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Women's Football News
Blackburn Rovers have opened up a six point lead at the top of the table with a thrilling 4-3 victory away to Huddersfield Town, who had started the day in second place.
Blackburn raced into a two-goal lead during the first half through Natasha Flint and Saffron Jordan but Huddersfield hit back to be on level terms at half time, thanks to Kate Mallin and Laura Elford. Two goals in the last twelve minutes by Lynda Shepherd and Jess Holbrook turned the game Blackburn's way, despite Brittany Sanderson pulling one back for Town in injury time.
Sunderland took the chance to climb into second by winning 10-1 against Bradford City, whose struggles continue. Keira Ramshaw led the scoring for the Wearsiders with a hat-trick whilst Bridget Galloway, Mollie Lambert and Grace McCatty each contributed doubles and Emily Hutchinson was also on target, with Falone Sumaili replying.
Stoke City are a further two points adrift following their 2-1 victory away to Doncaster Rovers Belles. Hannah Keryakoplis gave Stoke the lead midway through the first half and Amy Hughes added a second with fifteen minutes remaining, Emily Burgin pulled one back from the penalty spot late on but a spirited Belles side were unable to prevent Stoke from making it nine wins on the trot.
Fylde Ladies suffered a setback to hopes of challenging for a top two place when they were beaten 1-0 by Nottingham Forest. Samantha Conroy scored the only goal of the game, midway through the second half to take Forest further away from the bottom two places.
Middlesbrough put a disappointing FA Cup result behind them to defeat Sheffield FC 5-1 and move back into the top six. Eleanor Dale netted twice for 'Boro along with Emma Kelly, Leonie Hutchinson and an own goal, whilst Sheffield's consolation came from Megan Tinsley.
Southern Premier Division
The top two were involved in their League Cup but the gap between themselves and the chasing pack remains the second after third placed Watford were beaten 1-0 by Cardiff City Ladies. Cori Williams scored the only goal of the game for Cardiff who have moved themselves to within two points of their opponents.
Portsmouth seem to be finding their form again and a second win in successive weeks has taken them back into mid-table. Eilidh Currie netted midway through the first half and Jade Bradley added the second just after the hour, to seal for Pompey a 2-0 victory against C & K Basildon.
Gillingham meanwhile claimed their first league victory since October, 2-0 over Milton Keynes Dons courtesy of a goal apiece from Alice Bussey and Breon Grant.
Division One North
Burnley FC Women have now gone eight points clear at the top of the table following their 1-0 success away to Chester-le-Street Town. Sarah Greenhalgh scored the game's solitary goal, midway through the first half, to earn Burnley a tenth straight league win and sixth clean sheet in a row, seven in all competitions.
Barnsley stay second but lost a little ground to the leaders as they were held to a 3-3 draw by Morecambe. Yasmine Swarbrick gave Morecambe an eleventh minute lead, with Barnsley hitting back to go in front at the interval thanks to Darcie Kendall-Greene and Kathryn Smith. Swarbrick netted her second after the break and Jess Tait tipped the balance back in the Lancashire side's favour, before Drew Greene salvaged a point for Barnsley with an equaliser six minutes from time.
Brighouse Town were also held, sharing four goals with Liverpool Feds. All of the goals came in the second half, Carla Lee and Demi Devereaux were on target for the Feds whilst Brighouse scored through Charlotte Blythe and Abigail Housecroft.
Leeds Utd played their first league match since November but managed to lift themselves up into fifth place as they won 1-0 away to Crewe Alexandra. Rebecca Hunt settled matters with the only goal of the game, just after the hour mark.
Norton & Stockton Ancients are out of the bottom three places following their 2-1 victory over Chorley. Victoria Burton and Bianca Owens netted the goals for Norton, with Chorley replying through Lisa Topping.
* On Tuesday night, Chester-le-Street Town climbed up to third place after a goal in each half from Nichole Havery gave them a 2-1 win away to Norton & Stockton Ancients, whose reply came from Courtney Corrie.
Division One Midlands
West Bromwich Albion returned to league action with a tough trip to third placed Birmingham & West Midlands Ladies but a goal from Keeley Davies gave the leaders a 1-0 victory, which sees them open up a lead of six points.
Nettleham consolidated themselves in fifth place as they also won 1-0 away from home. A long range strike three minutes into the second half by Katie Thornley earned the Netts the three points against The New Saints.
Sporting Khalsa have gone level on points with Long Eaton Utd in mid-table after winning their meeting 2-1. Chloe May Coldicott and Bethan Woolley scored the goals for Khalsa, with Long Eaton replying through Ashleigh Evans.
Burton Albion ended a run of eight league games without a win with a 2-0 success against Solihull Moors. Jordan Atkin and Laura McQuilkin were the markswomen for Burton who have climbed back out of the bottom three.
Division One South East
With leaders Crawley Wasps on Cup duty, Billericay Town reduced their advantage to two points by running out 6-0 winners over Denham Utd. Jay Blackie and Esme Lancaster were both on target twice, along with Danica Dougal and Sophie Vale.
Leyton Orient remain in third following their 3-0 victory against Luton Town, Chloe McNee and Camila Pescatore both finding the net along with an own goal.
Actonians Ladies have moved back up to fourth place after they defeated Stevenage Ladies 5-1. Alessandra Barreca netted a first half double to give them a 2-1 lead at the break, with Shona Chitate replying, before Mariko Engels, Melissa Jung and an own goal sealed the points for Actonians.
Enfield Town twice came from behind to share a 2-2 draw with Norwich City and the point has taken them back into the top five. Aimee Durrant gave Norwich a first half lead which was cancelled out by Danielle Smith, Jodie Drake then put them back in front four minutes into the second half and this looked to have given Norwich victory until deep into injury time, when Lily Bruno salvaged a point for Enfield.
Cambridge Utd are out of the bottom three following a 3-0 win against AFC Wimbledon in which Jade Bell, Kelley Blanchflower and Mollie Coupar all scored for the U's.
Division One South West
Emma Pinner led the scoring as Southampton Women continued to stretch the pace at the top with a 5-0 victory away to Poole Town. Roxanne Lee-Stewart and Natalie Bavister netted the other goals for Southampton to preserve their lead of three points.
Keynsham Town stay hard on their heels in second place following their 4-1 success at Buckland Athletic. Laura Williams gave Keynsham the lead on the half hour, which they took into the interval, and two goals in a three minute spell from Ellie Curson and Kerry Bartlett put them in control. Sarah Stacey pulled a goal back for Buckland but Keynsham sealed the win two minutes later when Ellis Hillman scored their fourth.
Cheltenham Town resumed their campaign following the holiday break by winning 3-0 away to Maidenhead Utd. The Robins led at the break with a goal from Isobel Newns, before second half strikes from Ellie Briscoe and Annie Martin wrapped up the points.
The win takes Cheltenham back up into third place, ahead of Chesham Utd who battled out a 1-1 draw with Larkhall Athletic. Gemma Fraser was on target for the Clarets, with the Larks scoring through Kate German.
Southampton Saints ended a run of four league matches without a win when they defeated Swindon Town 3-1. Swindon led at the break with a goal from Milly Colford but a second half double from Alisha Buckingham turned the match in Saints' favour, before a late strike by Lisa Gilham secured the win.
Crawley Wasps continue to sweep all before them and are now in the last eight following a 5-3 win away to Plymouth Argyle. Crawley looked to be on their way to victory when Sian Heather and Kemina Webber put them two goals ahead but Plymouth came storming back, Kayley Lane reducing the arrears and a late equaliser from Katie Middleton taking the game to extra time. Webber scored her second to put Crawley back in front early into the extra period, with Plymouth once again levelling the scores through Leah Burridge. However, two goals in a three minute spell during the extra period wrapped up the game for the Division One South East leaders, Faye Rabson restoring their lead and Webber completing her hat-trick.
Bolton Wanderers also went through to the quarter finals on the back of a 3-1 extra time victory over Hull City, from the division above. Safron Newhouse was on target for Bolton during normal time, with Hull replying through Emily Smith, before Newhouse netted twice more to complete her hat-trick and a fine performance from her side.
The other Third Round tie was fought out between the top two in the Southern Premier Division and it was Coventry Utd who completed the quarter final line up with a 2-0 win away to Chichester City. The game was decided in the spell either side of the interval, Natasha Merritt opened the scoring for Coventry six minutes before half time and Amber Hughes doubling their lead early in the second half (see match report).
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