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Bristol Academy 0 Lincoln Ladies 1 (Hamilton 87)
Lincoln Ladies boosted their chances of qualifying for the Continental Cup semi finals when a late Precious Hamilton goal gave them victory at Stoke Gifford.
The result gave the Lady Imps a dose of revenge for their F.A.Women's Cup semi final defeat seven days earlier against Bristol Academy who fielded eight past and present college players in their squad but are now out of the competition following two defeats.
Things were tight in the opening stages before Jess Clarke made a flying run down the left and cut the ball back to Carla Cantrell whose shot on the turn brought out a fine save from Siobhan Chamberlain.
Academy had given full debuts to youngsters Rachel Hignett and Ellie Curson but were finding it hard to break down the Lincoln back line and it was the visitors who were creating the chances. Casey Stoney was inches away from getting on the end of a free kick before Sophie Walton fired over and then Clarke was denied by Chamberlain following a swift breakaway and a move which had involved Walton and Remi Allen.
At the start of the second half, Academy created their best chance so far as Nikki Watts worked an opening on the edge of the area and drove in a shot which was well saved by Karen Bardsley.
Lincoln were still looking sharp going forward though with Walton heading over from Precious Hamilton's cross and then Cantrell controlled a good ball forward from Amy Turner and turned but her well struck shot was blocked by a fine stop from Chamberlain. The resulting corner was met by a downward header from Hamilton but Chamberlain again did well to keep the ball out.
Academy brought on Natalia and Natasha Harding as substitutes and their extra experience gave them more impetus as an attacking force. Natalia was quickly involved, her flick sending Watts clear on goal but the striker was foiled by a brilliant saving tackle from Stoney.
The lively Watts was providing a spark up front for Academy and she went close with another effort but as the game looked likely to be heading for a draw, Lincoln came up with a late blow.
After being awarded a free kick on the right, Clarke whipped in a dangerous blow and Hamilton instinctively turned the ball goalwards with her knee, beyond the reach of Chamberlain and into the corner of the net.
Academy were given an opportunity in injury time when Bardsley carried the ball outside her area when sliding to claim under pressure from Alex Windell. The resulting free kick by Corinne Yorston was curled beyond the far post but Grace McCatty's header was just off target.
The home team still pressed and won a couple of late corners but Lincoln stood strong and held out to ensure that qualification from their group remains in their hands.
Bristol Academy: Siobhan Chamberlain, Loren Dykes, Corinne Yorston, Grace McCatty, Jemma Rose, Angharad James, Rachel Hignett (sub Natalia Pablos Sanchon 63mins), Alex Windell, Nikki Watts, Lucy Staniforth (sub Jaz Matthews 75mins), Ellie Curson (sub Natasha Harding 63mins).
Lincoln Ladies: Karen Bardsley, Amy Turner, Martha Harris, Sophie Walton, Sophie Bradley, Casey Stoney, Bonnie Horwood (sub Megan Harris 73mins), Precious Hamilton, Carla Cantrell (sub Emily Roberts 73mins), Remi Allen, Jess Clarke.
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