It was a bumper crop of fixtures in the English second tier, and they didn't disappoint.
Late penalty decides the tie – London Bees 2-1 Millwall
In a fairly open contest the Bees were first to draw blood, a quick break saw Jo Wilson bursting through the defence before tucking the ball past Sarah Quantrill in the Millwall goal; the hosts up inside of ten minutes. The game, a London derby, lived up to the billing and both sides went close in the second half, Nicola Watts and Fliss Gibbons each hitting the woodwork for their respective teams.
A Naomi Cole free kick that went all the way through and evaded Sophie Harris in the home goal just after the hour looked to be enough for both to share the spoils but there was late drama at the Hive when Quantrill collided with Wilson in the box, into stoppage time and a penalty to the Bees. Watts was over the ball and held her nerve to covert the spot kick gifting the Bees their first win of the season, Millwall’s unbeaten record this year broken.
Lady Glovers consign Oxford to fourth consecutive loss – Yeovil 2-0 Oxford
It was a hard fought match at Huish Park with both teams digging in. Oxford were looking for their first points of the season and Yeovil desperate to keep pace at the top of the table. The deadlock was finally broken 77 minutes in, Nicola Cousins with a free header at the back post following a Sarah Wiltshire corner kick.
The Lady Glovers doubled their tally with the last kick of the game; a Helen Bleazard cross found Annie Heatherson unmarked at the back-post for a tap-in. A resilient performance from the U’s who can take positives from the game, although continue to hug the bottom of the table.
Farrow double the difference – Bristol 2-0 Aston Villa
Aston Villa dictated play for the first twenty minutes but had nothing to show for their possession. When Millie Farrow scored a rather fortuitous goal 30 minutes in – the ball cannoned off of the striker when Jade Richards, desperately trying to clear the ball, fired it straight at Farrow’s legs and the ball looped over Jess Myers and into the goal – the Villains knew it wasn’t going to be their day.
A second goal followed two minutes into the first half after Farrow was felled in the area, with the striker stepping up to take the penalty and coolly converting. Although Bristol couldn’t further their lead, Villa couldn’t find a way past their defence.
A lesson in finishing from Yeovil – Millwall 0-4 Yeovil
In their second meeting in six days both managers were looking for an improved performance to clinch the win but Yeovil’s clinical attackers were just too much for Millwall to deal with. The first goal game a minute before half-time, Helen Bleazard latched onto an Ellie Curson through-ball, rounding Sarah Quantrill before slotting home. The Lionesses were unlucky to be going to the break a goal down, with the Lady Glovers picking up where they left off after the break and pushing the hosts to the back-foot.
However, for all the chances both teams had it took a moment of pure magic from Annie Heatherson; the striker finding the top corner from 25 yards to add the second of the game. A second for Heatherson followed ten minutes later as she broke into the box to head home after Quantrill had parried Natasha Knapman’s initial effort.
With less than five minutes left on the clock, Sarah Wiltshire, creative and deadly as ever, added a fourth, volleying over Quantrill from 20-yards to shoot Yeovil to the top of the table. A scoreline that does nothing to highlight the open nature of the game or the quality Millwall showed throughout.
Goalkeepers star as Villa win at home – Aston Villa 2-0 Durham
The first half saw chances for both sides however neither Jess Myers nor Helen Alderson were willing to bend under the pressure of the respective attacks and the two teams went in all square at the half. Past the hour mark and it seemed like the game was destined to be a stalemate, attack cancelled out by defence, but the breakthrough finally came and in favour of the hosts.
Alderson was finally beaten as Katie Wilkinson headed home after being found by an inch-perfect Bethan Merrick cross and Mollie Rouse confirmed the win eight minutes from time; the sub with a close-range finish after a Merrick cross.
Quick-fire Toffees sting Bees – Everton 5-1 London Bees
Although both had had chances when the two sides went in at the break there was only one goal separating them, Kelly Jones breaking the deadlock a minute before half-time, it was Everton who flew out of the blocks in the second half. Dan Turner headed home from two yards out less than five minutes after the restart, with the Bees shaken, Everton added a quick second as Jones set up Turner for her brace.
Then a third goal in the space of just seven minutes. Michelle Hinnigan opened her account for the season with a tap-in. The Bees earned a conciliation late in the game, Paula Howells the first to the ball after it had been flashed across the face of goal. But the Blue Girls weren’t done yet as Simone Magill added a fifth for the hosts with a thunderbolt into the top corner.
Oxford enjoy first victory of season – Oxford 1-0 Sheffield
Oxford, after being out-played in the first half went in at the break lucky to not be behind, Sheffield confused as to how they weren’t ahead having had the lion’s share of possession and twelve shots at the home goal. The second half was a polar opposite of the first, The U’s charging at Sheffield, dominating the game as stifling their visitors.
The goal coming just after the hour as Laura Nichol wrong-footed her marker in the box and squared the ball to the back post for Ini Umotong, in space, to slot past Julia Draycott.
Unbeaten Vixens go top – Watford 0-2 Bristol
It took just six minutes for Bristol to break Watford’s resolve, Grace McCatty heading the ball back into the box for Rosella Ayane to take on the volley, her first-time shot finding the inside of the post. The second goal coming on the half hour, Sophie Cheadle fumbling the ball after a Jodie Brett corner, Oliva Fergusson was the first to pounce and fire past the red-faced 'keeper.
Bristol continued to threaten in the second half but couldn’t further their advantage. The Vixens climbed back to the summit whilst Watford are still on the hunt for their first win of the season.