Written by Courtney Hill (@cjhsport)
As we reach the half-way point of the 18/19 season, I reflect back on the story so far in the FA Women’s Championship.
Manchester United finally joined the 21st century and founded a women’s side, and the Red Devils have been dominant so far.
It’s been a historic season for the newly formed United side in itself, but what followed is impressive.
Ten games in, they’ve won eight, falling twice at Durham in a 0-0 draw and 3-1 away loss. Casey Stoney’s team have scored 43 goals in the process and conceded just four. Two of their players, Jess Sigsworth and Mollie Green, are among the top goalscorers in the league with nine – Green is United’s overall top scorer with ten.
The Red Devils look set to gain promotion to the Super League in their debut season, sitting top of the league level on points with Charlton.
While I have been impressed with both Spurs and Charlton too, Durham have stepped up this season and proved they can hold their own at the top.
They have won seven of their 11 games, losing just one and drawing three. They’ve conceded seven and scored 26, proving they have a vital balance between defence and attack.
As the battle for promotion intensifies in the second half of the season, we could witness a three-way fight for second between Charlton, Durham and Spurs – it’s just about who has the endurance to go it all the way.
Leicester were among those who had a great transfer window in the summer. The Foxes appeared to bring in the right number of players to enhance a number of positions in their squad, giving them plenty of options going into the season.
It seems that they’re yet to click, despite a few impressive performances, Leicester haven’t found consistent form. This has stumped their progress up the table.
With half a season under their belt, we could see them start to climb the league table in the second half of the season.
Palace has been very entertaining to watch this season, specifically going forward.
However, their defensive ability has been their biggest downfall. They’ve caused big problems for teams with their attacking prowess and have been unlucky not to see more games go their away.
Should Palace improve their defensive play and take advantage of their opportunities in big game moments, they will start to see their efforts reflected in results.
Mollie Green – Manchester United
Green had a shaky start to the beginning of the season and perhaps didn’t really find her way until the midway point, most notably when she won November’s Player of the Month.
The attacking midfielder now has ten goals for United, nine in the league and one in a cup tie vs Durham, which was the only goal of the game proving vital for United’s Conti Cup progression.
Casey Stoney will be hoping her performances keep up in the second half of the season as she continues to prove the difference between United and their opposition.
Angela Addison – Spurs
18-year-old Angela Addison joined Spurs in the summer and the inexperienced youngster has taken the league by storm.
Perhaps her youth is what makes her fearless when coming against her opposition, but her ability to glide past players and make a difference when called upon is what has put her above the rest this season.
She has scored and assisted key goals for Spurs this season already, with her link up play being exceptionally well.
Despite going into the second half of the season joint top of the table, I would be somewhat surprised if United do not go on to win the league.
That is no discredit to other teams in the league, but I think United’s squad depth, and ability to grind out results even when they’re not performing to the highest standard, makes them my favourites to win the Championship this season.
Although they’ve lost some of their form towards the backend of the first half of this season, I still believe Spurs are among one of the best in the league.
With an impressive youth structure, they are fearless in their approach and can pose as much a threat to the promotion positions as United, Charlton and Durham.
One of the best things about the Championship is that no teams get relegated, meaning there just the two promotion spots up for grabs.
The current battle is between United, Durham, Charlton and Spurs. One will win the league and be promoted while the other will finish as runners-up and be promoted.
I believe United will comfortably win the Championship and gain promotion to the Super League and I think Spurs will gain promotion in second place.
However, both Durham and Charlton pose a significant threat and ultimately it will come down to a three-way battle for second between Durham, Charlton and Spurs. It seems the second half of the season has a lot in store yet.