SEAGULLS FLY TO TOP – THANKS TO FLUKE
WITH former WPL South leaders Cardiff not in action, Brighton took full advantage and leapfrogged their title rivals.
The Seagulls defeated West Ham 1-0, thanks to a Jay Blackie finish 15 minutes from time. However, the breakthrough came in slightly fortunate fashion.
Deanna Cooper hit a hopeful cross from 40 yards and, with a slight touch from Blackie, it found its way in to the net.
Charlton remain just three points behind top spot in third after a hard fought 2-1 win over strugglers QPR. The Valley was the venue for this one and the Addicks took the lead just before the break. Stef Simmons played in a perfect cross that was met by Kit Graham. They doubled their advantage three minutes into the second half when Charley Clifford’s sublime finish from 20 yards put them firmly in the ascendancy.
Improving QPR battled back when Danielle Puddefoot’s unstoppable free-kick halved the deficit, but it was only to be a consolation.
Portsmouth bagged their first win in five matches as they dispatched
Tottenham 4-0. They raced to a 3-0 lead before the break, scoring their first after seven minutes. Lucy Quinn netted after a neat short-corner routine and added a second after half an hour. Spurs had a golden opportunity when they won a penalty on 39 minutes. But Courtney Trodd denied Jenna Schillaci.
To add insult to injury, Imi Umotong added a third on the stroke of half-time.
Spurs had chances to get back in the game in the second half but Umotong sealed the points five minutes from time.
Coventry United also had a comfortable afternoon as they beat mid-table Lewes 4-0.
Ashleigh Neville was on target after 11 minutes and Natasha Lynch doubled the advantage before the break.
Just before the hour, Helen Dermody added a third, before Lynch smashed home her second from a free-kick.
In the WPL North, Lagan Makin scored a hat-trick in an emphatic 6-0 win for Preston at home to Huddersfield.
Natasha Flint, Gemma Watson and Charlotte Farrell were also on target sealing a fifth straight win for them in all competitions.
Stoke City showed their title credentials by despatching third-placed Derby 5-1, their second win over the Rams in a month.
Katie Lowder opened the scoring for Derby, but Laura Gardside levelled and added a second before the break.
Abby Hunt continued the turnaround after half-time scoring twice in ten minutes before Gardside secured her hat-trick.
In-form Stoke now sit a point behind leaders Nottingham Forest, having scored 14 goals in their last four league games.