The Continental League Cup returned for the third time already this season as managers played around with their squads ahead of the international break.
Chelsea boss Emma Hayes was able to give academy midfielder Charlotte Fleming her first taste of first-team action and Fran Kirby was also handed a start despite being left out of Phil Neville’s squad for the upcoming sell-out meeting with Germany at Wembley.
There were unusual scenes in Group B with stalemates across the board leading to all three ties heading for penalties and bonus points for London Bees, London City Lionesses and Brighton, who beat Arsenal following a 0-0 draw.
Meanwhile holders Manchester City came through a tough meeting with Birmingham City and former Blues striker Ellen White opened her account for her new club with a trademark finish in a 2-1 win.
Tom Dean looks at three standout players from the weekend’s action.
Ellen White – Manchester City
The Ballon d’Or nominated striker had only a handful of minutes in a sky blue shirt under her belt after she returned from injury in the 1-0 defeat at Arsenal but started as Nick Cushing’s side welcomed Birmingham City to the Academy Stadium.
And it took her just 50 minutes of her full debut to open the scoring and net for the first time since scoring in the World Cup semi-final defeat to USA in Lyon.
Lauren Hemp crossed for the Lionesses striker to finish from close range before Rachel Williams levelled for the Blues and Caroline Weir fired home a 25-yard winner.
Alisha Lehmann – West Ham
The Swiss international has been in fine form of late scoring four in her last three outings and her cool finish proved to be the only goal of the game as the Hammers beat Reading 1-0 at the Madejski stadium.
Lehmann came agonisingly close scoring in the first half when her sweetly struck shot cannoned back off the crossbar but it wasn’t until the 75th minute that she eventually got the breakthrough.
Leanne Kiernan squared the ball sensibly for the No. 7 to finish from close range and earn Matt Beard’s side their first win in the competition this season.
Beth Hepple – Durham
A Beth Hepple brace helped Durham continue their incredible 100 per cent record in the Conti Cup this season with a 4-0 win over Coventry United.
The Wildcats and Chelsea are now the only two teams left in the competitions with three wins from three largely thanks to who found the bottom corner from 25 yards and then scored a tap in before half time.