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Women's Football News
There were no major surprises in the second round of group matches in the Premier League Cup.
Barnet booked their place in the knockout stages and are almost certain to finish top of Group One after a goal just after the half hour from Stacey Sowden gave them a 1-0 win away to West Ham Utd. Colchester Utd defeated Queen's Park Rangers 3-0 to go into second place, Sian Larkin bagging a double for the U's either side of a first half goal from Flo Gamby.
Blackburn Rovers scored six without reply against Preston North End and are set to win Group Two. Vanessa Leat netted the only goal of the first half, four minutes before the interval, before Katie Anderton and Danielle Sheen scored in quick succession after the restart. Nikki Twohig, Nicole Emmanuel and Nichol Forster completed the tally. Rochdale went level on points with second placed Curzon Ashton by beating them 3-2. Issy Hayes gave Curzon a first half lead which was cancelled out after the break by Sam Fleck. Chantelle Parry and Steph Bell put Dale two ahead before Claire Harrop grabbed a late consolation for the visitors.
One match was played in Group Three due to Cardiff City having international call ups for Wales under-19s. Watford and Coventry City battled out a 1-1 draw which leaves the National Division side needing a win from their final game to go through. Sarah Wiltshire maintained her good start to the season by giving Watford the lead seventeen minutes from time, before Milly Durrant earned a share of the spoils for the Sky Blues.
Brighton & Hove Albion are heading towards the Second Round after a third minute goal from Kim Whitcombe saw them to a 1-0 victory over Gillingham. Millwall Lionesses won 2-1 at Charlton Athletic to go second, Sarah Jones' early strike for Millwall was cancelled out on ten minutes by Gemma Bryan, but Emma Whitter popped up to settle the match in the Lionesses' favour, ten minutes from time.
Nottingham Forest are three points clear at the top of Group Five following their 2-1 victory away to Leicester City. Jo Potter put Leicester ahead via a 40-yard free kick but Forest were level seven minutes later, Natalie Clarke heading home a Catherine Lawson corner. The winner came just before the hour from a penalty disputed by the home side, when Leah Rawle was adjudged to have handled in the area and Lawson stepped up to slot home the resulting spot kick and send her team into the knockout phase. Lauren Cresswell came close to adding a third for Forest when she struck the woodwork. Manchester City boosted their hopes of qualifying with a 3-2 success at Derby County. After Jo Scully had given the home side the lead, Krystle Johnston and Lauren Beckford ensured that City were in front at the break and Lindsay Savage added a third, before Jenni Anslow pulled a goal back for Derby.
Reading FC Women came from behind to beat Portsmouth 2-1 and march into the last 32 from Group Six. Pompey led for much of the game through Cassie Thorp's goal but late strikes from Gemma Sims and Mikaela Howell saw Reading home (see match report). A last minute goal from Naomi Clipston salvaged Keynsham Town a 1-1 draw against Yeovil Town, who had led from late in the first half thanks to Jemma Tewkesbury.
In Group Seven, Cup holders Leeds Utd swept to the top of the table by running out 4-1 winners over Newcastle Utd. An own goal from Jo Cartwright put Leeds ahead and Carey Huegett added a double before the break. Beth Gardener reduced the arrears for Newcastle nine minutes from time, before Leah Galton rounded off the win for Leeds two minutes later. Sunderland came away from Leeds City Vixens with a 3-0 victory, Natalie Gutteridge netting either side of the interval and Kiera Ramshaw adding the other.
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