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Sunderland notched up their fourth victory in a row and went seven points clear at the top by beating Birmingham City 2-0.
The Blues went closest in a goalless first half with Isobel Christiansen's shot being touched onto the bar by Rachael Laws, whilst Sunderland defender Gemma Wilson had a goal disallowed after the break. The game seemed to be heading for a draw until the last five minutes, when Natalie Gutteridge powerfully headed Sunderland in front from a Kelly McDougall corner. Sarah Danby took advantage of a bad back pass to score her third goal in successive games and ensured that her side will top the table at Christmas.
Arsenal moved into second place - with seven games in hand - by running out 8-0 winners over Bristol Academy, who may have caught the backlash from the Gunners' League Cup semi final defeat seven days earlier.
Kim Little gave Arsenal the lead from the penalty spot with the first of her double and they added further goals through Jayne Ludlow, Helen Lander, Gemma Davison, Katie Chapman, Jennifer Beattie and Danielle Carter, who notched her first senior goal.
Doncaster Rovers Belles also made it four wins on the trot, a 5-1 success away to Blackburn Rovers who remain at the foot of the table. Liz Hanson gave the Belles a third minute lead which was cancelled out by Katie Anderton, but Precious Hamilton put Doncaster back in front ahead of half time. Vicky Exley added a double after the break and Hanson completed the scoring with her second goal.
Everton moved up to fifth, their highest position of the season to date, by beating Millwall Lionesses 2-1. Gwennan Harries and Michelle Hinnigan both scored in a five minute first half spell which proved to be enough to take the points, despite Lauren Phillips pulling a goal back for Millwall in the second half.
Watford and Nottingham Forest battled out a goalless draw which inches both sides further away from the bottom two places. Both teams went close to breaking the deadlock in a well contested game but neither was able to secure all three points.
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