With the international window on the horizon, London City edged even closer to the top of the table with an extraordinary 3-2 victory over Birmingham City at Princes Park.
The Lionesses ride an eight-match unbeaten streak in the league into the break, having emerged on the winning side of things on three out of the last four occasions.
Right from the start, it was clear the match was going to be tough with both teams competing not only against each other but through some unfavorable pitch conditions.
In the beginning 20 minutes, it was a back-and-forth affair, with Sarah Ewens’ shot fired right at the keeper, followed by a Blues’ shot that missed wide of the London City goal.
In the 25’ of the match, the eventual Player of the Match, Shanade Hopcroft, created a free-kick opportunity just outside the Birmingham box.
Hopcroft stood over it and using her precision, and a whole lot of creativity, she found the top right corner to put the Lionesses up one early on.
Birmingham City responded well, and just six minutes later, the captain Louise Quinn leaped into the air and headed a cross past the outstretched hands of Shae Yanez into the back of the net, equalizing the match at one apiece.
Just a few minutes later, London City came close through Carly Girasoli’s header that was saved by the keeper in the end.
With nine minutes left before the conclusion of the first half, Hopcroft was on top of yet another free kick.
With players in the box, the former Colorado midfielder fired the ball into a dangerous area.
Her cross went across the mouth of the goal and ended up in the bottom right corner to give London City a 2-1 lead after 45 minutes of play.
The second 45 began extremely even, as Yanez was called into action on multiple occasions to make two routine saves.
The Lionesses turned to the bench with a little over 20 minutes to play, and just a few minutes after coming on, Lucy Fitzgerald drove the ball into the box, causing a penalty, and gifting an opportunity for London City to extend the lead.
It was Hopcroft who was chosen to take the penalty, and for the third time in the afternoon, she had beaten the keeper on a set piece.
The Lionesses maintained its composure with a two-goal lead, but in stoppage time, Quinn added to her goal tally on the day, cutting the lead in half.
It was far too late for Birmingham as London City move within two points of the leaders, Bristol City with the two meetings between the current top-two teams still to be played.
London City brings its incredible run of form to Sheffield United following the conclusion of the international break.
Head Coach, Melissa Phillips
"Thought the players problem solved exceptionally well today in what proved to be a very high-level match. We managed their attacking threats incredibly well and really kept them in their half for large spells.
"A few brilliant set-piece goals from Shanade today and a well-worked combination to earn the penalty.
"We’ve been dangerous through a variety of different ways and that versatility makes us a really difficult team to play against. So much to build upon heading into this international window."