Blue Moon ris­ing as Toni strikes again!

The Football League Paper - - WOMEN'S FOOTBALL WEEKLY -

TONI Dug­gan’s hot streak shows no signs of slow­ing down but Manch­ester City’s mid­field­ers are des­per­ate to back up her goal glut – ac­cord­ing to Iso­bel Chris­tiansen.

City landed a re­ver­ber­at­ing blow in the WSL 1 ti­tle race, now three points be­hind lead­ers

Chelsea with one game in hand af­ter Dug­gan’s su­perb ris­ing strike proved decisive in a 3-2 vic­tory at Ar­se­nal.

Alex Scott had can­celled out Eng­land full-back Lucy Bronze’s opener, but Chris­tiansen re­gained the lead for City be­fore Dug­gan pounced and Natalia headed a con­so­la­tion late on.

The onus has been very much on Dug­gan of late, who since touch­ing down back at City af­ter the World Cup has net­ted six times in six games.

In­deed, only Chris­tiansen has made any sort of con­tri­bu­tion from mid­field so far, with three goals to her name, and the 23year-old is ea­ger to see that change.

Qual­ity

“We want our mid­field­ers to be get­ting goals, so I think if we can get my­self and Jill Scott con­tribut­ing we’ll be de­lighted with that – we’re look­ing to build,” she said.

“Toni has im­mense qual­ity, and I had a great view for her goal, stand­ing be­hind her – it was noth­ing less than we ex­pected.”

FA Cup win­ners Chelsea re­claimed top spot af­ter a wob­ble in form, Eniola Aluko grab­bing a dou­ble and record sign­ing Fran Kirby scor­ing her first goal for the club in a 4-0 vic­tory over Birm

ing­ham.

And Gilly Fla­herty, who scored the third goal be­fore Kirby emerged from the bench, ad­mits Chelsea’s strength in depth could be what clinches the ti­tle.

“When you look at the bench and you have play­ers like Fran Kirby or Laura Coombs com­ing on then you know you have a strong squad,” she said.

“We have that qual­ity and that will re­ally help us in the next few weeks.”

Sun­der­land slipped down to sec­ond though Kelly McDougall’s late equaliser en­sured a share of the spoils against Liver­pool, who surely now have no hope of de­fend­ing their ti­tle, ten points off the top.

WSL 1 top-scorer Beth Mead got the ball rolling with a penalty be­fore Natasha Dowie’s su­perb lob lev­elled the scores, and Liver­pool edged ahead through Rosie White be­fore McDougall struck.

“We see it as two points dropped,” said Mead.“That’s the stan­dards we have set our­selves now to come away from a game against Liver­pool and be dis­ap­pointed with a draw.”

Don­caster Rovers Belles and Read­ing can­not be picked apart at the top of WSL 2 at the mo­ment af­ter both sides pro­duced clin­i­cal per­for­mances.

The Belles brushed aside bot­tom-placed Wat­ford as Beth Eng­land and Court­ney Sweet­man-Kirk – whose goal-scor­ing tally for the sea­son stands at 14 – struck twice and debu­tant Jade Lor­ton-Rad­burn scored the other in a 5-0 vic­tory.

Read­ing drilled four past Ox­ford as Nikki Watts, Emma Fol­lis, He­len Ward and Re­becca Jane all wrote their names on the score­sheet, but Belles striker Sweet­man-Kirk is adamant her side have the edge up­front.

Inspired

“The stats show now that we have as good an at­tack as Read­ing’s, if not bet­ter,” said Sweet­man-Kirk.

“We not only score a lot of goals but keep clean sheets as

well be­cause we’ve got a great de­fence.”

Lon­don Bees held third-placed Yeovil to an un­likely draw, Paula How­ells and An­dria Ge­or­giou mount­ing a sec­ond-half come­back.

Two goals from Danielle Turner against Mill­wall

Lionesses inspired a third win in the row for Ever­ton, and Nicki Gears earned

Durham an away vic­tory at As­ton Villa.

And, in the only Con­ti­nen­tal Tyres Cup tie of the week, Rin­sola Baba­jide’s su­perb late strike sealed a 4-2 win for Mill­wall over Wat­ford.

PIC­TURES: The FA

DE­LIGHT: Manch­ester City’s Iso­bel Chris­tiansen cel­e­brates scor­ing her side’s sec­ond goal against Ar­se­nal

ON SONG: Toni Dug­gan has scored six goals in six games

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