Birmingham City held by WSL rivals Arsenal Ladies

By Tony Leighton Women's football correspondent
Kim Little
Little was Arsenal's top goalscorer last season

Arsenal took the initiative in the Women's Super League title race with a 1-1 draw away to leaders Birmingham.

Striker Rachel Williams gave Blues a 26th-minute lead, but midfielder Kim Little levelled the scores 24 minutes into the second half.

The Gunners remain two points off Birmingham, but have three games left to play while their rivals have two.

Everton's title challenge was all but ended by a 2-0 defeat by Lincoln, while bottom club Liverpool beat Chelsea 1-0.

Birmingham City 1-1 Arsenal

Striker Ellen White and Little both forced goalkeeper Marie Hourihan into saves from long range efforts as Arsenal created the better of the early openings.

But Birmingham took the lead when Williams, the WSL's top scorer, drove in her 12th goal in 12 games after keeper Emma Byrne had made a hash of a clearance.

Either side of half-time Byrne made amends with excellent diving stops to deny striker Emily Westwood and then Williams.

But she was lucky in the 63rd minute, when England winger Karen Carney beat her with an 18 yard chip only for the ball to bounce off the crossbar.

The Gunners made the most of their fortune as Little equalised with a 10 yard shot after good work by substitute Jayne Ludlow.

And it was the visitors who went closest to finding a winner, both left winger Rachel Yankey and Ludlow sending powerful shots narrowly wide in the final 10 minutes.

Everton 0-2 Lincoln

Jess Clarke hit both of the goals as Lincoln produced their best performance of the season to shock the outside title contenders.

The England winger took advantage of a defensive mix-up to prod home the first goal in the 38th minute.

She then doubled her tally eight minutes after the interval, scoring from close range after Leandra Little had created the opening.

Everton, who had won their previous five games, lost the chance of a late fightback when striker Natasha Dowie had a 74th minute penalty saved by Nicola Hobbs.

Chelsea 0-1 Liverpool

On-loan Leicester City midfielder Chloe Jones hit the game's only goal direct from a 24th minute corner.

An entertaining encounter could have gone either way, though a more clear-cut win would have been Liverpool's had a late Kelly Jones shot not hit the post.

But the Reds were more than happy to settle for the narrowest of victory margins as this was their first win of the season.

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