As the dust settles on another season of football in England, the FA Women’s National League Northern Premier Division has enjoyed a thrilling season on the pitch which has seen three teams battle all the way for the title.
Nottingham Forest edged the battle on goal difference; bettering Midlands rivals, Wolves by a GD (goal difference) of 19. Burnley fell just behind on 52 points – just two behind the previously mentioned clubs. Burnley’s defeat to Wolves in the penultimate game ensured their title hopes had ended. These three clubs were by far the best of the division, with the following back over-seeing mediocre seasons. As well as finishing as league champions, Forest also went onto lift the FAWNL League Cup. A domestic double still reflects on a remarkable season and one to build on for the next. Forest ultimately fell short in promotion to the Barclays Championship as they narrowly lost 0-1 to Watford in the FAWNL Play-off Final last weekend.
Loughborough Lighting endured a miserable campaign failing to win any of their 22 league matches. Only three draws were claimed as relegation was confirmed weeks ago. Boldmere St. Michael’s joined in relegation as they finished eight points adrift of Stoke City and Liverpool Feds.
Derby County had seen a drop off in form compared to last season where they finished second best with a point tally of 51. Compare to this season and they finish fourth with just 38 points. Those 51 points last season would have still seen them finish in fourth this time around – a true testament to the three outstanding sides above them this season.
West Bromwich Albion have looked promising at times. Reaching the final of the Birmingham County Cup before losing to local rivals, Wolves will surely be a moment they reminisce about this season. With parts of the club aiming to go full time soon – and the club aligning and liaising with the men’s resources, West Brom look like they could be a real danger next season. However, this season, it’s been more of the same. A mid-table finish with no real threat of relegation and almost hitting the thirty-point mark – that’s got to be a target for the future. Albion fans will be looking for more undoubtedly, but a season of safety isn’t something that can be snuffed at.
The three ways battle this season has been exciting to experience as any of the three sides could have claimed the crown. Next season proves to be even more special with the battle taking its resumption. Derby County, West Brom, and Huddersfield will all have their eyes on improving from their stale seasons this time around. This season, the FAWNL has certainly entertained on all fronts.