Early Goal Helps Reading Maintain Top Spot

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A GOAL after just seven minutes from Emma Thomas proved enough for Reading to scrape a 1-0 win at rivals Clifton in the Investec Women’s Premier Division on Saturday.

Her strike from a penalty corner helped Reading inflict Clifton’s first defeat of the season, and leaves them two points clear at the top of the table.

Second spot belongs to Olton and West Warwickshire, who won 3-0 at home against Bowdon Hightown, with Rachel Clift and Emma McCabe scoring first half goals, while Denise Marston-Smith added the third early in the second period.

University of Birmingham moved up to fourth after beating Canterbury 4-2. Drawing 1-1 at half time, Jo Turnbull scored two after the break to help the home side to the win.

Leicester also won at home, beating Cannock 2-0 with goals from Katie Long and Hannah Macleod.

Visitors Sutton Coldfield won 4-2 at Slough, with their goals coming from Sarah Mills (2), Helen Morris and Jane Sixsmith.

In the West Conference Isca University moved up to second spot in the early table when they recorded a 4-1 win over hosts Barnes Hounslow Ealing, thereby leap-frogging them in the table.

Two goals from Claire Thomas gave Isca a 2-0 lead at half time, and second half strikes from Zoe Burrell and Kate Kaye made sure of the win.

Leaders Buckingham maintained their unbeaten start with a 4-1 win at Firebrands.

Jessica Bloom’s 25th minute goal gave them the lead, and further strikes followed in the second half from Lauren Thomas, Fiona Farley and Joelle Weston.

Gloucester City secured their first league win of the season when they beat Swansea 3-2 with Emma Done scoring twice and Sarah Jennings adding the third.

And Team Bath Buccaneers also secured their first league win, beating Trojans 2-0 with goals from Zoe Shipperley and Emma White.

Loughborough Students thumped visitors Doncaster 7-0 to kick-start their North Conference campaign.

Giselle Ansley scored twice, while their other goals came from Laura Unsworth, Katie Shanahan, Kate Hewitt, Sian Evans and Phoebe Richards.

After last weekend’s 6-0 home win, Brooklands Poynton notched up a 5-0 win at Whitley Bay and Tynemouth. Kelly Baxter scored two of their goals, while others came from Verity Whinnerah, Helen Armishaw and Laura Evans.

Beeston also enjoyed a big win, putting seven goals past visitors Springfields.

There were two goals each from Jo Hunter, Hannah Wraith and Rebecca Eaton, while Charlotte Stapenhorst added the last one.

In the East Conference, all three of the teams on maximum points managed to drop points on Saturday. Leaders Ipswich drew 1-1 at Harleston Magpies, while St Albans and Surbiton, who were second and third going into the match, battled out a goalless draw.

But There were more goals at Oxford Hawks, who won 3-0 over Old Loughtonians.