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Tegan salvages point for leaders Charlton

The Barclays Women’s Championship title race is even closer than before, with just four points covering the top five teams following Sunday’s matches.

The table is still led by Charlton Athletic after they drew for the sixth time this season, but they have actually doubled the gap to two points after their clash with Lewes finished level at 1-1. The Rookettes lie in bottom position but their encouraging upsurge in form continued as they extended their unbeaten run to four games and drew for the third match in a row after taking the lead just before half time through Aimee Claypole. Charlton battled back after the break and with ten minutes remaining, Tegan McGowan scored an equaliser to keep the Addicks in charge of matters.

Sunderland remain in second place but they had a frustrating day as they went down 1-0 to Reading FC Women. The Wearsiders were hampered when Louise Griffiths was red carded during the first half and after the break, Madison Perry scored the only goal of the game to hand the Royals a third league win of the season and move them closer towards mid-table.

The next two teams in the table met each other and it was Crystal Palace who won 2-1 at Southampton to leapfrog above their opponents into third, just three points off the pace and with a game in hand. Palace inflicted the damage during the first half, new signing Issy Atkinson putting them in front and Elise Hughes doubling their lead with her fourteenth goal of the season in first half injury time. Lucia Kendall renewed hopes for the Saints when she pulled a goal back during the second half but the Eagles held on for a result which rekindles their title challenge.

Birmingham City lost a little ground as their winning run was was brought to a halt when they were beaten 2-0 by fast improving Watford. Michelle Agyemang was the heroine for the Golden Girls, her second half double delivering a second straight win for her side which lifts them off the bottom of the table.

Sheffield Utd produced one of their best results of the season to date, a 5-2 success at Durham Women which sees them move to within a single point of the Wildcats. The Blades are playing under the interim management of Luke Turner and things got off to a bad start when they found themselves two down after twenty minutes, Amy Andrews and Beth Hepple putting Durham in a strong position. However, Tara Bourne quickly reduced the arrears and Isobel Goodwin equalised from the penalty spot on the stroke of half time. Jess Sigsworth then put United ahead for the first time in the opening minute of the second half and after scoring a second penalty, Goodwin went on to wrap up a fine result for her side when she completed her hat-trick in injury time.

London City Lionesses’ worrying run continued with a 1-0 defeat at home to mid-table Blackburn Rovers, which means they are only two points ahead of Lewes. Blackburn had lost their two previous games but got themselves back on the winning trail when Lucy Shepherd scored the only goal of the game, four minutes before half time.      

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