Sunderland and Palace drop points in Barclay’s Women’s Championship

It was a weekend of upsets in the Barclays Women’s Championship as top two Sunderland and Crystal Palace both dropped points.
Sunderland fell foul of a stunning strike from London City Lionesses’ Ruesha Littlejohn, while Palace conceded two second half goals at Bramall Lane to lose 2-0 against Sheffield United.
Southampton and Charlton Athletic are now level on points with Crystal Palace thanks to wins on Sunday afternoon as the race for promotion tightened even further.
Elsewhere, Lewes took another step toward safety thanks to beating relegation rivals Watford and Birmingham City played out a goalless draw with Blackburn Rovers.
Littlejohn stuns league leaders
Sunderland will be nervously looking over their shoulders as their promotion credentials took a blow with a 1-0 defeat to London City Lionesses.
Mel Reay’s team were left stunned as Ruesha Littlejohn curled home what proved to be the winner after 25 minutes.

Chances would come for The Lasses, Liz Ejupi pulled a shot wide early in the second half, while and Jess Brown saw a late effort saved by Grace Moloney but they failed to find a way through at Princes Park.
London City move up to ninth in the Barclays Women’s Championship table with their win, leapfrogging Reading, who are now just two points above the relegation places.
After spurning a chance to make the most of Crystal Palace’s defeat, Sunderland will be hoping to get back to winning ways in a weeks’ time when they take on Durham in a local derby.
Palace drop points away to Sheffield United
Crystal Palace remain a point behind leaders Sunderland after succumbing to a 2-0 loss to Sheffield United at Bramall Lane.
The Blades won the game thanks to second half strikes from Rachel Brown and Isobel Goodwin after there was little to choose between the two sides in the first half.
Growing in confidence as the second half drew on, Brown opened the scoring in the 66th minute after directing the ball off the post following a corner kick.
Goodwin confirmed her team’s victory 20 minutes later with her 12th goal of the season, rising highest to nod Jodie Hutton’s delivery into the back of the net.
Luke Turner’s team now find themselves sixth in the Championship table after ending the Eagles’ three-match winning streak.
Five-star Southampton move to third
Marieanne Spacey-Cale’s Southampton enjoyed a dominant performance against Reading to register a 5-0 win.
The Saints’ efforts mean that they join Crystal Palace and Charlton on 33 points in the Barclays Women’s Championship table and are only one point behind leaders Sunderland.

There points for the home side were guaranteed by half-time thanks to a Katie Wilkinson brace and Ella Morris goal.
There was also a double for Sophia Pharaoh in the second half as Southampton dominated at St Mary’s.
Defeat for Reading means that Liam Gilbert’s team are just two points from safety.
Lewes take step towards safety
A Grace Riglar double helped Lewes beat relegation rivals Watford 2-1 in a major boost as to their survival hopes.
Scott Booth’s side are now just two points away from Reading and safety in the second tier, while the Golden Girls remain bottom, six points adrift.
Starting quickly at the Dripping Pan, Lewes’ Maria Farrugia had a goal disallowed for offside in the opening exchanges, but the home side soon had their reward.
Farrugia combined with Aimee Claypole to set up Riglar for her first in the 16th minute, before the defender added her second of the game on the stroke of half-time.
Watford did claw a goal back in the second half through Carly Johns but were ultimately unable to rescue a point.
Charlton get back to winning ways in Durham
Charlton Athletic claimed their first win since January with a 1-0 win over Durham to kickstart their hunt for promotion.
A sixth minute strike from Elisha N’dow proved to be the difference between the clubs, as the Addicks returned to the capital with a much-needed three points.
There were plenty of chances for both teams over the 90 minutes, with Durham left to rue missed opportunities as Becky Salicki and Amy Andrews failed to take their chances.

The Addicks could well have added to their first half goal too, with Melisa Filis, Kayleigh Barton and Kate Longhurst all unable to put the ball past Naoisha McAoon.
But the Addicks did enough for victory at Maiden Castle to keep pace in the hunt for promotion.
Birmingham City and Blackburn Rovers share the spoils
There was nothing to separate Birmingham City and Blackburn Rovers as the clubs played out a goalless draw.
Blues will be the most frustrated of the two sides as they saw their shots towards goals consistently thwarted by Rovers goalkeeper Alexandra Brooks.
In the first half Louise Quinn hit the crossbar twice as the hosts looked to push themselves towards top spot.
In the second half Jade Moore, Charlie Devlin, and Lily Agg all saw shots collected by Brooks, the former Blue in monumental form to keep the scores level.
Rovers could well have nicked the game late on if Lauren Thomas and Chloe Williams had combined to more devastating effect.

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