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Women's Football News
West Ham Utd came within three minutes of springing a surprise in the Premier League Cup when they drew 3-3 with Watford in their group match on Sunday.
Becky Merritt gave the Hammers a fourth minute lead but Watford hit back quickly with two goals in the following three minutes from Irene Martin Garcia and Jo Wilson. Merritt then levelled the scores just after the hour and Lindsey Morgan put the Hammers in front once again before a late strike from Renee Hector earned the Golden Girls a share of the spoils.
The other match in Group Five saw Barnet open up a lead of four points with a 2-1 success away to Tottenham Hotspur. All of the goals came in the second half, Jenny Kikomeko and Vicky Boardman putting Barnet two ahead before Derrie O'Halloran netted a late consolation for Spurs.
There was one other scare for a National Division side, in Group Four where Wolverhampton Wanderers and Manchester City battled out a thrilling 4-4 draw. Dani Selmes and Jamillah Palmer each bagged braces for Wolves, who led 3-0 at one stage, with City replying through Amanda Goodwin, Krystle Johnston, Sarah Buffel and Charlotte Farrell (see match report).
Blackburn Rovers meanwhile sit on top of the group following their 5-0 victory at Preston North End. Lagan Makin and Beth Donoghue ensured that Rovers were two ahead at half time with Donoghue scoring again early in the second half. Nichol Forster netted twice in the last ten minutes to round off a convincing win for Blackburn.
In Group One, Cardiff City Ladies took over the leadership with a narrow 3-2 win away to Reading FC Women. Natalie Lawrence scored twice and Kelly Aldridge the other for Cardiff, with Alice Palmer and Becky Jane replying for the home side.
Portsmouth recorded their first win in the other game, 2-1 against Queen's Park Rangers. After a Kaylee Edwards own goal had put Rangers ahead early on, the Southern Division held on to their lead until twenty minutes from time when Charley Wilson equalised from a corner. Four minutes from time, Jemma Tewkesbury marked her first appearance after recovering from a knee operation by grabbing the winner for Pompey from a Wilson cross.
Group Two is very tight with all of the top four teams level on points, now headed by Brighton & Hove Albion after they defeated local rivals Lewes 5-2. The teams had met seven days earlier in a league match which finished goalless but this time around, Brighton stormed into a three-goal lead in the opening half hour, Faye Rabson putting them in front before in-form Kim Stenning netted twice. Georgina Bridges and Naomi Cole scored either side of half time to bring Lewes back into the game but two goals in a minute from Amy Found and Tammy Waine sealed victory for the Seagulls.
Millwall Lionesses joined the pack of leaders by winning 3-2 away to Gillingham in the other game, courtesy of a second half fightback. The Gills had raced into a two-goal lead through Charlotte Gurr and Lauren Phillips but in the ten minute period after the break, Emma Whitter scored twice and Abigail Igbavboia the other to turn the match on its head.
Coventry City swept to the top of Group Three with a 3-0 victory over Leicester City. Helen Dermody opened the scoring for the Sky Blues eight minutes before half time and two goals in quick succession wrapped up the win, Callan Barber netting the second goal with Cheryl Edwards - on as a substitute moments earlier - also getting on the scoresheet.
A quite astonishing game at Derby County saw the home side boost their qualification hopes by beating Sporting Club Albion 7-5. Cara Newton and Sam Griffiths gave Derby a two-goal lead which was reduced just before half time by Ashleigh Neville. Lauren Cresswell made it three for Derby with Albion replying via a Hannah Baines own goal, before Griffiths and Hannah Ward put Derby in a firm position. The teams continued to exchange goals, Robyn James netting for Albion and Griffiths completing her hat-trick, Emily Owen pulling it back to 6-4 before Ward and James rounded off their respective doubles in injury time.
Last season's runners-up Leeds Utd are well on course for the knockout stages after storming to an 8-1 victory over Northern Division leaders Sheffield FC. Clare Sykes had a great day in front of goal, scoring four times and Danielle Sheen weighed in with a brace, while Carey Huegett and Rachel Lee added a goal apiece.
Nottingham Forest came from behind to record their first win, 3-1 away to Newcastle Utd. Charlotte Potts gave Newcastle the lead which they held until midway through the second half when substitute Megan Howard levelled for Forest and Aileen Whelan netted twice in the last ten minutes to give her side the points.
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