Millwall, Sheffield and Everton all notched important wins as Brighton found their first against WSL 2 opposition with the Belles holding on at home.
Millwall claimed their second win over the Bees this year with a dominant display at the Hive, Lee Burch’s team seem to have finally found their grove with their back-to-back league wins. Just like last time out it was Ella Rutherford and Arsenal loanee Charlie Devlin who gave the Lionesses their goals in London, the team keen to get the ball down and play.
A second-half drive from the Bees saw skipper Ashleigh Goddard slice the deficit in half, two minutes after the break but the hosts were unable to overcome their visitors again and Millwall left with all three points.
Sheffield found their second win of the Spring Series when they hosted Oxford in the late kick-off on Saturday, the hosts pegged back just after the quarter hour by a clinical Ini Umotong penalty. Zoe Johnson’s team responded well to going behind and came out after the break with a renewed fire, and watched their one goal deficit turn into a two-goal advantage with three goals in 13 minutes. Jenna Dear found parity early in the half before Emma Johnson gave her side the lead just six minutes later with Ellie Gilliatt adding a third seven minutes after the second.
Oxford weren’t going down without a fight however and after grabbing her second goal to make the last fifteen minutes interesting, Umotong was given her marching orders for tussling with Juliana Draycott in an attempt to get the ball for a fast restart. A player down, Oxford struggled to find their best with the clock running out and fell to their fourth loss of the season.
Alessia Russo got the ball rolling for the Seagulls just five minutes into their home encounter with Watford, nodding Sophie Perry’s free kick beyond Lucy Gillett. Welsh international Bronwen Thomas added a second just after the half hour as the hosts controlled the match although they were in for a fight back after the break. Five minutes into the second-half, a poor back-pass from Kirsty Barton dropped kindly for Merrick Will who gladly cut the deficit in two.
A late scramble saw Perry clear Rinsola Babajide’s shot off of the line as the Golden Girls continued to hunt for the equaliser that never came with Brighton holding on to claim their first win of the series.
A first-half goal from Christie Murray had the belles cruising at home as the hosts were able to dictate play with Durham just off of the pace although the Wildcats had a better time of it in the second-half and Becky Salicki’s equaliser just after the hour saw the game drifting towards a draw. Despite their best efforts the Belles couldn’t find a way of getting the ball beyond Rachael Laws and over the line until the very death when Courtney Sweetman-Kirk snatched the winner two minutes from time, with a thumping header following Murray’s corner.
Everton 3-0 Aston Villa
Keen to bounce back from their loss last time out Everton got themselves right back on track with a commanding win at home to Aston Villa. After a quite first half an hour the hosts kicked up the tempo and were soon rewarded as Northern Ireland international Simone Magill smashed in a twenty-yard volley late in the half. The pressure continued into the second-half and the hosts were left stunned as the ball cannoned into the woodwork twice in the space of seconds, stubbornly refusing to cross.
But the hosts finally found their breathing space twenty minutes from time when Claudia Walker made it two from four as her cross-cum-shot evaded Chloe Beattie. The game wrapped up eight minutes later when substitute Faye Bryson smashed the ball into the hungry net just three minutes after coming on.