In an afternoon of success for the home teams, Durham, Manchester United, Charlton Athletic, Sheffield United and Aston Villa all picked up three points at home as Lewes, Tottenham, London Bees, Leicester City and Millwall all fell.
Back to looking a slick attacking outfit, Durham eased to a win over a struggling Lewes in one of the two early kick-offs. Becky Salicki’s rising header in the 18 minute a fast added to by Zoe Ness with a neat finish before Abi Cottam added the third in five minutes with a fine chip. Three became four just three minutes later as Cottam nabbed her second of the match, touching the ball home from a yard out. The match completely put out of the reach of the Rookettes ten minutes later as Cottam completed her hat trick with another point-blank effort.
In a rather one-sided affair, Spurs were forced to defend for the best part of 90 minutes as they attempted to hold off a rampant United team. With their backline their Achilles, it wasn’t long before Chloe Morgan was bested, Lauren James’ low effort evading the ‘keeper as it slipped into the bottom corner. James was on hand to tee up Jess Sigsworth later in the half, the former Donny woman in front of her marker and turning the ball home with ease. Two became three when Sigsworth rose well at the back post at a free kick, the striker left unmarked and given room to jump and direct her header in with ease.
Three goals down at the break, the visitors only tired as the match wore on, James’ replacement Charlie Devlin the one to claim the fourth goal as she brushed Renee Hector aside and picked out the bottom corner. There was a conciliation for the Lillywhites however, as they broke Siobhan Chamberlain’s clean-sheet streak as the Red Devils conceded their first goal of the season. Angela Addison’s rising header at a corner enough for the honours late in the day.
Having found their feet well in the league, Charlton picked up their fith win of the season, seeing off an injury-hit Bees team. A goal to the good three minutes in when Liz Ejupi turned home Gemma Bryan’s rebound, the Addicks refused to relinquish the lead, keeping Sarah Quantrill busy throughout. The hosts finally finding a cushion late in the first half when Bryan converted from 12-yards having been felled by the ‘keeper as the visitors looked to be coming back into the game.
Still probing for a goal, the Bees received no change from Katie Startup who remained vigilant from start to finish to preserve her clean sheet and ensure Charlton didn’t trip up.
In a match that Sheffield dominated, the clear-cut chances were few without a clear centre forward on the pitch for the Blades. The only goal not an underserved one but served with a big slice of luck and a happy deflection, Bex Rayner’s effort taking a healthy nick as it bested Demi Lambourne. With neither side at their best, the only thing for certain is both have a way to go in the league, this season and next.
Having been warming into the season, Villa got their first win on the board, pulling further away from the young Millwall side. Looking good money for a goal, Kerri Welsh opened the scoring just before the half hour with a strong header to steer Hollie Gibson’s cross beyond Chloe Sansom. The advantage doubled in the second half by Amy West, the midfielder curling the ball over the box and slotting it just under the bar to leave Millwall no room for a comeback.