Domestic league action took another break for Round Two of the FA Women's Continental League Cup with a second Manchester derby of the season the standout fixture of the weekend.
Casey Stoney’s side exacted revenge for their opening-day WSL defeat with a 2-0 win over their injury-hit cross-town rivals Manchester City but there were plenty of standout performances elsewhere to choose standout performances from.
Beth Mead continued her incredible run of form as Arsenal swept Charlton aside to stay top of Group B while veteran Fara Williams rolled back the years with a hat-trick to help Reading beat Lewes and Liverpool’s Kirsty Linnett bagged three of her own.
Mead the gift that keeps on giving
Beth Mead was the architect of two goals in Arsenal’s midweek Champions League mauling away at Slavia Praha and was at the double again in the Gunners’ 4-0 win at Borehamwood.
The England star whipped in a pinpoint free-kick for Jen Beattie to stretch out for and bag the opener before showing her full range of passing by laying a delicate pass into the path of Danielle van de Donk to double the lead.
But Mead wasn’t done there and having signalled at the beginning of the season that she wanted to contribute more goals to the team, she did exactly that by working a shot from a corner routine and firing a precise and powerful bending effort into the far corner.
We could watch this over and over again 😍— Arsenal Women (@ArsenalWFC) October 20, 2019
Bend it like Beth 🔥 pic.twitter.com/h5AD9WqytY
That is five goals and six assists now in all competitions for the 24-year-old.
Death, taxes and Fara Williams heroics
There is no escaping the fact that Fara Williams has been one of the best English footballers of her generation and she continues to show why even in the twilight of her career.
The 35-year-old veteran midfielder has more England caps than any other player and a unique goalscoring ability that, sadly for Lewes, shone through once again at Adams Park.
Having scored the opener and then watched her team concede twice, Williams decided to take matters into her own hands and drew the scores level with a trademark long-range effort.
And just when it looked like the game was going to penalties, she met Amalie Eikeland’s cross to head home a stoppage-time winner for the Royals.
Linnett the lifeline for Liverpool
In stark contrast to their Premier League counterparts, Vicky Jepson’s Liverpool have started the season sluggishly picking up just one point in the WSL and sitting second from bottom.
Their last Conti Cup outing ended in an embarrassing home defeat to Championship side Sheffield United and so a trip to second-tier newcomers Coventry arrived at exactly the right time.
And Kirsty Linnett made sure she made the most of the opportunity grabbing a first-half treble to help the Reds to a resounding 5-1 win to take into their league meeting with bottom-placed Birmingham this weekend.