Bolton Wanderers Ladies & Girls' round-up

Having gotten their respective campaigns underway in August, takes a look at how BWLGFC's sides have fared inside the opening weeks of the season.

First Team

BWLFC 3-1 Leeds

Bolton went into their first ever Premier League game with ten changes to their usual side, feeling slightly unsure how they would fair against a Leeds United team that have been a regular in this league for a number of years.

The Whites got off to a superb start however with last season’s top scorer Michelle Kirkman-Ryan scoring her most difficult opportunity with an overhead finish into the far corner. The ladies kept the pressure on by creating more and more chances but failed to find the clinical end product.

However, Saf Newhouse took advantage of the Leeds keeper failing to hold a cross and converted the ball to extend the early advantage. 

Just over halfway into the first half, new striker Emma Pilling struck Bolton’s third with a superb 25 yard volley. With the Whites missing key chances though, Leeds took the opportunity and scored their first and only goal of the game just moments before half time.

The second half was a tighter affair with Leeds having more possession in dangerous areas but 17-year-old debutant Sophie Jones and captain for the day Shel Saunders were steadfast at the back.

Unfortunately Bolton failed to convert a penalty towards the end of the game that would have settled the game and any nerves, but come the final whistle, it was victory for Wanderers in front of the highest crowd of the day in the North Division 1.

Brighouse Town 4-3 BWLFC

Brighouse Town finished in the top half of the league last season and have been impressive throughout pre-season, giving Bolton a difficult task for their first away game of the season.

The Whites fast out of the blocks however and took the lead just 12 minutes in through Saunders who after an impressive performance at the back was now playing forward. Just two minutes later, the teams were level, with Brighouse finishing off a fine passing phase with a clinical strike across the goalkeeper and into the corner of the net.

The hosts started to apply more pressure as the half wore on and took advantage of a struggling Bolton, with three arriving in just over ten minutes - two of which were thunderous strikes from a distance.

Millie Critchley joined the fray at half time and added some much needed strength on and off the ball and some calm in the middle of the park, and just after the hour mark, Newhouse reduced the arrears with a well struck left foot shot into the roof on the net.

BWLFC started to fight back, taking advantage of a spacious Brighouse backline and on 74 minutes, a Chloe Fell free kick was not held by the keeper and Mitchell Kirkman-Ryan nodded in for 4-3.

With just 15 mins left, it was Bolton pressing to find their equaliser and Brighouse were trying to hold onto their lead.

After a disappointing spell in the first half, the ladies came back in the second half stronger, with the last few minutes seeing BWFC taking chance after chance but unfortunately were not able to find the net.

Cup qualifier: Leicester City Ladies 0-5 BWLFC

A resounding 5-0 victory over Leicester City saw the ladies secure their place into the first round of the FAWPL Cup.

The girls dominated possession and created an abundance of chances from start to finish and in only their third game at this level, they overcame their Midlands opposition in a one sided affair.

Two goals apiece from strikers Mitch Kirkman-Ryan and Saf Newhouse sees both strikers with a total of four goals each in just three games, while Mitchell would net two during the first half followed by two from Saf in the second and a last minute own goal completed the victory.

BWLFC 1-4 Morecombe

A disappointing performance after last week’s brilliant cup win saw the Whites lose out to Morecambe at the Kensite Stadium on Sunday 17 September.

A more experienced Morecambe outfit got a deserved win having flown out of the traps with a third minute strike. Bolton created limited chances but late in the first half got into their stride and only being a goal down at half time, they were hopeful of turning it around second half.

However, two set piece goals from Morecambe in the second half sealed the result with a late consolation from Saunders one of the only positives from the second half, the other being the debut for 16-year-old local girl Ellie Mills.

The two sides then faced each other again the following week, however this time in the County Cup at the Kensite Stadium…

County Cup: BWLFC 4-2 Morecambe

Wanderers and Morecambe pitted their wits against each other for the second time in a week, but this time if was for a place in the next round of the County Cup.

Bolton set out looking to put their league loss well and truly behind them, but similar to the previous week, they went in 1-0 down at the break despite feeling their performance levels were better.

However, after the break, they took back control with two goals coming from striker Ruby Howard, with top scorer Kirkman-Ryan also returning to the scoresheet to extend the lead to 3-1 before Morecambe got a goal back to make it a nervy finish.

Those nerves were quickly settled though with a late effort from returning striker Emma Pilling to ease the Whites into the County Cup quarter-finals.

Other News

  • The Women’s FA Cup Third Round qualifying draw has been made and pits Bolton against local team CMB, with this tie to be played October 8.

Reserves Team

The Reserves started their league campaign at Little Lever School against Newcastle United who finished third last season in this Division.

New manager Scott Strang was also taking the team for the first time and had an extremely young starting XI to work with first time out, and as a result, unfortunately the points would belong to the Magpies on this occasion as they ran out 3-0 winners.

Reserves (Cup): Brighouse 1-7 BWLFC

With a more balanced squad to work with, manager Strang was more confident of a performance akin to what he has seen on the training ground and in only their second game as a group, his side routed Brighouse in this Reserves Cup clash.

Debut goals from Emma Cann and Rachel Owen were added to by a brace from Millie Critchley and a hat-trick for Shellby Wolstencroft

Reserves: BWLFC 2-1 Leeds United

Bolton registered their first points of the season in the league with a hard fought win over their Leeds United counterparts.

Debut striker Naomi Greene gave the girls a 2-0 lead in the first half with two clinical strikes, but Leeds were back in it early in the second half through a penalty and for a while, Bolton were up against it.

However, as the game wore on, they played the better football and in turn, picked up their first league win.

Under 21s

Burscough 2-3 BWLFC

The Under 21s got their first open age season underway away to Burscough in wet and windy conditions and secured a first win at this level to get off to a pleasing start.

Despite going 1-0 down at the break, the second half saw Bolton turn things around and take the points.

BWLFC 0-2 Bury

The young Whites came up against a much stronger team on paper in Bury’s first team the North West Regional League clash and did themselves great credit in a narrow 2-0 defeat.


Reddish North End 4-5 BWLFC

BWFC’s Community team won their opening game of the season against Reddish North End, running out victors in a 5-4 thriller.

The Community team were promoted to Division 1 of the Greater Manchester County League at the end of last season, and were on the right end of a nine goal cracker against last year’s runners up.

Beechfield 3-2 BWLFC

This time the Community team were on the wrong end of a goal fest against a Beechfield outfit who have competed at this level for a number of seasons.

Poppy Halms hit a 25 yard strike to wipe out Beechfield’s lead and Stacey Saunders also struck an equaliser to make it 2-2.

However, a defensive error proved costly and provided Beechfield with the winner.


Stockport 4-4 BWLFC

Bolton’s newest team made their league debut and shared the spoils in an eight goal thriller against a Stockport team who have competed well at this level for many years now.

A strong start for the girls, hopes are high that there is more of this to follow.


BWLFC 13-0 Lostock

After a summer of recruitment, a new look BWLFC went goal crazy in their first outing of the season with goals from Rhia Dickins – who hit a double hat trick - alongside Annabel Edge (2), Charlotte Bird (2) and goals apiece for Rubie Hoofe, Darcie Tennant and Lauren Lynchey.

Lytham 0-8 BWLFC

The Under-14s had another goal rush after their win over Lostock and with the results of these two games, the girls have firmly made their mark on their league inside the opening weeks.

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