Unbeaten League Run Ends .
Wigan Athletic Ladies tremendous ten match unbeaten league run came to it’s conclusion on Sunday afternoon , when league leaders Tranmere Rovers took all three points with a 4-2 victory at Billinge F.C. However , the Latics Players and Management Team of Derek Booth and former U.16’s & U.18’s Scotland Goal Keeper Donna Harris , can feel extremely proud of their achievements this season , in the knowledge that no other team representing Wigan Athletic , has ever put together such a run in the NWWRFL Premier Division since promotion in season 2010-11 . Indeed the last time Wigan Athletic remained unbeaten in ten league games was in season 2009-10 as Champions of Division One North . This team has also scored the most Premier League Goals in Wigan’s history , with Aimee O’Keefe’s goal on Sunday beating our previous best total of 70 goals scored last season !
This seasons finish to find the Champions of our Premier Division now looks to be an exciting finish between Stockport County and Burnley F.C. Girls and it could even go down to goal difference . Indeed we remember only too clearly , our own Wigan Ladies winning the title by a one goal difference from Manchester Belle Vue back in season 1992-93 , thus proving how vital a missed opportunity or goal line block , can be at any stage of the season !
Recent Results and Club Up Dates .
On Sunday April 15th , Wigan travelled over to the Fylde Coast to play 6th placed Fleetwood Town Wrens (formerly Blackpool Wren Rovers ) . The Latics had never before beaten the Wrens in four previous league meetings , but this time recorded a superb 5-4 away victory . Prolific striker Aimee O’Keefe marked her Full Debut since re signing , with her 7th League hat trick for our team , thus taking her total league tally to 32 goals scored for our club . Two nil down at half time , the game also saw Megan Edwards score her first ever league goal in her 30 overall appearances , while Megan Hornby scored her 9th goal of this seasons campaign . The Player of the Match , as voted by the opposition , was Michelle Hunt collecting her first such award of the season . Wigan Athletic only had the necessary 11 players for this fixture and it is interesting to note that the last time we were in this position was on January 25th 2015 , in an away league game at would be Champions Blackpool Wren Rovers …. the result being a 10-0 defeat , easily our heaviest loss of that particular season.
Just three days later , Wigan faced vastly improving Blackburn Community in a mid week league match at Billinge F.C.
Megan Hornby gave Wigan the lead on 28 minutes , only for ex Ambassadors and Chorley player Ruth Harrison to score the goal of the game with an astute long range equaliser just one minute before the break . Grace Vella restored Wigan’s lead with a 49th minute penalty hit firmly past ex England Keeper Jo Philipps , but Blackburn levelled again on 50 minutes when Laura Murray ( a former Wigan Ladies Player with 133 Appearances ) made the game all square again . Megan Searson put Community in front for the first time on 57 minutes , but four minutes into stoppage time hard working Megan Hornby rescued a point for the home side , firing through a crowded penalty area , with her 11th league goal of the season . The Opposition Player of the Match Award went to Ashley Taylor , putting her level with Grace Vella on five Awards each for the season . This game also saw Grace make her 50th Start for our club and remarkably , she has never yet been on the substitutes bench .
On Sunday April 22nd , Wigan faced League Leaders Tranmere Rovers at home , for our visitors last league fixture of the season . Strong penalty appeals were turned down by the Referee on 10 minutes when Ashley Taylor appeared to be fouled and from the resulting play , Tranmere went ahead . Six minutes later Megan Hornby was tripped in the box and Grace Vella stroked home the penalty . Former Wigan Athletic player Alex Coleman put Rovers back in front on 23 minutes . Alex had made 41 Appearances (+1 Sub) for the Latics , scoring 9 League Goals , 1 FA Cup Goal and collected 3 Player of the Match Awards during her time at Wigan . Further goals from Tranmere gave the visitors a 4-1 lead , including a second from Coleman , but substitute Aimee O’ Keefe reduced the arrears to 4-2 on 81 minutes to make for a frantic finale . This match saw Aimee O’ Keefe make her 40th Appearance for Wigan and she now has a total of 42 league and cup goals to her name . The Opposition Player of the Match Award went to Ashley Taylor for the second consecutive match .
Forthcoming Player Stat :
Goal Keeper Jessica Linford will make 140 Appearances when next selected by the Manager . Signing in August 2012 , Jess has now made 137 Starts , 1 Playing Sub and 1 Unused Sub , collecting 23 Player of the Match Awards , the highest number of any present player signed to the club . Jess had made her Latics debut in the home Pre Season Friendly versus Denton Town on August 26th 2012 ( although for the record , our official player stats never include Friendlies or Tournaments ) . Jess took over the goalkeeping role from well respected keepers Sian Binks & Andrea Murray and has been instrumental in lifting this team to a whole new level of expectancy .
Next Fixture .
This Sunday , Wigan Athletic Ladies will meet Sir Tom Finney Ladies in a double header league fixture over at the UCLAN Sports Arena in Preston . Having only joined our league in 2016-17 , this will be the first ever Senior Team meeting between our two clubs . Our two Development Squads met last season in the County League : Wigan winning at home 3-2 on October 16th ( Sarah Webster , Naomi Greene & Caitlin Corke ), while away we lost 4-3 on April 9th ( Ellie Cleary , Heather Gallagher and Alice Jackson ) in a Championship Title decider that went Sir Tom Finney’s way .
On This Date …. April 29th
Just two previous fixtures have been played out by Wigan Athletic Ladies on this date since the clubs formation :
2009 ( Wednesday ) Wigan Athletic 2 ( Alicia Cain & Kerryn Hill ) AFC Liverpool 0 : Division One North
Wigan 1 Andrea Murray 2 Louise Darlington 3 Kelly Hutchinson 4 Rachael Taylor 5 Rebecca Owen 6 Anna Dempster 7 Hayley Turner 8 Sharon Entwistle (C) 9 Lindsey Winstanley 10 Alicia Cain 1 Kerryn Hill
Unused Substitutes : Kathryn Heaton & Carly Hutchinson Player of the Match : Anna Dempster : Touchline Star Player : Rachael Taylor
2015 ( Wednesday ) Wigan Athletic 0 Blackpool F.C. Girls 2 : Premier Division
Wigan 1 Jess Linford 2 Siobhan Long 3 Amy Garratt 4 Michelle Hunt (C) 5 Kate Hall 6 Sam Baldwin 7 Abbie Moore 8 Jenna Morgan 9 Sue Doak 10 Ashley Taylor 11 Rachel Ainscow
Substitutes : Laura Stanley rep K. Hall 46 min & Keia McFayden rep S. Long 46 min
Player of the Match : Rachel Ainscow : Touchline Star Player : Rachel Ainscow
Footnote : On This Date : April 29th
Wigan Athletic Ladies evolved from the Wigan Ladies Junior Teams at U.12’s , U.14’s and U.16’s levels and the last ever game played by Wigan Ladies U.16’s was played out on this date in 1999 . On June 18th 1999 , Wigan Wildcats ( later Latics Ladies ) were elected to the NWWRFL at the Hartwood Hall Hotel , Chorley with 30 Votes For , 6 Abstentions and 6 votes Against . Latics were in the Regional League !
1999 ( Thursday ) Longmoor Barcelona U.16’s 2 Wigan Ladies U.16’s 5 ( N. Chatterley 2 , Bev Ingram , Gill Evans & S. Whitehead ) Lancashire County Girls U.16’s Division .
Wigan 1 Hester Williams 2 Michelle Mather 3 Kate Elston 4 Rachel Ford 5 Anna Dempster 6 Sarah Whitehead 7 Claire Bant 8 Gill Evans 9 Natalie Crooke 10 Beverley Ingram 11 Nicola Chatterley
Substitute : Laura Campbell replaced Anna Dempster . Team Manager : Flo Mather
All above research is taken from our own Women’s Football Personal Records (C) Rod and Josie Prescott ( 2018 )
Sir Tom Finney Ladies Versus Wigan Athletic Ladies
North West Women’s Regional Football League Premier Division
( Double Header Fixture )
Sunday 29th April 2018 : Kick Off 2 pm
At : UCLAN Sports Arena , Tom Benson Way , Cottam , Preston , Lancashire . PR2 1SG