WSL 1 - Week Seven Round-up: Champions held at home

Arsenal, Liverpool and Sunderland all emerged victorious in the seventh round of the 2016 FA WSL.

WSL 1 - Week Seven Round-up: Champions held at home
Photo : Jordan Nobbs celebrates after scoring against Notts County. Credit:

The seventh round of the FA Women's Super League games were action packed and filled with drama. 

Sunderland AFC Ladies vs Doncaster Rovers Belles

The first game of the weekend saw the Belles travel to the Hetton Centre to face Sunderland. Both teams have had bad starts to the season, with Doncaster losing all of their five games and Sunderland managing only one win out of nine.

Both teams faced each other just seven days ago in the FA WSL Continental Tyres Cup, with the Belles dumping the visitors out of the cup. Any chance of a repeat result was quickly ended by the sending off of skipper Leandra Little after a challenge on the excellent Beth Mead, whose goals on either side of Hayley Sharp's strike saw Sunderland 3-0 up at half-time.

Midfielder Brooke Chaplen added a fourth twelve minutes before time to ensure that the Belles remained rooted to the bottom of the league table.

Beth Mead's double helped Sunderland get revenge | Photo: FA
Beth Mead's double helped Sunderland get revenge | Photo: FA

Liverpool Ladies vs Reading Women

Promoted Reading travelled to the Select Security Stadium side to take on a Liverpool team who had been impressive recently, holding league leaders Manchester City to two draws and beating rivals Everton in the cup.

Seventeen minutes into the game, Welsh international Natasha Harding cut in from the left and put the hosts 1-0 up. A Laura Coombs half-volley six minutes later put Liverpool in a commanding position at the break. Reading did attack in the second half, but Liverpool's defence stood strong, leaving Kelly Chambers' side winless in seven games.

Chelsea Ladies vs Birmingham City Ladies

This was the big game of the weekend, and all Chelsea needed was a win to leapfrog Manchester City to first place. Standing in their way was an impressive Birmingham team, who had recently secured the signings of Andrine Hegerberg and German Ann Katrin Berger.

Three minutes after the break, Claire Rafferty's misplaced pass saw Kerrys Harrop tee up Freda Ayisi, who put the visitors in a shock lead. It didn't last long, as substitute Eniola Aluka equalised moments after coming on.

Chelsea spent much of the remaining game searching for that goal which would send them top of the table. The task was made a bit harder when Katie Chapman was given a second yellow card with three minutes of normal time left. Chelsea had to settle for a draw, which meant Manchester City kept their place on the top for the time being.

Chapman's red card left Chelsea in the lurch | Photo:
Katie Chapman's red card left Chelsea in the lurch | Photo:

Arsenal Ladies vs Notts County Ladies

After last week's draw away to Birmingham City, Arsenal knew they couldn't afford to drop any more points if they wanted to retain third place or move even higher. The home side started brightly, and ten minutes in Danielle Van De Donk outpaced Fern Whelan and scored following a sublime ball from Jordan Nobbs.

Nobbs doubled the lead just before the hour mark after her deflected shot found its way in. Notts missed some good chances to score, leaving manager Rick Passmour frustrated. 

FA WSL 1 matchday seven results in full

Liverpool Ladies 2-0 Reading Women

Sunderland Ladies 4-0 Doncaster Rovers Belles

Arsenal Ladies 2-0 Notts County Ladies

Chelsea Ladies 1-1 Birmingham City Ladies