After four match weeks, Tottenham remain the only team with a 100% record after a win over Crystal Palace, though Manchester United remain above them having played one more – a scoreless draw at home to Durham. Charlton too have continued their unbeaten form with a comprehensive win over Lewes as Leicester City eased past the Bees and Sheffield United furthered Aston Villa’s misery.
In what was always likely to be one of their toughest tests in the first orbit of fixtures, the Red Devils dropped their first points of the campaign when they came up against a steely Durham side. Working Hannah Reid throughout, there was little the hosts could do to get the better of the shot-stopper or the determined visiting defence.
Even winning their third penalty in four matches, Reid refused to be beaten, turning Katie Zelem’s spot-kick around the post and putting an end to the midfielder’s 100% record from 12-yards.
Fully in their stride for the season, the Addicks brushed aside a determined Lewes team to end their perfect start to the season. Taking the lead less than ten minutes in with a scrappy effort that bounced around before Charley Clifford nudged it home, the hosts had to wait for the second half to find their cushion.
Linking up well, Charlotte Gurr was well picked out by Kit Graham after a dummy to create space. The senior of the duo arrived in the box to turn the ball home at the back post on the hour to leave Lewes with little room for a trademark comeback. Denied a third for a late offside, the hosts were pegged back minutes later when Avilla Bergin calmly converted from the spot.
The lead was however, short-lived as substitute Lily Agg slotted the ball into the bottom right corner before Graham added a fourth four minutes from time.
A goal to the good seven minutes in after Hope Nash was felled in the box, Kallie Balfour claimed her second goal against the Lilywhites this campaign as she slipped the ball into the bottom corner. The lead lasted less than ten minutes however, as Rianna Dean pounced on Megen Lynch’s parry to turn the ball home.
On the front foot, the visitors again struggled to make their mark in Bromley, Angela Addison’s strike after the hour enough to decide the tie. Teed up by Coral-Jade Haines after the former Birmingham City woman had disposed Nash, Addison eased the ball up and over Lynch to keep Spurs’ perfect start to the season.
Off the mark three minutes in when Rosie Axten nipped the ball off of Sarah Quantrill, skipped around the ‘keeper and slotted home. The Foxes only went from strength to strength through the game, doubling their advantage after the half hour courtesy of a sublime curler from Freda Ayisi. All but putting the game to bed before the break, the hosts claimed a third seven minutes later as Leigh Dugmore picked out the bottom corner to leave the Bees needing a miracle.
Awarded a penalty for a handball, the visitors pulled one back five minutes into the lengthy first-half stoppage time, Ruesha Littlejohn composed from 12-yards. With Quantrill still being worked at one end, the visitors found a second 20 minutes from time when Destiney Toussaint lobbed Demi Lambourne. With the game suddenly open with one goal separating the two, it was the hosts who wrapped up the win with seven minutes left, Nicole Nymoen’s effort from the edge of the box too good for Quantrill.
Without a goal or a point having played two games this season, the Blades made sure to get off of the mark in a rare appearance at Bramall Lane.
A goal to the good for minutes in when Sophie Jones wrote her name in the Sheffield history books, the hosts did well to avoid slipping up as Villa pulled level after a fine strike from Kerri Welsh. Awarded a penalty ten minutes before the break, Alethea Paul calmly restored the lead for the hosts with a firm strike from 12-yards.
Curling the ball up and around, Jones found the top left corner six minutes after the break to leave the home fans applauding as the Blades found a suitable cushion. The gloss put on 20 minutes later as the attacker completed her hat trick, slotting the ball home at the back post.