Old Actonians’ hopes of a league-and-cup double rest on tomorrow’s top-of-the-table showdown with title rivals Carshalton Athletic.
Actonians, who have led the London & South East Regional Women’s Football League for much of the season, clinched the League Cup last Sunday with a 1-0 victory over London Corinthians.
And tomorrow they play their final league fixture of the season – against the side just a point behind them, and with an extra game to play.
Victory for Old Actonians would deny their opponents the championship and would more or less seal it for themselves.
But they can still be caught, theoretically, by Corinthians, currently in sixth place but with five matches still to play.
Victory for Carshalton, on the other hand, would take the Surrey club tantalisingly close to the title in their first season since winning promotion, and potentially set up another championship showdown the following weekend, when they are due to play Corinthians.
In fact, Corinthians’ hopes rest as much with their ability to cope with fatigue as their opponents: they play their final five fixtures over the course of 21 days.
And although only Carshalton can mathematically accumulate more points than them, the odds have to be against the Londoners reeling off five successive wins in three weeks.
Whatever happens in the league, Old Actonians have ensured they have at least one addition to their trophy cabinet after defeating London Corinthians 1-0 in the L&SE League Cup final.
A goal by substitute Linda Fox was all that separated the two sides, ensuring that the west Londoners would have at least something to show for a fine season.
In the league, Carshalton remain the team to beat after winning 2-0 at home to Maidstone United, while Fulham Foundation‘s hopes were finally extinguished by Crawley Wasps, who held them to a 2-2 draw at Three Bridges.
AFC Wimbledon kept alive their extremely slim hopes of adding the league to their County Cup success, with a 3-2 victory at relegated Eastbourne Town.
The other team to be relegated – Hassocks – said farewell to the league with only their second win in their 22 fixtures – a 3-2 victory over KIKK United.
The title race
Imperfect end to a perfect season for Long Lane Reserves
Long Lane Reserves were also celebrating after an outstanding campaign in the Kent Division of the South East Counties Women’s League.
However, their “perfect” season ended in anti-climax, when they earned their 16th victory in 16 league fixtures courtesy of a default by the University of Kent, who ended the season with 16 defeats out of 16.
Greg Petts, secretary of the league, confirmed to Sent Her Forward that the university side was unable to field a team because of the exam period.
It was not the way Long Lane would like to have done it, but it does confirm their perfect season – having beaten the university side the previous week in the Kent Divisional Cup final.
Top and bottom of it
|1||Long Lane Reserves||16||16||0||0||75||8||48|
|9||University of Kent||16||0||0||16||3||74||-1*|
* 1point deducted for failing to fulfil fixture
South Park ended a miserable season in the South East Counties’ Premier Division, defaulting in their final fixture, at home to Long Lane, to end the campaign bottom for the second season in a row, with zero points after being deducted six.
Lewes and Chichester demonstrate their development
Chichester City and Lewes’s development sides bowed out in a blaze of goals, providing evidence of how much they have both improved during their first seasons in the FAW Premier Reserves League.
Chichester said farewell to outgoing manager Caz Henry-Evans with a 6-0 victory at C&K Basildon, while Lewes ensured they would not finish bottom with their third victory of the season – 4-3 over wooden-spoonists Bedford.
Jess Pike, Amber Beaven, Rebekah Allen, Georgia Selby, Rachel Towler and Jodie Pallant scored Chichester’s goals – the second time they have hit six this season – while Lewes’s biggest goal haul of an increasingly productive season brought their tally to 10 in the past three matches after hitting only 17 in the previous 17.
Kerry Tagg and Georgia Tibble each scored twice.
Only two massive defeats for Lewes in their final two fixtures – combined with a big win for Bedford – can prevent the latter leapfrogging Mark Currier’s side to escape a bottom-place finish.
And if Bedford achieve that, I’ll get Paddy Ashdown to eat my hat.