Barclays Women’s Championship top two draw after very late goals

Charlton Athletic v Sunderland - Womens Championship - The Valley
Rebecca McKenna (Charlton Athletic) in action against Sunderland at The Valley. (PEDRO PORRU / SPP)

Charlton Athletic stay narrowly ahead of Sunderland at the top of the Barclays Women’s Championship, Southampton won a thriller at Crystal Palace to go third.

Charlton Athletic 1-1 Sunderland
Birmingham City 3-1 Durham
Blackburn Rovers P-P Reading (waterlogged pitch)
Crystal Palace 3-4 Southampton
Lewes 2-1 London City Lionesses
Watford 1-3 Sheffield United

Two late goals in the top of the table clash saw Charlton Athletic draw 1-1 with Sunderland in front of over 1,000 at The Valley. Black Cats’ keeper Claudia Moan saved a penalty from the Addicks’ Kayleigh Green early in the second half. Tegan McGowan came off the bench on 87 minutes for Charlton and broke the deadlock before the ninety were up. But then Sunderland hit back, Katy Watson taking advantage of a spillage from keeper Sian Rogers. Charlton stay ahead of Sunderland on goals scored.

Southampton won a seven-goal thriller with Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park to sit a point behind the leading pair. Molly Pike put the Saints one up on 13 minutes, Ella Morris was then denied by the home crossbar. Aimee Everett pulled Palace back on level terms when heading in Fliss Gibbons’ free kick, only for Morris to restore the lead with a looping header. It was 2-2 by the break though, Gibbons again delivering and Elise Hughes finishing. Hughes found the net again from a second-half penalty, but Rianna Dean equalised and Katie Wilkinson had Southampton 4-3 up, as they leapfrogged the Eagles in the table.

Crystal Palace and Southampton - FA Womens Championship
Southampton’s Katie Wilkinson gives the visitors a late advantage at Selhurst Park. (Stephen Flynn/SPP)

Birmingham City defeated Durham 3-1 to pull level on points with fourth-placed Crystal Palace. Jade Pennock put Birmingham ahead following a pass from Ivana Fuso, who got the second herself. Ellie Ryan-Doyle replied for Durham after the half-hour mark. City reinstated a two-goal cushion on 65 minutes, Martha Harris crossing for Remi Allen to nod in.

Lewes claimed a first home win of the season, 2-1 over London City Lionesses, which lifted them off the bottom. Paige Satchell fired home for London City following a defensive mix up, Hollie Olding levelled close to the hour mark after the visitors could not clear a corner. Anna Grey curled a 79th-minute free-kick into the net to give Lewes the advantage.

Sheffield United were 3-1 winners over Watford at Vicarage Road, moving up to eighth and sending the hosts to the foot of the table. A Jodie Hutton corner forced an own-goal from a Watford defender but the Hornets equalised as Abbie Lafayette’s free kick towards the back post was headed home by Harley Bennett. Isobel Goodwin got two goals in a minute to put the Blades in control inside the final 20 minutes.

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