Reading Women First To Take Points Off Chelsea

Reading celebrate (Photo: Richard Claypole)

With  Chelsea dramatically held to a 2-2 draw at Reading, Manchester City went top of WSL 1 and Arsenal climbed to third, while Doncaster took over the WSL 2 leadership with a 4-1 win at Spurs.

Sunday 12th November 

FA WSL 1

Arsenal 3-0 Sunderland (Att: 400)
Manchester City 4-0 Bristol City 
Reading 2-2 Chelsea (Att: 1,012)

FA WSL 2

Aston Villa 4-0 Watford (Att: 274)
Brighton & Hove Albion 1-0 Sheffield FC (Att: 184)
Durham 0-0 London Bees (Att: 401)
Millwall Lionesses 1-0 Oxford United (Att: 217)
Tottenham Hotspur 1-4 Doncaster Rovers Belles (Att: 439)

Reading hold Chelsea with late own-goal

Not only did Reading become the first WSL team to score against Chelsea this season but after losing the lead, they also ended up taking points of the Blues for the first time ever at this level.

Chelsea were regretting not taking advantage of early opportunities by the break, as Reading went in 1-0 up. Drew Spence had her shot from just outside the corner of the six-yard box turned away by Mary Earps, before the Royals goalkeeper rushed out to block Fran Kirby when she got clean through.

The home side had not really troubled Hedvig Lindahl but in the 35th minute she got no distance on a clearance and a clever back-heel by Fara Williams saw Remi Allen slot the ball into the bottom corner.

Emma Hayes’ team were level 10 minutes after the interval though, Karen Carney winning a free-kick and curling it out of the reach of the diving Earps.

Moments later and Reading also had a set-piece from just outside the box and Williams smacked it against the post.

Harriet Scott made a crucial clearance from Kirby’s effort with Spence lurking at the back post and at the other end, Lauren Bruton might have done better after Lindahl’s weak punch fell for her.

The Blues were then in front on 75 minutes, substitute Eniola Aluko with a strong first-time finish from Kirby’s pass.

However, Kelly Chambers’ side were far from done; Allen immediately forced Lindahl into a save, a Rachel Furness volley was only kept out by Magdalena Eriksson’s block and Allen turned smartly but failed to make the most of a clear sight of goal.

Then in added-time, a long-range free-kick led to Eriksson heading into her own net, as Reading earned a deserved draw.

Man City beat Bristol to go top

Manchester City took advantage of Chelsea’s dropped points to take the WSL 1 leadership, with a 4-0 defeat of Bristol City.

Izzy Christiansen won a penalty when played in by Jill Scott after 17 minutes and got to her feet to convert.

Sophie Baggaley did well to get down and save Steph Houghton’s free kick but the hosts doubled their lead when Claire Emslie cut in on the left hand side of the area and fired into the far corner.

It was 3-0 just before the hour mark, when Melissa Lawley and Jane Ross combined for Abbie McManus to curl home, with Jen Beattie produces an impressive finish to complete the scoring late on.

Gunners go third

Sunderland blocked Arsenal out in the first half. Charlotte Wilson for FA

Arsenal had to be patient against Sunderland but having made the break through, they went on to win 3-0 and climbed to third in the table.

Sunderland goalkeeper Rachel Laws turned a powerful shot from Beth Mead over the bar and when Vivianne Miedema headed Heather O’Reilly’s cross against the woodwork, Jordan Nobbs’ follow-up was blocked.

Late in the first half, Louise Quinn got on the end of Nobbs’ free-kick but Laws saved her header from point-blank range, to keep the game goalless at the break.

The opening goal arrived on 59 minutes, with a Quinn header from Nobbs’ free-kick.

Miedema doubled the lead with a curled effort and Nobbs rounded off the win when firing home a free-kick on 7 minutes.

Belles breeze into first place

Kirsty Hanson (The FA via Getty Images)

Doncaster Rovers Belles are the new WSL 2 leaders, Kirsty Hanson featuring with a hat-trick of assists in a 4-1 success at Spurs.

Hanson saw her cross turned into the net by a Tottenham defender, before setting up Jess Sigsworth to bundle home the second on 34 minutes.

Doncaster’s Christie Murray had a goal ruled out for offside in the second half and shortly after, but Bianca Baptiste was denied by Hanson.

Monique Watson latched onto Murray’s pass to grab her first goal for the Belles and then Hanson’s cross was headed home by Murray, before Wendy Martin got a consolation in the final minute.

Bees bank first point

London Bees held hosts and morning leaders Durham to a goalless draw, to get off the mark with a first point of the campaign.

Sarah Wilson was first to go close for the Wildcats, then Jordan Atkinson’s cross was flicked onto a post by Abi Cottam and when Zoe Ness worked a yard of space on the edge of the box, she curled an effort wide.

The Bees threatened when Lucy Loomes’ long ball found Paula Howells but Helen Alderson pushed away the shot.

A turn and shot by Zoe Ness in the 76th minute was matched by Bees’ keeper Nicola Hobbs, who then also claimed the ball when Atkinson’s drilled cross was turned goalward by Rosie Lane.

Seconds later and Bees could have won it themselves but Loomes’ flicked effort on the stretch went just wide.

Millwall end Oxford’s unbeaten start

An early goal saw Millwall Lionesses extended their strong start to the campaign at the expense of Oxford United’s record.

A long-range shot by Ella Rutherford found the net in the 8th minute and it was soon nearly a second but Charlie Devlin was denied by keeper Demi Lambourne.

Both custodians were called into action moments apart in the second half, Sarah Quantrill saving for the Lionesses and Lambourne keeping out Rianna Dean.

With 6 minutes to go, Chloe Chivers passed up a chance to equalise,  after which Ellie Mason hit both the post and crossbar for the hosts.

Barton bags winner for Brighton 

The Seagulls soared into fourth spot with a Kirsty Barton goal defeating Sheffield FC.

Both teams were denied by the woodwork in the first half, Brighton’s Ini Umotong seeing her shot come back off the post and Rhema Lord-Mears striking the inside of the post for Sheffield FC.

The deadlock was eventually broken with 17 minutes left, as Barton arrived late into the box late and turns home the ball from Sophie Perry.

Umotong’s powerful strike was later tipped over the crossbar by Danielle Gibbons but Hope Powell’s side had done enough to secure a third win in five.

Merrick brace gets Villa going

Aston Villa got their first points on the board when sending Watford to a 4-0 reverse, in which Beth Merrick was on target twice.

It took only 2 minutes for Merrick to put the ball out of reach of Hornets’ keeper Fran Kitching, although Rinsola Babajide might have soon levelled after a defensive error.

Ebony Salmon got Villa’s second on a counter attack midway through the half and Watford’s Anneka Nuttall then struck a free-kick against the crossbar.

Two minutes into the second period and Villa scored again, with a Chloe Jones header from a free-kick.

It was another set-piece which brought about the fourth goal, Merrick with a 20-yard free-kick.