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Lincoln Ladies 3 (Taylor 33,47, Staniforth 54) Bristol Academy 1 (Stoney og 77)
Lincoln Ladies capped a successful debut season in the FA WSL with 3-1 a win at the hands of Bristol Academy when they faced each other at Ashby Avenue.
The home side were able to extend their winning run to four consecutive games, meaning they have picked up 16 points in the second half of the season. This form could only be rivalled by Arsenal as the newly crowned Champions also gained the same amount of points.
Two goals from Jodie Taylor, as well as yet another wonder goal from Lucy Staniforth, secured fourth position for Lincoln. The visitors pulled one back via an own goal from Casey Stoney.
The Lady Imps' manager, Rod Wilson made changes to his starting line-up for the first time in four games. Mel Sutcliffe, Bonnie Horwood and Sophie Barker came into the team in place of Lucy Staniforth, Rachel Daly and Megan Harris. Academy meanwhile opted for an understrength line up with several first choice players being left out.
The first half was a relatively scrappy affair, with the visitors at times looking like the better side. However, it was the home side who had the first real chance of the game when Jemma Rose almost lobbed her own 'keeper from the edge of the box.
Four minutes later, Bristol had a chance of their own, with Michelle Green testing Hobbs in the Lincoln goal. Green found the ball bouncing at her feet and unleashed a tame half volley from 20 yards out.
They had an even better chance just after 20 minutes, as Helen Bleazard struck the woodwork following a defensive lapse from Leandra Little. The mistake created space at the back for Bleazard to run into, but despite beating Hobbs, she couldn't beat the post.
The game carried on in much the same vein until 33 minutes when Jodie Taylor scored her first goal for the Lady Imps. While somewhat fortuitous, the goal was a sign of the striker's sharpness and reflexes, as she was able to force a rebound into the back of the net.
It was in the second half that the game truly came to life, as Lincoln asserted their dominance to build upon their first half opener. It only took two minutes for Taylor to double her tally, after a Sue Smith corner somehow found its way to the striker, as she fired past Siobhan Chamberlain from six yards out.
At 2-0, the result looked certain as Lincoln controlled possession and created chances to further extend their lead. That is exactly what they did on 54 minutes through second half substitute, Lucy Staniforth.
The winger scored a sublime goal in her last outing against Doncaster, but her latest goal could have even bettered that. After taking a corner on the left flank, Staniforth received the ball back when in acres of space outside the box. With one swift strike, the ball was curled into the top right hand corner of the net, striking the underside of the bar on its way over the line.
The scoring was rounded up by another Lincoln player on 77 minutes, however this time the ball was nestled in the wrong goal, as the Lady Imps captain, Casey Stoney flicked a Corinne Yorston cross past her own keeper.
Lincoln Ladies: Nicola Hobbs, Leandra Little, Mel Sutcliffe, Sophie Barker (sub Lucy Staniforth 45mins), Casey Stoney, Sophie Bradley, Bonnie Horwood (sub Rachel Daly 73mins), Sue Smith, Jodie Taylor, Remi Allen (sub Megan Harris 81mins), Jess Clarke.
Bristol Academy: Siobhan Chamberlain, Alex Windell, Corinne Yorston, Amber Grose, Jade Radburn, Jemma Rose, Helen Bleazard, Michelle Green, Ann Marie Heatherson, Molly Clark, Lillie Billson. Subs: Jessica Fishlock, Loren Dykes, Anouk Hoogendijk, Jaz Matthews.
(Report by www.TheFA.com)
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