There was movement at the bottom of the table last time out in WSL 2 as Aston Villa grabbed their first win with a hearty 4-0 over struggling Watford and the Bees earned a credible draw in Durham.
Elsewhere Brighton and Millwall recorded respective 1-0 home wins over Sheffield and Oxford whilst the Belles hit Spurs for four.
Durham 0-0 London Bees
Historically having little to no luck at New Ferens Park, the Bees returned to the capital with a surprising point, their first of the season, after a hard-fought draw against title hopefuls Durham.
A strong first half saw the Wildcats come close a number of times, though the requisite finish was just missing before the visitors saw the better chances after the break though neither Helen Alderson nor Nicola Hobbs were in the mood to relent their clean sheets.
Despite seeing the lion’s share of possession and chances, Brighton struggled to find that all important spark in front of goal when it mattered, the game drifting towards a scoreless draw before Kirsty Barton fired the Seagulls ahead late in the day, turning Sophie Perry’s inch-perfect cross past Danielle Gibbons. Inches away from a second throughout the rest of the match there was little Sheffield could do as the side from the south pulled away and saw out a convincing win in Lancing.
Aston Villa 4-0 Watford
Struggling for results so far this year, the Villainesses finally got off of the mark with a commanding display in Tamworth to further Watford’s woes.
Bethan Merrick’s curled effort less than two minutes in set the tone as Villa brushed the Golden Girls aside, the lead doubled before the half hour by Ebony Salmon who raced through the defence before finishing past Fran Kitching. Having seen a handful of chances drift wide of catch the woodwork, Watford were finally put out of their misery when captain, Chloe Jones nodded Merrick’s deft free kick home at the start of the second half.
There was still time for Merrick to make it four with a trademark free kick that left Kitching powerless to stop the certain goal. The win sees Villa spring up to eighth and end a run of six games without a win (in all competitions), Watford remain without a win in six league games.
Yet to lose this season, Millwall continued their rich vein of form with a home win over a strong Oxford team. Combining well with Rianna Dean, in-form youngster Ella Rutherford gave the Lionesses the lead less than ten minutes in with a super strike from range that bested Demi Lambourne. The match remained an open and hotly contested affair throughout, both sides seeing good chances but the respective ‘keepers doing well to earn their keep, the match too tight to call until the whistle.
Having seen an early Coral-Jade Haines goal ruled out for offside, Spurs were fast put on the backfoot as the Belles eased through the gears and soon took the lead when Ryah Vyse touched Kirsty Hanson’s cross past her own ‘keeper. The Belles could have had a fast second though they too fell foul of the offside trap, Christie Murray’s effort chalked off before Jess Sigsworth turned Hanson’s cross past Toni-Anne Wayne.
In a bizarre match, the offside flag was hoisted for a third time before the hour, Murray again refused a goal soon before Monique Watson turned the Scottish international’s pass home for her first ever senior goal, putting the game to bed. There was still time for a fourth however as Murray finally got her deserved goal, combining with fellow Scot, Hanson to head home before Spurs grabbed a late consolation from substitute Wendy Martin.