Conti Cup: Five talking points from Round Two

Manchester United's Katie Zelem celebrates scoring their first goal with team mates (Action Images via Reuters/Molly Darlington)

The FA Women’s Continental League Cup replaced domestic league fixtures this weekend and brought along with it a second Manchester derby of the season to grab all the headlines.

Manchester United were able to level the record at one apiece with a 2-0 win at Leigh Sports Village but there was plenty of action up and down the country to keep fans entertained.

Here’s a closer look at what you might have missed over the weekend.

Manchester turns from blue to red

Casey Stoney’s Manchester United didn’t have to wait long for another bite of the cherry against their new cross-town rivals Manchester City and boy did they take it.

United cruised to a 2-0 victory to exact revenge for their WSL opening-day defeat at the Etihad and draw level with City in Group C, despite playing one less game.

Captain, and last season’s club player of the year, Katie Zelem gave the hosts the lead on seven minutes with a curling free-kick under the watchful eye of England manager Phil Neville.

And Jess Sigsworth doubled the advantage just before the hour mark when she converted from close range following some good work from Kirsty Hanson.

Things then went from bad to worse for Nick Cushing’s side when Keira Walsh was given a straight red for a bad tackle on Hanson as the afternoon ended in a first domestic defeat of the season for the reigning champions.

Neville looking in the wrong place?

With so many of his international stars including Steph Houghton, Ellie Roebuck, Jill Scott and Keira Walsh among the City ranks, it is no wonder that Neville travelled to watch the game.

However it is equally possible that he was on the hunt for some fresh talent and both of United’s goalscorers have been capped through the age groups right up to England U23s.

But England fans might argue that Neville should look further south for answers to his side’s recent mis-firings, and more specifically at Beth England.

The 25-year-old has been in flying form this season and notched her fourth and fifth goals of the season in Chelsea’s 3-0 win at Crystal Palace – something Neville will have to watch the highlights of at home.

Linnett provides boost for Liverpool

Only Birmingham City sit lower than Liverpool in the Barclays FA WSL table having picked up just one point from their opening four games.

And having lost their last Conti Cup game at home to Sheffield United, a trip to newly-promoted Championship opponents Coventry was just what the doctor ordered.

Kirsty Linnett helped herself to a first-half hat-trick as Vicky Jepson’s side eased to a 5-1 win ahead of their trip to Birmingham next Sunday.

Williams the hero once more

Time and time again Fara Williams has been the hero for Reading, so by now it should come as no surprise to see her complete a hat-trick with a stoppage-time winner.

The 35-year-old scored the opener at Adams Park before Lewes replied with two goals of their own to set Williams her target.

A trademark screamer set the arrow on its course and a last-minute header ensured it struck bullseye to seal a 3-2 victory.

Déjà vu as Spurs beat West Ham on penalties

Tottenham’s start to life in the top-flight has gone better than some may have expected and now they can add a second victory over London rivals West Ham in a matter of weeks to their resume.

Goals from Rianna Dean and Josie Green looked to have sealed it for Spurs but the Hammers scored twice in stoppage time through Martha Thomas and Kenza Dali to set up penalties.

Gilly Flaherty struck her penalty over the bar before Adriana Leon’s effort was saved allowing Rachel Furness to step up and fire her effort into the top corner from 12 yards for the bonus point and victory.