Rachel Daly scored a hat-trick as Aston Villa eased to a 3-1 victory over Reading at Villa Park on Sunday.
The England international had scored five goals in her first six WSL outings since joining from Houston Dash in the summer and added a sixth to her tally with a smart header after Villa had fallen behind to Lauren Wade’s opener after seven minutes.
Her connection on a corner from the left in first-half stoppage time was taken over the line by the unfortunate Gemma Evans and initially went down as an own goal, though it was hastily attributed to the 30-year-old.
Daly completed an impressive treble inside the final 15 minutes, when she coolly dispatched a penalty past substitute goalkeeper Grace Moloney – who was introduced after Jacqueline Burns had been sent off for a nasty collision with Kirsty Hanson – to round off a win that lifts Villa up to fifth.
Rachel Furness’ last-gasp equaliser earned Liverpool a point in a thrilling 3-3 draw at Brighton.
The reds had been on a six-match losing run before the game on the south coast, but took the lead through Missy Bo Kearns in the 17th minute.
Brighton then fought back, with a goal from Elisabeth Terland, Danielle Carter’s penalty and Katie Robinson’s strike from distance giving the hosts a substantial lead going into the half-time break.
Liverpool left it late to reduce the deficit, Shanice van de Sanden heading her side’s second goal in the 76th minute.
Van de Sanden then turned provider for Furness’ 92nd-minute goal to level the match.
Emma Hayes returned to the dugout as Chelsea reclaimed top spot in the Women’s Super League table with a 3-0 win over Tottenham at Stamford Bridge.
In front of 38,350 supporters, Chelsea took control when Sam Kerr’s first-half strike gave them the advantage before Erin Cuthbert doubled the lead.
Hayes’ first match in the dugout since her emergency hysterectomy last month was then capped off by Guro Reiten scoring from the spot and lifted the Blues three points clear of second-placed Arsenal.
Meanwhile, at the Chigwell Construction Stadium, West Ham struck a late winner to beat Leicester 1-0 and deny the Foxes – bottom of the table after eight straight defeats – their first point of the season.
Izzy Atkinson scored the decisive goal with 88 minutes gone, latching onto a smart pass from Viviane Asseyi and slotting home.