West Ham the kingmakers in fascinating battle for Premier League crown

Action from Portsmouth v West Ham United, March 15 (Photo: Jordan Hampton)

Who will win the race for the Premier League title – Brighton or Portsmouth? (Photo: Jordan Hampton)

And then there were two. The Premier League campaign, which has captivated fans all season, reaches its final fortnight, with plenty still to be decided.

But the race for the biggest prize of all – the league title (and a championship play-off for a Super League place) – appears to be a two-club contest now, with either Portsmouth or Brighton likely to emerge as champions. Continue reading

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Honoured to help recognise your award-winners

This proved successful last season If you’d like this year’s individual achievements recognised, please send me details.

Sent Her Forward

Abbey Shrubb and Kally Ambler celebrate Chichester City's Sussex County Cup win on March 13 2014 Not everybody gets a shiny cup, but if your work is recognised, I’ll try to reflect it

As the season draws towards a close – at least, for most of the lower-tier teams – Sent Her Forward wants to reflect the achievements and endeavours of those involved.

This website will announce its own, possibly slightly off-beat, offerings later in the year, but – much like our New Year Honours – while the rewards will be the ultimate accolade for female footballers in the South East, they will be theoretical rather than tangible.

The shiny shields, cups and certificates will be the prerogative of the various leagues, FAs and clubs – but I want to reflect those honours to players, volunteers and officials here, on my site.

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Abbey overwhelmed by Prince of Wales six-shooters

Chairman’s Cup final: Prince of Wales (Rennie 3, Newton, King, Galvin) 6-2 Abbey Rangers (H Johnson, R Johnson)

Prince of Wales celebrate winning the Chairman's Cup, April 26 2015 (Photo: Julie Hoare)

Prince of Wales made up for previous disappointments with a comprehensive cup-final victory (Photo: Julie Hoare)

Prince of Wales have been making a habit of picking up the consolation prizes this season, but there was nothing second-rate about their performance in the Chairman’s Cup final as they swept aside a shell-shocked Abbey Rangers.

Mark Kerr’s team reached the final of the Kent FA Plate last month after an early exit from the County Cup, but were pipped to the trophy.

And after bowing out in the South East Counties League Cup, they went into the Chairman’s Cup – where they again made the final. Continue reading

Striker light! Goalkeeper Bash finally gets on score sheet

Helen Bashford in action for Wivelsfield Green v Worthing Town, March 22 2015 (Photo: Dave Burt)

Goalkeeper Helen Bashford enjoyed a little glory at the other end of the pitch after scoring her first goal for Wivelsfield Green (Photo: Dave Burt)

Wivelsfield Green goalkeeper Helen Bashford turned goal-poacher on Sunday when she scored for the first time in her career. Continue reading

Herne Bay retain League Cup as Charlton lift another trophy

Focus on the key issues at the top and bottom of the women’s leagues around the South East

Three more trophies were decided on Sunday, as Charlton Athletic Reserves and Ashford triumphed in their respective leagues and Herne Bay retained the cup they won for the first time last year.

Charlton clinched the FAW Premier Reserves League with a game to play, winning back the title they lost to Brighton last season. Continue reading

Gillingham may hold key to former players’ Premier League title hopes

Sent Her Forward round-up as the season nears its exciting final stages

Kirsty Barton celebrates after scoring one of Brighton's three goals against Tottenham Hotspur on April 19 2015 (Photo: Geoff Penn/BHAFC)

Brighton may need a helping hand from Gillingham if they are to win the Premier League (Photo: Geoff Penn/BHAFC)

Gillingham may have to help their great rivals Brighton clinch the Premier League title in order to secure their own survival.

Simon Ratcliffe’s side, torn apart before the season began by a mass exodus of personnel to Brighton, need to win their final fixture of the season on Sunday – at home to top of the table Portsmouth – to be in with a chance of retaining their Premier League status.

But in so doing, they could severely hamper Pompey’s chances of winning the league – and a place in the championship play-off – handing the momentum to Portsmouth’s main rivals – a Brighton side managed by ex-Gills boss James Marrs and packed with those Gillingham players who moved with him to the south-coast club. Continue reading

Carlton crowns comeback from injury with Super League bow

Sent Her Forward exclusive

Danielle Carlton in action for Millwall v Watford, April 19 2015 (Photo: Millwall LFC)

Danielle Carlton made her Super League debut with Millwall on Sunday, a year after suffering a serious knee injury (Photo: Millwall LFC)

A year ago Danielle Carlton was sidelined with a serious knee injury while her Gillingham side snatched a narrow win at Brighton to take a huge step towards the Premier League title – an honour they eventually just missed out on.

A few months on and the midfielder was part of the enormous exodus of Gillingham players who followed their manager, James Marrs, to Brighton – even though she was still some way short of a return to playing.

Yesterday, the 23-year-old made her Super League debut, for Millwall Lionesses, having enjoyed a remarkable renaissance since returning from injury to make her Brighton bow in November. Continue reading