The National Futsal Series came to a scintillating finish on Saturday, with promotion, relegation, and titles all on the line, reports @doublenutmegs
Catch up on how all the teams got on on the final day below…
Tier 1 Playoff – Birmingham WLV 4-2 London Helvecia
In the key fixture of the day, Birmingham faced Helvecia for the title of National Champions in an early morning kick-off. Helvecia went into the game as clear favourites, having won all of their league matches since the NFS was formed in 2019. Birmingham were dealt a blow before the match even began due to the absence of league top scorer Alisha Miller, who was unavailable due to representing Wolves in the FAWNL playoff.
It was underdogs Birmingham who started strongest, with the first real chance of the match being calmly slotted away by captain Angie Morley. Nicole Pepper soon equalised for Helvecia, and it was level at half-time after a relatively cagey first 20 minutes.
Despite Helvecia having the lion’s share of possession in the second half, they struggled to make the final touch or pass count, and when they did, they were met by resilient and disciplined defending from the Birmingham players, and another excellent goalkeeping display by Adriana Caboz.
Although there were few clear chances for Birmingham, those they had were taken brilliantly, with Kate Evans and Steph Weston both getting their names on the scoresheet with pinpoint strikes. Helvecia made it a one goal game through Selin Buyukgiray with three minutes to go, but Birmingham rounded off the final in style with a dropkick goal from Caboz, taking advantage of Helvecia’s fly keeper and securing the win.
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) May 21, 2022
It was a brilliant advert for the game after a riveting season in the Women’s NFS, and was enjoyed thoroughly by the animated crowd at the University of Wolverhampton, and undoubtedly by those watching at home on BT Sport too.
Tier 2 Playoff – Bedford 1-4 Cheshire
The second match of the day saw the winners of Tier 2 North and South face off for the overall title. Cheshire were probably favourites heading into this one and they proved why with a goal in the opening minute from Keri Sampson calming any nerves. Bedford were able to equalise with a tidy finish from Louise McCay inside the area, but Cheshire ultimately showed their experience to come out 4-1 winners in the end. Tier 2 North top scorer Kirstie Kural got on the scoresheet, alongside Emma Roden and another from Sampson.
— FA National Futsal Series (@FA_NFS) May 21, 2022
Promotion/Relegation Match – Bloomsbury 4-6 University of Liverpool
The highest scoring match of the day saw two Tier 1 sides meet in a straight shootout to avoid relegation. A win for either side would mean survival, but a draw would also be enough for Bloomsbury to stay up, and relegate Liverpool. The teams traded goals back and forth in the first half, before Liverpool stormed to a 6-3 lead at the start of the second. Bloomsbury may have sensed a comeback when Ceri Ogden was shown a harsh second yellow for UoL and their small squad was reduced even further, but it wasn’t meant to be for the Blooms, who now face another season in the second division.
Promotion/Relegation Match – Worcester 1-3 Southampton Aztecs
With Worcester’s place in Tier 1 already secured, they faced Southampton without a recognised goalkeeper in the squad and were made to pay by the Aztecs, who needed a result to avoid relegation. Sisters Kayleigh and Rebekah Tonks were both on the scoresheet once again, with Nicola Curtis rounding off the victory.
Promotion / Relegation Roundup:
University of Liverpool – remain in Tier 1.
Cheshire – promoted to Tier 1.
Bloomsbury – relegated to Tier 2.
Southampton Aztecs – remain in Tier 1.
Worcester – remain in Tier 1.
Bedford – remain in Tier 2.