Conti Cup group 1 gameday 2 preview

The round robin stage for Group 1 is going to be interesting with all 6 games played between Tuesday the 2nd and Sunday the 19th of May with 8 League games played in the middile of those cup ties.

The first batch of game is planned on Thursday the 2nd of May with Bristol v Birmingham, the corresponding game last year was a superb technico-tactical contest that I rated number 1 in my games attended in 2012. I expect more of the same this year with both side trying to attack and score goals with their different tactics and weapons. It should be an enthraliing contest.

The second game played in the same evening will be Lincoln v Arsenal.  The corresponding game last season was won by Lincoln with a spectacular overhead kick by Megan Harris. It should be a very tight one again this year with Lincoln coming back from their FA Cup defeat at Bristol and looking for a repeat from last season.


FA WSL games postponed so far ( updated)

Despite being a Summer League the FA WSL is struggling with many games moved/ postponed. At the moment the count is 7

Luckily enough, there are 3 to 5 dates set aside to catch up with those postponed games  :

Sat the 1st and Sunday the 2nd of June

Tues 20th to Sunday 25th of August

Sat 7th to Thursday the 12th of September

Here is the list of the games postponed so far :

1. Arsenal v Birmingham 24/03 FA WSL Conti Cup  RR 1 planned 11th of May

2. Bristol v Lincoln 23/03 FA WSL Conti Cup  RR 1 planned 5th of May

3.  Arsenal v Bristol 14/04 FA WSL Day 1 no date set

4. Liverpool v Arsenal 20/04   FA WSL Day 2 planned  03/04 August

5. Everton v Doncaster 14/04  FA WSL Day 1 no date set planned 30th of May

6. Arsenal v Birmingham 12/05 FA WSL Day 3 no date set

7. Doncaster v Everton 30/05 FA WSL Day 5 no date set

FA WSL 2014 Division 2 teams

Well the FA has now revealed the 10 teams selected for Division 2 in 2014.

Let’s start with Doncaster Belles who are de facto relegated at the end of the season regardless of their result. The timing of the announcement is simply horrendous. They have played 1 league game out of 14 and they already know they are going down. Someone mentioned a few weeks ago that the Belles actually applied for a division 2 status only. I have no idea if it is true or just a rumour but in term of budget there is a big difference between those 2 divisions.

Sunderland Women Mick Mulhern’s team has been the best of the WPL since the WSL was formed, it is only justice that they end up in the WSL. Shame they did not get WSL 1 and get all their homegrown players back, that would have been very interesting. Top of the national Division

Watford Ladies have a pathway to the first team well established despite loosing their CoE status in the Coe reform or debacle depending on your point of view. Spectacular tournaround in term of results last season with John Salomon getting them from bottom of the League and relegation certainty to top of the league a couple of weeks ago. All this achieved by promotiing young players from the reserves and youth teams. 2nd in the National Division

Aston Villa Ladies  is another team with a clear pathway to the first team. They have produced many England U15, U17 and U19 internationals through the years. 4th in the National Division.

London Bees (  Barnet FC)  not the best season in the WPL provides a pathway via Middlesex and has used it well this season. Good backing by the men’s team that has just been relegated from the football league. Bottom of the National Division

Durham Women’s FC is South Durham and Cestria Galaxy FC  a team coached by Andy Cook (previously at the Arsenal Academy reserves and U17) currently in Northern Combination (4th Level of women football))

Millwall Lionesses a club with a rich history a CoE link and currently leading the Women’s Premier League Southern Division (3rd level  )

Oxford United Women’s FC  made the news recently with their superb cup run that ended against Everton and beating teams placed 1 and 2 divisions above them. They currently play in the South West combination ( level 4)  and are 2nd in the table

Reading Women’s FC  another team that a clear pathway to the first team although not a CoE but a FDP as they lost their status when the Centre of Excellence reduction was organised. Currently 2nd in in the WPL Southern behind Millwall.

Yeovil Town Ladies FC another team with a recent run in the FA Cup that ended against Leeds. They have a  very good marketing and local promotion scheme, check their website. They play some very good football and are currently in 4th position in the WPL Southern Division.

If we recap the teams selected from their level in the pyramid and what it means in term of division jump

1 WSL Division 1 team : Doncaster Belles  (-1)

4 WPL National Division : Sunderland, Watford, Aston Villa, Barnet (stay level)

3 WPL Southern Division : Millwall, Reading, Yeovil (+1)

2 Combinations team : Oxford and Durham Women. (+2)

WPL National Division update

National Division results Villa 1 – Leeds  1, Cardiff 0 Sunderland 4,   Portsmouth 2 Barnet 1, Watford 3 Charlton 0

The League season is now over for Barnet who finish bottom with  0 point in 18 games. They are therefore “relegated” to the FA WSL Division 2.

The following teams will play in the WSL Division 2 next year with their current table position in bracket : Sunderland (1), Watford (2), Aston Villa (4), Barnet (10)

Cardiff (8) was not allowed to apply for WSL as they are not English, Leeds (3), Charlton (6), Coventry (7)and Portsmouth (9) applications were rejected.

Man City (5) are promoted to the FA WSL Division 1

Conti Cup group 2 results

Liverpool 1 Everton 1

Today Doncaster 1 Chelsea 1

A good and deserved ‘spoint for Doncaster after Friday news that they would be relegated in Division 2 next season.

The group table is simple :

Chelsea, Doncaster Everton and Liverpool all on 1 point in 1 game goal scored 1 goal against 1 and goal difference 0

Next games :

Liverpool v Doncaster 04/05

Everton v Chelsea 05/05

FA Cup semi-final results

Liverpool 1 Arsenal 2 ( Dowie, White Little)

Bristol 2 Lincoln 0 ( Natalia, Del Rio)

Liverpool gave a good game to Arsenal and have obviously improved from the 2 previous seasons with those new signings and extra training sessions. They will certainly be thereabout for the top 2 places at the end of the season. Next league game will be a rematch at the Emirates Stadium on the 7th of May.

In the other semi-final Bristol defeated Lincoln thanks to their Spanish deadly duo grabbing the headline once again. Credit to the Bristol scouting team for bringing the female Michu and making her an instant success.

The final will be played on Sunday the 26th of May at the Keepmoat stadium and will be a repeat of the 2011 final.

Bristol v Lincoln preview

The second semi-final is played at Ashton Gate this afternoon between Bristol Academy and Lincoln Ladies ( Notts County Ladies for future reference from 2014).

It will be a good opposition of style between an attacking team that likes to create and a team that like to defend well and have a physical side.

Both side have fast and creative forwards and will use that pace to go behind the opposition defence. Lincoln are really good at winning the ball early and create opportunities from those balls with Clarke, Cantrell and Hamilton.

Bristol will use the Spanish connection ( Natalia, Del Rio) to create opening and hope their midfield pairing James and former Ladyimps player Staniforth will be strong enough against Lincoln midfield pressure.

We will see also see 2 England goalies in action with current number 1 Bardsley and number 3 Chamberlain.
Sophie Bradley was missing last week and might be available so the starting 11 could look like this today

Chamberlain, Dykes Rose Matthews Yorston, James Staniforth, Harding Del Rio Heatherson or Watts, Natalia

Bardsley, Walton Bradley or Turner Stoney Ma Harris, Allen Me Harris Roberts, Clarke Cantrell Hamilton