Glassgirls seal promotion with victory at Amblecote

Stourbridge have won the FA Women's National League Division One Midlands title after a hard-fought 2-0 win over Northampton Town.

Goals from Millie Rogers and Lois Jeffries secured the three points to get them over the line with two games to spare.

The Glassgirls needed only a draw to guarantee promotion from the division as second-placed Doncaster Rovers Belles, who won 3-0 at Leafield Athletic, started the day 12 points behind with four games left to play.

Nevertheless, the league leaders were made to work for the victory against a spirited Cobblers side, taking the lead in the 38th minute through Rogers' strike, which hit the inside of the post before spinning along the goal line into the net.

Jeffries then doubled the advantage midway through the second half when she headed home Alex Nicklin's free kick.

The result means Stourbridge now have an unassailable lead at the top of the table and will be playing Tier 3 football next season in the National League Premier, where it's expected they will be in the North Division.

Manager Andy Fisher told the club's official website: “It only seems like yesterday we were battling away in Tier Six, having seasons abandoned because of Covid, wondering if we would ever get anywhere, and here we are now.

“I honestly can’t put into words what it all means. This bunch of players, my staff, all the people behind the scenes, the work that everyone has put into it to get us to this point, it’s just remarkable."

The Glassgirls have now secured promotion in three consecutive years.

After repeated dominant performances in the West Midlands Regional League Division One South, they successfully applied to go up to the league's Premier Division when the Football Association launched an 'upward movement' scheme following the abandonment of the 2019/20 and 2020/21 seasons due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

They then won the Premier Division at the first attempt last season, finishing ten points clear after winning 21 out of their 22 games, scoring 123 goals and conceding just eight.

This season is set to end in similarly dominant fashion, with the Glassgirls currently sitting on a goal difference of +70 having netted 81 times in their twenty matches so far.

“The players deserve so much praise for what they’ve done," added Fisher.

“We thought we would do okay [this season]. Top half we thought was well within our grasp if we could find our feet, but I don’t think anybody realistically thought we could win it first time out.

“And to do it here in front of this crowd today – the support was incredible – we can’t thank everyone enough for getting behind us. We wanted to put on a show, even though we only needed a point. It’s never been this team’s mentality to play for a draw or anything like that.

“We wanted to win it properly.

“Northampton really made it difficult, they had plenty of the game but our defence have been the unsung heroes all season, I don’t think they were going to let anything past them today. And we managed to take a couple of chances when they came."

Goalkeeper Amie Preston also celebrated her twelfth league clean sheet of the season in 19 appearances – a feat which had already seen her secure the division's golden glove trophy last week.

The Glassgirls will be hoping to add even more silverware to the trophy cabinet when they face Wolves at Molineux in the Birmingham County Cup Final on 9th May.

“We’ve still got two more league games to play, and then the County Cup Final," said Fisher.

"But once that’s over we’ll have a bit of a break and then we’ll start building for next season. It’s going to be tough, but it’s going to be exciting too.

"For now though, we just want to savour what we’ve done.”


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