WSL 2 Week Five Round-Up: Bristol lose ground at the top, Sheffield register first win and much more

With just one of the top four able to secure six points from their two games this week, there were plenty of twists and turns at the summit.

WSL 2 Week Five Round-Up: Bristol lose ground at the top, Sheffield register first win and much more
Watford continued their winless run with defeats against the Bees and Oxford. (Photo: Watford Ladies FC)

It's been another thrilling week in WSL 2, and we have a new leader at the end of it too, with Yeovil Town moving to the summit.

It was at the top that most of the excitement took place too, with Yeovil the only title-chasers who managed to pick up six points in their two games, and thus deservedly moving into position to lead the pack.

There was plenty of action elsewhere though, with goals and drama aplenty in week five.

Bees left buzzing after big win - Watford 0-5 London Bees

Vicarage Road once again boasted a healthy crowd for a Watford Ladies game when the Golden Girls took on London Bees at the start of the week, the 600+ crowd treated to a fine attacking performance, probably just not the one they wanted to see.

The Bees were up little more than 10 minutes in when Paula Howells flashed a ball across the face of goal for Jo Wilson to tap in, Wilson doubling the lead 10 minutes later after latching onto a loose ball and beating Sophie Cheadle one-on-one.

The visitors then made it four just two minutes later. First, Ashley Goddard hit a clean strike from outside the box into the bottom corner before Wilson sealed her hat trick with a well taken volley 10 yards out.

Although Watford improved in the second half, they still struggled to find a route through to goal and were limited to shots from distance, the final blow coming deep into stoppage time as Howells’ cross-cum-shot looped over Cheadle and curled in at the far post.  

The Blues the victors in the Midlands - Aston Villa 0-2 Everton

An early goal from Michelle Hinnigan set the pace as Everton dictated play throughout this game, Aston Villa struggling to get a foot-hold in it.

After seeing his side fall to a defeat at the hands of the Blues in their opening game of the season, Joe Hunt would have wanted more from his side, but the Villains couldn’t find a way through a well-organised Everton defence.

Ellie Stewart made it two not long after the restart but although they continued to threaten, the Toffees couldn’t add more to their tally.

Credit: AVLFCOfficial
Everton battled to a 2-0 win over Aston Villa. (Photo: @AVLFCOfficial)

Wildcats back to winning ways – Durham 1-0 Sheffield

These two last met two weeks ago when Sheffield claimed a healthy 3-1 win in an otherwise close game, the result granting them passage into the first round of the FA WSL Continental Cup. For Durham, that was their second defeat in as many games, having lost a week earlier to Villa.

Once again, this match was a closely run affair, both sides with chances throughout the 90 but neither with a killer final touch.

When it looked like the game was heading to a certain draw, Nat Gutteridge gave the hosts the edge seven minutes from time. Juliana Draycott was only able to push the ball back into the danger zone following a Beth Hepple corner and Gutteridge was the first to react two yards out, nodding past Draycott and into the net.

The result leaves the Wildcats, a side not to be written off, back in the mix at the top of the table.

Huish Park a happy home – Yeovil Town 2-0 Bristol City

In their third meeting of the year, Yeovil welcomed Bristol City to Huish Park, the Lady Glovers looking for a brighter start than their first league meeting which saw the Vixens leave with all three points despite a spirited second-half come-back.

Jamie Sherwood was left to rue a slow start earlier in the year, but this time his side hit the ground not just running but sprinting away, Sarah Wiltshire opening the scoring inside of the first minute. The hosts' advantage was then doubled on the half hour mark when Ellie Curson chipped Caitlin Leach.

Bristol, well in the game, couldn’t find a final product to beat Charlotte Haynes in the home goal and were resigned to their first defeat of the season.    

Credit: yeoviltownladies.com
A big game at the top, Yeovil emerged victorious in this one. (Photo: Yeovil Town LFC)

Bees and Wildcats battle for a point – London Bees 2-2 Durham

The Bees, who’d enjoyed the lions’ share of possession in the first half, went into the break a goal to the good through a bizarre own goal; Sarah Wilson misjudging her header back to Helen Alderson and the goalkeeper failing to stop the ball from finding the net.

Durham came out firing in the second half though and immediately had the hosts on the back foot. Moments after Jordan Atkinson saw her goal chalked off for offside following a corner, Hepple converted from the spot after a handball in the box.

With their tails up, the Wildcats then went ahead for the first time in the match when Mercy Darkoah stepped off of the bench and fired past Sophie Harris from close-range.

With time ticking down, the Bees, who’d been finding their feet again in the second-half, found an equaliser - Nikki Watts flashing one across the face of goal for Jo Wilson to thump into the back of the net.

Toffees and Lionesses play out another draw – Everton 1-1 Millwall

After already having played each other this season both sides knew what to expect from each other. Everton were looking for points to boost their promotion hopes while Millwall Lionesses - whose midweek game was postponed due to a fixture clash with the men - were simply looking for some positives after a recent fall from grace.

Millwall took the lead half way through the first-half, with Rinsola Babajide finishing from close range after Lilli Maple had sent the ball deep when Kristie Levell was out of position.

If the first half belonged to the Lionesses though then the second was all Everton; the Blue Girls desperate for a way back into the game. Kelly Jones restored parity just before the hour mark, after having been set up expertly by Danielle Turner but, although they hunted for a second, Everton couldn’t add to their total and both teams settled for a point.

Golden girls still hunting for first win – Oxford United 2-0 Watford

After a miserable start to the campaign, capped off with a 5-0 loss at home to the Bees earlier in the week, Katie Rowson would have been looking to take anything into the mid-season break, but unfortunately it was more of the same for Watford.

Ini Umotong, who’s now scored in five of her six league outings for Oxford United this season, opened the scoring inside of five minutes, finishing into an open goal after Cheadle had got into a tangle with Holly Pickett after an attempted clearance.

Kat Nutman made it two on the half hour mark, racing onto a long ball and coolly picking out the bottom corner. The U’s continued to threaten up to the last minutes but couldn’t further their advantage, while Watford still can’t pick themselves off the floor of the table.  

Vixens shocked in Dronfield – Sheffield 3-1 Bristol City

Sheffield opened the scoring up just four minutes into this game, Chelsea Flanagan converting from the spot after Hannah Dale was fouled in the box.

Chances then followed for both, but it was Bristol who claimed the next goal - Chelsea loanee Rosella Ayane finding the top corner from some distance.

Jodie Michalska gave the hosts the lead again just before half-time with a header following an Ellie Gilliatt free kick and, while the Vixens came out strongly in the second half, they couldn’t get the best of Draycott and when Dale added a third with a curling free kick, it was game over.

The victory, the first of the campaign for Sheffield, came at a price, with England U17 international Hannah Cain having to be stretchered off late in the second half. Fortunately, it seems the injury is not as serious as first suspected, with her to perhaps only miss the mid-season break.

Yeovil stage second half comeback to go top – Yeovil Town 4-2 Aston Villa

Yeovil started their second game of the week brightly, making sure Jess Myers had plenty to do in the Villa goal, but it was the visitors who took the lead at Huish Park. Hannah George was the player on target, heading past Haynes from a Beth Merrick free-kick.

The hosts fought back, with Wiltshire then Nadia Lawrence rattling the woodwork before Villa made it two on the stroke of half-time; Mollie Rouse feeding Katie Wilkinson for the striker to fire home.

The Lady Glovers hit back immediately after the restart, Wiltshire chipping Myers to half the deficit as Yeovil looked dangerous every time they went forward.

They then fought back and equalised on the hour mark, Helen Bleazard’s cross finding Wiltshire at the back-post and the attacker making no mistake from close-range.

With just fifteen minutes left on the clock, Yeovil took the lead for the first time in the game, Nicola Cousins tapping home after Myers had parried Bleazard’s free kick back into the box. Both teams were going for it, hammer and tong, but it was Yeovil who notched the sixth goal of the game in the dying minutes - Wiltshire claiming the match ball after chipping Myers for the second time in the match.   

A resilient second half from Yeovil that sees them go into the mid-season break top of WSL 2.

Yeovil lead the way, while Watford are still without a win. (Photo: FAWSL)
Yeovil lead the way, while Watford are still without a win. (Photo: FAWSL)