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Three teams are now contesting the two promotion spots in the Northern Division following Sunday's matches.
Manchester City hold on to the leadership but their advantage has been cut to a single point after they went down 2-1 to Coventry City, who are a further point adrift in third place. Lindsay Savage gave City a first half lead but the Sky Blues hit back to take the points through Callan Barber and Laura Dermody (see match report).
Aston Villa stepped up their challenge in second place as they recorded their tenth league victory in a row, 1-0 against Curzon Ashton. However Villa had to wait until the dying minutes until Emma Follis struck with the only goal of the game.
Leicester City kept their faint hopes alive with a 3-1 victory away to Preston North End, who remain in the bottom two. Leicester took the lead after ten minutes when Chloe Jones hit a splendid 30-yard shot into the top corner of the net after good build up play by Natalie Reay and Courtney Sweetman-Kirk. On 63 minutes, Preston pulled level as Vicky Charnley curled one home
from 20 yards. City restored their lead when Reay cut in from the wing to fire home and the game was wrapped up on 89 minutes, Natasha Meade outpacing the North End back line from just over the halfway line to slot home a fine goal.
Derby County got back to winning ways when beating Rochdale 3-2. Keeleigh Savage put Dale in front with Hannah Ward levelling five minutes before half time. After the break, Emily Jeffery gave Derby the lead and Ward netted her second just ahead of the hour mark. Savage reduced the arrears with fourteen minutes remaining but Derby held on to take the points.
Newcastle Utd picked up a vital 1-0 victory over Leeds City Vixens to give their survival hopes a huge boost. Beth Gardener scored the only goal of the game from the penalty spot in injury time to take the Magpies to within one point of the safety zone.
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