The Football League Paper - - WOMEN'S FOOTBALL WEEKLY - By John Hunter

BETH ENGLAND says Don­caster Rovers Belles are on the hunt for goals as they look to reel in Read­ing and claim the WSL 2 ti­tle.

Sec­ond-placed Belles are level on points with Read­ing but are seven goals worse off head­ing into their fi­nal game of the sea­son at home to Millwall Lionesses to­day.

The Roy­als face a trip to As­ton Villa and, with both of the ti­tlechas­ing sides fan­cied to win, the des­ti­na­tion of the 2015 crown could well be de­cided on goal dif­fer­ence.


Don­caster beat Millwall 5-0 in the re­verse fix­ture back in Au­gust with England among the scor­ers that day at The Den.

And the winger, pic­tured, who has net­ted 13 times this sea­son in all com­pe­ti­tions, ac­cepts they will have to step it up a notch at the Keep­moat Sta­dium.

“We re­ally want that cham­pi­ons’ spot,” said England. “If Read­ing get the points it will go down to goal dif­fer­ence so it’s im­por­tant for us to score as many as pos­si­ble.

“Our main aim this sea­son was to get pro­moted and it would be the ic­ing on the cake to win the league. Hope­fully our fit­ness will wear them out and we can be a bit more clin­i­cal in front of goal – then I don’t see why we can’t get a big win.”

The Belles had one hand on the ti­tle be­fore a dam­ag­ing 3-3 draw against Ever­ton at the be­gin­ning of Septem­ber put them on the back-foot.

Since then the Roy­als have taken charge, and last Sun­day’s 2-0 win away at Ever­ton sent them back to the sum­mit of the ta­ble at just the right time.

Read­ing have won their last three games, all away from home, in WSL 2 and He­len Ward knows an­other vic­tory on the road at As­ton Villa could cap a fan­tas­tic sea­son.

“We will be go­ing into the game like we do any other and our aim is to get the three points that we are af­ter,” said the pop­u­lar Roy­als striker.

“Don­caster have had a fan­tas­tic sea­son but for them to score more than seven goals on the last game of the sea­son is a tough task, but for us we will clearly be try­ing to win the game. “Go­ing into this game we have worked hard and we do not want to slip up in the last game of the sea­son so we are fo­cus­ing on our own game.”

There is also a tight bat­tle for third with Ever­ton and Yeovil locked to­gether on 28 points. “We def­i­nitely want to fin­ish in third place,” said Ever­ton de­fender Paige Wil­liams ahead of their clash with Ox­ford United. “It def­i­nitely could have been a lot worse given all the draws we’ve had.

“To fin­ish off with a win would be great even if we haven’t made it into the two spots at the top.”

Yeovil will be look­ing to over­take the Tof­fees when they host Durham while John Salomon will take charge of his last game as Wat­ford boss as the bot­tom side wel­come Lon­don Bees. FANS are be­ing given the op­por­tu­nity to elect the win­ners of three pres­ti­gious awards.

The Vaux­hall England Women’s Player of the Year, Vaux­hall Young England Player of the Year and FA WSL Goal of the Sea­son will all be de­cided by fan votes.

Shortlists for the England ac­co­lades were drawn up by man­ager Mark Samp­son and his as­sis­tant Marieanne Spacey. England cap­tain Steph Houghton is joined by two of her Manch­ester City team-mates, goal­keeper Karen Bard­s­ley and right-back Lucy Bronze, while Liver­pool’s Fara Wil­liams is the other can­di­date. Nom­i­nated for the Young Player award are Chelsea duo Fran Kirby and Jodie Brett, Sun­der­land striker Beth Mead and Notts County de­fender Alex Green­wood.

Mean­while, eight goals have been cho­sen by BT Sport and the BBC as con­tenders for Goal of the Sea­son.

Manch­ester City striker Toni Dug­gan has two ef­forts in­cluded (v Bris­tol Academy and Arse­nal), while Notts County’s Ellen White (v Arse­nal), Arse­nal’s Natalia (v Liver­pool), Sun­der­land’s Beth Mead (v Notts County), Chelsea’s Gilly Fla­herty (v Notts County), Chelsea’s Ji So-Yun (v Liver­pool) and Chelsea’s Fran Kirby (v Sun­der­land) have also been nom­i­nated. The dead­line to vote, via www.thefa.com, is mid­day on Mon­day, Oc­to­ber 26.The win­ners will be an­nounced at The FA Women’s Awards at Wem­b­ley Sta­dium on Fri­day, De­cem­ber 4.


SIGN HERE: England cap­tain Steph Houghton pens au­to­graphs for young fans

Karen Bard­s­ley

Lucy Bronze

Fara Wil­liams

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