January 2018 Review Compiled and Researched by Rod & Josie Prescott 29.01.18

January Form .

After sustaining just one league and one F.A. Cup defeat in the first four months of the new season, Wigan Athletic Ladies suffered a poor return in January 2018 , with just one solitary point gained, from the possible nine available .

The New Year started with an unexpected away league defeat at then bottom of the table Accrington Sports and Football Club on January 7th. Wigan Athletic had never lost a league or cup game to any team representing Accrington in a total of 14 meetings , beginning in 1999 . Missing regular strikers Ellie Threlkeld and Louise Ainscow , the Latics Ladies still fielded a very strong squad , but found themselves three goals down by the interval , with opposition goals from Heidi Roberts ( 20 & 44 min ) and Kerry Bamford ( 32 min ) . Wigan rallied in the second half , scoring through Ashley Taylor ( 65 min ) and Megan Hornby ( 85 min ), but despite coming close to an equaliser in the final minutes, the damage had already been done !  This game saw a full First Team Start for Vicky Johnson and a Substitute debut on 54 minutes for Chelsea Bloor , a product of the clubs excellent U.16’s and County League Development Squad .

Next up was a very difficult home league game versus Women’s F.A. Cup Giant Killers Burnley F.C. Girls on January 14th . The previous week our visitors had been desperately unlucky to lose by the odd goal in five , playing away at Cardiff City in the Third Round Proper , to a team two divisions higher , in the F.A. Women’s Premier League  Southern Division . The Claretts had previously knocked out Stoke City on penalty kicks and they continued their good form at Wigan , winning by a 2-0 score line . Our cause was not helped by a rare Nic Hamilton own goal on 30 minutes , followed by an Evie Priestley strike on 85 minutes .  Two further substitute debuts arrived during this game for Wigan .  Gabriella Buckley and Charlotte Boylan , both new signings from Burscough Dynamo Ladies made impressive starts and didn’t disappoint when called upon .

Unbeaten League Leaders Stockport County were next on the agenda for Wigan Athletic Ladies and a vast improvement was seen for this daunting away league fixture on January 21st . County took the lead on 33 minutes but Wigan were not to be overawed on this occasion .  Due to Stockport’s previous long FAWPL League status , Wigan have only met County in three previous league and cup meetings , all arriving last season and remarkably , winning all three . Wigan came out strongly in the second half , deservedly scoring an equaliser through Ashley Taylor ( 75 min ) and with a little luck , could have gone on to win the game .

This set up an Argyle League Cup Second Round home meeting with old foes Burnley F.C. Girls on January 28th , but unfortunately the awful wet weather during the week saw our home pitch at Billinge F.C. declared unfit . This intriguing Cup Tie will now be rescheduled at home again at Barrows Farm for February 4th , or moved to 3G if the poor conditions persist .

Players Stats Update .

Congratulations to Grace Vella who has collected the last three consecutive Player of the Match Awards , given by our opponents following League Fixtures . Grace now leads this category with four awards from the maximum 11 League  Appearances , followed by Louise Ainscow with three awards in 9 League Starts ( + 1 Playing Sub ) . A total of 22 different players have now been used this season from 15 League and Cup Matches , with Nic Hamilton , Megan Hornby , Club Captain Emma Valentine and Grace Vella making the maximum 15 starts . Michelle Hunt has also appeared in every game with 14 Starts and 1 playing sub . Goal Keeper Jess Linford and Emma Lysons both have 14 Starts .

Louise Ainscow is the Leading League Goal Scorer with 8 Goals , Megan Hornby 6 , Ashley Taylor and Grace Vella both with 4 . The Leading League and Cup Goal Scorer is Megan Hornby on 11 , followed by Louise Ainscow with 10 . Overall , the team have scored a total of 38 league and cup goals this season .

On January 7th 2018 , Jessica Linford completed 130 Appearances for Wigan Athletic Ladies ( 128 Starts , 1 Playing Sub and 1 Unused Sub ) and on the same date , Ashley Taylor completed 80 Appearances ( 67 Starts and 13 Playing Sub ) .  On January 21st , Grace Vella completed her 40th Start for our club since her debut in 2016 , with the unique distinction of never having been a substitute . The next appearance by Michelle Hunt will give her a proud total of 150 outings in a Wigan Athletic Shirt ,  presently   comprising of 137 Starts , 6 Playing Sub and 6 Unused Sub since her debut in September 2010 .  Eleanor Threlkeld can reach 50 Appearances in her next game and Keia McFayden 40 . The next goal scored by Ashley Taylor , will give her 30 in all competitions for Wigan Athletic Ladies ( all figures are excluding Friendlies ) .

Compiled and Researched by Rod and Josie Prescott for Wigan Athletic Ladies F.C.  (C)  2018