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Lincoln Ladies 3 (Cantrell 25, Harris 34. Stoney 85)
Liverpool 2 (Bradley og 17, Keryakoplis 32)
Lincoln Ladies ensured they finished top of their Continental Cup group with a late 3-2 win over Liverpool.
Coming into the game, Lincoln had won both of their cup games, beating Chelsea and current holders Arsenal. Liverpool, on the other hand, had opposite fortunes, losing their two games against the same teams.
Lincoln started the better team, passing it around nicely despite the wet conditions caused by a large downpour just before kick off. However, it was the away side, Liverpool, who took the lead after 17 minutes. Sophie Bradley, who continued her comeback from injury, controlled the ball and passed it back to Nicola Hobbs in the Lincoln goal but as the 'keeper went to clear the ball it took a nasty bobble and flew over Hobbs' foot and rolled into the back of the net.
Lincoln reacted well to the opener and were almost level three minutes later, the ball fell to Meaghan Sargeant who struck her shot well, deflecting just wide. From the resulting corner, the ball fell to Sargeant for the second time, her shot again being blocked well by the Liverpool defence.
After 25 minutes Lincoln were level, Lucy Staniforth whipped in a dangerous corner which found Megan Harris whose shot was well blocked but the ball fell to Carla Cantrell on the edge of the area. The striker spun smartly before firing past Davies in the Liverpool goal to make it 1-1.
However just seven minutes later the away side were ahead again. A corner was whipped in and Hannah Keryakoplis rose highest to bullet a header past Nicola Hobbs in the Lincoln net to put Liverpool ahead for the second time.
The lead lasted only two minutes though, as Lincoln drew back level. Another dangerous Staniforth delivery caused havoc in the Liverpool area and after a scramble, Megan Harris reacted quickest to prod home and continue her great goalscoring form.
After a mad few minutes both teams defended well to see the game into half time at 2-2.
The second half started similarly to the first, with both teams cancelling each other out. In front of 154 fans, who had braced the bad weather, Lincoln started the half the brightest with Hamilton placing a shot just wide when well placed, and Davies saving brilliantly from a Megan Harris volley to keep the scores level.
Lincoln continued to create chances as the half wore on, without really testing Davies in the Liverpool net. Both Precious Hamilton and Remi Allen failed to hit the target when they probably should have done better, and a dangerous Staniforth free kick just missed the head of Megan Harris.
Lincoln did find the winner though, with five minutes remaining. Lucy Staniforth assisted once again, for the third time in the match, as her dangerous setpiece was met by the head of Casey Stoney, the England captain having little to do from six yards out.
Despite a couple of free kick in dangerous positions for Liverpool, Lincoln saw out the win to top the group with three wins out of three.
Lincoln Ladies: Nicola Hobbs, Sophie Walton, Meaghan Sargeant (sub Rachel Daly 64mins), Collette McCallum, Sophie Bradley (sub Sophie Barker 78mins), Casey Stoney, Megan Harris, Lucy Staniforth, Carla Cantrell (sub Martha Harris 71mins), Remi Allen, Precious Hamilton. Subs not used: Kathryn Rood, Bonnie Horwood.
Liverpool: Nicola Davies, Caroline Charlton, Vicky Jones, Michelle Evans, Sam Chappell, Emily Gielnik, Katie Brusell, Chloe Jones (sub Lynda Shepherd 73mins), Hannah Keryakoplis (sub Amie Fleming 76mins), Kelly Jones, Sophie Jones (sub Cheryl Foster 65mins). Sub not used: Aroon Clansey.
(Report by www.TheFA.com)
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