Arnold Eagles Ladies claimed the East Midlands Women’s Regional Football League Division One North title in style on Sunday afternoon, winning 5-1 at home to third place Grimsby Town Sport & Education Trust Women.
Neil Matthews’ title-winners would find themselves two goals up inside ten minutes, Natasha Leach and Amy Gauvrit with the goals, whilst the visitors would pull one back, through Alisha Dejonge, with less than thirty minutes played; Leach however would grab her second of the afternoon, and the Eagles’ third, for a 3-1 interval lead.
The second half continued in pretty much the same vein as the first for the Eagles, Demi-Leigh Crofts adding a fourth within ten minutes of the restart and, with less than fifteen remaining, Leach completed her hat-trick, with the home sides fifth of the day, to wrap up the title in style.
Leach’s treble against Grimsby Town moves her onto an impressive, thirty goals, in just fifteen games this season, whilst Gauvrit took her own tally to seventeen, in just seventeen outing, the Eagles hosting Notts County Development in their final match of the season.
“I’m so proud of this amazing squad, the hard work has really paid off,” said Neil, after the game.
“Blending a squad ranging in age from 16 to 38 is a fine balance but they have been superb and continued to improve through the season.
“My personal thanks goes to Matthew Button and Ian Shaw, it has been great to see their fantastic work at training paying off on the pitch.
“Every player has made a contribution, you certainly are CHAMPIONS.”
Whilst the club added: “The 1st Team squad have been superb all season and have showed no small amount of skill, determination and the consistency to train and work hard throughout the whole campaign.
“Every member of the group have contributed to what has been an unbelievable achievement.
“The management team would like to congratulate all our brilliant ladies and also thank the whole club for their ongoing support from both the younger teams all the way through to the Seniors, the Executive Committee and all the family and friends who have supported the team both home and away all season long.”
Arnold Eagles would line up for the title-winning victory over Grimsby Town with the following eleven – Kaci Riley, Elli Leatham, Chloe Stocks, Michelle Morphus, Amy Gauvrit, Jen Lorimer, Emma Goddard, Eve Shaw, Demi-Leigh Crofts, Connie Forman, Natasha Leach (used sub – Mollie Rowden)
The other two games in the division saw County’s Development side held to a goalless draw when home to Grimsby Borough, and Nottingham Trent University, aiming for runners-up, picked up a 3-2 win away to bottom club Cleethorpes Town, goals coming from Julia Kings, Alice Rogers, and Elizabeth Stocks.
Nottingham Forest’s Development sides won 2-0 away to Kettering Town in Division One South, Jessica Shaw amongst the scorers, as they chase down third place Oadby & Wigston (Derby County Academy and Anstey Nomads in a two-horse battle for the title).
As for the Premier Division title race, it’s still a four-horse race between leaders Chesterfield, and the chasing pack of Northampton Town, Lincoln United, and Andi Bell’s Mansfield Town, Chesterfield may hold a seven point lead on second, but those other, three sides, have five games in hand apiece.
Of the Nottinghamshire sides in the Premier Division, Rise Park Ladies are second bottom, five points above Leicester City, and Adam Dunleavy’s Notts County Women are mid-table, after they lost 3-1 away to Lincoln United, Shoniqua Barnes, at the second attempt, having afforded County an early lead.
Mansfield meanwhile, they kept their title hopes alive, ahead of what is a busy end to the season, thanks to Ellie Marshall’s first half treble, a 3-0 win at home to Rotherham United, who they’ll face in the EMWRFL League Plate final next month.
*Article provided by Peter Mann (Senior Correspondent).
*Main image @ArnoldEaglesFC the Eagles celebrate their title win.