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Free scoring Blackburn Rovers took their tally to 20 goals in three games when they won 7-0 away to third placed Derby County.
The home side went into the game having only lost once all season and major contenders for the title but found themselves two down inside the opening seven minutes, Natasha Fenton and Saffron Jordan both scoring. Lynda Shepherd added a third before half time and after the break, in-form Jordan netted twice more in a three minute spell to complete her hat-trick, with Eve Kennerley and Alex Taylor also getting on the scoresheet.
Blackburn now head the table by a margin of six points from Huddersfield Town, who are up into second following their 2-1 win away to Nottingham Forest. Ashleigh Edwards gave Forest an eighth minute lead and they remained in front at half time but within nine minutes of the restart, Brittany Sanderson and Kate Mallin both scored to turn matters around in Huddersfield's favour and they held on to notch up their third victory in four matches.
Sunderland suffered a blow to their challenge as they were beaten 3-2 in a thrilling game by Stoke City, who have found their best form again following a bad spell. There were three goals inside the opening six minutes, Amy Hughes and Ashleigh Hayes both scoring for Stoke either side of a reply from Bridget Galloway and Sunderland hit back once again thanks to Anna Young, to ensure the scores were level at the break. The game remained tight during the second half and looked to be heading towards a draw but four minutes into injury time, Emily Owen popped up to grab a winner for Stoke which moves them to within two points of the third placed Wearsiders.
Fylde Ladies stay in the top half of the table after sharing four goals with Middlesbrough. Sasha Rowe gave Fylde the lead midway through the first half and after the break, Tyler Dodds brought 'Boro back on level terms. Jenna Carroll put the Coasters back in front five minutes later but their hopes of a fifth straight league win were dashed ten minutes from time, when Emma Kelly struck to earn Middlesbrough a point.
Hull City claimed their second victory in successive weeks when they defeated Sheffield FC 4-2, and this has moved them into a mid-table position. Ellie Jackman was on target twice for Hull along with Amy Blinkhorn and Harley Skinner, whilst Lisa Giampalma netted a brace in reply.
Doncaster Rovers Belles meanwhile picked up their second win of the season, 5-1 against Bradford City whose worrying run of defeats has now stretched to ten matches. Abby Watkinson netted twice for the Belles and she was joined on the scoresheet by Chloe Bethell, Emily Brett and Izzy Whittle, with Bradford's consolation coming from Shirley Murphy.
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