Williams to take her strike comes flying it smashes against the crossbar top corner, the closest Arsenal have gotten to levelling the scores as the game approaches the half hour mark. 

  O'Reilly comes close as the ball comes into her inside the D from Nobbs off a throw on the right, seeing the ball run across her body hits it on the turn, the shot flying wide of the top corner. Carter with a mazy run taking the ball inside from the right crosses from the top of the area the ball cleared far post by Meghan Sargeant for Birmingham. Arsenal upping the tempo as the 1st half enters the final 10 minutes. Van de Donk is clipped as she looks to bring the ball on through the centre. Nobbs to clip the ball up into the box, Westwood wins it for Birmingham.

Birmingham City Ladies, Meghan Sargeant

  Carter and O'Reilly switch sides for the final 5 minutes of the 1st half. Williamson comes forwards linking up with Nobbs they play the one two Williamson going on sends a cross in near post Carter with the header stooping into the ball sending it goalwards, Baggaley makes a fine save tipping the ball wide for the corner. Taken short the diagonal ball in from the top of the area flashes wide of the far post.

  GOAL! 3 minutes left on the clock in the 1st half and Arsenal having been getting close find the back of the net for the equalising goal. It's Van de Donk who sets up the goal picking up the ball inside the Birmingham half central slides a great ball in behind the defence with O'Reilly timing her run superbly left of goal taking it into the box, slides her shot past the advancing Baggaley and into the back of the net beyond 1-1.

Heather O'Reilly levels the scores for Arsenal Ladies

   A minute of added on time Arsenal come again down the left wing the ball clipped up into the area, cleared out of the box picked up by Nobbs hits a low drive back in, Baggaley right behind the shot able to gather.

Half-time Arsenal Ladies 1-1 Birmingham City Ladies

  A fantastic start to the game for Birmingham City Ladies taking the lead inside the opening minute, looked strong in the opening 15 minutes putting the Arsenal defence which looked a little tentative under pressure. Arsenal eventually growing into the game getting some confidence going forwards came close through Fara Williams and O'Reilly before the latter levelled it up 3 minutes before half-time. An entertaining 1st half.

  The sunshine and showers continue a wet interval the sun back out for the start of the 2nd half Arsenal getting the game back underway. Danielle Carter on the ball early on for Arsenal driving forwards down the right side before sending in a cross towards the near post too close to Baggaley the keeper claiming the ball. 

  Fara Williams coming on with the ball passes to Mead top of the area back to ball holds off Mannion before laying it out to Carter on the move past her down the right her cross goes long across the six yard box, gathered well by O'Reilly far post shoots, the ball cleared off the line by Sargeant. Isn't clear a scramble inside the box somehow Birmingham keep the ball out.

  A bright start to match the sunshine in the 2nd half from Arsenal. An ambitious effort from Mead as she gets hold of the ball deep runs with it shooting from 25 yards out the ball flies over Baggaley is just inches over the crossbar beyond. 

 GOAL! 8 minutes into the 2nd half and Arsenal take the lead. Van de Donk is played in behind the Birmingham defence by Carter on the right taking the ball on towards the area right of goal, Baggaley comes rushing out sliding in, Van de Donk keeps her composure taking the ball around the keeper and in behind sends the ball into the back of the net 2-1.

Arsenal Ladies, Danielle Van de Donk

  GOAL! The response from Birmingham is immediate as they get up the other end from the restart and equalise. Rachel Williams netting her 2nd of the match following great work from Paige Williams on the left side plays a great ball into the near post, Between defender and goalkeeper Williams puts her head in bravely as all three collide and end up on the floor the ball landing in the back of the net 2-2.

Rachel Williams getting treatment after levelling the scores for Birmingham

  Moorhouse gets slowly to her feet, Williams and defender Wubben-Moy are both okay to continue. The scores level with 60 minutes gone. Changes for both sides, Birmingham bring off Brazil up top send on Freya Ayisi. Arsenal make a double switch, Fara Williams and Scott replaced by Jodie Taylor and Louise Quinn. Going into the centre of defence Patten moves to left back with Williamson pushed on into midfield. 

Arsenal's Jordan Nobbs with Birmingham's Jess Carter

  A free-kick awarded to Arsenal midway inside the Birmingham half wide right Nobbs to send forwards is headed on by Mead goes long across the face of goal a corner appealed for and given. The ball swung in from the left comes in towards the far post Sargeant deals with it for Birmingham. 

   Rachel Williams very nearly gets her hat-trick for Birmingham as they play the ball forwards with purpose switched right to left as Mayling brings it on, Williams through on goal central lets fly with a stinging drive from outside the area, Moorhouse making a fantastic save gloving the ball down then claiming it as Ayisi looks to steal in on the follow up.

Birmingham City Ladies, Sarah Mayling

  Arsenal press forwards the Birmingham defence standing firm, Nobbs shot from 25 yards cut out. No room for Van de Donk as she receives the ball from Mead at the top of the area tackled by Mannion. Ayisi plays the ball on for Mayling coming forwards down the right shots from distance, Moorhouse can see the ball run wide of her goal. Another change for Birmingham, Kerys Harrop coming on for Rachel Williams, taking up a left back role Paige Williams pushed further forwards.

 GOAL! Birmingham's Carter fouls Nobbs. Over the free-kick inside the Birmingham half on the right is a long way out, players go forwards from the back into the area. Is a superb delivery from Nobbs the ball flighted up into the six yard box, players attack the ball Quinn gets her head on the ball to send it into the back of the net giving Arsenal the lead in the 75th minute with her 1st goal for the club 3-2.

Louise Quinn, scores her 1st goal for Arsenal Ladies

  Birmingham make their final change bringing off Hegerberg sending on Coral Haines with less than 10 minutes left to play. Mead gets hold of the ball for Arsenal letting fly from outside the box her effort over the bar. Mead's last action of the game as she is replaced by Chloe Kelly. Jess Carter looks to get forwards for Birmingham attacking down the right, tracked by O'Reilly who supported by Patten prevent the cross coming in. 

Arsenal press late on Kelly with a chance shooting over the bar from the left as the ball is rolled out to her by Nobbs from Taylor's lay off inside the box. 5 minutes added time at the end of the 2nd half.

 GOAL! Arsenal ensure the 3 points are won scoring again in injury time from a corner won on the left another great delivery swung across the six yard box attacked in the centre, Quinn up again her header past Baggaley to score her 2nd of the game 4-2.

Louise Quinn heading the ball in for her 2nd of the match

 Birmingham get forwards from the restart a free-kick wide left outside the box Paige Williams on it the ball delivered centrally, Taylor back defending for Arsenal head the ball clear. One last chance to put the ball forwards for the visitors, Kelly fouling Westwood inside their half Baggaley on the ball plays it long up to the top of the area Quinn wins the header as the final whistle blows and Arsenal celebrate the win.

Full time Arsenal Ladies 4-2 Birmingham City Ladies

  An entertaining match, plenty of action from both sides, Birmingham with their fantastic start had Arsenal pinned back early on but eventually they came back to equalise late in the 1st half. Started the better 2nd half going in front Birmingham with an immediate response defended well for the majority however that defence will be upset at conceding from two set-pieces great deliveries for both goals for Quinn.

Arsenal Ladies, Jordan Nobbs

SWF Blog - Player of the Match

  Today's SWF Blog - Player of the Match goes to Arsenal Ladies Jordan Nobbs once the midfielder got into her stride she caused Birmingham problems with her movement always a box to box type of player with Williams behind her can concentrate on the attacking aspect of her game always available for the ball involved in most attacking build ups a good all round performance.