2019/20: The achievements that never were – Pt. II

Due to the severe conditions of COVID-19, the FA recently announced the indefinite suspension of several women’s football leagues.

The 2019/20 season in tiers 3-7 of the pyramid have had results expunged and seasons ended prematurely.

Because of this decision, season-defining moments have been chalked from history. No one will be promoted nor relegated and historic goals, results and achievements will be wiped.

Here is the second part of a list of memories we want to keep alive amid the tragic nature of these events.

Sunderland’s promotion and undefeated season – Kara Cutshaw

Sunderland looked to be coming away with an unbeaten season and definite promotion into the Championship. Not only were they on top,
but with an 11-point advantage over second place Derby County ladies.

Even if the season would continue, the margin is too great for Derby to catch. This in itself has broken the hearts of the players, staff and fans who knew their side utterly deserved to reach the Championship.

Career milestones will also be erased from history. Captain Keira Ramshaw made her 200th appearance for the Lasses, an astonishing achievement to be proud of. Georgia Gibson also made her 50th appearance in red and white.

Additionally, Melanie Reay’s 50th win at the hilt of the club will also be chalked off.

Embed from Getty Images

The season might have concluded but the dreams and pride from this club will not cease. The players, staff and supporters will continue to
promote the amazing feats this club has been able to accomplish since it came into existence. Everyone will keep their eyes open as Sunderland come into next season stronger and more hungry for advancement.

Middlesbrough’s season (A personal take) – Graham Falk, media officer

A season that lasted from August until March but counted for nothing? Well… that’s what the records will say. But while the results may be scratched from history, there’s still plenty of memorable moments that we can keep alive.

The emergence of youngsters like Jasmine McQuade, Katie Wilson and Hannah Luke have been huge pluses. The average age of Boro’s starting eleven in their Plate semi-final against Watford a remarkable 22.63.

There are many memorable moments and we’re immensely proud of each one of them. For example, McQuade, 17, formed part of the Lionesses U18 squad in February.

Middlesbrough also remained the only side in the National League to take points from all-conquering Sunderland.

READ MORE: 2019/20 – The achievements that never were | Pt. I

But what was Boro’s most memorable moment of 19/20’s ‘lost’ season? In truth, the plate quarter-final win over Nottingham Forest felt most significant. 

Leading up to the game, a lot had changed behind the scenes.

Ben Fisher had taken full reigns of the club, we’d brought in two new and exciting signings in Libby Dixon and Anna Young. There was also a shiny new Head of Media.

We’d had a tough December. A heavy defeat to Loughborough was tough and a lift was dearly needed.

However, a narrow 1-0 defeat in the league to Forest the fortnight previous had injected confidence going into the quarter-final, in a match that marked the first home game of the new era.

As it was, a tremendous 25-yard strike from Dixon, followed a Luke free-kick to put us 2-0 up before the half-hour mark. Bedford Terrace was absolutely rocking!

Taking in the second half from our bench, Rebekah Bass couldn’t sit still as Forest loaded their second-half onslaught. Especially when Bola Fisher halved the deficit with 20 minutes to go.

Dixon – who came off with a knock – spent the remaining quarter of an hour hidden underneath her No.9 shirt, desperate to be the match-winner. Meanwhile the team threw their bodies in the way of every Forest attack, roared on by a bumper crowd at Bedford Terrace, to take a 2-1 win and make the semi-finals.

Why was it so memorable? It was a day that showed the potential of Middlesbrough Women, the dawn of what can be in this new era and, most importantly, what football means to so many of us.

While the records may say it didn’t count – we can very much confirm it did.

Leeds United’s season (A personal take) – Megan Hughes, Leeds defender

Despite the manner in the way in which it ended, I truly believe this season of women’s football has been unforgettable. The sport has been pushed to newer, greater and more impressive levels than ever before. To be able to have played a role in that, no matter no small it may have been, has been amazing.

My highlight of the season has been playing in a new team and performing so well. It’s never easy gelling with a completely new set of girls, learning how to play together and getting result, but I fitted in very quickly with Leeds and I feel our results on the pitch reflect this.

Despite the gutting end to my season I can still feel proud coming out the back of it knowing the progress I have made on and off the pitch as a player will show next season.

MORE from Her Football Hub: