Women’s Super League football returned after the most recent international break – and Manchester City’s unstoppable march to the WSL1 title continued as they beat a resilient Reading 2-0.
Jane Ross gave them the advantage, before captain Steph Houghton’s free-kick wrapped things up two minutes from time – and the crowd at the Academy Stadium included Vincent Kompany, there before the men’s team took on West Ham United.
Four goals in half an hour meant that Chelsea kept within touching distance of the league leaders – opponents Birmingham City could not deal with the pace and guile of old girls Eniola Aluko and Karen Carney who scored the first two, and Gemma Davison and Ji So Yun added two more all before the break.
Asisat Oshoala opened the scoring for Arsenal against Notts County at Meadow Lane – and then the visitors had goalkeeper Emma Byrne sent off on the hour for a foul on Ellen White.
Hosts County couldn’t make their player advantage count, though – and it was their own keeper Megan Walsh who sealed the Gunners’ win with an own goal, dropping the ball into her own net.
Doncaster Belles remain rooted to the bottom of the league without a point on the board, and Liverpool were the latest to take three points from them thanks to a single Natasha Harding goal.
In WSL2, London Bees prepared for their Continental Cup semi-final against Birmingham with a 2-1 win over dogged Aston Villa.
Evie Clarke and Jo Wilson combined well up front and got a goal apiece before Beth Merrick scored a spectacular consolation, a last-minute lob over the head of Bethan Davies.
Debutant Lucy Quinn scored to claw back a point for league leaders Yeovil against Sheffield. They had taken the lead through the ever-reliable Jodie Michalska and after taking a while to find their feet after stepping up from the Women’s Premier League now truly look comfortable in WSL2.
Everton stayed on course for a promotion push, secure in third place with a game in hand, as loanee Chloe Kelly scored a ninth-minute penalty to see them past rivals Bristol City.
Fourth-placed Durham made it three games on the bounce against Oxford United, with first-half goals from Beth Hepple and Jordan Atkinson enough to fend off a late fightback and strike from Ella Franklin-Fraiture.
And two teams having troubled seasons met at Berkhamsted, with Millwall Lionesses coming out on top against Watford.
England youth international Lucy Loomes scored what she later described as one of the most important goals of her career to grab the victory after Ashlee Hincks’ first-half goal had been levelled out by Anne-Laure Davy.
*Carrie Dunn is SHOOT’s Women’s Football correspondent. Her book ‘The Roar of the Lionesses: Women’s Football in England’ is out now – available in all good bookshops.*