Manchester United Women celebration graphic

We're going up! United Women clinch promotion

Manchester United Women's incredible inaugural campaign has reaped its first reward - promotion to the FA Women's Super League.

The Reds made sure of a top-flight place for next season, with three games still to play, by beating Aston Villa Ladies 5-0 at Leigh Sports Village on Wednesday evening with goals from Millie Turner, Alex Greenwood (penalty), Jess Sigsworth, Ella Toone and Charlie Devlin.

While meetings with Crystal Palace at home, Millwall away and then Lewes at home remain, it was something of a fitting bookend that promotion was clinched against Villa, given they were the opponents when Casey Stoney's side played their historic first game in the FA Women's Championship back in September.

On that occasion, United Women posted an ominous warning to the rest of the division by winning 12-0; this time, the margin of victory wasn't quite the same chasm but the job was still done in emphatic fashion, much to the delight of the team's loyal 'Barmy Army' and the other home supporters in the stands at Leigh.

United Women celebrate Millie Turner's opening goal against Aston Villa Ladies
We're on our way! The Reds celebrate Millie Turner's opening goal against Aston Villa Ladies.
Leigh has been the scene of many a successful midweek night or Sunday afternoon for Stoney's team, with every fixture being won there except for one - a goalless draw with Durham Women, who were the only team to beat the Reds in the league, 3-1 in early December.

Tottenham Hotspur Ladies threatened at one stage to give United a serious race for the title but the Reds' ultimate superiority was underlined when goals from Katie Zelem (2), Mollie Green, Jess Sigsworth and Leah Galton secured a fantastic 5-1 away win over the second-placed side on 31 March.
That victory gave Stoney's side a four-point lead at the top and paved the way for promotion to be sealed after the international break with Villa's eagerly awaited visit. That opportunity was snapped up with aplomb and when the celebrations subside, the focus will swiftly switch to Saturday's home game against Crystal Palace Ladies and the chance to be crowned divisional champions.

Kick-off on Saturday will be at 12:00 BST, the game will again be shown live on MUTV and fans can roar the Reds towards the title by paying on the turnstiles at Leigh Sports Village.

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