WSL 2 - Week 13 Round-up: Title race tightens up

Bristol, Durham, Sheffield, Everton and London Bees all secured wins over a busy weekend of WSL action.

WSL 2 - Week 13 Round-up: Title race tightens up
Walker starred as Everton eased to victory over Oxford (credit: Barrington Coombs/Getty)

Wins for Bristol and Everton kept the pressure on top-placed Yeovil who fell to a shock to defeat at home to the London Bees, elsewhere Sheffield came from behind to beat Villa.

Vixens dominate at home – Bristol City 4-1 Watford

The hosts took an early lead when Claire Emslie’s cross cum shot left Lucy Gillett scrambling, unable to tip the ball over. With a touch of luck in the first goal the second was pure quality, Jodie Brett’s well weighted corner delivery was met with perfect header from Chloe Arthur to double the hosts’ advantage before the break. The Vixens have made the Stoke Gifford a veritable fort this year and it was no surprise when they added a third against strugglers, Watford.

Debutant Lauren Hemp with a great run into the box before beating Gillett at her near post from three yards out. Down but not out, Watford clawed one back through Charlotte Kerr, the attacker first to the punch following a free kick. Hayley Ladd added a fourth for Bristol in stoppage time, the captain first to react to the live ball after Gillett had turned Charlie Estcourt’s speculative effort against the post.

Wildcats leave Den purringMillwall 0-1 Durham

After a strong start, Durham finally took the lead as they had been threatening all game. After being brought down on the edge of the box Beth Hepple dispatched her free kick over the wall and plumb into the top left corner. For all of their possession and chances the Wildcats only carried a goal advantage into the break, a lead that look threatened throughout the second-half.

Millwall grew and grew after the restart, Ashlee Hincks, Lucy Looms and Rinsola Babajide all coming close as Durham did all they could to stay alive. Through a combination of poor finishing from the hosts, superb defending from the visitors and a healthy dose of luck, the Wildcats weathered the storm and left the Den with full marks.

Sheffield come from behind to best the Villains – Aston Villa 1-2 Sheffield

After an even opening twenty minutes the hosts took the lead through Chloe Jones as rose untroubled in the box to nod Bethan Merrick’s cross past Juliana Draycott. Clearly rattled, Sheffield amped up the pressure and restored parity ten minutes later, Jodie Michalska tucking the ball past Grace Moloney after the loanee keeper did well to parry Hannah Dale’s original effort.

The second-half followed in the same vein, both teams well up, tricky attackers against solid defenders as they cancelled each other out. With just over twenty minutes left former Lady Villain Sherry McCue gave her [current] team the edge, holding her run to beat the offside before chipping Moloney. Despite a number of good chances to restore parity Villa couldn’t find that last touch to take anything from the game. 

Arthur celebrates her goal (credit: JMPUK)
Arthur celebrates her goal (credit: JMPUK)

Toffees topple Us – Everton 3-0 Oxford United

On top at home from the off, Everton were looking for a win to keep them in touch with the top two. Claudia Walker opened the scoring for the Blue Girls just before the half hour, getting the last touch on Chloe Kelly’s cross but missed a glorious opportunity to double her tally from ten yards.

Surviving as scare as an Oxford goal was chalked out as offside, the hosts stepped up the pressure and were warmly rewarded. Captain Michelle Hinnigan volleyed Rosella Ayane’s cross past Demi Lambourne before Walker got her deserved second just minutes later. Continuing to threaten throughout, the Toffees were unable to further bolster their goal difference, keeping perfect pace with Bristol.

Superb second-half seals shock win – Yeovil Town 2-3 London Bees

Dominant in the league from almost the start of the season, Yeovil had dropped precious points in their last game and were left shocked when the Bees came from two goals down to take all three points back to the capital. Lucy Quinn’s inswinging corner gave the hosts a perfect start as the ball curled through the box and all the way in, Quinn netting her second on the stroke of half-time, tapping the ball in at the near post.

With the Lady Glovers cruising at the break few would have predicted the second-half turnaround from the visitors. Evie Clarke gave the Bees a lifeline when she poked home a pin-point cross before Jo Wilson jumped on a short back-pass to carry the ball round Charlotte Haynes and roll home. The comeback was completed twenty minutes from time when Nikki Watts converted from the spot following a hand-ball in the box.

WSL 2 table as it stands (credit: FA WSL)
WSL 2 table as it stands (credit: FA WSL)