Addicks go top as Sunderland’s unbeaten run ends

The Barclays Women’s Championship has new leaders following an action-packed weekend.

Charlton Athletic now occupy the summit following a 2-0 win at Southampton which sees them sit ahead of Sunderland on goals scored after the previous leaders saw their unbeaten start to the season ended by Blackburn.

Elsewhere, there were wins for Crystal Palace, Birmingham and Durham while Reading and Watford shared the spoils.

Second half show takes Charlton top

Goals from Kayleigh Green and Melissa Johnson earned Charlton a hard-fought three points at Southampton.

The visitors had to ride their luck early on at St Mary’s, Katie Wilkinson seeing a long-range effort strike the post.

Sian Rogers was called into action before the break to keep out Molly Pike and Charlton made the hosts pay for their missed chances when Green headed home from a free-kick on 47 minutes.

Johnson then made the points safe in injury time, rounding the goalkeeper and slotting home.

Ferguson makes the difference

Sunderland’s unbeaten Barclays Women’s Championship run came to an end as they suffered a 1-0 defeat to Blackburn Rovers at Eppleton Colliery. 

Chelsea Ferguson scrambled the ball over the line in the 57th minute, only the fifth goal Sunderland have conceded all season.

The visitors held onto their lead despite losing manager Simon Parker on the touchline after he was sent off in the second half. 

Liz Ejupi and Mary McAteer both came close for the hosts before Emily Scarr fired their final chance over the bar.

Palace battle back to beat Lewes

Lewes let an early lead slip as they went down 3-2 against high-flying Crystal Palace at the VBS Community Stadium.

The Rooks struck first through a coolly taken Sarah Brasero-Carreira finish before Shanade Hopcroft brilliantly levelled from outside the box.

Lexi Potter and Molly-Mae Sharpe established a cushion for Palace after the break to condemn Lewes to their eighth loss in 10 games despite Reanna Blades pulling one back in injury time.

Watford pick up valuable point

Watford are now a point clear of Lewes at the foot of the table following a goalless draw at Reading.

The hosts came into the match having been beaten in each of their last three outings but began the game on top, with Tia Primmer and Rachel Dugdale both denied by visiting goalkeeper Jacqui Goldsmid in the space of five first-half minutes.

Primmer saw two more efforts well saved either side of half time while Lucia Leon saw a close-range effort blocked for the visitors midway through the second period as the game ended honours even.

Ryan-Doyle wins it for Durham

Eleanor Ryan-Doyle’s early strike was enough to secure all three points for Durham at Sheffield United.

The visitors hit the front when Dee Bradley played a through-ball which Saoirse Noonan left for compatriot Ryan-Doyle. One-on-one with the keeper, she made no mistake to break the deadlock. 

Mollie Lambert was then denied a second for Durham but they had to be attentive at the other end, with  Tatiana Saunders making a string of fine saves to frustrate United.

Blues hold on amid late drama

Gemma Lawley’s powerful header helped Birmingham City make it four wins on the spin as they got the better of London City Lionesses 1-0 in the Barclays Women’s Championship. 

It took just four minutes for the visitors to take the lead, Lawley rising highest after just four minutes, and that proved enough for all three points although there was late drama with a red card for Lionesses’ Emma Mukandi and a missed penalty for Lily Agg. 

Mukandi saw red for kicking out at Choe Yu-ri and in the aftermath, Birmingham won a penalty and had the chance to make the game safe, but Agg fired her spot-kick over the bar.

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