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Wigan Athletic Ladies Half Season Report Compiled and Researched by Rod & Josie Prescott 02.01.18

Review of the Season so Far .

As the halfway point of the season approaches , we take a look at the season so far to date . Great credit must be given to Wigan Athletic Ladies , who find themselves in fourth position in the NWWRFL Premier Division , having lost just one league game from eight matches played so far . The only defeat came at home against Mersey Rail Bootle on October 1st when we went down 4-2 against the then League Leaders , in a game that saw Carmen Troiano make her substitute debut . Five league victories have been recorded so far , these being against   MSB Woolton ( home 2-0 and away 3-0 ) The home game versus Woolton on September 6th saw Louise Ainscow make her substitute debut for the Senior Team . A terrific 5-3 victory arrived on November 12th at then League Leaders Tranmere Rovers , courtesy of two goals from Megan Hornby and one each from Grace Vella (pen) , Ellie Threlkeld and Louise Ainscow . Manager for the day on the Wirral was Donna Harris , ably assisted by Danny Mather and Jeff Johnson , as Manager Derek Booth was unable to be there .  Another superb league victory was to follow at Burnley F.C. Girls , Wigan holding out for a 2-1 win , with goals from Megan Hornby and Louise Ainscow .  In the last league game played in 2017 on December 3rd , Latics Ladies put four goals past CMB without reply , the scorers being Ellie Threlkeld (2) , Megan Hornby and Louise Ainscow .

In the F.A. Cup , Latics made their home debut in their new home at Billinge F.C. with a strong 7-0 victory over Accrington on Sept 3rd , six different players getting on the score sheet . The Second F.A. Cup Qualifyer saw a terrific home encounter against F.C. United of Manchester in front of nearly 100 spectators . A fantastic free kick from Megan Hornby on 14 minutes gave Wigan a hard fought 1-0 win against ten players , Jess Battle red carded after just 8 minutes for our visitors . For the Third Qualifyer on October 15th , Wigan were drawn away at Burnley F.C. Girls and suffered a 4-1 defeat , Louise Ainscow scoring on 13 minutes to equal the score at 1-1 , but it wasn’t to be . The reward for the winners was a long trek to the North East  on November 12th , where Burnley won 4-0 at Alnwick Town .

In the Argyle League Cup , Morecambe Reserves were beaten 4-1 in the First Round of the Competition on October 22nd . The scorers for Latics being Megan Hornby (2) , Grace Vella and Louise Ainscow . Wigan  now have a home draw versus Burnley F. C. Girls to be played on January 28th and will now not enter the Plate Competition .

Last season saw the club finish as Runners Up in the Division , the highest position ever attained in the teams rich history , but having since lost the services of such quality players as Megan Edwards , Abbie Conway and Megan Howard , this season was always going to be that bit more difficult . However , this has been offset by the additions of experienced players Nicola Hamilton and prolific goal scorer Louise Ainscow . Interesting to note that Nic is now in her second spell at Wigan Athletic Ladies , having played here during 2009-10 , before moving over to Wigan Ladies in 2010-11 , making four starts in the clubs last ever season before folding ( 1984-2011 ) .  Louise Ainscow too , began her ” Girls Football ” career here at Wigan Athletic , moving swiftly through our Youth systems . Louise appeared in the U.11’s in 2008-09 , going on to play at U.12 , U.13 , U14 and U.15 levels come 2012-13 , before moving on . During this time she collected three end of season Star Player Awards , two Leading Goal Scorer Awards ( 2011-12 & 2012-13 ) and one Players Player of the Season Award ( 2011-12 ) .

Another massive plus this season has been the return of a fully fit Sam Baldwin , who only started three games last season ( plus 4 sub ) . Sam has now made 124 Appearances * for Wigan Athletic Ladies ( 110 Starts , 12 Playing Sub & 2 Unused Sub , scoring 14 League and Cup goals in the process ) . Sam is now the clubs longest serving player alongside Amy Garratt , both having made their Senior debuts on September 6th 2009 .

Youth System in Overdrive .

The clubs young players also continue to appear within the Senior Team . Vicky Johnson made an impressive substitute debut on November 26th 2017 , in the away 3-0 league win at MSB Woolton , having replaced Ellie Threlkeld .  One week later on December 3rd , Flossie Jones also made an impressive substitute debut in the 4-0 home win over CMB , when she replaced Grace Vella on 70 minutes . Both players started playing in season 2008-09 for Wigan Athletic Girls Under 9’s , spending two seasons within this Age Band . The players then moved through the clubs U.10’s , U.11’s , U.12’s , U.13’s , U.14’s and U.15’s Squads , before finishing last season in Danny Mathers successful Development County League side .  During this time , Vicky collected four end of season ” Managers Player of the Season ” Awards , Flossie two ” Managers Player of the Season ” Awards and one ” Most Improved Player Award for 2010-11 , while with the U.10’s .

Indeed , of the 19 Players that have appeared in this seasons Senior Team , no less then nine have played within our Youth System ! The players are : Sisters , Louise & Rachel Ainscow . Amy Garratt , Megan Hornby , Flossie Jones , Vicky Johnson , Emma Lysons , Keia McFayden and Jenna Morgan .  Three excellent players from the Youth System no longer with us can include : Danielle Brookwell , Abbie Conway and Katie Greenhalgh .  Throughout the years the Wigan Athletic ” Girls Teams ” founded by Flo Mather , have provided the Senior and Development Teams with lots of quality players , while also giving young girls in the Wigan area the opportunity to play football from a very young age . There is no doubt whatsoever that the players that have come through this system have sustained and contributed greatly , to where the club proudly stands today , which is now just one tier away from F.A. Women’s Premier League Football  .

Andy Ainscow .

Following our heavy F.A. Cup defeat away at Burnley F.C. Girls on October 15th 2017 , Manager Andy Ainscow sadly departed the club . During his tenure , Andy guided the team to it’s highest ever League finish last season when we claimed the Runners Up spot behind Bolton Wanderers , with a record haul of 50 points . We also reached our first ever League Cup Semi Final in 2016-17 , narrowly losing 2-1 away at F.C. United of Manchester on March 12th 2017 , and of course , who can forget winning the Regional Plate on May 3rd 2015 versus Liverpool Feds Reserves ( 5-3 ) at Bootle F.C.   Andy took over the Managers role from Rob Fairfield on February 22nd 2015 and immediately instilled a more steely determination within the team and made them serious contenders against any Regional League opposition , playing delightful football along the way . We wish Andy all the very best for the future and thank him for all his hard work with Wigan Athletic Ladies Football Club .

Andy’s tremendous full statistical record with Wigan Athletic Ladies reads as follows :

League Record : Played 53  :  Won  31  Drawn  6  Lost  16   :  Cup Record  :  Played  18  :  Won 14  Lost  4   Total  :  Played  71  :  Won  45  Drawn  6  Lost  20

The Champions versus Runners Up Challenge Match played at the Rebok Stadium against promoted Bolton Wanderers ( 24.05.17 ) was also won 2-1 .

We understand that no appointment will be made re the Wigan Athletic Managers Position until the end of the season , with Derek Booth , Donna Harris and Jeff Johnson doing a sterling job of it to date .

Player Up-Dates and Stats .

To date , a total of 19 Players have appeared in the First Team Squad this season , with just four now having made the maximum starts . These are  Nic Hamilton , Megan Hornby , Emma Valentine and Grace Vella . Michelle Hunt has also appeared 12 times , with 11 Starts ( + 1 Playing Sub ) and Ashley Taylor with 10 Starts ( + 2 Playing Sub ) .  On 11 Starts are Rachel Ainscow , Goal Keeper Jess Linford and Emma Lysons .

The Leading League Goal Scorer is Louise Ainscow with 8 Goals from 9 Starts ( + 2 Playing Sub ) . The Leading Cup Goal Scorer is Megan Hornby with 5 Goals ( 3 in the F.A. Cup & 2 in the League Cup ) Overall Leading Goal Scorer is shared between Louise Ainscow and Megan Hornby with a total of 10 Goals each ….. altogether the team have scored 35 Goals in all competitions , conceding just 17 .

The Player with the most Player of the Match Awards ( League Games Only ) is Louise Ainscow on three , with sister Rachel on two . Megan Hornby , Grace Vella and Ashley Taylor each have one Award .

Overall Player Stats …… The 100 Club Plus .

Michelle Hunt has now appeared 146 times for Wigan Athletic since her debut on September 5th 2010 . Jess Linford has 129 Appearances , Sam Baldwin 124* and Amy Garratt 122* . Approaching the 100 Appearance milestone is Rachel Ainscow with 83 and Ashley Taylor on 79 .

* These Figures do not include season 2009-10 which are awaiting verification . A total of 18 League Games and 4 Cup Games were played during 2009-10 , giving a maximum appearance reading of 22 Starts .

Most Goals and Player of the Match Awards .

Ashley Taylor leads the way with 27 Goals ( 19 League & 8 Cup ) , followed by Megan Hornby on 23 ( 16 League & 7 Cup ) from just 40 Appearances . The player with the most Player of the Match Awards is Goal Keeper Jess Linford , with a remarkable 23 Awards , followed by Rachel Ainscow with 15 Awards .

Next Opponents ….. Accrington Sports and Football Club , previously Accrington Girls and Ladies F.C.

Wigan Athletic Ladies have a very proud record versus teams under the Accrington name , having never lost to Accrington Stanley , Accrington 91′ or Accrington Girls & Ladies , in a record involving 12 League games and 2 Cup games .

League Record versus Accrington Stanley  & Accrington 91′ : Played  8  Won  6  Drawn  2  Lost  0  For  31  Against  6  Points  20  from a possible 24 .

League Record versus Accrington Girls & Ladies                         :  Played  4  Won  3  Drawn  1  Lost  0  For  8   Against   3  Points  10  from a possible 12 .

Cup Games : Versus Accrington 91′   ( 30.11.03 )  League Cup 2   ( Away )  Won  5-3  :  Versus Accrington Girls & Ladies  ( 03.09.17 )  F.A. Cup 1st Qual.  ( Home )  Won  7- 0

On This Date  …… January 7th  …… Wigan Athletic Ladies F.C.

Just two fixtures have been played on this date by Wigan Athletic Ladies since the clubs formation .

2001  Blackburn Rangers  ( Home )  Division Two North  :  Won  6-5   :  2007  Liverpool Feds Reserves  ( Home )  North Division  :  Drew  1-1

On this Date ……. January 7th …… Women’s Football in Wigan  ( Wigan Ladies 1984  – 2011 )

1990  North End Ladies  ( Home )  NWWRFL  Division Two  : Postponed

1995 ( Saturday ) NWWRFL  Regional Five a Side Tournament at Hyndburn Sports Centre .

Wigan Ladies reached the Quarter Finals at both Senior & U.16’s levels ( Playing for Tranmere Rovers U.16’s was future England Star and TV Pundit , Sue Smith )

1996  Preston Rangers  ( Away )  Div. One , now Premier )  :  Lost  0-9

2001  Chorley  ( Home )  Lancashire County Cup  Semi Final  :  Postponed

2007  Liverpool Feds  ( Away ) NWWRFL  Premier Division  :  Postponed

All above Research is taken from our own Women’s Football personal records (C)  Rod and Josie Prescott  ( 2018 )

Accrington Sports and Football Club Versus Wigan Athletic Ladies  :  N.W.W.R.F.L.  Premier Division  :  Sunday 7th January 2018  :  Kick Off 2pm .

At : Livingstone Road, Accrington , Lancashire.  BB5 5BX