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Manchester Utd are back on top of the FA Women's Championship after previous leaders Tottenham Hotspur were beaten by Sheffield Utd and Casey Stoney's side won 2-1 away to Charlton Athletic.
United were on top for most of the first half but found the Charlton defence in determined mood and were kept at bay for long periods. Jess Sigsworth and Alex Greenwood both went close but the scoreline was goalless going into half time. United pressed hard after the interval and the breakthrough came just before the hour mark when Charlotte Gurr was penalised for handball in the area and Katie Zelem slotted home from the penalty spot. Six minutes later, Zelem turned provider as United doubled their lead, crossing for Sigsworth to plant a header past Katie Startup. Charlton gave themselves a lifeline with eight minutes remaining as Kit Graham curled home a shot but they were unable to get back on level terms and United now need four wins from their final five matches to be sure of winning the title.
The first of those games will be against second placed Tottenham Hotspur this coming Sunday. Spurs had started the day on top of the table but it was Carla Ward's side who picked up a surprise 2-1 victory, which takes them into a mid-table position.
The Blades started the game well and Danielle Cox went close to giving them the lead when her shot brought out a good save from Chloe Morgan. Tottenham began to get into the game more as the half wore on and nine minutes into the second half, they went in front when Jessica Naz was put through in goal and kept her cool to slot the ball past the oncoming Fran Bentley.
It looked as though Tottenham would be on their way towards three more valuable points but United were to have other ideas. Ten minutes after going behind, they were back on level terms when a long clearance from Bentley released Ebony Salmon on goal and the striker - on loan from Manchester United - duly scored a goal which also boosted her parent club. As the game went into injury time, Rebecca Rayner curled a free kick into the area and Jade Pennock netted from close range to hand United their best result of the season to date.
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