Sunderland Women beat Southampton, Crystal Palace net nine

Barclays FA Womens Championship - Southampton vs Sunderland - St Marys Stadium.
Paige Peake (Southampton) pressures Sunderland goal-scorer Jenna Dear. (Tom Phillips / SPP)

High-scoring Crystal Palace went top of the Barclays Women’s Championship, while Sunderland leapfrogged Southampton into second place.

Crystal Palace 9-1 Durham
Blackburn Rovers 2-1 Sheffield United
Charlton Athletic 2-3 Watford
Lewes 0-0 Birmingham City
London City Lionesses 1-1 Reading
Southampton 0-1 Sunderland

Durham suffered more than most in the heat, on the end of a very heavy defeat from their long trip to Crystal Palace. The Eagles went in three up at half-time through Hayley Nolan and Annabel Pritchard, who both scored from the edge of the area, before the latter converted a penalty. Pritchard netted her fourth after the break, with Elise Hughes adding a hat-trick and Molly Sharpe the other goal. A small consolation for the Wildcats was Poppy Pritchard’s stoppage-time goal.

Sunderland have begun the season with a run of three clean sheets, the latest being an impressive victory at Southampton. Jenna Dear made the difference, poking home a Mary McAteer cross on 54 minutes.

London City Lionesses were denied victory as Reading grabbed an injury-time equaliser. Chantelle Boye-Hlorkah scored on the stretch for London City with 45 minutes on the clock. Lauren Wade levelled late on for the Royals, who have now drawn all three of their matches.

Watford saw off a Charlton Athletic fightback to leave the Valley as 3-2 victors and move into the top half of the table. The Hornets were ahead after just four minutes, Carly Johns pressing keeper Sian Rogers and setting up Sophie McLean for a tap in. Both Johns and McLean struck in first-half added time for a 3-0 interval advantage. Carla Humphrey pulled one back and Angela Addison set up a tense finish with the Addicks’ second on 79 minutes.

Blackburn Rovers came from behind to beat Sheffield United with two second-half goals and go fourth in the table. Isobel Goodwin volleyed the Blades into a second-minute lead, Meg Hornby fired Rovers back on level, then soon set up Lauren Thomas to make it 2-1 to the hosts.

FA Womens Championship - Lewes v Birmingham City
Katie Dungate (11 Birmingham) and Caragh Hamilton (7 Lewes) battle for possession. (James Whitehead / SPP)

Lewes and Birmingham City played out a goalless draw in a clash of the bottom two. Both teams were down to ten for the final quarter of the game, City’s Katie Dungate received a second caution for a late challenge on Rooks’ Caragh Hamilton, who soon followed with her own second yellow card. Sophie Whitehouse made a dramatic stoppage-time save to prevent Ellie Mason winning it for the Blues.

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