#FAWNL: Title chasers and relegation scrappers

Title-chasing Wolves and Fylde
Both Wolves and Fylde have their eyes on leaders Derby County. (Photo: Nigel Broster)

A look at the top and bottom of the FA Women’s National League’s six divisions ahead of the resumption of fixtures on 9 January.

Derby County currently lead the Northern Premier by six points from Fylde – who have a game in hand – but Wolves are the one unbeaten side and can catch both those above them. While the Rams and Wolves have both won all their away matches, it’s at home were the Coasters have yet to drop a point.

Fifth-placed Huddersfield Town are the highest scorers so far and are third in the recent form table.

A winless Hull City prop up the table, with Loughborough Lightning and Sheffield FC also in the relegation zone.

Ipswich Town won at Southampton
Ipswich Town won a title ‘six-pointer at Southampton FC. (Photo: www.jamesprickett.co.uk)

Ipswich Town hold a five-point advantage at the top of the Southern Premier over Oxford United, both clubs boasting perfect home form, while third-placed Southampton FC – the only side in the division to have won all their away fixtures – will go level on point with the leaders if they win their two games in hand. Not only are the Saints the most prolific scorers but they have not conceded a single goal away from home.

Although Bridgwater United and Crawley Wasps each have 100% home records, rather mixed results on their travels have held them back somewhat.

Four sides will go down from this division, Chichester & Selsey currently at least five points from safety, followed by MK Dons, Plymouth Argyle and a struggling Hounslow who are still to score a goal.

Doncaster Rovers Belles and title rivals Boldmere St Michaels
Doncaster Rovers Belles challenged by title rivals Boldmere St Michaels. (Photo: Andy Smith)

Doncaster Rovers Belles are in the Division 1 Midlands top spot with a four-point lead on highest scorers Long Eaton United from one game more, while form side Lincoln City and also Boldmere St Michaels can wipe out the leader’s advantage, having each played two games fewer.

Burton Albion are goal-difference above the drop zone, Peterborough United just beneath them, followed by Leafield Athletic, Holwell Sports and Bedworth United.

With only two goals conceded in six home wins, Liverpool Feds’ lead in Division 1 North stands at eight points but they have played two games more than top scorers Newcastle United in second. Leeds United are three points behind the Magpies and Chorley have only lost once but have 15 games to still get through.

Newcastle United won in the snow
Newcastle United have sometimes needed to employ additional tools before winning a game. (Photo: @Sparta_GK)

Goal-difference sees Barnsley above the dotted line and Bradford City under it, Chester-le-Street Town and winless debutants Alnwick Town are the bottom two sides.

The Division 1 South East title is for now something of a two-horse race between Essex rivals. Hashtag United have hit 50 goals in a dozen outings, conceded the fewest goals and only dropping two points to sit above a similarly unbeaten Billericay Town who have drawn twice. AFC Wimbledon look best-placed to join the race, if the sixth-placed Dons can make full use of their games in hand.

Enfield Town’s goal-difference keeps them out of the four relegation places, filled for the moment by Harlow Town, Norwich City, Stevenage and Kent Football United, the latter whose only two points have come on the road.

Cheltenham Town’s first placed in Division 1 South West is under threat from at least two promotion hopefuls.

Cheltenham Town Ladies won on penalties
Cheltenham Town Ladies. (Photo: Will Cheshire)

AFC Bournemouth and Exeter City are both playing catch-up in the fixtures but can match or better the Robins’ current record, while Southampton Women sit between the Cherries and Grecians. Cheltenham have scored the most goals but Bournemouth have only let in three in eight games.

Poole Town occupy the single relegation place, having picked up just the one point from ten matches.

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