Charlton keep pressure on top two as Premier League title race heats up

Highlights of Sunday’s women’s football action in the South East

Action from Lewes v Cardiff City

Cardiff stay top on goal difference after winning at Lewes (Photo: James Boyes)

The Premier League title race continues to thrill, with only four points separating the top five.

Five of this morning’s top six won, reinforcing the gap between the stronger and weaker teams in the Southern division, although Queens Park Rangers’ 8-1 win over Keynsham Town threatens to bridge that growing divide.

Cardiff City stay top on goal difference from Portsmouth after both won away from home.

City won 2-0 at Lewes, thanks to a double from Shanelle Edwards.

Pompey remain hot on their heels after coming away from Plymouth Argyle with a 3-0 victory. Charley Wilson, Gemma Hillier and Ini Umatong scored the goals that brought them their seventh league win in the last eight games.

Charlton Athletic remain third, just a point behind the top pair. They, too, are in magnificent form, and today’s 3-0 triumph over Gillingham was their fifth league win in a row. Katie Flack, the prolific Kit Graham – with her 20th of the season – and Charley Clifford were their goalscorers.

Spurs were the only one of the top six not to win, beaten on their own patch by Brighton, who remain fourth, following a scintillating second half that yielded all seven goals.

Wendy Martin put Spurs in front just after the break; Charley Boswell equalised, and then Charlotte Owen, Sophie Perry and a Jenna Schillaci own goal put the visitors 4-1 up before Martin grabbed her second and Jay Blackie finished off the 5-2 victory.

West Ham beat Copsewood Coventry 3-0 and QPR won 8-1 at bottom club Keynsham Town.

FAW Premier League Division One South West

Southampton Saints made it five wins in six to put themselves in a strong position to challenge for promotion to the Premier League Southern. They beat Shanklin – the last team to beat them – 2-0.

Forest Green Rovers are back on top after being deposed briefly by Swindon Town, who did not play today. Forest Green beat struggling St Nicholas 4-0.

St Nicholas remain above Gosport Borough, though, after their season continued to plunge the depths. Another depleted Gosport side crashed 12-0 to Exeter City.

The bottom club, without a point all season and without their first-choice goalkeeper for most of it, were 8-0 down at half-time but held their opponents to just one more for most of the second half before conceding three times in the last 10 minutes.

FAW Premier Reserves League

High-flying Brighton continue to make a big impression in the reserves’ league, too, hammering C&K Basildon‘s second string 8-0 at the Withdean Stadium.

Ellie Lock scored four, Lauren Davies three and Charlotte Markham the other as the Seagulls kept the pressure on leaders West Ham United.

Portsmouth‘s development side also enjoyed a convincing win ahead of their scheduled clash with Brighton next Sunday, triumphing 5-1 at home to Bedford.

Eileadh CurrieMegan Gratton, Emma-Jane May, Liz O’Callaghan and Deanna Taylor got the goals.

However, Lewes and Chichester City still cannot get that first win. Both lost narrowly today – Lewes at Crystal Palace and Chichester at Spurs.

London & South East Regional Women’s League

Fulham Foundation take over at the top after thrashing Aylesford 9-0, while previous leaders AFC Wimbledon crashed 4-0 at home to Carshalton Athletic, who are now serious contenders for back-to-back promotions.

Aylesford are still two places off the bottom after both Bexhill United and Hassocks again also failed to win.

South East Counties Women’s League

Premier League
Dartford Royals move level with leaders Herne Bay after beating Crockenhill 1-0. Herne Bay dropped their first points of the season, being held 1-1 at Meridian, who are just two points off the top.

South Park are off the bottom after beating Eastbourne 3-1 in Reigate. Sofia Da Costa hit a hat-trick in the win that takes the Surrey side three places up the league.

Jessie Holman scored on her debut for Parkwood Rangers at home to Anchorians, but the second-half substitute could not prevent the Kent side falling to a 4-3 defeat. Corrie Goodhew scored both Parkwood’s other goals.

Division One South West
In the league’s match of the day, leaders Worthing Minors triumphed 2-1 at Abbey Rangers and now boast the only 100% record in the division.

Dani Lane and Steph Carter got the visitors’ goals, Steph Sale Abbey’s in a titanic battle between what was the top two.

Seahaven Harriers now move between them after winning 5-0 at Worthing Town.

Wivelsfield Green remain the best of the rest after beating Adur Athletic 3-0, with goals from Claudia Vogel (2) and Hayley Plummer.

Burgess Hill 2nds beat bottom club Dorking 4-1, while Milford & Witley celebrated the scoreline of the day, hammering Bexhill United’s reserves 7-0, their goals including two apiece from  Alysia MacAlesher and Rebecca Singleton.

Division One South East
Celebrations at last at Aylesford Reserves, who won for the first time since promotion, defeating bottom club Castle Colts 3-0. Chloe Baker scored twice and Philippa Golding the other. Their previous three points came courtesy of a walkover win.

Kent Division
Long Lane Reserves
made it seven wins out of seven, defeating Anchorians 3rds 5-0. Teynham Gunners remain best of the also-rans, winning 4-2 at Barming to remain second but already seven points behind the leaders.

Sussex County Women and Girls League

Women’s Division
One of the most attractive-looking fixtures of a rather disappointing season for the division failed to materialise when Hurstpierpoint informed second-placed Lancing they could not raise a side for their match at Culver Road.

The postponement gave Lewes the chance to pull further away at the top, but they fell to only their second defeat of the season, losing 3-2 at Crawley Wasps, who are one of only two undefeated teams in the division but because of the frequent failures of teams to raise sides have played only two games after two months of the season.

Samantha Turner (2) and Emily Robinson scored for Crawley. Chloe Evans and Charlotte Russell replied for Lewes.

Danielle Leogue scored twice as Henfield moved off the bottom by winning 2-1 at Worthing Town.

Under-16 Division
Southdown
made it three wins out of three to remain top of the tiny under-16 division, beating Hawks Youth Withdean 7-2. Parris Curran hit a hat-trick, Lucy Jellett two and Alicia Brown and Ella Bates the others.

Surrey County Women and Girls League

Under-18 Division
Horsham Sparrows
and Crawley Town renewed acquaintance after both joining the Surrey league in the wake of the demise of Sussex’s under-18 division. Crawley, the leaders, emerged victorious, winning 3-2.

Hampshire County Women’s League

Under-18 Division
Portsmouth
are up to second after winning 5-2 at Winchester City Flyers.

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