WSL 2 came back from it's mid-season break this week and it wasn't low-key about it's return either, with plenty of goals, action and upsets in the second tier.
Four goals in the first half enough for the Vixens – Bristol City 4-1 Oxford United
It was a frantic start in Bristol when the hosts had an early Millie Farrow goal cancelled out by a Ini Umotong strike, but it didn’t take long for the Vixens to get back on the front foot courtesy of debutant Claire Emslie.
Emslie was on hand to wrap up her brace just 13 minutes later before Farrow added her second just before the half-time whistle. With Oxford rarely threatening in the second-half, Bristol were able to see the match out comfortably.
With both sides rusty after the mid-season break neither team could find the cutting edge in the first-half and the fans had to wait until just before the hour mark to see the ball find the back of the net.
Ellie Curson set Atlanta Primus free with a long ball, the young attacker timing her run to beat the offside trap and finish into the bottom corner. The Lady Glovers doubled their tally for the day 15 minutes later when Sarah Wiltshire chipped the onrushing Helen Alderson from the edge of the box.
Durham will be frustrated with the result after squandering chances throughout the match and having a very strong penalty shout waved away in the first-half.
A point a piece at Coles Lane – Aston Villa 1-1 London Bees
If was a breathless start to the second-half of the season for both teams when they met last weekend, both with a number of chances but neither able to beat the 'keeper.
The break-through came just before half-time when a defensive mix-up gifted Nikki Watts the ball, Chloe Beattie was on hand to make the save but Eva Popadinova was first to the loose ball to tap it into the gaping net. Katie Wilkinson levelled for the hosts ten minutes after the restart, her direct 25-yard free kick too much for Bees 'keeper, Sophie Harris.
Both sides battled hard to find a winner but were thwarted by two 'keepers very much on their game.
It was a shock loss for Andy Spence’s Blue Girls in their first match after the break. Even though they started brightly against the WSL 2 strugglers, their deserved lead was instantly cancelled out as Ellie Mason beat Kirstie Levell from the spot.
After conceding, the Toffees seemed to completely lose their heads. Easily frustrated they struggled to cause Watford any serious problems, their frustrations were compounded when they were caught on the counter, Charlotte Kerr beating Levell with a sumptuous strike from the left side of the box.
Although they kept pushing for a second goal, Everton couldn’t find the magic touch in front of goal and fell to their first defeat of the year - as Watford got their first win.
Villans play out second draw in three days – Aston Villa 2-2 Bristol City
The Vixens missed out on a chance to go level with Yeovil on points when Aston Villa came from behind twice in the latter stages of their midweek tie.
After both sides had wasted opportunities throughout the match, Bristol had their noses in front in the 75th minute. However, Jodie Brett's superb 25-yard strike kept her side ahead for less than ten minutes as Natasha Baptiste calmly slotted the ball past Caitlin Leach.
Still, the Vixens were back ahead seconds later when Reading-loanee Charlie Estcourt nudged her team back in front and, with time running out, it looked as if Bristol were going to strengthen their title-push with a win.
Nonetheless, City were consigned to a lone point as Beth Merrick scored a last-gasp equaliser in the fourth minute of stoppage time.
The draw will feel like a win for the Lady Villans who will only be boosted by their performance. Conversely, Bristol will see the result as a loss, any points dropped could be disastrous for their promotion hopes and to concede at the death will be a tough pill to swallow.
Third draw on the bounce for the Bees – Millwall 1-1 London Bees
The Bees were once again involved in a draw as they faced off with Millwall in the FAWSL London derby.
Chances were at a premium in the first half but the Lionesses went in at half-time with a goal advantage courtesy of a top class curler from Rinsola Babajide.
Even though they had the lion's share of possession and arguably the better chances, the Bees were unable to find the right ball to trouble Sarah Quantrill. When all three points looked to be going to Millwall though, the Bees found an equaliser five minutes from time, the hosts unable to clear at a corner as Merrick Will applied the decisive touch to put the ball away.
The draw is the second in as many games for both teams, Millwall hoping to find their second win of the campaign sooner rather than later. The draw means the Bees are now unbeaten in their last five matches (in all competitions) although it seems unlikely that they could stretch the run to six as their next match is against current WSL 1 champions, Chelsea.
U’s stretch unbeaten home run – Oxford United 2-2 Yeovil Town
In the week's final game, Oxford got off to a dream start when Ini Umotong was set free by Ella Franklin-Fraiture to calmly poke past Charlotte Haynes inside of three minutes.
Although Yeovil were growing into the game, it was Oxford who netted the second of the night too, Umotong with a wonderful solo effort to beat two defenders and the 'keeper.
The hosts' two goal lead only lasted a matter of seconds before Hannah Short got the decisive touch on a ball that was being sent back and forth at a corner, halving the deficit.
Yeovil continued to threaten more after the half-time break and, after Curson’s fantastic looped goal just before the hour, Oxford were forced to sit deep and defend to their lives as the Lady Gloves threw wave after wave of attack at them at 2-2.
However, the U’s held firm and, with fine defensive work from all involved, held out for a hard-earned point in Abingdon.