Second-half goal rush keeps Leeds on top

By Wilf FrithWomen's football correspondent

Aston Villa temporarily pegged Leeds back at 1-1 but three goals in a 10-minute spell kept United at the top of the Women's Premier League.

Second-placed Sunderland made it four away wins on the trot with a Beth Mead goal at Reading.

With only their second win of the season, basement side Watford stunned hosts Coventry City with a 3-1 victory.

Charlton Athletic moved into fourth spot with a goal in each half to beat Cardiff City 2-0.

Barnet ended a run of three straight losses by sending Nottingham Forest to a 4-2 defeat.

Aston Villa 1-4 Leeds United

Leeds were ahead after only seven minutes through Millie Bright but Natalie Gibson equalised in the 34th minute.

The visitors re-established their lead in the 57th minute from Carey Huegett and Jess Holbrook extended it direct from a 65th-minute free-kick.

Two minutes later Emma Johnson wrapped up the scoring at 4-1.

Barnet 4-2 Nottingham Forest

The Bees took a 10th-minute lead with Cheryl Williams' corner sailing straight in and Danielle Murphy volleyed in the second five minutes before the break from a Stacey Sowden cross.

Sowden then struck twice from close range in the space of seven minutes early in the second half, the first following a pacey run by Emma Davies, the second after Williams drove into the box and squared the ball.

Suzanne Davies pulled a goal back on 62 minutes and Becky Anderson added Forest's second in stoppage time.

Charlton Athletic 2-0 Cardiff City

The Addicks took a 15th-minute lead with a quick break, Kit Graham riding a tackle to feed Gemma Bryan, who cut inside to fire into the bottom corner.

Cardiff's best spell came late in the first half, when Gwennan Harries had a few chances but none were taken.

Sinead Boyer knew little about her goal midway through the second half, as Bryan's effort was cleared off the line straight onto her forehead and into the back of the net.

Coventry City 1-3 Watford

Shortly after a Coventry corner forced a defensive header against the bar, Sarah Wiltshire's inswinging corner for Watford went straight in past keeper Sarah Morgan in the 21st minute.

Wiltshire was denied a second by the post but Megan Wynne cut inside to fire the Hornets 2-0 up just short of the hour.

Katy Ward replied with a low drive 15 minutes from time via Courtney Sweetman-Kirk's pass but an error forced by pressure from Ashley Hall swiftly let in Wiltshire for Watford's third.

Reading 0-1 Sunderland

Beth Mead became joint top scorer in the league, with her 14th of the season giving Sunderland victory at Reading.

Sunderland had the lion's share of the possession and chances in a well-contested game but the only goal arrived in the 40th minute, Mead working a yard of space in the box to shoot into the bottom corner.

The result keeps the Black Cats three points behind the leaders but with a game in hand.

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