Sunderland move four points clear in Barclays Women’s Championship

Sunderland's Mary McAteer in Barclays Women's Championship action
Mary McAteer got the only goal as leaders Sunderland extended their advantage. (Richard Callis / SPP)

Sunderland edged Barclays Women’s Championship title rivals Southampton, while Lewes also landed a crucial win.

Lewes 2-1 Sheffield United
Reading 1-2 London City Lionesses
Blackburn Rovers 2-2 Durham
Crystal Palace P-P Birmingham City (unplayable pitch)
Sunderland 1-0 Southampton
Watford P-P Charlton Athletic (waterlogged pitch)

Sunderland’s victory over Southampton put them four points ahead of their three main title rivals, although both Charlton and Crystal Palace have two games in hand. The only goal at Eppleton arrived when Mary McAteer found some space to fire the Black Cats one up, soon after the restart.

Lewes got off the bottom of the table at Watford’s expense, as they defeat Sheffield United and moved within four points of their visitors. Maria Farrugia fired the Rooks in front from outside the box and before the hour mark, the Maltese international scored on the break again from Jacqui Hand’s pass. The Blades pulled one back from a penalty midway through the half, Isobel Goodwin converting after a Becky Rayner effort brought a handball decision.

London City Lionesses came from behind to win at Reading and leapfrog them in the table into ninth spot. The Royals made the breakthrough in first-half added time, Brooke Hendrix getting on the end of a free kick to head home. London City turned it around in a three-minute spell early in the second half, Paige Satchell scoring following a corner kick and then Emma Mukandi netting from distance.

Durham remain ahead of Blackburn Rovers, after the points were shared in the mid-table meeting Danielle Maxwell struck deep into stoppage-time at the end of the first half, to give Rovers an interval lead. Durham struck back twice in a five-minute spell around the hour mark, Saoirse Noonan taking down a long ball and setting up Beth Hepple to net from 20 yards, before Lily Crosthwaite’s cross forced an own-goal. Lucy Shepherd got Rovers back to 2-2 with 11 minutes to play.

Manchester City Women go top ahead of Sunday’s matches

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