Crystal Palace Women put four past Blackburn, Saints go top

Blackburn Rovers and Crystal Palace - Barlclays FA Womens Championship
Crystal Palace forward Shanade Hopcroft (24) gets the opening goal. (Stephen Flynn/SPP)

Blackburn Rovers lost the Barclays Women’s Championship top spot when beaten at home by Crystal Palace, Southampton taking the chance to ascend to the summit.

Charlton Athletic 1-1 Durham
Reading 1-0 Lewes
Birmingham City 1-1 Sunderland
Blackburn Rovers 0-4 Crystal Palace
Watford 0-2 Southampton

Southampton lead the table on goal-difference from both Sunderland and Blackburn Rovers and after their victory at Watford. Sophia Pharoah pounced on a loose ball to send the Saints into a 19th-minute lead, Molly Pike adding the second from a counter attack in added time.

Barclays Womens Championship - Watford v Southampton Grosvenor Vale,
Watford’s Carly Johns controls the ball as Millie Mott (Southampton) chases. (Sean Chandler / SPP)

Crystal Palace stung morning leaders Blackburn 4-0 away from home. Shanade Hopcroft scored 13 minutes in when tucking away a loose ball, the Eagles doubled their advantage in the last 20 minutes through Polly Doran. Annabel Blanchard and Molly-Mae Sharpe then added one each for an even more  impressive score line.

Sunderland had to settle for a draw at Birmingham City, where Mary McAteer turned in Jessica Brown’s cross to put them one up. But Christie Harrison-Murray equalised with about ten minutes remaining to see the points shared.

Durham broke the deadlock very late on at Charlton but were not able to take all three points. Sarah Robson met Poppy Pritchard’s delivery with a looping header to give the visitors an 86th-minute lead. Durham ended with ten players due to a late injury sustained by Robson. Kayleigh Green then levelled from a penalty ten minutes into stoppage time.

Reading moved into the top half of the table with the only goal of the game against Lewes. It came 13 minutes from time from Sanne Troelsgaard’s cross, as Sophie Whitehouse spilled the ball and Tia Primmer was on hand to take full advantage.

‘I think she probably was the best mover as a forward that I’ve ever seen’ – Casey Stoney pays tribute to retiring Lioness Jodie Taylor

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