CHANTELLE GALLAGHER'S brace earned Stoke City Ladies a 2-1 win over rivals Nottingham Forest yesterday.
Her double ensured the Potters recorded their ninth win of the season to close the gap between second-placed Forest to just three points.
The result also avenges the 4-2 defeat to them at home back in September.
Both teams still have to face runaway leaders Sheffield in the run-in, but crucially Stoke have a game in hand on their opposition.
"It was a big game for us and thankfully the game plan that we went there with worked out", said Ladies manager Andrew Frost.
"Footballing-wise we weren't great and but we were without a couple of our key players.
"The desire clearly shone through though which was very pleasing.
"Our target now is to get that second spot - it's a tough ask but it's not impossible."
Further away games against the two teams immediately below them in the table now follow - West Brom's Sporting Club Albion and Preston North End - before three home matches to conclude the campaign.
The Potters entertain Derby County at the end of April before the Britannia Stadium plays host to the penultimate tie of the season against Blackburn Rovers on Sunday 11th May. Expected Champions Sheffield then visit the following weekend.
Further details on the game at the Britannia will be announced in due course.
* The reserves rounded off their campaign with a 3-0 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers. Their fifth win ensured a fourth place finish of the seven-team FA Women's Premier League Reserves Midland Division.