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Liverpool 4 (Rolser 14,85, Bronze 37, Dowie 83)
Birmingham City 1 (Harrop 26)
Liverpool completed a second 4-1 win in a matter of days to ensure they went into the summer break on top of the FA WSL following a 4-1 victory over Birmingham City.
Nicole Rolser's two goals and further efforts from Natasha Dowie and Lucy Bronze ensured the Reds lead Bristol Academy on goal difference although the margin of victory was rather harsh on Birmingham.
On a gorgeous evening, both teams started brightly as the ball zipped between both ends. Liverpool had the first sight of goal when a ball over the top found Natasha Dowie whose attempted lob was well caught by Mary Earps, who coped well with the strong sun.
The visitors went on the offensive as Melissa Lawley won possession in her own half and burst forward, slipping a neat pass to Rachel Williams who couldn't hit the target.
Liverpool took the lead after a quarter of an hour, German winger Rolser converting after a Dowie shot came back off a post. Dowie had an opportunity to double the lead two minutes later but Emily Westwood and Earps combined to close her out.
Birmingham levelled after 26 minutes following a corner, left back Kerys Harrop hooking in as desperate Liverpool defending was unable to keep out the visitors.
Stung by conceding an equaliser, the Reds went on the offensive, as the Blues struggled to cope with their crisp passing. Dowie, a constant menace, got clear but was denied by an excellent double save from Earps.
It was a brief reprieve though as from the resulting corner, Bronze rose highest and emphatically headed home to restore the home team's lead.
Dowie was gifted a chance in the early stages of the second half when Earps scuffed a clearance in her direction but a heavy touch allowed the relieved keeper to gather. At the other end, the Blues had an opportunity from a central free kick just outside the area but Jo Potter's effort was turned away by Rachael Laws.
Birmingham were gaining a foothold in the game and missed a chance to equalise when an unmarked Issy Christiansen volleyed over. They could not have been any closer on 64 minutes when Potter's 25-yard shot from outside the box struck both posts before being cleared by the Liverpool defence.
Five minutes later it was the Reds' turn to strike an upright, Jess Holbrook cutting inside and shooting against the right hand post. Dowie came close again as the match approached the 80th minute, Earps getting down low to push the striker's header round the post.
Dowie got the goal her performance deserved to seal the win in the 84th minute, although there was a touch of fortune about it as a Fara Williams shot flicked off her heel.
Rolser got her second of the game two minutes later with a low finish to put further gloss on the victory.
Liverpool: Rachael Laws, Becky Easton, Corina Schroder (sub Sophia Riccio 88mins), Fara Williams, Lucy Bronze, Whitney Engen, Jess Holbrook, Amanda Da Costa (sub Katrin Omarsdottir 81mins), Natasha Dowie (sub Lillie Billson 90mins), Louise Fors, Nicole Rolser. Subs not used: Danielle Gibbons, Sam Chappell, Hannah Keryakoplis.
Birmingham City: Mary Earps, Chelsea Weston, Kerys Harrop, Jade Moore, Emily Westwood, Laura Bassett, Issy Christiansen, Rachel Williams, Kirsty Linnett (sub Katie Wilkinson 81mins), Melissa Lawley (sub Coral Haines 82mins), Jo Potter. Subs not used: Marie Hourihan, Emily Simpkins, Cristina Torkildsen, Maria Ballard, Hannah George.
(Report by www.fawsl.com)
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