There was drama across the FA Women’s Championship as Liverpool leapfrogged Durham in front of a record-breaking crowd.
There was drama across the FA Women’s Championship as Liverpool leapfrogged Durham at the summit in front of a record-breaking crowd.
The defeat sees Durham drop down to third below London City Lionesses while in a goal-fest of a South London derby, Crystal Palace kept their promotion hopes alive with a nail-biting win against old foes Charlton Athletic.
Bristol City and Lewes battled it out for the performance of the weekend, recording impressive victories over Blackburn and Coventry United respectively.
Here’s how the action unfolded.
Liverpool leave it late
After a goalless opening hour between the two top sides in the league, Leanne Kiernan and Taylor Hinds scored to put Liverpool in pole position in the FA Women’s Championship.
Liverpool had form on their side coming into the contest, but Durham had a record-breaking league home crowd behind them.
But it was Matt Beard’s side who took the early initiative, and they could have scored were it not for Durham defender Abby Holmes, who was forced to make a superb clearance to keep the scores level early in the first half.
With an hour gone, it looked as if the game would be decided by either a moment of misfortune or a moment of sublime brilliance.
Sadly, on this occasion, it was the former as Liverpool’s Sarah Robson whipped a ball into the box, which Megan Borthwick misread, giving Kiernan an easy opportunity to put Liverpool ahead.
With the score at 1-0, the game opened up, and Durham pressed hard for an equaliser, but it was the team from Merseyside who would get the second goal and kill the game.
With just 11 minutes remaining, Hinds found some space at the back post and headed in the decisive goal.
South London is red and blue
South London is red and blue after Crystal Palace triumphed in an exciting five-goal thriller against Charlton Athletic at Hayes Lane.
The 3-2 win came after a sublime first-half performance from the Eagles, which began with a goal from Palace’s Millie Farrow.
Kirsty Barton made it 2-0 before the break to cap an excellent half for Palace, but The Addicks came storming back after the break.
And they got their reward from a well-worked free-kick after an excellent start to the second period, with Hollie Olding smashing home close range.
However, Farrow capitalised on some sloppy defensive play at the back from Charlton to grab her second and restore Palace’s two-goal lead.
But the game was far from over, and at the start of stoppage time, Jessica King made Palace sweat when she reduced the deficit to one with plenty of time left to play.
It wasn’t to be, and Palace escaped with all the points and with their hopes of promotion to the FA Women’s Super League boosted.
Lionesses pounce on second place
Amy Rodgers scored in the 65th minute to give London City Lionesses a very closely-fought 1-0 win against Sheffield United.
The Blades were suffering from poor form heading into this one, and it showed in a tight first half where United failed to convert their chances.
Shae Yanez saved Courtney Sweetman-Kirk’s header after 12 minutes, and five minutes later, Bex Rayner also came close, but she could not control her volley.
The Lionesses also had their share of chances, but they’d have to wait until the 65th minute to break the deadlock.
The goal was typical of the game it was scored in, with Rodgers smashing the ball home after a goalmouth scramble after a corner.
Jess Clarke went close for Sheffield United but couldn’t find the back of the net as time ticked away.
United’s last chance of the game fell to Charlotte Newsom, but she failed to beat Shae Yanez in the Lionesses’ goal.
Bristol City celebrate homecoming in style
Bristol City made it three without defeat thanks to a 3-0 win at home against Blackburn.
The 5000-strong crowd celebrated City’s return to Ashton Gate in style thanks to a double from Abi Harrison and a goal from Aggie Beever-Jones.
Harrison’s first came after her cross was deflected into her own net by Rovers’ defender Helen Seed.
Her second came from a rebound when she tapped in Beever-Jones’s saved strike.
City’s third came when Beever-Jones got the goal she deserved after dribbling through the Blackburn defence.
Lewes score direct from a corner
Lewes put Coventry United to the sword in a 4-1 win that ended a run of two consecutive defeats.
It was 1-1 at half-time after goals from Lucy Ashworth-Clifford, and Katie Wilkinson left the two sides neck and neck heading into the break.
However, Paula Howells’ stunning strike seven minutes into the second half and Ashworth-Clifford’s second, followed by Ini Umotong’s late strike, sealed all three points for Lewes.
Lewes took the lead against the run of play when Ashworth-Clifford took a corner that went directly in over Coventry keeper Olivia Clark.
Wilkinson equalised, but after the break, Howells’ stunning long-range effort handed the home side the lead in the 52nd minute.
And Umotong showed incredible composure to slot home and kill the game coolly.
Black Cats bag point on the road
Sunderland took a point back to the north east after a 1-1 draw against struggling Watford.
Leanne Bell’s deflected curling strike cancelled out Keira Ramshaw’s early header shortly after the start of the second half.
After going 1-0 down, Watford could have scored when Amber-Keegan Stobbs fired a curling a shot just over and when Emma Beckett could not keep her header down.
Then Bell’s curling strike was deflected, deceiving Allison Cowling to go in at her near post.
Both sides had chances to win it, but the score remained 1-1 and the spoils were shared.