Women's Super League leaders Arsenal needed an equaliser by Kelly Smith to force a 1-1 draw with Bristol Academy.
In a dress rehearsal for next Monday's Continental Cup semi-final, striker Natasha Harding put Bristol ahead.
Birmingham, who are set to face Lincoln in the other semi, won 1-0 at Chelsea thanks to a late goal by England striker Rachel Williams.
Doncaster Belles beat Lincoln 2-1 to jump off the bottom of the table with their second win of the season.
Arsenal 1-1 Bristol Academy
Arsenal were in control for long stretches of the game but had to settle for a draw that moved them six points clear at the top of the table.
Scotland midfielder Kim Little was unlucky not to give the Gunners the lead with a 14th-minute shot that hit the post.
But six minutes later and against the run of play, Harding found space and from a tight angle drilled in the opening goal.
The Gunners were quickly back on the offensive but striker Gemma Davison's 38th-minute goalbound shot was cleared off the line by Academy captain Corinne Yorston.
Eleven minutes after the interval Davison sent in a fine cross for Smith, but from close range the England striker ballooned the ball over the bar.
The 33-year-old made amends for her miss in the 61st minute, however, striking home a tremendous 30-yard shot to level the scores.
The home side then pressed for a winner, but Bristol held out to give themselves a confidence boost ahead of their Continental Cup semi against the same opponents.
Chelsea 0-1 Birmingham City
Williams' late winner edged Birmingham into second place in the table, ahead of Everton on goal difference.
Both sides had early chances but neither goalkeeper was extended until Chelsea stopper Carly Telford had to make a good 38th-minute save from striker Jodie Taylor.
Two minutes later at the other end keeper Marie Hourihan had to make a smart stop from midfielder Dani Buet.
And just before the interval Hourihan did well to turn right winger Dunia Susi's angled shot for a corner.
The Birmingham keeper did even better 13 minutes into the second half, saving first from England left-back Claire Rafferty and then from Spain striker Adriana.
The deadlock was broken 12 minutes from time, when Williams grabbed the match-winner with a header that went in off the underside of the crossbar.
Doncaster Rovers Belles 2-1 Lincoln
Striker Millie Bright hit the winner to take the Belles off the foot of the table at the expense of Liverpool.
Lincoln had the better of the early exchanges but strikers Carla Cantrell and Lucy Staniforth both failed to find the net from decent openings.
The visitors paid for their profligacy when the Belles took a 20th-minute lead through a beautifully judged long distance lob by midfielder Alyssa Lagonia.
Chances then came and went at both ends before Bright doubled Donny's lead with a close-range shot following a 66th-minute corner.
Former Doncaster striker Precious Hamilton brought Lincoln back into contention with a 73rd-minute headed goal.
But despite late pressure by the Imps the home side held on to complete the double over their opponents and keep Lincoln third-bottom.