Coventry City beat Aston Villa to go top of the table

By Tony Leighton Women's football correspondent

Coventry City beat midland rivals Aston Villa 2-0 to move three points clear at the top of the Women's Premier League table.

Both clubs were promoted from the Northern Division last season and each of them has made an impressive start to the new campaign.

Premier League title holders Sunderland twice had to come from behind to force a 2-2 draw with Charlton Athletic, last season's Southern Division champions.

All three of the weekend's other scheduled league matches was postponed due to international call-ups.

Aston Villa 0-2 Coventry City

Strike partners Courtney Sweetman-Kirk and Maz Gauntlett were both on target as Coventry claimed a fourth win in their opening five games.

Sweetman-Kirk opened the scoring after just five minutes, looping a 20-yard shot into the top corner of the net after collecting a loose ball.

And Gauntlett hit the clincher with her fourth goal of the campaign, neatly directing a 56th-minute header just inside the near post.

The result meant that Villa, in a hard fought game of few chances, were defeated for the first time this season.

Sunderland 2-2 Charlton Athletic

Like the two teams promoted from the Northern Division, Charlton have started the new campaign brightly and gave the Black Cats quite a scare on their own territory.

Kim Dixson shot the Addicks in front with a six-yard shot following a good 39th-minute move.

On the stroke of half-time Kelly McDougall equalised from the penalty spot after the former England midfielder had herself been brought down.

But the visitors pressed again after the break and went back in front when Gemma Bryan cut in from the left to fire the ball home.

Perseverance paid off for Sunderland, however, Sophie Williams racing on to a Nicola Divine pass to level the scores 13 minutes from time.

The two sides are now level on points with third in the table Villa, who are ahead of them on goal difference and sit two points behind second-placed Leeds United.

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