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Gemma Bryan was the leading goalscorer in the Southern Division last season with 29 goals to her name and she is off and running again by netting five times for Crystal Palace in their 9-0 victory over Queen's Park Rangers.
Nikita Whinnett meanwhile contributed a hat-trick and Stef Simmons was also on target to help her side record the largest opening victory in the division.
Last season's runners-up Coventry Utd have made an ominous start this time around as they scored eight without reply away to Swindon Town. Alison Hall was again amongst the goals, netting four in total, Jade Brook weighed in with a brace and there was one apiece from Keeley Davies and Nikki Miles.
Charlton Athletic hit back after conceding an early goal to beat Lewes 6-1. Katie McIntyre put the Rookettes ahead in the seventh minute but a Kit Graham double, Charlotte Lee, Ellie Dorey, Charlotte Gurr and an own goal secured the win for the Addicks (see match report).
After a disappointing season by their standards, Portsmouth gave notice that they will be a lot stronger this time around as they defeated Cardiff City Ladies 4-1. Shannon Albuery and Natasha Stephens ensured that Pompey were two ahead after sixteen minutes, before a Jade Widdowson own goal brought Cardiff back into the game. Samantha Quayle restored the two-goal advantage just before half time and Molly Clark rounded off the scoring with the fourth late on.
The two newly promoted teams experienced mixed fortunes with Gillingham enjoying a winning return to the top flight against West Ham Utd. Kallie Balfour grabbed the only goal of the game for the Gills, two minutes from time.
Chichester City meanwhile went down to a 2-0 defeat away to C & K Basildon. April Bowers and Danica Revell scored the goals for C & K to inflict a first league defeat on Chichester since March 2016, a total of 26 matches.
Photo - C & K Basildon's Therese Addison is held off by Lauren Cheshire of Chichester City.
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