BARNSLEY FC women can secure their league title on Sunday with a draw, having won their last eight matches.

They took a huge step towards winning the North East Premier with a 5-1 victory at title rivals South Shields on Sunday. The Reds, with two games left, are still second on goal difference but leaders Spennymoor have finished their season. Title contenders Wallsend lost so Barnsley can win the league, and take the only promotion place into the fourth tier, if they draw at Wallsend on Sunday.

Even if they lose, they can clinch first place with a win at home to mid-table Wakefield on Wednesday.

The team, under the name Barnsley Ladies, were promoted last season before being officially taken over by the Oakwell club last summer.

Coach Jess Horsley said: “It would be absolutely massive if we did it.

“Last season was beyond what we thought would happen. Then for the club to back us and for us to have a chance of another promotion is fantastic. It’s beyond expectations.

“Julie Anne (Quay, part-owner of Barnsley FC) and some high people at the club wanted promotion at the start of the season but a lot of staff and players didn’t think it would happen this season.

“It’s achievable now and we’re in control of it. It’s in grasping distance but we still have work to do.

“We have won eight in a row and we want another two.

“We have been in a good position before then lost two in a row. We can’t do that again and mess the end of the season up. We just need a point but we want to get six points from the last two games.”

Fourth-placed Wallsend are five points behind the Reds. Horsley said: “Wallsend will be tough opposition.

“They had key players missing last weekend when they lost against Wakefield. If those players come back, it will be really difficult.

“They have played really well all season and had some great results.

“They have an extremely fast and clinical striker. If she’s playing, we need to be really careful.”

At South Shields, Alayna Millard and Maddison Foye bagged braces with Betty Cheetham also on target.

Horsley said: “We believed we could win but we definitely didn’t expect that scoreline. It was unbelievable.

“I have been saying for weeks that each game was our best performance but I think this definitely was. The last three goals were all chips over the goalkeeper from a long way out.”

After this week’s two league games, the Reds are due to play in their League Cup final on May 19.

If they go up, the Oakwell-based club will be in National League Division One North.

That is the same division as Barnsley Women’s FC who finished fourth after a 3-2 home win over Doncaster Belles on Sunday.

They raced into a 3-0 lead with goals by Rosie Axten, twice, and Charlotte Stuart.