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Sunderland maintain advantage

A 1-0 victory in their local derby match with Durham Women has kept Sunderland three points clear at the top of the Barclays Women’s Championship.

A typically hotly contested derby was settled in first half injury time, when Katie Kitching scored her second goal of the season to settle matters in the unbeaten Wearsiders’ favour.

Second placed Southampton got back to winning ways with a 2-1 success against Sheffield Utd. All of the goals came in the opening quarter of the game, Sophia Pharoah giving Southampton a lead which was cancelled out five minutes later by Jodie Hutton, but Katie Wilkinson quickly put the Saints back in front again and they held out for their sixth league victory of the campaign.

The result keeps Southampton in second on goal difference from Charlton Athletic, who had momentarily taken over the position on Friday night when they won 1-0 away to Lewes. The game had a dramatic ending as Kayleigh Green scored the only goal of the game from the penalty spot in the second minute of injury time, to keep the Addicks just behind the leaders but denying the Rookettes the opportunity to climb off the bottom of the table.

Crystal Palace were another team to bounce back from a defeat seven days earlier, with a 3-0 victory away to Watford and they are four points off the pace, with a game in hand. Elise Hughes is having an excellent season for Palace and she scored twice to take her tally to nine for the season, with Shauna Guyatt adding the other goal in first half injury time.

A third win on the trot, and a fourth in five games, has taken Birmingham City into fifth place, their highest of the season so far. Two first half goals from Charlie Devlin earned the Blues a 2-1 success against Reading FC Women, who replied after the break through Deanna Cooper.

London City Lionesses are also starting to find their form after a slow start to the season, claiming a second straight win when beating Blackburn Rovers 3-0. Once again the goal action came early in the game, with all three goals coming inside the opening twenty minutes. Danielle Carter put the Lionesses into the lead in the second minute and Maddi Wilde quickly added a second, before Lucy Fitzgerald scored the final goal.   

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