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Women's Football News
Blackburn Rovers power on at the top of the Northern Premier Division, preserving their lead of six points with a 4-2 victory over Sheffield FC.
Natasha Flint gave Blackburn a sixth minute lead which was doubled by Jess Holbrook and after Molly Havard pulled one back, Alex Taylor restored the two-goal advantage ahead of half time. Kayleigh McDonald wrapped up the win with the fourth goal on the hour, before Ellie Hawcroft gave Sheffield a late consolation.
Huddersfield Town moved back into second place on the back of a 4-2 win against Middlesbrough. Tyler Dodds got 'Boro off to a great start by scoring in the opening minute but Town hit back quickly through Lucy Sowerby and Katie Nutter ensured Huddersfield were in front by half time. Sarah Danby made it three after the break and although Emily Scarr reduced the arrears late on, Brittany Sanderson made the game safe for Huddersfield in injury time.
Doncaster Rovers Belles picked up a valuable point with a 2-2 draw against third placed Sunderland. Abby Watkinson netted both goals for the Belles, whilst Bridget Galloway and Anna Young were on target for the Wearsiders.
Stoke City kept up their great run of form by running out 5-0 winners over Bradford City. Nicola Hudson put Stoke ahead after six minutes and Natasha Tezgel added a second on the half hour. Faye McCoy and Hannah Keryakoplis further extended Stoke's lead after the break and Amy Hughes rounded off the scoring with the final goal.
Fylde Ladies got things back on track with a 1-0 victory over Hull City. Olivia Wild settled a closely contested game in favour of the Coasters with the only goal of the game, midway through the first half.
Southern Premier Division
Chichester City have gone five points clear at the top of the table following their 5-2 victory over Milton Keynes Dons. Sara Tubby netted two of the goals for Chi along with Becky Barron, Lauren Cheshire and Molly Clark, whilst the Dons replied through a Charley Clarke penalty and Amy Gooderham.
Loughborough Foxes were 2-0 winners away to C & K Basildon and this result has taken them up to third place. After a goalless first half, Charlotte Cooper opened the scoring just before the hour and Chloe Young sewed up the points for Loughborough with ten minutes remaining.
Cardiff City Ladies gave their top three hopes a shot in the arm by scoring six times without reply past Queen's Park Rangers. Kylie Nolan netted two first half goals and Jordan Guard added a third on the stroke of half time. After the break, Grace Horrell and Emma Jones further extended Cardiff's lead before Nolan completed her hat-trick, eight minutes from time to take her to the top of the division's goalscoring chart.
Division One North
It's now eleven wins on the trot for leaders Burnley FC Women and they overcame another big test on Sunday, beating Liverpool Feds 2-0 to open up a lead of ten points. The Feds had been unbeaten since mid-October but that run was brought to an end when Leah Embley gave Burnley the lead shortly before half time, and Danielle Cooper sewed up the win in the dying minutes.
Burnley were further boosted by the news that two of their main rivals, Barnsley and Brighouse Town, both dropped points when their meeting finished in a 1-1 draw. Melissa Woodhouse was on target for Barnsley, with Brighouse finding the net through Emma Dobson.
Leeds Utd might yet be the team which can challenge the runaway leaders before the end of the season, they lifted themselves into fourth place with a 3-1 victory over Newcastle Utd. Emily Cassidy, Rebecca Hunt and Holly Findlay netted the goals for Leeds, whilst Newcastle's consolation came from Jayden Maxwell.
Division One Midlands
The top of the table clash went the way of West Bromwich Albion, who opened up a gap of six points over nearest rivals Wolverhampton Wanderers after beating them 2-0. Keeley Davies and Natalie Murray scored the goals to put Albion in firm control in the title race and stretched their winning run to eleven matches.
The other game in the division to be played on Sunday was between third and fourth, with Birmingham & West Midlands Ladies winning 4-0 against Bedworth Utd. Emily Painter and Stephanie Weston put BWM two goals ahead at half time, before Evie Harris and Lyndsey Glover added second half goals to take their side three points ahead of their opponents, and two behind second placed Wolves.
Division One South East
Crawley Wasps played in the league for the first time in two months and warmed up for this week's prestigious FA Cup tie against Arsenal with a 4-1 victory over Leyton Orient, which extends their lead at the top to five points. After a goalless first half, Kemina Webber gave Crawley a second half lead which was quickly cancelled out by Lisa Holmback, but with eight minutes to go, Rachel Palmer put them back in front again and they went on to seal the points with late strikes from Naomi Cole and Jenny Drury.
Along with Denham Utd, Ipswich Town and Cambridge Utd have drawn more matches than anyone else in the division, so perhaps it was no surprise when their meeting ended with the teams level at 2-2. Cassandra Craddock and Toni-Anne Wayne netted the goals for Ipswich, whilst Cambridge replied through a brace from Becky Shephard.
Division One South West
The weather greatly hampered the schedule in the division on the weekend, with only one match going ahead on the day. This game gave Cheltenham Town a chance to make up ground on the top two, which they did by beating Larkhall Athletic 2-0. The Larks had gone into the game unbeaten since the turn of the year, whilst Cheltenham had lost to Buckland Athletic seven days previously, but goals in the opening ten minutes of the second half from Annie Martin and Annabel Davies earned Cheltenham a win which keeps their chances of challenging the top two alive.
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