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Sunderland close in on leaders
 Women's Football News 16 Mar 2009
 
Sunderland close in on leaders - 16 Mar 2009 - Women's Football NewsSunderland reduced the gap on Northern Division leaders OOH Lincoln to three points, with four games in hand, as they ran out 5-0 winners over Preston North End.
 
Sunderland never looked back following a flying start which saw Lucy Staniforth and Natalie Gutteridge put them two ahead inside the opening eight minutes, with Kelly McDougall netting a third via a penalty just after the half hour. After the break, McDougall completed her double and Nicola Devine rounded off the scoring to give Sunderland the perfect send-off ahead of their F.A.Women's Cup semi final against Chelsea next Sunday.
 
It was not a good day for the teams trying to chase Lincoln and Sunderland as none of them managed to record a victory. Third placed Newcastle Utd and Manchester City battled out a 1-1 draw in which Melanie Reay gave Newcastle the lead on the stroke of half time and Krystle Johnston netted a leveller for City with fifteen minutes remaining.
 
Leicester City's recent winning run was halted as they were held to a goalless draw by Curzon Ashton, a result which keeps Leicester in fourth place while Curzon extended the gap between themselves and the bottom two to eight points.
 
Reading FC Women boosted their chances of a top half finish when they defeated Tranmere Rovers 6-1. Natasha Caswell opened the scoring on the half hour and Jen Osmond doubled the lead before half time. Osmond netted a second and Emma Pearmine also scored before Lindsey Smith pulled a goal back for Tranmere. Rachel Fell soon restored the four-goal advantage and Caswell completed her brace to round off the scoring for Reading.
 
Sheffield Wednesday gave their survival hopes a huge shot in the arm with a vital 4-2 win away to high riding Aston Villa. Beth Gingell gave the Owls a tenth minute lead which was doubled by Leanne De Silva, which Tanya Rich netting twice early in the second half. Villa staged a late rally with Kelly Saggs bagging a brace but the win has taken Wednesday four points clear of danger.

 
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