17.12.2023

Birmingham soar to Barclays Women’s Championship summit ahead of Christmas break

Birmingham City will spend Christmas at the top of the Barclays Women’s Championship tree after leapfrogging fellow high-flyers Sunderland with a statement 3-0 win at Eppleton.

Lily Agg, Jade Moore and a deflected Choe Yu-ri effort helped Darren Carter’s red-hot Blues soar to an emphatic sixth consecutive triumph in the north-east.

And that saw City climb above the Lady Black Cats, Charlton Athletic, Crystal Palace and Southampton to reach the Championship summit after the Addicks, Eagles and Saints also all dropped points on Sunday.

Birmingham required just over 10 minutes to seize the lead when Agg celebrated her 30th birthday in style by firing into the corner past Sunderland goalkeeper Claudia Moan.

Blues doubled their advantage just after the hour mark when Korean star Choe’s cross was deflected in by Brianna Westrup, before Moore latched onto Remi Allen’s pass to coolly slot home and send Carter’s side into the festive break on a high.

Lionesses roar to dramatic second-half comeback

Lucy Fitzgerald’s dramatic late leveller salvaged London City Lionesses a precious point at fellow strugglers Watford.

The Hornets had raced into a stunning 3-0 lead within the first 10 minutes as Michelle Agyemang’s double and a Paige Culver own goal left the visitors with a mountain to climb.

But Lois Joel pulled one back just before the break to keep the Lionesses in it at Grosvenor Vale.

Chantelle Boye-Hlorkah grabbed their second to set up a nerve-jangling finale before Fitzgerald remarkably struck at the death to dash Watford’s hopes of just a second Championship win of the season.

High-flying Addicks stage stirring late show

Sheffield United were denied a statement victory at the death as high-flying Charlton fought back from two goals down to earn a point at Bramall Lane.

A clever Jodie Hutton free-kick and calm Ash Hodson finish in the first half gave the Blades hope of a win but the Addicks rallied late on.

Karen Hill’s visitors, who were top of the league before the match, responded during the second half as an Angela Addison tap-in on the hour mark and Kiera Skeels’ 97th minute wonder-strike saved their 10-match unbeaten run.

Royals’ tough run continues as Palace lose ground

Reading’s winless Barclays Women’s Championship run continued with a 1-1 draw against Crystal Palace at the Select Car Leasing Stadium.

Lauren Wade’s second-half leveller earned the hosts a point after in-form Elise Hughes had put Palace ahead.

The result stretches the Royals’ recent winless streak to five league matches, now sitting just four points clear of the relegation zone heading into the festive hiatus.

While for Palace, they currently lie fourth in the table on a day where four of the league’s top five teams all dropped points.

Durham defeat Saints to end calendar year in style

Amy Andrews’ last-gasp strike saw Durham end 2023 on a high as they defeated Southampton 1-0 at Maiden Castle.

Saints arrived knowing a win could have seen them go top of the tree at Christmas but the hosts were first to threaten as Saoirse Noonan’s attempted chip over visiting goalkeeper Beth Howard landed wide within three minutes.

Alice Griffiths headed straight at Tatiana Saunders at the other end as a first half short of clear-cut chances ended all square.

But the breakthrough finally came when Lily Crosthwaite played in Andrews, who kept her composure to dink a fine finish past Howard.

Blackburn and Lewes clash postponed

Elsewhere, Lewes’ scheduled trip to Blackburn Rovers will be played at a later date owing to the visitors’ postponed Adobe Women’s FA Cup clash at Ipswich Town, where the FA Women’s National League Southern Premier Division side secured a surprise 3-0 victory on Sunday.

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