Arsenal eventually got the upper hand at West Ham, which saw them go clear at the top of the FAWSL, with Bristol City again frustrating second-placed Manchester City.
FAWSL results for Sunday 6 January
Birmingham City 2-1 Reading (Att: 606)
Bristol City 1-1 Manchester City (Att: 812)
Chelsea 3-0 Everton (Att: 3,000)
Liverpool 0-2 Brighton & Hove Albion (Att: 398)
West Ham United 2-4 Arsenal (Att: 913)
Van de Donk double sends Arsenal clear at the top
Arsenal came from a goal down to eventually run out 4-2 winners at West Ham.
The Hammers struck first as a Becky Spencer drop kick sent Alisha Lehmann away down the right and she squared the ball for Jane Ross to place into the far corner.
The Gunners turned the game around in a five-minute spell up to the half-hour mark, Beth Mead setting up both as Leah Williamson headed home a cross and then debutant Janni Arnth nodded in a corner kick.
However, the hosts were back level approaching half time with another route one goal, Brianna Visalli’s header putting Ross away for a clinical finish back across Pauline Peyraud-Magnin.
The visitors were dominant after the break and Danielle van de Donk scored twice midway through the half, the second a header from Mead’s third assist.
Arsenal’s Kim Little made her return from injury had three chances to score, twice being denied by saves from Becky Spencer.
Vixens hold Man City
Bristol City held Manchester City for the second time this season, as Nick Cushing’s side slipped two points behind the leaders.
Nikita Parris gave the Citizens a first-half lead from an Abbie McManus delivery but Lucy Graham levelled from the spot on 62 minutes after being brought down by Jen Beattie.
Parris, Claire Emslie and Georgia Stanway were all denied by the woodwork, while Sophie Baggaley turned over a Keira Walsh strike.
Chelsea reward big turnout
Chelsea moved to within three points of Manchester City with a three-goal win over Everton, watched by a sell out crowd of 3,000.
Everton’s Elise Hughes had an early effort disallowed and Beth England scored just 6 minutes in when exchanging passes with Erin Cuthbert.
Millie Bright and Cuthbert both had shots turned onto the goal frame by Kirstie Levell before the hosts struck twice.
Drew Spence netted from Karen Corney’s corner on the hour and shortly afterwards Hannah Blundell curled in the third.
Sargeant denies Royals a point
A late Meaghan Sargeant winners means Birmingham City stay level on points with Chelsea and put them seven ahead of visitors Reading.
All the goals came in the last 18 minutes, starting with a Kerys Harrop header for City from an Emma Follis cross.
Remi Allen had a goal ruled out and despite equalising in the last couple of minutes, Sargeant then headed home Lucy Staniforth’s free-kick.
Brighton bag second win
Brighton are up to ninth and within three points of Liverpool following their 2-0 away win over the Reds.
Liverpool’s Kirsty Linnett had an effort ruled out for offside before Laura Rafferty tapped home after Ini Umotong’s shot rebounded off the post.
Four minutes into the second half, Umotong collected a stray pass in midfield and raced forward to double Albion’s lead.