Date: 31st October 2016 at 11:49am
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Manchester City lifted the FA Women’s Super League 1 trophy and finished their domestic season unbeaten, drawing 1-1 with Birmingham City in their final match of the season.

Aoife Mannion opened the scoring for the visitors with a sixth-minute penalty, but Demi Stokes drew the champions level with a 54th minute screamer.

They will be joined in the Champions League by Chelsea once more, who beat Reading 3-2 with a brace from Eniola Aluko, plus one from Ana Borges, despite Lauren Bruton and Melissa Fletcher pegging them back.

Chelsea were also delighted to welcome back England striker Fran Kirby as a second-half substitute, returning after a lengthy absence through injury.

Fran Kirby England

A welcome return for England and Chelsea forward, Kirby.

Another Lioness on the comeback trail is Jodie Taylor, scoring two off the bench to give Arsenal a 2-0 win against bottom club Doncaster Belles. The Gunners still had a slim chance of Champions League football, but were pipped by the Chelsea result.

Sunderland and Notts County played out a 1-1 draw on Saturday evening, with Emma Kelly cancelling out Rachel Williams’ opener.

Joining WSL1 next year will be Yeovil and Bristol City, who both confirmed promotion this weekend – but the destination of the title goes right down to the wire next weekend.

Both teams are equal on points, but Yeovil have a better goal difference – improved even further by beating London Bees 2-0 with goals from Kayleigh Green and Nadia Lawrence.

Bristol City are pushing them, though, and won 3-2 in a thrillingly topsy-turvy game against Everton. Claudia Walker’s penalty opened the scoring for Everton, but a Claire Emslie brace plus a strike from Millie Farrow put City in front.

Danielle Turner then scrambled one home to give the Blue Girls a chance of a point – and they thought they would manage it when they were awarded their second penalty of the game in second-half injury time. This time, Caitlin Leach saved Walker’s spot-kick, guaranteeing City three points – and promotion.

Hannah Leach’s late goal grabbed Aston Villa a point against Millwall Lionesses at the Den as the visitors twice came from behind. Amber Gaylor and Megan Wynne were the goalscorers for the hosts, while Beth Merrick was first on the scoresheet for the Villainesses.

Sheffield confirmed their fifth-place finish in their debut WSL year by beating Oxford 2-1 thanks to captain Carla Ward and Rhema Lord-Mears, with Iniabasi Umotong grabbing a very late consolation.

Watford will finish bottom of WSL2 after a crushing 6-1 home defeat to Durham. Ellie Mason’s early penalty put the Golden Girls ahead, but the Wildcats fought back in the space of 35 minutes, with goals from Nat Gutteridge, Beth Hepple, Emily Roberts, Nicola Gibson (2) and Mercy Darkoah.

*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.*
Manchester City News

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