WSL 2 Week Nine Round-Up: Title race starts to heat up

Everton, Bristol and Yeovil all clinched vital wins whilst Villa kept pace and Sheffield stretched their unbeaten record .

WSL 2 Week Nine Round-Up: Title race starts to heat up
Heatherson celebrates in Yeovil's win over Durham. (Photo: Yeovil Town Ladies FC)

It was business as usual in week nine for the WSL 2's top teams.

Vixens roar at home – Bristol City 3-0 London Bees

Determined to reboot their title challenge, Bristol flew out of the blocks, making light work of a sleepy looking Bees side. The early dominance paid dividends when Jodie Brett found the back of the net via the crossbar from outside the box after a period of sustained pressure from the hosts. With the visitors still reeling the Vixens flocked forwards in numbers and it wasn’t long until they had a second goal, Rebecca Anderson heading the ball past Sophie Harris in an attempt to clear a vicious Claire Emslie delivery.

Although the Bees improved after the break and saw plenty of the ball in the second-half, they were unable to carve out any real chances and when Charlie Estcourt added a third from outside the box, there was no coming back. Bristol worthy victors after a thoroughly dominant first-half.

Lady Glovers back on track – Yeovil Town 4-0 Durham

After Bristol leapfrogged Yeovil yesterday, the Lady Glovers responded in kind with a thorough masterclass over Durham.

The hosts got off to a strong start and led five minutes in courtesy of a Sarah Wiltshire lob, before Helen Bleazard doubled the advantage with a direct free-kick ten minutes later.

Although Durham had sparks they never seemed to fully get going in the match, even with Beth Hepple striking the bar in the second-half.

As the match looked to be wearing down at 2-0, Annie Heatherson scored twice in two minutes to bolster the home side’s goal difference. Bleazard turned provider for both, first whipping a cross to the back post for Heatherson to tap-in before setting up her teammate for the former Bristol player to lob Helen Alderson.  

Blue Girls leave it late – Oxford United 0-1 Everton

Everton travelled to the Northcourt looking to restart their own promotion push but found the home goalkeeper, Demi Lambourne, in inspired form to thwart them at every turn.

With both sides squandering chances, Andy Spence used his last substitution to bring on Emily Hollinshead, his change proving to be an inspired one when, just three minutes after coming on, the Nantwich native scrambled the ball over the line following a poorly defended corner.

The win is enough to keep Everton’s promotion hopes live but sees Oxford without a win in their last six matches.

Lipman brace boosts Sheffield – Sheffield 2-2 Millwall Lionesses

When Ashlee Hincks put the ball out of Juliana Draycott’s reach and into back of the goal from the spot, it looked like Millwall’s winless run had finally come to an end. However, Sheffield came right back at their visitors and former Citizen, Emma Lipman found the back of the net for the first time in three years just before the half, mopping up the scraps after Sarah Quantrill had denied Jodie Michalska at a corner.

The second-half was played at the same intensity as the first, neither team willing to let up and, Lipman was once again celebrating after her sweetly struck curler flew straight into the top bin. Less than ten minutes later the scores were locked once more after Charlotte Gurr poked home following a well worked short corner from Hincks.

The draw stretches Millwall’s winless run, however there are plenty of positives for the Lionesses to take from their performance. Similarly, Sheffield drop their first points since the restart but the FAWSL newcomers are a force to be reckoned with.   

Lady Villains closing in on top four – Watford 0-2 Aston Villa

After a strong start to the game, the Golden Girls came unstuck after Lucy Gillett let a speculative Beth Merrick shot trickle through her fingers. Although Villa hadn’t been at their best following sustained home pressure, the goal settled them into the game and they started to dictate play.

With Watford looking to go in at the half just one goal down they were dealt a harsh blow in first-half stoppage time when a muddle in front of their box gave Tash Baptise enough room to unleash a power-drive past Gillett and into the net.

Despite dictating nearly all of the second-half Villa were unable to add a third against a sagging Watford side. 

Updated WSL 2 table (Credit: FA WSL)
Updated WSL 2 table (Credit: FA WSL)