With the FA Women’s National League on its festive break until 5 January, we take a look at the state of play mid-way through the campaign.
Sunderland are the one unbeaten side in the Northern Premier and with only two points dropped are six clear of closest challengers Burnley. The Clarets lead the chasing pack which principally includes Stoke City, Nottingham Forest and Huddersfield Town. The Black Cats beat Burnley 2-0 in the FAWNL Cup but their first league meeting is at Padiham FC on 16 February.
The title race in the Southern Premier sees Watford lead the table going into 2020 by a three-point margin from Crawley Wasps, who have played a game fewer than the Hornets. Watford welcome the Wasps on 23 February and won the away game 3-1 in September. Third-placed Plymouth Argyle – who next go to Watford in the Women’s FA Cup – are seven points off the top and could be caught by Portsmouth in seventh.
Wolves just missed out on promotion from Division 1 Midlands last season but currently lead the table by two points and with a game more to play. However, that could change on the first Sunday of the new year when they have a massive match at second-placed Birmingham & West Mids. The pair meet again at the back end of the season on 10 May. Long Eaton United and Lincoln City are fifth and sixth respectively but with games in hand.
It’s a Yorkshire one-two-three in Division 1 North where Barnsley hold pole position with only two points dropped from 30. Brighouse Town are also unbeaten but its Leeds United in second spot, three points behind the Tykes from a game more. Barnsley, who have twice won at Leeds this term, visit Brighouse in the the Women’s FA Cup on 5 January.
Eight wins and a draw has Ipswich Town flying high in Division 1 South East, four points and one match better off than second-placed AFC Wimbledon, whom they travel to on 12 January. Both Billericay Town and Leyton Orient can leapfrog the Dons by winning games in hand.
Division 1 South West has local rivals contesting the leadership, with Southampton FC top and having won all games but for a goalless draw at home to Southampton Women’s, who are two points behind from an additional game. They play the return game on 19 February. Most other sides have a greater number of matches left and of those Exeter City are best placed.