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Womens Team

Women's First Team 2021 review

Part one of a look at the progress of Brentford Women over the past 12 months

4 January 2022

From lockdown at the start of 2021, to securing promotion to a higher tier of football, it’s been a roller-coaster year for the Women’s First Team.

With fixtures cancelled and the professional game being played behind closed doors, Karleigh Osborne’s side had to wait four months before resuming their challenge for the 20/21 title in April. Each player was praised by the Head Coach for the attitude they displayed when football resumed.

The fixtures had been so delayed that some games turned into double headers, The Bees setting about their task in style, beating Watford Development twice in one afternoon.

There were defeats to Crystal Palace and Walton along the way, but a 2-0 win over Clapton Community on the final day was a great ending to a difficult season, in which automatic promotion had been one of the key targets. Both goal-scorers that day had led the charge all season, Kaitlyn Spencer-Dempsey finishing with a tally of 13 while Rebekah Wiltshire netted 11. Congratulations must also go to Rebekah for her wedding, she became Mrs Edwards in June.

Finishing second in the league behind Walton Casuals, The Bees confirmed that hard-fought promotion over the summer. That meant jumping up a tier, moving out of the Greater London WFL Premier Division to the South East Regional WFL Division One North.

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The step up in quality was apparent from the off but that didn’t discourage the squad. On the contrary, their opening matches of the new campaign saw wins over Sport London e Benfica, Victoire and Watford Ladies. Against Dorking and Hackney, new signing Kara McMahon netted a goal in each of her first two appearances in red and white stripes.

They actually went unbeaten until the start of October, when Abingdon Ladies proved too tough of a test in the Vitality Women’s FA Cup.

A win and a draw over both Sutton United and then a repeat record against Dulwich Hamlet set the girls on a steady path heading into the end of the year. Defeats to Dorking and Watford balanced that run and they currently sit in fourth but only on goal difference. The top four sides all share 16 points during the ongoing winter break, which sees the league resume on Sunday 9 January.

The Bees are still competing in the Capital Intermediate Cup thanks to a 3-2 win over Walton Casuals. They will also need to play one fixture less following the removal of Victoire from the league. The side, based in Croydon, pulled out at the midway point.

With last season’s top scorer Spencer-Dempsey missing through injury for most of the first half of this campaign, it’s been up to Edwards to showcase her talents up top. She hasn’t disappointed, netting six so far this term, grabbing the first five in the opening five matches of the season. Just behind her on five each, new signing Ellen Wardlaw and Axelle Courlander. Unfortunately for Axelle, who started the season in fine form, a knee injury has ruled her out for the rest of the season. We wish her all the best in her recovery following surgery in November.

In terms of assisting her teammates, Sophie Troth is currently top of the pile with five in all competitions. Her closest rival is once again Wardlaw on three, who has had a fine start to her Brentford career. Only two players have played in every single game so far this term, Troth being one of them, but only Amber Langston-Lloyd has started each of the 13 between August and December.

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