Barnsley Women’s FC thrashed Bradford City 5-1 in the FA Cup on Sunday then won 2-1 at Leeds United on Wednesday to go four points clear at the top of Division One North in the National Women’s League.
They have drawn one and won eight of their nine matches this season, including their last five, and are in the only promotion position into the third tier. Manager Chris Hamilton, although he grew up in Scotland, was born in Germany like Daniel Stendel who left his job as the men’s team’s head coach this week.
Hamilton said: “He was always great whenever I spoke to him and asked how the women’s team was going. He seemed a really good guy who the Barnsley fans loved and I don’t think they are too happy that he has gone.
"It’s a real shame to see him go after all the hard work that was done last season. We really want them to stay in the Championship, and we want to get to that level in the women’s game – to have two Barnsley teams at that level would be great.”
Leeds were 1-0 up at half-time but Barnsley scored twice soon after the interval with Lissa Woodhouse levelling before Laura Bartup smashed in a long-range free-kick on her full debut. Hamilton said: “It was a massive win. We could have played better in the first half and we had a chat at half-time and the girls responded really well.
"To come from behind in a local derby away from home against one of our title rivals shows the character and the quality we have. It’s going to be very close all season but we have got ourselves in front now and we just want to keep ticking the wins off to stay there.”
Against Bradford on Sunday, the Reds scored four goals in the first half. Kath Smith opened the scoring with a fine 25-yard drive into the bottom corner then Amy Woodrow scored twice before Woodhouse made it 4-0 at the break.
The hosts pulled one back in the second half but Sophie Bell headed in the fifth. The Reds are now due to host Sunderland in the FAWNL League Cup on Sunday.
Hamilton said: “Sunderland are top of the league above us which is where we want to be in the future. It will be a good gauge for us.”