Women's Premier League: Sunderland top after Barnet win

Vicky Boardman and Natalie Clarke
Boardman scored Barnet's only goal in their defeat by Sunderland

Beth Mead struck twice as Sunderland won 4-1 at Barnet to go top of the Women's Premier League.

Two goals from the England Under-17's striker took her season's goal tally to 12 from 10 appearances.

Sunderland are ahead of Leeds United on goal difference after they beat previous leaders Coventry City 1-0.

Nottingham Forest held Cardiff City to a goalless draw despite having Chantelle Gallagher sent off, while Reading drew 1-1 at Charlton Athletic.

Barnet 1-4 Sunderland

Former England midfielder Kelly McDougall started the scoring for Sunderland with a 19th-minute penalty.

Vicky Boardman equalised with a well-struck 10-yard shot 12 minutes before half-time, but nine minutes after the break Mead fired the visitors back in front.

The 16-year-old striker added her second with a close range effort nine minutes from time.

Two minutes into stoppage time Keira Ramshaw completed a clear-cut victory for the Black Cats.

Coventry City 0-1 Leeds United

The Coventry woodwork prevented what would have been a more comprehensive win for Leeds, who nevertheless avenged their 1-0 home defeat by the Sky Blues.

Leah Galton hit both the post and the crossbar in the first half, though just before the break Coventry had a chance to take the lead from the penalty spot.

Midfielder Courtney Sweetman-Kirk had been brought down in the box, but striker Katy Ward's spot-kick hit the post.

The visitors went ahead 11 minutes into the second half, Hayley Sharp side-footing the ball home from close range.

Another Leeds goal always looked likely, but the closest they came was a late effort from Emma Johnson which bounced off the bar.

Nottingham Forest 0-0 Cardiff City

Midfielder Gallagher was sent off for retaliation just after the hour, setting up a frantic finale for the Forest defence.

Goalkeeper Claire Wallhead was outstanding, pulling off a string of fine saves as her back four battled to keep the Cardiff attack at bay.

The result kept Cardiff in the relegation zone, but they are only a point behind Forest with four games in hand.

Charlton Athletic 1-1 Reading

Despite goalmouth drama in the early stages of the second half, the mid-table battle ended in stalemate.

Charlton's Gemma Bryan had a penalty saved by goalkeeper Grace Moloney just after the interval.

The visitors then took a 63rd-minute lead through Nicola Watts, who raced clear of the home defence to slide the ball home.

But within 60 seconds the Addicks were level as midfielder Ellie Bailes turned a Felicity Gibbons cross over the line.

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