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Lincoln Ladies 0 Liverpool 1 (Dowie 7)
An early goal by Natasha Dowie handed Liverpool a winning start to the FA WSL season.
Lincoln had the first opportunity of the game when Jess Clarke put a through ball to Carla Cantrell who crossed but Precious Hamilton just failed to get a foot to it.
From then on it was all Liverpool and they did not have to wait long for a goal to come. On seven minutes, Fara Williams whipped in a cross and Natasha Dowie headed home to open the scoring.
Liverpool continued to come forward and two minutes later a 30-yard strike from Fara Williams went just wide. Lincoln struggled to get the ball into the Liverpool half and when they did they were restricted to long range shots. On 13 minutes Liverpool forced a corner, Louise Fors delivered the ball just under the bar but Lincoln managed to head it out for a corner on the other side. This time Fara Williams whipped it in under the bar but somehow Lincoln managed to scramble it clear.
Liverpool were attacking from all sides, on 18 minutes Williams slid it through to Katrin Omarsdotir who laid it off to Corina Schroder whose shot was saved by Bardsley. Two minutes later, Dowie turned and released the ball to Nicole Rolser who hit the ball on the run, only a spectacular save by England's keeper Karen Bardsley keeping the ball from going into the bottom corner.
On 35 minutes a Natasha Dowie strike rocketed off the post, the ball ricocheted around before an Omarsdottir strike was again saved by Bardsley. The England trio of Bardsley, Sophie Bradley and Casey Stoney were keeping Lincoln in the game and half time could not come soon enough for Lincoln.
The wind was just as strong in the second half, this was demonstrated when Liverpool gained a corner and Williams struggled to get the ball to stay still to take the kick. The ball moved just as she struck it and it tamely went out of play.
The change in ends evened the game but the Liverpool defence remained calm and cool and Lincoln failed to convert any possession they had into clear cut chances.
Lincoln's last chance came when Becky Easton slid in on Jess Clarke and the referee awarded a free kick. Bonnie Horwood delivered the kick but Casey Stoney failed to get on the end of it and the ball went in to touch.
Lincoln Ladies: Karen Bardsley, Hayley Bowdon (sub Emily Roberts 66mins), Martha Harris, Bonnie Horwood, Sophie Bradley, Casey Stoney, Megan Harris (sub Amy Turner 82mins), Precious Hamilton, Carla Cantrell, Remi Allen, Jess Clarke.
Liverpool: Sarah Quantrill, Becky Easton, Whitney Engen, Fara Williams, Gemma Bonner, Corina Schroder (sub Lucy Bronze 45mins), Amanda Da Costa, Katrin Omarsdottir, Natasha Dowie, Louise Fors (sub Jess Holbrook 79mins), Nicole Rolser (sub Lillie Billson 72mins).
(Report by www.fawsl.com)
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