FA Women's Super League logo, small

FA Dispatch: Big Weekend for FA WSL 1 and 2 Teams as Promotion and Relegation Loom

With several huge games at the top and bottom in both FA Women’s Super League (FA WSL) 1 and 2 across Saturday and Sunday, this weekend might just be the biggest the league has ever seen. Rich Laverty takes a look at the key issues to look out for in each match.


September 24

Bristol City Women vs. Durham Women

Stoke Gifford Stadium, 4:30 pm local time

State of Play

Top two teams are promoted.

Bristol City Women
Played 15
Goal Difference; 14
Points: 30
Position: 2nd

Durham Women
Played 14
Goal Difference: 8
Points: 27
Position: 4th

The weekend kicks off with the first of two huge games between the top four in FA WSL 2. With just three points separating the four sides and only two promotion spots to the big league, the stakes couldn’t be higher.

Bristol were dealt a blow midseason when Millie Farrow was ruled out for the rest of the campaign but Claire Emslie may go down as one of the finds of the season. Bristol can put themselves in a commanding position with a win knowing that one of their other rivals will drop points on Sunday. Both will be hoping the likes of Jodie Brett and Beth Hepple return from the U-20 NTC Invitational in California uninjured.

Doncaster Rovers Belles vs. Reading Women

Keepmoat Stadium, 6:30 pm local time

State of Play

Bottom team is relegated.

Doncaster Rovers Belles
Played 10
Goal Difference: -28
Points: 0
Position: 9th

Reading Women
Played 13
Goal Difference: -12
Points: 6
Position: 8th

On paper, the gap between FA WSL 1 and 2 has never been bigger. Both these sides were promoted comfortably last season, winning 28 of their respective 36 games between them, losing just one match each.

This season, however, neither have a win in 23 games between them but there’s every chance that will change this weekend. A win for Reading will all but condemn Doncaster to relegation whilst a first win for the home side will reignite their hopes of saviour.

The biggest talking point will rest on the potential return of striker Courtney Sweetman-Kirk who has returned to training and could be involved sooner rather than later.


September 25

Yeovil Town Ladies vs. Everton Ladies

Huish Park, 2 pm local time

State of Play

Top two teams are promoted.

Yeovil Town Ladies
Played 15
Goal Difference: 19
Points: 30
Position: 1st

Everton Ladies
Played 14
Goal Difference: 16
Points: 28
Position: 3rd

Yeovil’s loss against London Bees last week after leading 2-0 at halftime dealt them a severe blow but Jamie Sherwood’s side still sit top of the league but face an Everton side in good form.

When Rosella Ayane and Chloe Kelly joined in the summer, many thought Everton would be well set for a promotion spot but they still sit outside the top two. A defeat wouldn’t be the end of the world as they still have a game in hand but any point – or three – they can pick up at Huish Park will put them in a very favorable position.

Manchester City Women vs. Chelsea Ladies

CFA, 2 pm local tim

State of Play

Manchester City will be champions with a point.

Manchester City Women
Played 14
Goal Difference: 30
Points: 38
Position: 1st

Chelsea Ladies
Played 13
Goal Difference: 24
Points: 31
Position: 2nd

The highest profile match of the weekend comes at the CFA on Sunday afternoon where the two FA WSL 1 leaders face off in Manchester.

A point for the league leaders will be enough to seal their first title whereas a win for Chelsea will keep the race alive, with it still being in City’s hands going into their final game.

Emma Hayes will hope Katie Chapman is fit after going off with a knee problem against Reading while Fran Kirby could be involved after the England striker returned to training.

Notts County Ladies vs. Sunderland Ladies

Meadow Lane, 5 pm local time

State of Play

Bottom team is relegated.

Notts County Ladies
Played 12
Goal Difference: -10
Points: 9
Position: 6th

Sunderland Ladies
Played 13
Goal Difference: -17
Points: 9
Position: 7th

Although both these teams should theoretically be safe from relegation now, a defeat for either would bring back a few nerves should Belles do the business the night before.

Notts County have a strong side on paper and should be doing better but they’ll be missing valuable key players such as Carly Telford, Amy Turner, Ellen White, Sophie Bradley, and Chelsea Weston.

Sunderland haven’t hit the heights of last season but will fancy their chances against a weakened side, a point a piece probably wouldn’t be turned down by either at this stage.