Southampton go top of Barclays Women’s Championship

Southampton Women

Southampton rose to the summit of the Barclays Women’s Championship in style with a 4-1 victory away to Reading.

First half efforts from Molly Pike and Katie Wilkinson put the Saints in control before Atlanta Primus and Jemma Purfield sealed all three points.

Victory puts Saints top on goal difference ahead of Blackburn Rovers who also picked up a third win of the season, while Crystal Palace and Sunderland both remain unbeaten and a point behind after their draw.

There was also an important win for Durham, while Sheffield United and Charlton both tasted victory for the first time this term.

Saints go marching on

Southampton continued their strong start to the season with a comprehensive 4-1 victory over Reading that sent them top of the second tier.

Molly Pike put the Saints ahead early in the first half before Katie Wilkinson doubled the advantage from the spot before the break.

The Royals are still searching for their first win this season but pushed hard for a way back into the contest, with Charlie Wellings denied from halving the deficit by a last-ditch tackle by Paige Peake.

It proved an important intervention as Southampton put the game beyond doubt with 17 minutes to play as summer signing Atlanta Primus netted her first for the club.

The gloss was applied by Jemma Purfield who headed home a fourth before Charlie Estcourt grabbed a late consolation for the hosts.

Blades earn first win

Isobel Goodwin’s second half strike earned Sheffield United their first win of the season with a 1-0 victory over Lewes.

The Blades were on top from the start at Bramall Lane, with Bex Rayner heading wide from a Jodie Hutton corner.

Rayner then saw a curled effort saved by Sophie Whitehouse before Goodwin was also denied by the Lewes stopper at close range to ensure the game remained goalless at half-time.

Isobel Goodwin celebrates

Whitehouse was called into action again after the break as Ashley Hodson found space in the box before Goodwin finally broke the deadlock on 73 minutes with a slotted finish at the near post.

It proved enough for all three points for the hosts as Lewes remain in search of their first win of the season.

Wildcats bounce back with win

Amy Andrews was the hero for Durham as her late strike secured a 1-0 win over London City Lionesses.

A strong performance from Lionesses’ ‘keeper Grace Moloney looked to have earned the visitors a point only for Andrews to finally find a way through in the sixth minute of stoppage time.

It was the perfect response from Durham after they suffered a shock 9-1 defeat to Crystal Palace last weekend.

Durham celebrate their late winner

Andrews was a constant threat throughout and took just three minutes to force a good save from Moloney after excellent play down the right from Jess Clarke.

Clarke then saw an effort of her own flash wide before again teeing up Andrews, who was foiled again by Moloney.

But just as it looked like both sides would be made to settle for a point, Clarke and Andrews combined again before the latter smashed home the winner.

Richards sends Rovers second

Blackburn Rovers made it three wins from their opening four matches with a 1-0 win away at Watford.

Captain Jade Richards got the winner on the cusp of half-time, rising highest to head home from Megan Hornby’s corner.

The Golden Girls had started brightly, Richards in defensive action to block Sophie McLean’s shot before Carly Johns’ shot was well saved by Alex Brooks.

Richards then found the breakthrough for Rovers to send the visitors into the break ahead.

Lauren Thomas then had the chance to make it two on the hour, but Olivia Clark was on hand to deny her one-on-one.

But Richards’ effort proved enough as Rovers stood strong to take all three points back up north.

Sunderland score late to earn draw

Brianna Westrup scored late to earn Sunderland a 1-1 draw against Crystal Palace.

Elise Hughes had put the Eagles in front early on with her sixth goal of the season after just eight minutes as Palace continued their unbeaten start to the season.

But Westrup popped up late on to head home Natasha Fenton’s free-kick and ensure a share of the spoils remained on Wearside.

Palace scored nine last weekend and continued their free-scoring form as Hughes headed home Annabel Blanchard’s cross but then struggled to break down the Sunderland defence any further.

Instead, it was the hosts who looked the more dangerous with Katie Kitching a constant threat, while Jenna Dear and Liz Ejupi both went close.

And Sunderland finally had their goal as Westrup headed home an equaliser at the death.

Addicks win away

Charlton Athletic notched their first three points of the season with a 1-0 win over Birmingham City.

Kayleigh Green’s penalty proved the difference between the sides, as Blues remain winless from their opening four matches.

A lively first half ultimately yielded few chances before the game came alive after the break.Birmingham ‘keeper Lucy Thomas brought down Green in the box on the hour and the striker converted from the spot.

Blues forward Jade Pennock then saw red just three minutes later to leave the hosts facing an uphill battle.

Ellie Mason came closest, forcing a save from Jessica Gray while Freya Godfrey struck the crossbar for the Addicks.

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