04.02.2024

Reading halt high flying Sunderland in Barclays Women’s Championship

Madison Perry fired Reading to their first Barclays Women’s Championship win since October with a 1-0 victory over Sunderland.

The ninth-placed team halted high flying Sunderland’s efforts to catch table-toppers Charlton Athletic as Karen Hill’s side were held to a shock 1-1 draw against bottom of the table Lewes.

Watford toppled in-form Birmingham City 2-0 in a shock victory of the season as Crystal Palace moved up to third overall with a 2-1 win over Southampton.

Elsewhere, Blackburn Rovers held on for a three points against London City Lionesses as Sheffield United dominated Durham 5-2.

Reading make use of 10-man Sunderland

Madison Perry’s second-half strike gave Reading a crucial 1-0 win against 10-player Sunderland.

The hosts had the best of the opening exchanges at the Select Car Leasing Stadium as Charlie Estcourt’s effort from the edge of the box dipped just over the bar.

Louise Griffiths saw red with 10 minutes of the first half still to play as she was sent off for pulling the hair of Bethan Roberts.

With seconds of the first half remaining, Sunderland shot-stopper Claudia Moan was called into action for the first time as she produced an incredible triple save.

Eventually, the player advantage told as Perry benefited from Sunderland’s failure to clear a ball into the box as she fired into the far corner.

Lewes hold table-toppers Charlton to a draw

Aimee Jessica Claypole first-half heroics helped bottom of the table Lewes to a 1-1 draw against Championship leaders Charlton.

The teenage forward handed her team the lead on the 43rd minute before Tegan McGowan’s late reply made it one point apiece with just 11 minutes of normal time remaining.

Claypole opened the scoring on 43 minutes with her first goal for the club, teed up on the edge of the box and firing home with her left foot into the bottom corner.

The second half was testing for both sides, Lewes desperate to hold onto their lead and putting their bodies on the line for it as they denied Freda Ayisi a goal.

But the leveller soon came as McGowan headed home to grab her side one point and keep their place at the top of the Championship table.

Agyemang fires Watford to shock triumph 

Super sub Michelle Agyemang’s brace fired Watford to a shock 2-0 victory over in-form Birmingham City.

Clinical finishing from Agyemang paved the way for an almighty upset as the Blues went down to a first league defeat in 11 games, winning the last seven of those on the spin.

Darren Carter’s visitors had the best of the first half in Hertfordshire, with Watford keeper Safia Middleton-Patel twice making sharp saves from Claudia Walker.

The Blues remained on top in the second half and should have led after a goalmouth scramble that saw both Ellie Mason and Gemma Lawley have efforts cleared off the line.

Just four minutes after her introduction, Agyemang punished their profligacy when she stole possession, caried the ball into the box and finished with aplomb.

Agyemang’s pace made the difference again ten minutes later when she latched onto a through ball and fired home to seal the spoils.

Crystal Palace leap up to third in table

Crystal Palace jumped to third in the table with a 2-1 win over Southampton at St Marys.

Laura Kaminski’s side leapfrogged their opposition to put themselves just two points shy of table toppers Charlton.

Isibeal Atkinson and Elise Hughes were the first-half heroes for the visitors before Lucia Kendall pulled one back after the break.

Atkinson got the ball rolling in the 22nd minute, teed up by Annabel Blanchard and slotting the ball into the bottom right corner to put her team ahead, Hughes doubling their lead just before the break.

Play restarted with Southampton looking for a way back, and Kendall finally found the opportunity on 76 minutes, on the receiving end of a Paige Peake free-kick and poking the ball home.

Goodwin claims hat-trick in 5-2 win

Isobel Goodwin’s hat-trick helped Sheffield United end a turbulent week on a winning note as they came from two goals down to beat Durham 5-2.

Goodwin scored two penalties and struck deep into second-half injury time to earn the Blades maximum points in the north-east.

The visitors made a nightmare start as Amy Andrews held off her defender to slot past Fran Stenson on ten minutes before Beth Hepple doubled the home side’s lead.

The Blades were shocked into action and Tara Bourne halved the deficit with a header, Goodwin levelling terms just before half-time when she fired home from the spot after Bourne was fouled in the box.

Jess Sigsworth gave her side the lead by converting a breakaway and Goodwin completed the turnaround with her second spot-kick of the game and clinching her hat-trick in the final moments of play.

Blackburn Rovers hold on for victory

Lucy Shepherd handed Blackburn Rovers a 1-0 win over London City Lionesses.

The forward leapt up the left side for her solo score in the 41st minute, comfortably firing past the gloves of Grace Moloney and into the far corner to give her team the lead.

The second half opened with a feisty contest, Shepherd taken down inside the box leading to a penalty in favour of the visitors. But Katie Bradley was unable to make it count and double their lead.

The Lionesses fought back in the closing stages with a brilliant shot from Lois Joel in the 78th minute denied by a leaping save across goal by Alexandra Brooks.

London team almost equalised in the final moments as Lucy Fitzgerald poked the ball home but was ultimately denied by the referee’s flag.

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