Birmingham City and Reading claim first BWC win of season

Libby Smith’s brace helped Birmingham City secure their first Barclays Women’s Championship win of the season with a 3-1 victory over high-flyers Southampton. 

Smith found the target inside the 12th minute at Snows Stadium when Christie Harrison-Murray played the forward in behind.

Harrison-Murray had a penalty saved but Smith scored again to double the scoreline in the 73rd minute before a Rosanna Parnell injury-time own goal made it three.

Southampton’s Emily Kraft scored a stoppage-time goal in the 97th minute but the 3-1 score remained firmly in Birmingham City’s favour.

League leaders Blackburn Rovers maintained their table-topping spot with a 2-0 win over Lewes.

A Georgia Walters second-half double set Rovers up for three points after Lewes held the visitors to a goalless opening half.

The home side rued missed chances at The Dripping Pan following an encouraging first-half display.

But a Walters’ 65th-minute goal followed by a penalty in quick succession secured a fourth win in Rovers’ opening five fixtures.

Royals’ winning ways on the road

Reading secured their first win of the season as second-half goals from Freya Gregory and Millie Elwood fired the side to a 2-0 victory over Durham.

Reading had picked up three points from their first four games, but they started faster at Maiden Castle, despite being unable to turn a succession of corners into a goal.

At the other end, Emily Orman was on hand to deny Saoirse Noonan on the stroke of half-time as Durham pushed for an opener.

Reading’s pressure told in the second half however, with Gregory, on her first start for the club, firing home a brilliant strike after being played into space by Halle Houssein.

On a fine counter-attack from deep, the ball eventually found its way to Elwood on the edge of the box, and the midfielder fired into the bottom corner to seal victory.

Sunderland mean business 

An unbeaten Sunderland side continued their Championship run with an exciting 2-1 victory over Watford.

First-half goals from Natasha Fenton and Mary McAteer sealed the deal early on for the hosts before Carly Johns hit back with a late score.

Mel Reay’s side didn’t leave anything to chance and immediately put themselves ahead after two minutes.

Fenton’s header connected with a Katie Kitching free kick, the midfielder’s effort looping over the head of Olivia Clark and into the back of the net for her first goal as a Black Cat.

Angela Addison and Carla Humphrey added to the weekend’s goal count as they helped secure Charlton Athletic a 2-0 win away at London City Lionesses.

Addison found the net in the 32nd minute before Humphrey converted just before half-time to increase the deficit.

Charlton’s win sees them sat fifth in the Championship whilst London City Lionesses are in eighth.

Sheffield United’s away fixture to Crystal Palace was postponed following the recent devastating news of the passing of Maddy Cusack.

Image: Cameron Howard – The FA/The FA via Getty Images

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