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Highlights: Ladies claim SWWFL title


Monday 20 February 2017
Richard Joyce


Highlights: Ladies claim SWWFL title

Forest Green Rovers Ladies are South West Women’s Football League Eastern Division champions after victory over their nearest rivals sealed the league title on Sunday afternoon.

A 3-1 win over AEK Boco helped the Ladies move far enough ahead to secure the championship, as a near completely new side bounced back from the disappointment of a three division drop at the beginning of the season, to win promotion.

Goals from Sophie Okey, Sian Towler and Charlie Rowlands clinched three points at Slimbridge’s Thornhill Park against their nearest challengers, who had drawn level after going a goal down.

Okey, one of a small few remaining from last season’s squad, put FGRLFC ahead in the first half from a corner. She headed in Rhian Robbins’ set piece to break the deadlock.

Rachel Isaacs looked to add to the lead when she saw her shot saved, although FGRLFC were indebted to their goalkeeper, Lucy Clark, for making two key saves to ensure they stayed ahead.

She denied Estelle Randall with two near identical stops after the speedy AEK Boco forward had broken clear.

The visitors pursuit of an equaliser continued when a free kick went just over, and they did eventually draw level on the stroke of half time.

After Rosie Dimery had struck the post for FGRLFC from a narrow angle, another direct run from Randall ended with the AEK Boco forward this time beating Clark to level the scores.

Almost immediately though Forest Green were back in front when Towers received the ball in space from a clearance and slammed in from distance.

Knowing victory was required to claim the title, a tense second half ensued after the interval, although Holly Thomas did come close to extending the lead when her left footed shot was saved early on.

Winger Holly Hughes then got in and forced a save down the left, while Thomas came close again only to see her header from a Laura McGlone corner drop over the bar.

McGlone herself tried her luck with a couple of chances. A long distance drive flew over the target and the dominant midfielder then saw her cut inside from a long Okey throw end up in the side netting.

The safety goal that FGRLFC craved finally came when Rowlands notched inside the box.

An effort from Towler was blocked, and the subsequent deflection fell perfectly into the path of Rowlands who swooped to smash in.

It was the goal that was needed to confirm the win and the league title, as Forest Green celebrated their return to the SWWFL in style by claiming promotion at the first attempt.

Report & Highlights: Richard Joyce

Photo: Shane Healey

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Last updated: Sat 21 Oct 2017 17:10 pm