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Women’s football: Charlton Athletic beat Crystal Palace as Championship title race hots up

Charlton Athletic claimed an important 1-0 win over Crystal Palace in the FA Women’s Championship title race at Gander Green Lane on Sunday afternoon.

Freda Ayisi’s 64th-minute strike was the difference in the match, which was stopped for 15 minutes during the first half – with both players taken off the field – when Charlton’s Arsenal loanee Freya Godfrey collided with a Palace player and was stretchered off with a neck injury.

The 18-year-old, on loan from Arsenal, was taken to hospital for further checks before being allowed home.

Karen Hills’ side are unbeaten in their last 11 league outings and are one point clear at the top of the table ahead of second-placed Sunderland.

They host Lewes on Sunday.

The Eagles are fifth in the table and five points off top spot.

Laura Kaminski has boosted her Palace ranks in recent weeks, signing 22-year-old Republic of Ireland international Izzy Atkinson from West Ham.

The former Celtic winger has penned a two-year deal.

“It’s brilliant news that Izzy has chosen to join Crystal Palace, and we look forward to welcoming her into the squad,” said Kaminski.

“Izzy’s level of talent is well-known across the women’s game, as is her character, and I have no doubt she will prove an invaluable addition to the team.”

Millwall Lionesses beat Ashford United 2-1 on Sunday in the South East Women’s Regional Football League.

Ellen Napper opened the scoring after 35 minutes for Millwall, with Grace Seely meeting Emma Whitter’s cross 10 minutes later to double the lead before half time.

Ashford pulled one back in the 60th minute, but the Lionesses held on to secure all three points.

A Lauren James brace helped Chelsea beat Brighton 3-0 to stay top of the Women’s Super League on Saturday.

The Blues scored all of their goals in the second half with Fran Kirby also getting her name on the scoresheet as they extended their winning run to three games.

They are three points clear of second-placed Manchester City.

“We were in control in the first half but we just lacked a bit of urgency,” said Hayes.

“We created a couple of good chances, so we did enough to be in the lead. We had it under control but without going up a gear. That’s what I spoke to the team about at half-time – respect the WSL and respect that you don’t want to leave it going long and late into these games.

“I wasn’t expecting a response 53 seconds in but that was what it needed – that little bit of clinical play in the final third – and we were excellent in the second half. We looked like we’ve got a lot of confidence.

“We’re looking solid and the team enjoyed the way we played today. I really enjoyed today.

“It was controlled, it looked like things we work on all of the time.”


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