Photo credit: @WimbledonHC (Instagram)
Eliza Brett scored a hat-trick as Wimbledon moved up to second in the Vitality Women’s Premier Division with a big victory over Beeston.
Brett, who had scored in each of Wimbledon’s last two games, struck half of her team’s goals in a 6-0 win as they moved ahead of East Grinstead – not playing this week – in the table thanks to a third straight victory. Olympic bronze medallist Sarah Jones also scored twice for Wimbledon while Suzy Petty bagged their other goal.
They remain six points behind league leaders Hampstead & Westminster though after the side emerged 4-3 victors in a thriller against Buckingham.
All seven goals were scored in the final 21 minutes, with Buckingham’s Jo Day opening proceedings to give the hosts the lead. However, less than 60 seconds later Hampstead were level through Lauren Turner. That spurred Hampstead into life as Turner added another two minutes later – her fifth goal of the season – before Melanie Wilkinson and Lucy Hyams both found the net to give co-coaches Sarah Kelleher and Kate Richardson-Walsh's side a three-goal lead heading into the final five minutes.
Desperate not to surrender their unbeaten streak, Natasha James struck twice for Buckingham in the dying moments but it wasn’t quite enough to prevent them from losing their first game of the season, while Hampstead continued their 100% record.
Surbiton are the only other unbeaten team in the top tier as they beat University of Birmingham 4-1 to move third in the standings. Leah Wilkinson opened the scoring in the third minute before Birmingham drew themselves later level in the first quarter.
Great Britain international Sophie Hamilton gave Surbiton the lead once again in the 47th minute, with Maddie Long increasing their advantage seconds later before Hamilton struck once again to secure the win.
Loughborough Students claimed their first three points of the season with a narrow 1-0 win over Holcombe, moving above them in the table in the process. Beth Alexander’s goal in the 37th minute was enough for Loughborough to secure their third successive victory over the Kent-based team.
Clifton Robinsons also travelled home from Swansea with their first win of 2021/22 as they beat Swansea 2-1. Ashley Mainwaring handed Clifton the lead in the second minute before Claire Jones struck for the second game in a row to give the side from Bristol a healthy half-time advantage. Beth Wood halved the arrears early in the second half for Swansea but they couldn’t find an equaliser.
University of Nottingham and Bowdon Hightown continue to occupy the top spots in Division One North after recording their fourth wins in a row, beating Gloucester City 3-0 and Leicester City 4-2 respectively. Belper picked up their first point of the season with a 1-1 draw against Brooklands Poynton, while University of Durham moved up to third with a 1-0 win over Olton & West Warwicks. Stourport’s 2-0 win against Ben Rhydding means they’re now fourth in the table.
Sevenoaks are now the only team with a perfect record in Division One South as they won for the fourth straight week, beating Surbiton 2s 1-0. They now occupy top spot in the table, moving above Reading who dropped their first points of the year in a gripping 3-3 draw against Cambridge City. Canterbury recorded their maiden points of 2021/22 by beating Wimbledon 2s 2-1, with Isca also claiming a first win by beating Harleston Magpies 2-0. In the other game, Slough’s beat Trojans 2-0 for their second victory of the season.
London Wayfarers continued their perfect start to the season as they beat Ipswich 2-1 to remain three points clear at the top of the Conference East. A group of three teams lie on nine points beneath them, with Southgate (2-1 v Bromley & Beckenham), Horsham (3-1 v Chelmsford) and Barnes (1-0 v Hampstead & Westminster 2s) all enjoying victories. East London also had a good day out as they emerged 5-0 winners over Canterbury 2s in the late game.
Beeston 2s battled brilliantly to record a 1-1 draw against Sutton Coldfield, who failed to win for the first time this season in the Conference Midlands. They’re still three points clear at the top of the table, ahead of a trio of teams on seven points. St Albans head that group after a 3-1 win over Loughborough Students 2s, with Bedford and University of Birmingham 2s right on their tails after 4-0 and 3-2 wins over Khalsa Leamington and Oxford University respectively. In the day’s other game, Broxbourne recorded their first win of the season by beating Cannock 4-3 in a thrilling encounter.
Timperley were made to work hard but retained their perfect start to the season by recording a fourth straight Conference North win, beating Leeds 2-1. Doncaster tasted defeat for the first time this season as they lost 3-1 to Pendle Forest, for whom it was a first victory. Didsbury Northern also picked up their first maximum points haul of the year as they beat Neston 2-1, while Fylde’s 3-1 defeat of Alderley Edge saw them move up to second in the league. Elsewhere, University of Durham 2’s and Wakefield played out a 1-1 draw.
Bristol Firebrands remain the only unbeaten side in the Conference West as they beat Penarth 2-1 for their third win of the season. Cheltenham were the only other team yet to taste defeat before this round of action but they lost 2-1 to Witney, with the victors moving up to second in the table and relegating Cheltenham to third. Both teams have seven points, as do fourth-placed Oxford Hawks after they beat University of Bristol 2-1. Exe are one point further behind that group after their 1-0 win over Clifton Robinsons 2s, while the other game saw Team Bath Buccs and Basingstoke draw 2-2.