A spectacular Rachel Palmer goal was enough to help Wasps move level on points at the top of the table, while Yeovil put Hounslow to the sword in an eight-goal rout.
Gillingham 0-5 Cardiff City
Keynsham Town 1-6 Oxford United
MK Dons 2-0 Chichester City
Plymouth Argyle 0-1 Crawley Wasps
Watford P-P Portsmouth
Yeovil Town 8-0 Hounslow
Cardiff ease past Gills
Cori Williams struck a hat-trick as Cardiff made it back-to-back league wins to move up to third in the Southern Premier Division.
Two major incidents came after the 25th minute as Beth Powell was sent off for Gills and Cori Williams opened the scoring to put the visitors in front.
Williams doubled Cardiff’s lead deep into injury time to give her side a two-goal cushion heading into the break.
With a two-goal deficit, ten player Gillingham were always facing an uphill battle during the second half.
Carrie Jones added a third before Nadia Lawrence put the result beyond in the 74th minute, scoring her third goal of the season and Cardiff’s fourth of the afternoon.
Cori Williams completed the scoring, and her hat-trick, a few minutes later to round off a comfortable win.
The result sees Cardiff move up to third place, six points adrift of both Watford and Crawley, while Gillingham remain in eighth.
A dominant win for Cardiff, but more frustration for Gillingham who, after experiencing several postponements, hadn’t played a league game for eleven weeks before Sunday.
Oxford hit Keynsham for six
Liam Gilbert’s side exacted a measure of revenge on the K’s as Oxford ran out comfortable 1-6 winners.
The breakthrough came after just 13 minutes when Cheryl Williams connected with Clifford’s cross to give Oxford an early lead.
Ellie Goold scored her first goal of the campaign, curling an effort into the top corner, to restore parity moments before the interval.
Bent marked her first league start with a goal after she found space in the box with a late run and slotted home to help Oxford retake the lead.
Moore benefitted from a rebound to make it 1-3 after Baker’s shot was saved before Williams added her second of the afternoon, and Oxford’s fourth, just a minute later. Williams’ tenth goal of the season.
Oxford struck twice more, in quick succession, to seal a dominant win. Georgia Clifford scored her first goal for the club in the 80th minute, with 17-year-old Johns adding a sixth moments later.
The result sees no changes in the league, with Oxford and Keynsham remaining in fifth and tenth place respectively. However, it does mean The U’s keep the pressure on the top three.
Six goals, five scorers (three of whom entered double digits for the campaign) and a pleasing start to the new year for Liam Gilbert’s side.
MK Dons seal first three points since September
MK Dons overcame bottom side, Chichester, with a goal either side of the break.
The visitors took the lead in the 25th minute as Jade Bell’s cross-shot [‘crot’] evaded Jamie Rowland’s grasp to find the back of the net.
MK Dons had chances to extend their lead, but resolute defending and some tidy saves from Rowlands restricted them to a goal advantage at the break.
Jess Driscoll doubled the visitors’ lead, from close range, on the hour mark following good link-up play from Naylor and Farrow.
Both sides spurned chances; a combination of good defending and ‘keeping from Kirby enough to earn a clean sheet for MK Dons, while it was a similar story at the other end of the pitch, with Rowlands and her backline holding firm to prevent any further goals.
The result sees no change in the league, with MK Dons and Chichester remaining in ninth and twelfth place respectively.
A massive three points for MK Dons, who after starting the season brightly, were made to wait 19 weeks for their next league win. And while it doesn’t alter their league position, it does open up a seven-point gap between them and the relegation zone.
Wasps maintain promotion bid
A fantastic Rachel Palmer strike was enough to secure all three points and move Crawley Wasps level with Watford at the top of the table.
Both teams cancelled each other out during the opening 45 minutes of a hard-fought contest, a combination of near misses and organised backlines ensured neither side was able to break the deadlock.
Heroics from Argyle shot-spotter, Ben Kyle, prevented Wasps from taking the lead ten minutes after the restart as the game continued to flow from end to end.
Middleton was sent to the sin bin in the 78th minute for dissent, after questioning the referee’s decision.
The breakthrough finally came two minutes later as Rachel Palmer’s fantastic strike hit the back of Kyle’s net to give Wasps the lead, and with no further goals, the three points.
The result sees Wasps move level on points with Watford as the Sussex side continues their push for promotion. Meanwhile, it means that Plymouth, and the rest of the chasing pack, are six points adrift of the top two.
Wiltshire stars as Yeovil thrash Hounslow
Yeovil began the year in dominant fashion, emphatically beating Hounslow 8-0, to maintain pressure on a third-place finish.
Sarah Wiltshire made the breakthrough in the 19th minute when her run from deep was met with a cross, Wiltshire prodding home to give the hosts the lead.
Dudley-Jones doubled Yeovil’s lead two minutes before Wiltshire added a third in the 26th minute.
Captain Annie Heatherson finished nearly into the corner from the penalty spot, to extend the hosts’ lead to four before the break.
Wiltshire completed her hat-trick five minutes after the restart when a passing move found the forward through on goal, Wiltshire dinking the ball over the on-rushing ‘keeper to add a fifth.
Ellie Strippel marked her debut with a goal before Wiltshire struck again, scoring her 18th of the campaign and Yeovil’s seventh of the afternoon.
With three minutes remaining, substitute Megan Wood completed the scoring, sweeping the ball into the net from close range.
The result sees Yeovil move within two points of the top three, while Hounslow are currently in 11th place, four points from safety [10th].
Eight points, while not insurmountable, may mean a top-two finish is out of Yeovil’s reach. However, they’re very much in the battle for third place, which considering everything the club has experienced, would be a fantastic achievement for the club.