#FAWPL: Northern Division title race intensifies

The teams go in at half-time with Stoke 3-1 up. (Photo: Stoke City Ladies)

Leicester City WFC and Stoke City beat the two best-placed sides in the Northern title race, Crystal Palace extended their lead in the Southern and Loughborough Foxes won Midlands Division 1.

Sunday 15th April 
FA WOMEN’S PREMIER LEAGUE

NORTHERN DIVISION
Blackburn Rovers 1-2 Leicester City WFC (Att: 123)
Fylde 0-0 Wolverhampton Wanderers (Att: 33)
Guiseley Vixens 3-2 West Bromwich Albion
Nottingham Forest 2-2 Huddersfield Town (Att: 67)
Stoke City 6-3 Middlesbrough (Att: 142)

SOUTHERN DIVISION
Cardiff City LFC 3-2 Gillingham (Att: 95)
Charlton Athletic 1-0 Portsmouth (Att: 114)
Coventry United 3-1 Chichester City (Att: 60)
Crystal Palace 2-0 C & K Basildon (Att: 336)
Queens Park Rangers 0-3 Lewes (Att: 50)

MIDLANDS DIVISION 1
Burton Albion 2-2 Steel City Wanderers (Att: 56)
Radcliffe Olympic 4-1 The New Saints (Att: 35)
Sporting Khalsa 1-3 Birmingham & West Midlands (Att: 30)

NORTHERN DIVISION 1
Bolton Wanderers 2-3 Brighouse Town
Chester le Street Town 0-1 Hull City (Att: 30)
Leeds United 1-2 Chorley
Liverpool Marshalls Feds 2-1 Crewe Alexandra (Att: 60)
Newcastle United 5-1 Mossley Hill Athletic (Att: 42)

SOUTH EAST DIVISION 1
Actonians P-P Milton Keynes Dons (waterlogged pitch)
Denham United 1-6 Ipswich Town (Att: 46)
Leyton Orient 2-1 AFC Wimbledon (Att: 74)
Norwich City 0-1 Stevenage (Att: 46)

SOUTH WEST DIVISION 1
Brislington 3-1 Maidenhead United (At: 33)
Keynsham Town 4-4 Southampton WFC (Att: 60)
Larkhall Athletic 0-1 Poole Town (Att: 20)
Southampton Saints 1-1 Plymouth Argyle (Att: 15)

Blackburn’s Northern title hopes might have taken a blow by the 2-1 home loss to Leicester but leaders Middlesbrough went down an amazing 6-3 at Stoke.

Leicester went second on goal-difference thanks to a Sophie Domingo double, after Lynda Shepherd put Rovers ahead in the first half. Ashleigh Hayes and Faye McCoy netted twice each for the Potters, Cassie Hyde and Hannah Keryakoplis one each, while Boro’s goals came from Emily Scarr, Bianca Owens (penalty) and Eleanor Dale.

Huddersfield slipped to third after a 2-2 tie at Nottingham Forest, where they twice conceded the lead, Leanne Robinson and Hazzana Parnell replying.

Mid-table Fylde were held to a goalless draw at home by lowly Wolves and Guiseley continued their battle to get out of the drop zone by beating West Brom 3-2. Ellie Olds, Natalie Brace and Nikki Berko were the Vixens’ scorers. Jennifer Kikomeko got both for the Baggies.

Crystal Palace went four points clear at the Southern summit with a 2-0 defeat of second-placed C & K Basildon.

Ellie Bailes and a Gemma Bryan penalty – after a red card for Basildon’s Kerry-Anne Stimson – sealed another Eagles’ success, in front of well over 300 fans. The visitors also lost April Bowers to hospital after she sustained a neck injury.

Charlton got the only goal of the game to defeat Portsmouth and move within a point of second, Kit Graham making the breakthrough with just 5 minutes left.

Lewes were 3-0 winners at QPR, where Charlotte Owen, Vicky Carleton and Dani Lane on target, Coventry sent Chichester to 3-1 defeat with an Alison Hall hat-trick, Jade Widdows pulling one back.

Cardiff climbed above Gillingham into eighth when edging them with the odd goal in five. The Gills cancelled out goals by Kelly Isaac and Cori Williams through Millie Waud and Maddison Farrand but Ella Powell grabbed the decider via the crossbar.

Loughborough lift title without playing

Photo: Loughborough Foxes

Radcliffe’s 4-1 defeat of TNS handed the Midlands Division 1 championship to Loughborough Foxes. Rania Ramadan, Beth Bailey and Kayleigh Aylmer were on target to help send Olympic fourth, Kimberley Bebbington got a consolation for the Saints. Jordan Atkin bagged a brace for Burton but Steel City hit back twice to force a 2-2 draw. Birmingham & West Midlands consigned Rotherham to a bottom-two finish after their 3-1 victory at Sporting Khalsa, where Charlie Fisher scored twice and Emily Painter notched the visitors’ other goal.

Narrow wins for title-chasing trio

Hull held a five-point advantage at the top of Northern Division 1 with a last minute penalty-goal winner at Chester le Street. Second in the table Liverpool Feds fought back to beat Crewe 2-1. Amanda Fallon scored on 65, Carla Lee levelled and Georgia Stebbings conceded a late own-goal. Brighouse came through 3-2 at Bolton, Charlotte Proud’s early goal added to by an Aimi Beresford brace, Wanderers having twice equalised. Chorley leapfrogged Leeds into ninth with a 2-1 away win, having also come from behind. Newcastle are up to seventh following a 5-1 result over basement side Mossley. There was one apiece for Rebecca Olley, Steph Ord, Megan MacKenzie, Becca Hansen and Jessie Ellison, Mossley had got one back to make it 2-1.

Leyton Orient defeat leaders

Photo: Leyton Orient WFC

Leyton Orient went third with a 2-1 victory over South East Division 1 leaders AFC Wimbledon. Caroline Bisson converted from the spot but O’s keeper Naomi Ogunde saved the other first-half penalty and Lisa Fulgence got a full-debut double to seal the points. Ipswich are up to third after hitting hosts Denham United 6-1 with the aid of a Zoe Cossey hat-trick. Her first came inside 30 seconds, Amanda Crump (penalty), Gemma Moore and Natasha Thomas also found the net and Alissa Down struck from 30 yards for United. A single Nicole Emmings goal from 25 yards out at Norwich sent Stevenage into fifth position.

Keynsham & Saints hold previously perfect pair

Both 100% records in South West Division 1 were ended with draws on the road. Southampton WFC shared eight goals at Keynsham, where the hosts had trailed 4-1. Town’s tally was made up by Justine Lorton (2), Kerry Bartlett and Jade Radburn, while Emma Pinner, Chelsie Hay, Cassie Thorp and Tash Angel got on the scoresheet for the away side. Plymouth finished all square too, 1-1 at Southampton Saints, Katie Middleton levelling after the hosts scored just before the break. Poole picked up three points at Larkhall with an 81st-minute Maisy Smith goal, after the home side had missed a spot-kick. Brislington’s 3-1 win over Maidenhead moved them up two places to eighth on goal-difference. Kim Maggs double in the first 21 minutes was added to by Sophie Whelan.

Midweek Fixtures

Tues 17 April – NORTHERN DIVISION: Blackburn Rovers v Bradford City (Bamber Bridge FC, 7.30)

Weds 18 April – NORTHERN DIVISION 1: Brighouse Town v Newcastle United (Brighouse Town FC, 8pm), Mossley Hill v Bolton Wanderers (Mossley Hill Athletic Club, 8pm)

Thurs 19 April – NORTHERN DIVISION: Fylde v Huddersfield Town (Fylde FC, 8.15), Stoke City v Bradford City (Norton United FC, 7.45)