Sheffield FC Ladies won the FAWPL Northern Division at a sun-drenched Green King Park as they defeated Leicester City 2-0, securing the point they needed to avoid any chance of the title being decided by goal difference.
The visitors started superbly well, playing attractive flowing football in spite of the difficult surface, but Leicester City were stubborn opponents and denied Sheffield several opportunities by good blocks and determined defending. With the stalemate still unbroken at half-time, Sheffield remained patient and finally got the breakthrough on 61 minutes when Jodie Michalska picked out a great run from midfield by Lynn Goodman, and she outpaced the last defender to roll the ball accurately passed the diving keeper and in off the post. Right at the end, Suzanne Davies bulleted a great header into the net off a Carla Ward corner for Sheffield’s second – a fitting way to end the match and confirm themselves as league champions.
It’s the fourth league title Sheffield FC have won in six seasons, underlining once again the club’s incredible journey through the ranks since its formation ten seasons ago. Helen Mitchell, manager for all those ten years, summed up her thoughts after the game:
“After the intensity of the match on Thursday night against Nottingham Forest, it was always going to be hard for the players to repeat that performance, and to show the same quality as they did that night. However, they played really well for the most part at Leicester and did the job required – as they’ve done virtually all season.”
“It means such a lot to all of us to win the title, in spite of most players in the squad having won league titles before, either with us or at other clubs – no-one gets tired of winning! The players have worked so hard again and are a fantastically committed group who have kept each other going all season. It’s been difficult for them to stay focused and maintain momentum at times with so many breaks in the schedule due to weather, so they deserve an awful lot of credit for continuing to work hard and for having been so consistent. I am extremely proud of all of them – each member of the squad has made a vital contribution to the achievement, and they are a privilege to manage and an enormous credit to Sheffield FC. I couldn’t have asked for more from them. ”
Sheffield still have one final league match this season, at home to Nottingham Forest on Wednesday night, and Mitchell is hoping that, although the title is won, the players will give it everything they have left to try and finish on a high.
“If we could complete the season with a win at home, that would just top things off, but we have some very tired players now as this will be their fourth match in ten days. Forest are a top class team and pushed us all the way last week – there was virtually nothing in the match at all – so we know it’s going to be really tough to pull out all the stops again. If the match is anything like the quality it was last week, it will be another cracker.”
The match kicks off at 7:45pm on Wednesday 8 May 2013 at:
The BT Local Business Stadium
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