With the FA Premier League on its Christmas and New Year interval until 8th January, we take a look at the current state of play across the six divisions.
The two sides promoted to the the Northern sit first and third, with Middlesbrough (highest scorers across all divisions) on top and Leicester City Women also making a splash. However, unbeaten Blackburn Rovers sit second with several games in hand on the leaders and look favourites for the title. There’s only 5 points between Leicester and the remainder of the division, Newcastle United propping up the rest 4 points adrift of Huddersfield Town and Nottingham Forest.
In the Southern, Tottenham Hotspur lead the title chase with just 2 points dropped from when they hosted C&K Basildon. A trio of teams are chasing Spurs, with Coventry United leading them but Cardiff City Ladies best positioned and Charlton Athletic below them. Basement side Queens Park Rangers’ first win of the season came over West Ham, with whom they are now level on points and both just behind Swindon Town.
Loughborough Foxes are looking for an immediate return to the top tier via the pole position in the Midlands Division 1 but Wolves are well-placed to catch them. Wanderers replaced Sporting Khalsa in second when winning there and are perhaps tellingly the only side to have taken points off the leaders, also beating them away. Loughborough Students are having a worse time of it, not only losing all 11 games but having a point docked too, leaving them 5 points short of Leicester City Ladies.
Guiseley are also aiming to bounce back and currently enjoy the Northern Division 1 leadership, with only Leeds so far denying them victory. Chorley missed the chance to go top for Christmas when losing at Liverpool Marshalls Feds, who have some more catching up to do. Hull City sit between the pair and are only 4 points off the pace. Mossley Hill and Tranmere Rovers occupy the relegation places, with Brighouse Town 2 points from danger.
Cambridge United (pictured above) narrowly lead the way in the South East Division 1 from a game or two less than their nearest pursuers. AFC Wimbledon and MK Dons are both on the leaders tails and while Actonians are having a much-improved campaign, it’s Gillingham in fifth who are very likely to play a part in the race and yet to taste defeat. No such luck for bottom two Stevenage and Lowestoft Town on just 3 points each, with the former still to win at this level.
In the South West Division 1, top of the table Chichester City and fifth-placed Southampton Saints are unbeaten, drawing when they met. Plymouth Argyle are a single points off the leaders, followed by Larkhall Athletic and Keynsham Town. Shanklin and Exeter City are in the last couple of places, having claimed just a point each.
Is it actually tougher up North? Well, the FA’s stats reveal that 6 of the 7 teams with the highest number of cautions all play in the Northern Divisions! The worst offenders are Stoke City with 14 yellow cards and a single red, while Gillingham, Loughborough Foxes, Lowestoft Town and Norwich City have been keeping it entirely clean.
13 – Bianca Owens (Middlesbrough)
12 – Emily Scarr (Middlesbrough)
9 – Natasha Flint (Fylde)
13 – Alison Hall (Coventry United)
11 – Kerry Bartlett (Cardiff City LFC)
11 – Gemma Bryan (Crystal Palace)
10 – Kit Graham (Charlton (Athletic)
Midlands Division 1
20 – Cara Newton (Long Eaton United) – pictured right
17 – Emma Pilling (Loughborough Foxes)
13 – Natalie Shaw (Rotherham United)
Northern Division 1
13 – Nikki Berko (Blackpool Wren Rovers)
10 – Sarah Danby (Guiseley AFC Vixens)
9 – Megan Doherty (Morecambe)
South East Division 1
11 – Heather McDonnell (MK Dons)
11 – Nicole Perschky (Cambridge United)
9 – Leah Cudone (MK Dons)
South West Division 1
15 – Natasha Knapman (Plymouth Argyle)
10 – Cherelle Khassal (Chichester City)
9 – Justine Lorton-Radburn (Keynsham Town)
9 – Ezme Wells – (Plymputh Argyle)
Pictured top – Spurs celebrating.