Impressive Tangerines Send Fulham Crashing To Defeat

Fulham 0-5 Ashford Town

Impetus editor Ben Gilby was at Motspur Park to see this Tier Five clash in the London & South-East Regional Premier League Cup.

These two sides came into yesterday’s match separated by just a single point, albeit slightly in arrears from the leading two in the division, Queen’s Park Rangers and Dulwich Hamlet.

The home side came into the match weakened slightly by injuries on the back of a dramatic 4-3 loss to Dulwich Hamlet at Motspur Park the previous weekend in front of a huge crowd for this level of 450. The crowd this time round braved exceptionally low temperatures and rain in the early stages of the game but they were rewarded by some excellent, skilful football.

From the start, it was apparent that Ashford, based near Heathrow Airport rather than Kent, would offer a far more cohesive attacking approach. Whilst Fulham’s passing was generally crisper, and was occasionally dangerous, notably on the overlap down the right wing, the quality of the Cottager’s crossing was not up to standard, and they often appeared to be so much slower in their approach play.

Above: Ashford Town fire in an early chance at Fulham yesterday. Photo: Ben Gilby

Conversely Ashford were quicker in passing and in terms of speed of thought. After sixteen minutes, they took the lead when Alissa Down’s cross was nodded home by Hannah Pearson. Shortly afterwards, it was 2-0 when Ashley Cheatley received the ball in the box and she dispatched a low shot into the corner.

Fulham simply could not cope with Cheatley who produced a performance of such quality that marks her out as a serious threat at this level. She had a number of chances to add to her tally before the break, with great skill taking her past would be tacklers at will, but only the final shot let her down – although this would improve as the game went on.

Above: Lilly Lambird fires in a shot for Fulham. Photo: Ben Gilby

Fulham came into the game incrementally as the half wore on, but a lack of pace in their build up and disappointing balls into the area let them down badly.

The score remained 2-0 to the visitors at the break – but if they had taken a greater percentage of the chances that had come their way, Ashford could have been out of sight at half-time.

Into the second half, Fulham started with intent with more pep into their play, but any chance of a meaningful comeback was erased just three minutes into the period. It was Cheatley again involved as she gained possession in the home side’s area and beautifully took the ball round the keeper and rolled it into the empty net.

Above: Ashford Town’s hat-trick hero Ashley Cheatley who put in a hugely impressive performance. Photo: Ben Gilby

Ashford remained on top and they deservedly added a fourth just before the seventy minute mark when Alissa Down’s cross was met with a stunning power header from Laura Huse.

Ashley Cheatley broke through once more, and with just the goalkeeper to beat, went for a chip which flew over the bar. She didn’t have long to wait to complete her hat-trick though and it was an exquisite goal. Receiving the ball on the left hand side, she tied the Fulham defence in knots, leaving would-be tacklers on the ground before cutting inside and firing home to complete the rout.

Fulham are a far better team than this showing, and they will come back from this. Ashford Town though were hugely impressive and the hosts will be grateful that they didn’t take more of their chances in the first half or else the score-line could have been worse from their perspective.

Above: Ashford Town celebrate another goal at Motspur Park. Photo: Ben Gilby

Don’t miss our full photo file of fifty pictures from the game, which can be seen here:

Teams: FULHAM: Marlow, Mendes, Allen, Woodland, Southgate, Meehan, Thomas, Jefferies, Lambird, Taylor, Foster. Subs: Brady, Cole, Goode, Underhill.

ASHFORD TOWN: Perkis, Peters, Potter, Huse, Baker, Johnson, Head, Down, Pearson, Neufville, Cheatley. Subs: Harte, James, Symons.

Goals: Pearson 16. Cheatley 22, 48, 84. Huse 68.

Attendance: 37.

Actonians: A Community Club Growing Year On Year

Impetus editor Ben Gilby spoke to Actonians Ladies FC Chairperson Linda Fox about the FA Women’s National League Division One South-East club, who from humble beginnings have now grown to run three senior sides and a large number of junior girl’s and mini football sides with ambitions to play in tier three of women’s football in England.

Fox began by taking us through the development of the club from its formation in 1998: “We started out as Chiswick United with one team playing in a local park in Chiswick. We added a reserve team a couple of years later and ran with that for about ten or so years before we set up junior girl’s football and also added another senior side in 2012. We moved from Chiswick to Acton in 2003 in search of better facilities and became Acton Sports Club (ASC), we had five successful years as ASC and won 3 promotions before we suddenly found ourselves homeless. We approached Actonians who were based just up the road and have remained there ever since, now running ten teams and growing the club every season. It’s amazing to see where we are now, from park football to the National League and with over 200 players at the club.”

The development of the club and where they now stand, particularly in the Acton community is an inspirational story. I asked Fox about just how the club have done it. “The key to achieving our current league status has been the loyalty of some of our players, several of them joined us in lower divisions and stayed and progressed with us, allowing us to have a solid base to build from which has attracted other talented players to the club. Also of course our coaches and volunteers who have always given their all to the club. As we are completely self-funded we have to work together, this creates a family feeling that people seem to enjoy being a part of which is amazing to see. I do believe that we now have the coaching team and players in place to start thinking about pushing on towards the top of the table and a place in the FA Women’s Southern Premier. With our new coaching team joining us in the summer and many new players it has taken us a little while to settle and the task is now to find some consistency and push on from there. We have also just moved to a new training ground with lovely brand new facilities which will also help us prepare better. But we are heading in the right direction for sure.” 

Above: The West London side celebrate another goal. Photo: Chris Benn.

Actonians had an excellent season in Division One South-East of the FA Women’s National League, finishing fourth. In terms of aims for this season, Fox reveals: “We were hoping for the first team to finish slightly better than last season though a patchy start might make that difficult, though if we hit a run of form it could still be possible. For our other two teams (Reserves and Development) we are looking for a solid season, working on closing the gap between the reserves and first team and bringing players through our development team. We wanted to increase our player numbers in general which we have done with aplomb!” 

The huge public profile boost provided to women’s football by the summer’s World Cup has seen large numbers of girls new to the game turning up at Actonians. Fox told me all about how the club have tried to meet demand: “The number of queries resulted in us putting on some beginners sessions so that we can cater for everyone that wants to play. Some of these girls have since progressed into our development team so that have worked out very well! We have 200 registered players at the club from U9’s-Seniors plus twenty or so joining the beginners sessions and also ten to fifteen young girls in our Wildcats mini football centre. So it’s looking very healthy and the interest is definitely there.”

With the club running so many teams and the demand from girls in the area so high, I asked Fox how a self-funded club like Actonians handle the challenge: “It is not easy. We try to improve on something every season, this year new training facilities took priority but it does come with additional costs which we have to fund somehow. We have seen a slight increase in sponsorship on the senior side though this season which is such a big help. Finding the time to work on this and other areas is also a challenge since we are all volunteers with full time jobs and families. On the pitch we are largely happy with how things are going, all three teams are moving in the right direction, player numbers are up this season and we have attracted new players of great quality as well as the fantastic coaching team we have in place giving us a great platform to push on from.”

Fox is more than aware the difficulties that stand alone clubs have in the present environment of women’s football: “As an independent team with no backing at all, financial or promotional, it’s a constant battle just to stay afloat. Bigger name clubs attracts players just by their name whereas we have to work hard and show players why they should come and play for us, nothing comes for free as such. Though it can be done even at semi-pro level which clubs such as Durham have shown. Having said that it can also be a risky thing to rely to on a club that could suddenly withdraw their support, the amount of times we have seen that happen to teams certainly seem to show that being in total control of our club is not all bad!”

Above: Actonians’ development squad prepare for a match. Photo: Rina Haria.

The development of players through Actonians’ system is absolutely vital in Fox’s view to the club being sustainable in the long term: “Increasing the player numbers from a young age so that the pool of players is there to sustain more teams. The competition will in turn get better and the quality increase. This will in turn fuel interest from potential supporters which will help normalising the female game and in time, I hope, help put bums on seats and bring some more money into the game. We are all impatient and wanting things to happen quickly but even though it might take longer than we want to establish women’s football completely in the mainstream, we are seeing the signs now and every season the interest seem to increase on the whole, as recent attendance records show.”

In terms of how the women’s club relate to the men’s side of Actonians, Fox said: “We don’t tend to interact a huge amount but we are looking to develop the links further and they are very supportive of us, some of our former coaches both coach and play in the men’s section so we have great friends there.”

I asked Linda what her aims were for Actonians in the future: “I think we’ll see more teams and bigger crowds. We aim to keep growing the club and to have the first team promoted to the next level within the next few years and also have a more competitive reserve team backing them up. We have some very talented youngsters in our junior teams and I’m really looking forward to seeing them progress and step up to the senior teams in the years to come. I also want to set up a vets team at the club to encourage players to carry on playing for longer, and I hope that there will be a competitive vets league to play in within the next few years. We can’t be the only team with plenty of players over 35 that don’t feel like stopping but ideally don’t want to play against 18 years olds anymore.”

Above: Actonians Ladies – a successful club at all age group levels. Photo: @sniperpose

The development of Actonians Ladies over the years is one which has seen gradual improvement lead to real growth. The club’s position in their community of West London and huge interest from youngsters there can only bode well for an even brighter future in Acton.

Follow us on Twitter – @impetus49255112 and on Instagram at

Ben Gilby is the editor of Impetus and has over fifteen years experience in voluntary media officer roles within the sports of Football and Rugby Union, has appeared on BBC Radio Cornwall and BBC Radio Norfolk sports shows several times and published the book ‘The Game: Tales From A Season Travelling Around The Rugby Union Grounds of South-East England’.

Last Gasp Shine Stunner Settles Dramatic Cup Final

Impetus editor Ben Gilby reports on a quite magnificent SSE Scottish Women’s Cup Final at Tynecastle.

Glasgow City 4-3 Hibernian

Glasgow City ended a memorable season by clinching the Scottish domestic double with a dramatic victory over Hibernian in a fantastic SSE Women’s Scottish Cup Final at Tynecastle, the home of Heart of Midlothian.

Above: The cover from Sunday’s SSE Scottish Women’s Cup Final. Photo: Ben Gilby

The opening fifteen minutes was all Hibernian, who were particularly threatening down the left hand side, with Jamie-Lee Napier prominent in everything good that the Edinburgh side were involved in.

The first chance fell the Hi-Bees way after six minutes when Shannon McGregor was threw on goal, but City keeper Lee Alexander raced out of her area to clear the ball. Shortly afterwards, the dangerous Napier was ruled offside after being played through by Amy Muir. Television replays showed that the call was far from accurate.

It took the thirteen time league champions twenty minutes to gain their first meaningful attack of the game. An incredible effort from Kirsty Howat, who let fly from close to the left hand touchline outside the eighteen yard box was narrowly over the bar.

Two minutes later, Sam Kerr’s effort was saved by Jenna Fife in the Hibs goal, but came straight out to Clare Shine. Her powerful effort was narrowly wide. Just two minutes later, the same player was even closer when her fierce drive was centimetres wide.

Hibernian heeded the warning signs and they upped the ante once more. Colette Cavanagh put in a tempting cross and Amy Gallagher obliged by hitting the Hi-bees ahead on 31 minutes.

The lead lasted a mere three minutes. Glasgow City were awarded a free kick. Leanne Ross’ effort should have been dealt with easily by Hibs, but a poor clearance found its way to Eilish McSorley who fired home for 1-1.

Five minutes before the break, City went ahead after Hayley Lauder’s cross was hooked in by Leanne Crichton. For all Hibs early dominance, they went in at the break 2-1 down.

Above: Leanne Crichton, scorer of Glasgow City’s second goal.
Photo courtesy: Scottish Women’s Football.

Hibernian returned to the field of their cross city rivals full of determination as they, again dominated the early periods. Indeed it took just three minutes of the second half for them to conjure up an equaliser. Shannon McGregor played in a lovely ball and Jamie-Lee Napier skilfully side footed the ball past Alexander, albeit with a slight deflection.

Four minutes later, Hibs could have gone in front as Colette Cavanagh’s dramatic diving header was superbly saved by Lee Alexander. The pressure on City continued to mount and Hibernian’s third goal arrived after 53 minutes when the unfortunate Leanne Ross got her feet tied up and her attempted clearance ended up rolling past her own goalkeeper.

Above: Jamie-Lee Napier, scorer of Hibernian’s second goal and a player who had an outstanding final.
Photo courtesy: Scottish Women’s Football.

Glasgow City though, are made of stern stuff – you don’t win thirteen consecutive league championships and make the Quarter-Finals of the Champions League without knowing when to up your game.

With twenty-two minutes left, Rachel McLauchlin was fouled just outside the box. Hayley Lauder’s effort was narrowly over the Hibs crossbar. Just a minute later, Glasgow City were level. Lauder’s cross was met by Clare Shine who slid in, but the ball was cleared for a corner. From the resulting set piece, Shine was given the freedom of the penalty area to head home unmarked. 3-3 – game on once more, and the destination of the Scottish Cup was once more in question.

It was now all Glasgow City, but as the game entered stoppage time at the end of 90 minutes, it was looking odds on that the final was going into extra time. However, Clare Shine had other ideas. The 24 year-old City star went on a quite magnificent mazy run, leaving attempted Hibs tackles in her wake to fire home the sort of last gasp winning goal that dreams are made of.

It was a really harsh way for Hibernian to lose after such a magnificent effort from the Edinburgh side – but Glasgow City again showed their class when it really mattered.


GLASGOW CITY: Lee Alexander, Rachel McLauchlan, Hayley Lauder, Jo Love, Leanne Crichton, Kirsty Howat, Clare Shine, Nicola Docherty, Leanne Ross, Sam Kerr, Eilish McSorley. Subs: Erin Clachers (GK), Jenna Clark, Hayley Sinclair, Nicola Reid, Carly Grasoli, Jordan McLintock, Megan Foley.

Scorers: McSorley 32, Crichton 40, Shine 70, 90.

HIBERNIAN: Jenna Fife, Joelle Murray, Amy Muir, Siobhan Hunter, Jamie-Lee Napier, Caitlin Michie, Shannon McGregor, Colette Cavanagh, Amy Gallacher, Chelsea Cornet, Rachel Boyle. Subs: Jennifer Currie, Lia Tweedie, Laura Davidson, Shannon Leishman, Ellis Notley, Siobhan Higgins, Eilish Adams.

Scorers: Gallagher 32, Napier 49, Ross OG 53.

Attendance: 3,123.

W League Round-Up

Defending champions Sydney FC moved top of the W League ladder after two rounds after a 1-0 win at an Adelaide United side who are yet to win this season.

Despite this, it was the South Australians who had the best of the early chances after Isabel Hodgson’s effort came back off the cross bar and also forced the Sky Blues keeper Aubrey Bledsoe into several smart saves. Adelaide were left to rue these missed chances when Australian international Caitlin Foord slotted home after fellow Matilda Chloe Logarzo played her in. Adelaide had their chances to level – notably through sixteen year-old striker Mary Fowler – but Sydney held on to gain the win in front of 786 at the Marden Sports Complex.

Cross city rivals Western Sydney Wanderers are in second place on goal difference, being the only other team to win both matches so far. The Black and Reds defeated Newcastle Jets 1-0 in Parramatta.

The match was under threat from a severe thunder storm which saw the players taken off the pitch for half an hour, but when it did, it was the hosts who offered the most threat. Wanderers hit the post and bar more times than was believable. In addition, several great saves from Claire Coelho and poor finishing served to keep the Jets in the game for longer than they really should have been. In the end, the only goal came from the spot after United States international Lynn Williams’ shot was handled by Newcastle’s Clare Wheeler. Wanderers’ second straight win means that after just two rounds this season, they have won more games than in the whole of the last campaign when they finished rock bottom. The game also saw the biggest attendance of the round with 2,992 at Parramatta’s Bankwest Stadium.

Melbourne City are third after they followed up a draw last week with a last gasp win over an improving Canberra United outfit.

The Lime Green’s followed up their win last week over Perth Glory by taking the lead against the side that many believe are potential champions this season. Katy Stengel’s strike just before the hour was just reward for a gritty and determined performance by Canberra. However, try as they might, they just could not hold on against a City side rammed full of international talent. Their lead lasted just seven minutes before Serbia’s Milica Mijatovic fired home the equaliser. Canberra were then cruelly denied even point at the very death. The referee controversially ruled that Yukari Kinga was brought down in the box by United’s Jessie Rasschaertin despite the Canberra player clearly winning the ball. Up stepped Matildas’ international Emily van Egmond to fire home the winner four minutes into stoppage time. The vast majority of the 1,293 at McKellar Park went home frustrated at their side’s cruel defeat.

Brisbane Roar played their first game of the campaign after a bye in round one, when they hosted Melbourne Victory at Dolphin Oval.

The Victorians had a fast start when an own goal from Kaitlyn Torpey put them ahead after ten minutes. Natasha Dowie doubled the advantage just four minutes later from the spot. Brisbane rallied and created countless opportunities. Therefore it was no surprise when Tameka Yallop got a goal back after 24 minutes. Things could have got even better for the Roar when they were awarded a penalty, but Yallop was denied by Casey Dumont, who made eight stunning saves throughout the game. With fourteen minutes left, Dowie’s second strike of the evening looked to have sealed the win. The drama was not over though as Indiah-Paige Riley’s effort reduced the deficit to a single goal once more with only ten minutes left. Casey Dumont sealed Victory’s win thanks to several further great saves. It was a fine spectacle for the crowd of 2,139.

Perth Glory received the bye in Round Two, but they will return to action this coming weekend when they host Sydney FC in a repeat of last season’s Grand Final.  

Rovers Rollercoaster Ride Takes Upward Curve – Part II

In Part Two of his exclusive interview with Gemma Donnelly, Head of Blackburn Rovers Women and Girls Football, Impetus editor Ben Gilby examines the status of the FA Women’s Championship, the growth of the game and where what her aims are for the future at the Ewood Park outfit.

(For the first part of the interview, click on this link: )

Looking at the FA Women’s Championship, Donnelly observed: “With the money that has been injected, there is now a wide hybrid range of clubs in the division. You’ve got some clubs offering full-time contracts with part-time players as well, so their players train all week at their parent club and use their facilities. The part-time players come in during the evening for training two or three times a week. To the other extreme, there are clubs in the division with no players on contracts and just some expenses paid, some not paid at all, so there’s a huge difference between the top end and the bottom end. Money can attract the right type of player in terms of playing quality, but it can also attract the wrong type of person too – the type of person who is only in it for the money. That’s football, isn’t it!”

The Rovers manager also pointed out the emergence of a new phenomenon in the women’s game: “There’s been an influx of interest from agents to promote their players to us this season, which has been a new experience! Millwall of last season are now London City Lionesses and have had a huge injection of cash, the players are all full-time and salaried, so it’s completely different from where we’re currently at, training eight hours a week over three evenings and we’re expected to compete in the same league, so it’s going to be tough. There’s pros and cons of that. We’re learning because of that and we’re experiencing adversity but we’ll learn from these experiences and the positives from that are it will help us moving forwards. The negatives are that it’s hard work. None of us hide from that, it’s the mental toughness that probably was a little bit unexpected, particularly after having so much success in recent times.”

Blackburn Rovers’ Blackburn Rovers Ladies v Coventry United Ladies Sunday 27/10/19 Ewood Park Photographer/ Copyright Rachel Holborn

In terms of whether or not there has been a noticeable increase in interest from potential players, sponsors and supporters since the World Cup, Donnelly is under no doubt at all: “There’s been a huge change and shift in the exposure for the women’s game and that has kicked on even more since the Women’s World Cup in the summer. In terms of Blackburn, we have over a hundred and twenty girls playing in seven teams, nearly forty staff, two of which are full time, the rest are part time. We’re involved with the seven teams all week, playing on a Saturday or Sunday up and down the country, so there’s huge investment in resources, both time and money ensuring the girls have the best opportunities. The game itself has kicked on. I do believe that there’s been a heightened interest in terms of sponsorship; businesses and companies want to get involved with the women’s game now and that’s fantastic to see because that funding allows players to have better resources.”

In all of this though, there is the conundrum of clubs throwing large sums of money at short term success or building slowly on a more sustainable model. At Blackburn Rovers, the belief it that a consistent, long term approach is vital. “It stems down to support from the football club – not just token gesture support, it’s got to be support across the board. If its facilities, it’s got to be top class facilities, if it’s expertise and staffing, having them on hand all the time; it’s got to be consistent – not just dropping in and out”, Donnelly says. “It needs to be a combined effort from everyone involved. Pushing all the time. The right people have to be in place – both staff and players. The sustainability of that for both semi-pro or pro clubs comes down to money. You have people moving around just for the money. At the moment at Blackburn I believe we have the right players in place because they are here for the club and for their own aspirations and as a team. When we’re in a better position to be able to offer more rewarding financial contracts you can attract potentially better players, but I don’t know if they will be able to offer us the same commitment and determination that the players we currently have are showing. Sustainability is a joint effort for sure for everyone involved, but ultimately having the right people involved.”

Donnelly believes that the future is exciting, as long as the game can maintain and keep up with increased interest: “The game is taking huge leaps. Currently, I think we’re all trying to keep up with the snowball effect of the exposure of women’s football. It’s now about ensuring we don’t allow it to slip away from us and keeping in touch with how much exposure and coverage and interest there is. We’re in quite a fortunate position at Rovers because we have a Regional Talent Club that is Tier One. Even that is having to keep monitoring whether it is keeping up with the surge in women’s football. I’m glad we’ve finally been promoted because, although there is a huge gulf between Tier Three and the Championship, there’s an even bigger gulf between the Championship and Super League. But at least we’re somewhere around there. I feel that if we hadn’t been promoted again, we would have lost staff and players. We would have been miles away. At least we’re now in touching distance. From a football club perspective, like the men, we’d say we’d like more investment in order to kick us on. The clear message from the club is that we’re trying to be sustainable, so we’ll look to start slowly and build over time to move forward. That’s the aim, that’s the target, and that’s what we’re going to do.”

Above: Blackburn Rovers Ladies 2019/20. Photo Courtesy: Blackburn Rovers Ladies FC.

In order for the women’s game to stand the best chance of continuing an upward trajectory, Donnelly believes that, overall the model of parent professional men’s clubs is the way forward: “Whilst there’s advantages and disadvantages for being aligned or non-aligned as a women’s club, having been embedded in the game for ten years or more, the pros and cons are that you are able to have on hand the expertise from across departments, facilities, exposure – everything that the parent professional club can offer, you are able to experience. A real togetherness is definitely a positive. I’d suggest that the downside of it is that we’re probably not a priority because, in a business world, women’s football is not a money making area, so you are around the bottom of priority because they need to keep the wider business afloat.”

“When you are working independently, like I know many clubs are, the positives of that are that you are your own priority, you can market your own product. You are your own USP, but I guess the negatives of that are that you don’t have the security of a professional club and the expertise and professionalism operating alongside you; the ability of being able to seek help and advice and support you on your journey, so I think if I was given a choice, I would probably stay with a parent club because there are so many benefits to it.”

“We’ve seen lots of success with parent clubs and their female clubs at the highest end – Chelsea and Arsenal. There isn’t anyone in Super League who isn’t attached to a parent club – although I would also say that Chelsea and Arsenal are money rich clubs who are able to subsidise heavily their female teams. In the Championship, there’s two non-aligned clubs – London City Lionesses and Durham. When it becomes a semi-pro/pro league, I think it proves that you need your parent club there to help support them.”

If Gemma Donnolly has anything to do with it, Blackburn Rovers will continue to battle with passion and determination to, first ensure they keep their Championship place, and then push on. It’s a story worth following.

Follow us on Twitter – @impetus49255112 and on Instagram at

Ben Gilby is the editor of Impetus and has over fifteen years experience in voluntary media officer roles within the sports of Football and Rugby Union, has appeared on BBC Radio Cornwall and BBC Radio Norfolk sports shows several times and published the book ‘The Game: Tales From A Season Travelling Around The Rugby Union Grounds of South-East England’.

W League Round-Up

Impetus editor Ben Gilby rounds up all the action from the opening weekend of the 2019/20 W League season Down Under.

The 2019/20 W League season opened on Thursday 14th November when Western Sydney Wanderers hosted Adelaide United at Sydney’s Marconi Stadium.

It was the South Australians who opened the scoring six minutes before the break when 16 year-old Mary Fowler who caught the eye all evening, scored from the spot after she herself was brought down. On the cusp of half-time, Wanderers levelled thanks to United States international Kirsten Hamilton. It looked as if the points would be shared, but deep into stoppage time at the end of the game, up popped Kyra Cooney-Cross who hit her free kick straight into the net. This was a significant result for Western Sydney Wanderers who, in winning this opening clash, equalled their total number of wins for the whole of the 2018/19 season. Adelaide will be no pushovers this season, so the Black and Red fans in the attendance of 787 went home in buoyant fashion.

Reigning champions Sydney FC top the fledgling league table after an ominously impressive 3-0 win over last season’s Minor Premiers Melbourne Victory at Jubilee Oval.

It only took the Harbour City side four minutes to open their account for 2019/20 when Remy Siemsen did something she failed to do in the whole of the previous campaign – put the ball in the net! In form Australian international Caitlin Foord played in the women who won the New South Wales state player of the year at the age of just sixteen in 2015, and Siemsen hit a low shot into the bottom corner. Victory had chances to hit back, with Melina Ayres denied on two occasions. They were left to rue these missed chances when the Sky Blues doubled their lead after Foord’s cross was hit home by Siemsen for her second. Dowie failed to take several further chances that came her way, and Sydney completed their fine win with a third when Shadeene Evans headed in Angelique Hristodoulou’s cross. 3,219 were in attendance.

Last year’s beaten grand finalists Perth Glory, who are without Western Australian superstar Sam Kerr this season after her move to WSL side Chelsea, suffered a disappointing 2-0 loss at Canberra United.

The Lime Greens only won three games in the whole of last season, and this result will raise hopes in the capital that their team can push much further up the table this time round. They started powerfully, scoring both of their goals in the opening eleven minutes. American Simone Charley hit home from close range after six minutes before she doubled up with a sensational curler into the top corner. Whilst Perth had their chances, it was Canberra who came closest to adding further goals as Charley combined brilliantly with countrywoman Katie Stengel and the Brazilian Camila. The 1,482 at McKellar Park saw so many encouraging signs for their team. As for Perth, they will need to use their bye next weekend to prepare themselves up for a repeat of last year’s Grand Final when an impressive looking Sydney visit on 1st December.

The final game of the round saw Newcastle Jets gain an excellent 1-1 draw against a strong Melbourne City squad.

Matildas star Emily van Egmond gave the visiting Victorians the lead on 22 minutes, scoring against the side she represented in 2018/19. Steph Catley laid off the ball to Claire Emslie, and the Scot’s pass was driven into the bottom left corner from outside the area as City led. Both teams hit the woodwork before the Jets gained their equaliser. Melbourne City’s attempt to clear a Newcastle attack only fell at the feet of Teigan Collister who instantly controlled the ball and fired home a stunning half volley to the delight of 1,523 at the Newcastle International Sports Centre.

Brisbane Roar received a bye in the opening round, and play their first game of their campaign next week at home to Melbourne Victory.

Mjelde Makes United Pay The Price

Impetus editor Ben Gilby spent #WomensFootballWeekend at Kingsmeadow where Barclays FA Women’s Super League leaders hosted newly promoted Manchester United. Here’s his story of the match in words and photos.

Chelsea 1-0 Manchester United

Chelsea stayed top of the Barclays FA Women’s Super League with a hard fought victory over a stubborn Manchester United side at a sold out Kingsmeadow, which recorded the highest ever crowd for a women’s match not played at a parent men’s club stadium.

The match, settled by a penalty from Maren Mjelde, twenty minutes into the second half, proved to be a lesson for United on what happens if you don’t convert the chances you make. Failure to do so makes it nigh on impossible to compete with the very best in the WSL.

On a sunny afternoon which was slightly milder than recent days, it was Chelsea who earned the first opportunity which saw Magdalena Eriksson fire a shot high wide and not so handsome. Despite this, it was United who had much of the possession and territory. Lauren James was particularly prominent in this period with her speed and strength on the ball proving a read headache for the Chelsea defence. The fact that James only turned eighteen in September is absolutely frightening. She has a huge future ahead of her, and should be a Lioness regular before long.

Above: Lauren James about to create another United chance in the first half as Millie Bright prepares to block. Photo: Ben Gilby

Also impressive for United was Leah Galton who also did her international hopes no harm. She was put in by Jackie Groenen but Eriksson blocked the chance. Groenen was denied by Ann-Katrin Berger shortly afterwards. Another opportunity for the Red Devils went begging when James closed in on goal, but Berger came out bravely to dive at the United star’s feet, receiving a knock to the head in the process. This was the key part of the game which would come back to haunt Casey Stoney’s side. Had they converted just one of these chances, the game could well have run a different course. As it was, the teams went in at half-time goalless.

Above: Ann-Katrin Berger dives at the feet of Lauren James, earning a headache in the process. Photo: Ben Gilby

After the break, Chelsea slowly forced their way into the game. The first opportunity fell to Erin Cuthbert, who was unusually quiet. The Scottish star hit a half-volley which failed to bother Mary Earps in the United goal.

The introduction of Fran Kirby sparked the home side further. Played through, her attempt to reach the ball was curtailed by Millie Turner’s tackle. The large body of travelling supporters felt that Turner took the ball before the player and, indeed a number of officials would have signalled a corner, but referee Jack Packman had other ideas and pointed to the spot. Up stepped Maren Mjelde and she fired her effort to Earps’ right. The England international goalkeeper managed to get a hand to it, but Mjelde’s shot had sufficient power to creep in.

Above: Maren Mjelde fires home the winning goal from the penalty spot. Photo: Ben Gilby.

Kirby’s influence saw Beth England become more prominent, and the striker, who scored the Lionesses’ first goal in snow bound Ceske Budejovice the previous Tuesday will consider herself unlucky not to have added to Chelsea’s lead on two occasions when her efforts were blocked.

The visitors conjured up one final chance, and how they contrived to miss it must still haunt them over twenty-four hours later. Jess Sigsworth’s cross found Abi Toone, and her volley looked destined to go in, only for Berger to tip it onto the bar. The drama wasn’t over though – as the ball rebounded off of the bar, it hit Berger and had to be desperately cleared by Millie Bright when it could so easily have gone in.

Chelsea held on in the closing period with a thoroughly professional run of play. Emma Hayes’ team showed determination and that bit of extra quality when it was needed. Manchester United will learn lessons from this game and, long term will be all the better for it.

Above: Chelsea celebrate the win which keeps them top of the WSL. Photo: Ben Gilby


CHELSEA: Ann-Katrin Berger, Maren Mjelde, Millie Bright, Magdalena Eriksson, Jonna Andersson, Erin Cuthbert, Sophie Ingle, Ji So-Yun, Ramona Bachmann, Beth England, Guro Reiten. Subs: Carly Telford (GK), Hannah Blundell, Deanna Cooper, Jess Carter (for Ji), Drew Spence (for Bachmann), Fran Kirby (for Reiten).
Scorer Mjelde (pen) 65

MANCHESTER UNITED: Mary Earps, Amy Turner, Abbie McManus, Millie Turner, Martha Harris, Hayley Ladd, Katie Zelem Jackie Groenen, Kirsty Hanson, Lauren James, Leah Galton. Substitutes: Mikalsen, Okvist, Arnot, Smith, Ella Toone (for Zelem), Jane Ross (for James), Jess Sigsworth (for Galton).

Referee: Jack Packman
Attendance: 4,790

International Round-Up

There’s been a whole host of Euro 2021 Qualifiers and worldwide friendlies over the past week. Impetus brings you up to date with all the action.

In the Euro 2021 qualifiers, Netherlands took complete control of Group A with two wins over the past week. They returned from Izmir on 8th November with a comprehensive 8-0 win over Turkey, who are still looking for their first win of the qualifying campaign. Danielle van der Donk grabbed a seventeen minute hat-trick, Vivianne Miedema added a further two. Shanice van der Sanden and a brace from Sherida Spitse completed the rout. Four days later at the GelreDome in Arnhem in front of over 23,000 fans, the Dutch recovered from going a goal down to sweep aside closest rivals Slovenia 4-1. After Kaja Erzen’s opener for the visitors, two Sherida Spitse penalties and a Vivianne Miedema brace sealed the win. Russia and Kosovo both have three games in hand over the Dutch, who are twelve points clear at the top.

In Group B, Italy and Denmark are still battling it out at the top, both still hold 100% records, although the Danes have a game in hand. The only game on 8th November saw the Italians ease past Georgia 6-0 in Benevento. Two from Daniela Sabatino, plus efforts from Elena Linari, Alia Guagni, Christiana Girelli and Martina Rosucci earned the win. On 12th November, the Danes racked up a comprehensive 14-0 win over Georgia in Viborg. Nadia Nadim, Stine Larssen and Pernille Harder all grabbed hat-tricks with Nicoline Sorensen adding a brace. The other goals came from Sofie Svava, Nanna Christiansen and Rikke Madsen. Italy gained a routine 5-0 win over Malta in Castel di Sangro with Valentina Cernoia grabbing two and Daniela Sabatina, Manuela Giugliano and Giada Greggi also on the mark. Bosnia Herzegovina cemented third place, six points adrift with Sofija Krajsumovic, Dajana Spasojevic and Marija Aleksic scoring in their 3-1 win in Israel, for whom Mor Efraim was on target.

Norway racked up another big win in their procession towards qualification from Group C. They saw off Northern Ireland 6-0 in Stavanger. Lisa-Marie Utland and Caroline Graham Hansen grabbed a brace each along with Guro Reiten and Ingrid Engen. The Norweigans have now scored thirty-two goals in their four qualifying games so far. In the only game on 12th November, second placed Wales failed to seriously dent the Norweigans’ advantage when they could only gain a 0-0 draw in Northern Ireland.

The arm-wrestle at the top of Group D continues after Spain’s hopes of pulling away from the Czech Republic ended in colossal disappointment. and Spain. On 8th November, the Czechs earned a 4-0 win away to Azerbaijan. Lucie Vonkova (2), Andrea Staskova and Kamila Dubcova were on target in Baku to cut Spain’s lead to a single point. 10th November saw the bottom two battle it out in Chisinau where Moldova earned a first win with a 3-1 success over Azerbaijan. It was their goalkeeper Natalia Munteanu who slotted home two penalties and Caroline Tabur added the other. Alina Dorofeeva scored the only goal for Azerbaijan. On 12th November, Spain suffered a hugely disappointing 0-0 draw in Poland, where over 7,500 saw their heroes earn a great point in Lubin.

Finland remain top of Group E, although they have played two more games than the second placed Scotland. On 8th November, the Finns eased past Cyprus 4-0 thanks to goals from Linda Sallstrom, Emmi Alanen, Natalia Kuikka and Emma Koivisto. On the same evening, Scotland put in a hugely impressive performance as they gained a deserved 5-0 win in Albania. Claire Emslie, Jane Ross, Erin Cuthbert, Hannah Godfrey and Christie Murray were on target. On 12th November, Finland increased their lead to four points over the Scots with an important 1-1 draw in Portugal thanks to a last gasp equaliser from Linda Sallstrom after Claudia Neto had given the home side the lead in Braga.

In Group F, Sweden and Iceland remain clear of the rest despite neither being in qualification action in the past week. On 8th November, the top two’s closest rivals Slovakia and Hungary did themselves no favours after playing out a 0-0 draw in Senec. Four days later, Hungary gained their first win of the campaign by dispatching rock bottom Latvia 4-0. Zsanett Jakobfi, Dora Zeller, Evelin Fenyvesi and Sara Pusztai scored.

The latest action in Group G sees Austria and France’s procession at the top continue. Austria opened up the latest series of matches on 8th November with a comfortable 3-0 win in North Macedonia. Nicole Billa’s penalty put them ahead before strikes from Sarah Zadrazil and Barbara Dunst completed the job. A day later, France brushed aside Serbia 6-0 in front of a good crowd of 21,211 in Bordeaux. An Amel Majri hat-trick saw the French on their way ahead of further goals from Onema Geyoro, Marie-Antoinette Katoto and Vivianne Asseyi. On 12th November, Austria moved six points clear with two games in hand over the French after they hammered Kazakhstan 9-0. Julia Hickelsperger-Fuller hit four goals with Nicole Biller grabbing a hat-trick. Laura Feiersinger and Sarah Zabrizil completed the rout.

Belgium and Switzerland still lead the way in Group H and are level on points. On 8th November, a 9th minute goal from Laura de Neve was enough to earn the Belgians a hard fought win in Romania. Switzerland’s good form continued with a 2-0 win over Croatia in Thun thanks to strikes from Ann-Maria Crnogorcevic and Geraldine Reuteler. On 12th November, both earned 6-0 victories. The Swiss dispatched Romania with Ramona Bachmann hitting a hat-trick and Ana-Maria Crnogorcevic, Fabienne Humm and Svenja Folmli adding the others. Belgium’s six goals in their win over Lithuania came courtesy of Tine de Caigny’s five and one from Algimante Mikutaite.

Finally to Group I where Greece kept their qualification hopes alive with a 4-0 win in Montenegro on 6th November. Danai-Eleni Sidira’s brace plus further strikes from Christina Kokoviadou and Thomai Vardali earned the points. They followed this up on 12th November with a decent 1-1 draw over Republic of Ireland thanks to Anastasia Spyridonidou’s stoppage time equaliser. Amber Barrett’s first half strike had looked to earn the Irish all three points. Germany remain top, five points clear of the Republic of Ireland. Greece are a further three points in arrears.

Friendly Round-up:

Daisy Wildsmith’s opinion pieces for us on the Lionesses friendly with Germany in front of over 77,000 at Wembley can be read here: . Whilst England did gain a victory three days later in the Czech Republic, it was yet another performance which led to more question marks over the progress of the squad. Goals from Beth England, Beth Mead and Leah Williamson edged out the home side, for whom Tereza Szewieczkova scored two excellent goals in the Ceske Budejovice snow.

Our full report on Australia’s first game against Chile on 10th November can be read here The Matildas followed this up with a 1-0 win over the same opposition in Adelaide three days later. On this occasion, Emily Gielnik lashed a superb finish from an acute angle after an inch perfect pass from Sam Kerr played her in. Kerr could have added a second just before the break, but her penalty was saved. 10,340 were in attendance at Coopers Stadium.

On 8th November, Sweden came back from 3-0 down against the USA in Vlakto Andronovski’s first game in charge of the World champions in Colombus with two second half strikes from Anna Anvegard, but it was not enough. An early goal from Carli Lloyd gave the Americans the lead before Christen Press added her fiftieth goal for her country to double the hosts advantage. Another goal from Lloyd sealed the win in front of 20,903 supporters. Two days later they brushed aside Costa Rica 6-0 in Jacksonville. Carli Lloyd, Morgan Brian, Christen Press, a Stephanie Blanco own goal and two from Lynn Williams sealed the deal in a game watched by 12,914.

Japan saw off South Africa 2-0 in Kitakyushu on 11th November. Saki Kumagai and Yuika Sugasawa were on the mark.

Argentina have been busy with three games in the past week. They began the period with two victories in three days – opening with a 2-1 success in Paraguay on 7th November and followed up with a 1-0 win at home to Colombia. Their third game saw them host the Colombians again on 12th November in a game which ended 2-2.

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W League Preview 2019/20

The Westfield W League begins its 2019/20 campaign when Round One takes place over four days from tomorrow night to Sunday.

With the women’s game more popular than ever following a World Cup where Sam Kerr confirmed her status as one of the superstars of the global game, the Matildas have just broken their all-time attendance record, and the W League clubs will be looking to build on this as the curtain rises on the new campaign.

Whilst Kerr will not be back at her home state side Perth Glory this season having just confirmed a high profile move to Chelsea, all of the Matildas’ other shining stars, including Ellie Carpenter and Hayley Raso will be on Aussie soil.

Will Perth Glory suffer from the loss of Kerr? Can Sydney FC retain their crown, or will Melbourne City’s star-studded squad bring the title to Victoria? Check out our club by club guide below:


Whilst the South Australian side to not appear to have the big names of several of their W League rivals, they just might have enough players with enough to prove in terms of pushing international claims to spark an X-Factor this time round. Emily Hodgson, who has been very promising in the Matildas U20 side will be one of the key players on show. This is a side that will be looking to establish itself in the top six this season.


The Queenslanders boast several players with extensive international experience such as Tameka Yallop, Clare Polkinghorne, Elise Kellond-Knight and Hayley Raso. Matildas legend Polkinghorne will lend her experience as a player-coach this time round. Raso will offer a significant threat, and we would expect the Roar to be sealing a top four place this season and mount a serious quest in the finals to bring the crown to the Sunshine state.


The W League’s only side not linked to a men’s professional A League side will be aiming to go better than their three wins from last time round. Their key player will undoubtedly be Karley Roestbakken, who represented the Matildas at the World Cup. For us it looks like a successful season will be avoiding the bottom three.


City will be looking to ensure the Minor Premiers title will remain in Victoria this season after their cross-city rivals Melbourne Victory earned it last year. The Sky Blues have put together an impressive roster for 2019/20 which includes Ellie Carpenter, the 19 year-old international with the potential to be an absolute superstar, as well as fellow Matildas Emily van Egmond, Steph Catley and Lydia Williams. Scotland’s Claire Emslie is also on board. City will be hoping that their strong and exciting looking squad boosts their disappointing crowds from last time round. A final position outside of the top three will be a significant disappointment.


Victory were devastated to go out in the first week of the finals after sealing the minor Premiership at the end of the regular league season. This time round it is possible that they won’t even finish as the highest placed team from Melbourne. On the positive side, they have the exciting defender Jenna McCormick on their roster. McCormick has previously represented Adelaide Crows in the Women’s Australian Rules Football Grand Final as well as playing W League soccer for Adelaide United, Canberra United and Brisbane Roar. Despite her presence, we suspect that Victory may not make the top four this time round.


The Jets just missed out on finals football by three points at the end of last season, and they are likely to be battling it out with the likes of Perth, Adelaide and Canberra to finish in the middle of the pack. The vast majority of last season’s squad has been retained, and there is a core of Newcastle region born and bred players. Gema Simon went to the World Cup with Australia in the summer and they will also benefit from the experience of Cassidy Davis and Hannah Brewer.


Last season’s beaten Grand Finalists have lost their captain and Western Australian icon Sam Kerr to Chelsea, but they can boast some of Australia’s best young talent in Leticia McKenna and Lexie Moreno. The Glory have a large percentage of their players hailing from Western Australian and have also called up the state Premier League’s top scorer Sarah Carroll. It would appear that 2019/20 will see less Glory then the previous time round as Bobby Despotovski’s charges are more likely to be hovering among a group of three or four sides pushing for the last place in the finals.


The reigning champions have assembled another imperious looking squad as they aim to keep the crown in the Harbour City. Matildas stars Alana Kennedy, Caitlin Foord and Chloe Logarzo along with talented Americans Veronica Latsko and Sofia Huerta should guarantee a finals place, but we suspect that this time round Brisbane Roar or Melbourne City could be tough nuts to crack.


Last season was a tough one all round for the Wanderers with just one win and a draw on the positive side of the ledger with a lack of goals (just 11 in 12 games) being a real concern. Things are likely to be equally tough in 2019/20, but they will look to young starlets Courtney Nevin (17 years-old) and 19 year-old Aboriginal keeper Jada Whyman to push them towards better times, along with 23 year-old Amy Harrison who played in both of the Matildas recent games with Chile. Harrison was a W League winner with inner-city neighbours Sydney FC, where she had been since the age of 16. Despite the presence of these three players, Wanderers are likely to be battling it out with Canberra once more to avoid bottom place.

Our guide to the key fixtures and dates for the season can be seen here:

Impetus will be providing regular news, reports and updates from the 2019/20 W League season.

In My View

From the tweets of Daisy Wildsmith, the Impetus contributor offers her opinion on last night’s Lionesses’ game with Germany in front of a record breaking Wembley crowd.

The accuracy of Steph Houghton, that pass from Keira Walsh and the finish from Ellen White – the high spot of a historic night at Wembley.

White’s trademark poacher’s finish set things up for a second half with all to play for, although it was not to be in the end. Houghton shone again in the second half with a cracking header to protect our goal, and consistently put her body on the line along with Lucy Bronze and Lauren Hemp in her cameo appearance as a substitute.

Above: The Lionesses and Germany get under way at Wembley Stadium last night. Photo: Ben Gilby

The result itself was a huge shame and left me heartbroken. England worked so hard and never gave up, it was a great game of football to watch. Germany were the stronger team in parts when it mattered. The huge crowd and the large number of post-match opinion online makes it like women’s football is being taken as seriously as men’s.

The important thing is that it doesn’t impact on the Lionesses’ mindset for the game in the Czech Republic on Tuesday night, where the hope is they will end the year on a high.

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Daisy Wildsmith is a regular contributor to Impetus and is a women’s football supporter from the West Midlands.