Southampton and Charlton lose ground in Barclays Women’s Championship title race

Southampton and Charlton were the latest teams to blink in the remarkable Barclays Women’s Championship title race.

Saints lost at Blackburn and Charlton were stunned by two last-gasp goals from London City Lionesses as the battle for promotion took yet another twist.

Meanwhile, the top two both won and Sheffield United romped past Reading 5-1.

Leaders steal a march

Eight goals were scored in the River Wear derby at Eppleton Colliery as table-toppers Sunderland downed Durham 5-3.

Emily Scarr’s 32nd-minute opener started the goalfest and Mary McAteer soon got in on the act by glancing home Jenna Dear’s cross seven minutes later.

Durham instantly halved the deficit through Mollie Lambert and the equaliser arrived just before the hour mark, Lambert keeping her cool to convert Lily Crosthwaite’s through ball.

Durham hit back once more on 72 minutes courtesy of a moment of magic from Beth Hepple, who picked out the top corner with a free-kick but the visitors were level for just three minutes as Jenna Dear responded with a stylish finish into the corner to restore Sunderland’s lead.

The breathless action continued as the hosts extended their advantage, substitute Katy Watson slotting home following Katie Kitching’s pass to open up a decisive two-goal cushion.

Palace prove too Sharpe

Crystal Palace restricted Sunderland’s lead at the summit to a single point with a clinical 3-0 victory over bottom side Watford.

Molly-Mae Sharpe smashed in a rebound to give the hosts an early lead at Selhurst Park with Ria Percival curling home a sumptuous second from 25 yards.

More good work from Elise Hughes saw her effort cleared off the line but Annabel Blanchard nodded home the rebound from close range to make sure of the spoils.

Hornby nicks victory

Southampton lost ground at the top of the table with a disappointing 2-1 defeat at Blackburn.

Meg Hornby struck twice in the first 10 minutes to give the hosts a dream start – the second a particularly impressive effort as she finished off a mazy run with a calm finish.

Molly Pike found the bottom corner late in the first half and Saints poured on the pressure in the second half but couldn’t find a way through.

Late show for Lionesses

A late show from London City Lionesses saw them make it three league wins in a row and dent rivals Charlton’s promotion chances.

The Addicks led on five minutes when they won possession deep in Lionesses territory and Mel Filis found the roof of the net.

Lotta Lindstrom rose highest to nod home an equaliser in the final minute of normal time before Chantelle Boye-Hlorkah converted a one-on-one to seal victory deep in added time.

Blues better Lewes

Goals from Charlie Devlin and Claudia Walker saw Birmingham City to a confident 2-0 win over Lewes.

Charlie Devlin struck the post in the early stages but got the goal her play deserved when she sidefooted a volley into the corner from the edge of the area on 23 minutes.

City put a seal on the result when Walker turned home a second just after the restart, with Darren Carter’s side earning back-to-back wins to stay in touch with the promotion race.

Blades put Royals to sword

A clinical second-half performance helped Sheffield United thrash Reading 5-1 and make it five wins on the spin.

The Blades looked to be cruising thanks to an early own goal and Tara Bourne’s strike but Madison Perry halved the deficit on 62 minutes to threaten a comeback.

Isobel Goodwin struck twice inside four minutes as the hosts stretched clear with Rebecca Rayner adding sheen to the scoreline late on.

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