Bristol City hit five as promotion and title loom

Victory for The Robins and defeat for nearest rivals London City Lionesses mean that they are closing on on promotion to the Barclays Women’s Super League.

The Barclays FA Women’s Championship title race took a potentially decisive turn on Sunday, with league leaders Bristol City easing their way to three points and main rivals London City Lionesses tasting defeat.

Elsewhere, Birmingham edged a six-goal thriller against Crystal Palace while Sheffield United put four past Coventry United.

And there were also wins for Charlton Athletic and Lewes on a busy day of action.

Five-star Bristol City down Sunderland

Bristol City demonstrated their title credentials as they recorded a resounding 5-0 win at Sunderland in the Barclays Women’s Championship.

Shania Hayles handed the visitors a deserved lead in the 35th minute with a rebound after Claudia Moan produced a superb save to deny Brooke Aspin.

And it was two just five minutes later as the Robins’ number nine latched onto a through ball from Grace Clinton and netted her 11th of the season.

The Robins snuffed out any momentum the Lasses had in the 62nd minute when Ella Powell marked her 50th City appearance by guiding the ball into the bottom corner via the post.

Jazz Bull grabbed a fourth in the 87th minute before Abi Harrison wrapped up the win in stoppage time – the league leaders now need four points from their final two games to achieve promotion.

Southampton wound Lionesses with late winner

Katie Wilkinson struck what could turn out to be a fatal blow to London City Lionesses’ promotion ambitions as Southampton ran out 1-0 winners at St Mary’s.

Wilkinson’s late winner means the visitors are now six points behind table-topping Bristol City with just two games remaining, while the leaders also have a superior goal difference.

After an end-to-end contest where both teams had their chances, Wilkinson latched onto a loose ball with seven minutes to go and fired into the roof of the net.

A final throw of the dice saw Lionesses make four substitutions in their quest for an equaliser, but they could not find one.

Stylish Blades see off Coventry United

Sophie Haywood’s first Sheffield United goals set the Blades on their way to a comfortable 4-0 win at relegated Coventry United.

The former Aston Villa striker has endured a frustrating campaign in front of goal since her summer switch but opened her account on 27 minutes at Butts Park Arena.

And like London buses, one quickly became two as she picked out the corner following a fine run to double the lead six minutes before the break.

The result was put beyond doubt five minutes after the interval when the in-form Mia Enderby, who had seen a first-half effort disallowed, tapped home from Courtney Sweetman-Kirk’s pass, before Sweetman-Kirk herself struck late on.

Birmingham edge Palace in six-goal battle

Claudia Walker scored twice as Birmingham City beat Crystal Palace 4-2 in the Barclays Women’s Championship to keep their faint promotion hopes alive.

Jade Pennock took her tally for the season to 11, firing into the bottom corner on the counterattack in the ninth minute.

Walker doubled her side’s lead just two minutes later, converting the rebound after her initial effort collided against the post, before Lucy Quinn made it 3-0 in the 15th minute.

Coral-Jade Haines and Molly-Mae Sharpe pulled two back for Palace, but Walker’s second sealed victory for the Blues.

Charlton ease past Durham

Melissa Johnson and Angela Addison struck as Charlton Athletic beat Durham 2-0 to stay third in the table.

The Addicks held a slender lead at half time thanks to Johnson, who scored from the penalty spot inside the opening 20 minutes of play.

However Durham had missed early chances to take the lead, though Beth Hepple and Lily Crosthwaite in the opening seven minutes.

Charlton later controlled proceedings and Addison’s strike midway through the second half sealed three points for the hosts, who sit fourth in the table ahead of the final two matches of the season.

Howells’ strike helps Lewes beat Blackburn

Paula Howells’ sensational second half strike inspired Lewes to a 1-0 win over Blackburn Rovers in the Barclays Women’s Championship.

The Rooks had been frustrated by a stubborn Rovers defence and excellent goalkeeping from Shanell Salgado, seeing multiple chances saved in the opening 45 minutes before Howells broke the deadlock with a powerful strike from outside the box that nestled in the top corner.

In a game in which Rovers created very little themselves, a goal always seemed like it would be enough for Lewes to claim all three points and there was little sign of a response from the away side.

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