Doncaster Rovers Belles and Millwall Lionesses both won at home in WSL 2, Sheffield FC edged Spurs 4-3 in a game of three red cards and Oxford United defeated Aston Villa.
Sunday 28th January
FA WSL 2
Millwall Lionesses 3-2 Durham (Att: 175)
Sheffield FC 4-3 Tottenham Hotspur (Att: 443)
Doncaster Rovers Belles 4-1 Brighton & Hove Albion (Att: 602)
Oxford United 3-1 Aston Villa (Att: 301)
Belles bag four against Brighton
WSL 2 leaders Doncaster Rovers Belles stayed a point clear at the top after Neil Redfearn’s side defeated Hope Powell’s Brighton & Hove Albion 4-1.
Doncaster had a difficult start though, with Sophie Barker stretchered off after just 9 minutes.
Sophie Walton’s corner cannoned off the far post and deemed not to have crossed the line but the Belles did score on 32 minutes, Rebecca Rayner brought down and Jess Sigsworth smashing the penalty home.
Although Brighton levelled at the end of the half, Fern Whelan nodding home Sophie Perry’s free kick, there was still time for Kirsty Hanson to volley Emily Simpkins cross home.
Belles hit the upright twice within five seconds in the 78th minute, before Hanson unleashed a 20-yarder that flew in via the underside of the bar.
In the last minute, Rayner caught Lucy Gillett off her line with a long range effort.
Lionesses edge battle with Wildcats
Millwall Lionesses saw off third-placed Durham with the best of five goals, to move six points ahead of the Wildcats.
Ashlee Hincks’ corner struck the Durham crossbar but Millwall found the net on 20 minutes, Leigh Nicol’s 30-yard effort going in off the woodwork.
Just 2 minutes after the restart, the lead was doubled as Billie Brooks headed in a Hincks’ free kick, only for Durham to hit back swiftly when Beth Hepple got in on goal to fire home.
Midway through the half Hincks curled in a set-piece for the hosts third but an offside decision prevented Rianna Dean sealing the points.
With 5 minutes to go Durham made it 3-2 with a Jordan Atkinson solo effort to set up a tense finish.
Three off as Sheffield FC edge seven-goal thriller
Sheffield FC finished with nine players as they held on to defeat Tottenham’s ten, Melissa Johnson getting a hat-trick in the 4-3 win.
After Hannah Cain’s shot was saved by Toni-Anne Wayne but Johnson tapped in the rebound.
Wendy Martin won a penalty for Spurs and although Sarah Wiltshire’s spot-kick was kept out by Danielle Gibbons, Coral Haines followed up to score.
Sheffield FC regained the lead on 20 minutes with Cain setting up Johnson, after which Haines hit the bar with a free kick.
Both teams were down to ten with red cards for Cain and Sophie McLean before the home side made it 3-1 by the interval, Johnson on hand after Rhema Lord-Mears hit the post.
Bianca Baptiste was a half-time sub for Spurs and had an instant impact in reducing the arrears, however the hosts made it 4-2 through Katie Anderson after Jenna Dear and Lord-Mears combined well.
Dear was also sent off just after the hour mark and Wiltshire got the third for Spurs off a Baptiste cross on 68 minutes but a disallowed goal saw the hosts hold on to win.
Oxford fight back to overcome Villa
Two goals a few minutes either side of half-time saw Oxford United seal the points at home to Aston Villa.
Ebony Salmon weaved into the box to fire Villa one up after only 6 minutes and went close to another but Demi Lambourne pulled off a fine save.
United’s Emily Allen was blocked out by Elisha N’Dow although the ball still hit the post but the hosts were level after 35 minutes, Danielle Carlton’s free kick headed backwards into the net by Taome Oliver.
Oxford had turned the game in their favour 3 minutes after the interval, Kayleigh Hines whipping a free kick from the corner of the box into the top of the goal.
Carlton pounced on a mistake in the Villa defence to blast home on 50 minutes and the two-goal cushion was protected when Ellis Hillman headed off her own line.