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Lincoln Ladies 0 Bristol Academy 1 (Del Rio pen 90)
Lincoln fell to their second one-goal defeat in four days as title chasing Bristol Academy left Sincil Bank with all three points.
Despite the home side having chances to win the match, it looked like the game was heading for a goalless draw until stoppage time, when Laura Del Rio's penalty sealed the points.
Lincoln almost took the lead with just two minutes on the clock. A smart turn from Sophie Walton gave the midfielder space to find Jess Clarke. The England winger beat her marker at the byline and laid a ball across to Bonnie Horwood, but the midfielder's strong drive was smartly kept out by Siobhan Chamberlain.
Lincoln continued to push forward, Carla Cantrell failing to get enough behind her shot to beat Chamberlain. In the next attack the keeper almost gifted Remi Allen with an open net, tripping over the ball as she controlled it, but she recovered well to clear.
As the game entered the 15 minute mark, Lincoln were looking the more likely to score. Clarke failed to make a clean connection with a shot as she drove into the box, before Casey Stoney's deep cross was well cleared ahead of Cantrell who couldn't capitalise.
Bristol almost took the lead, against the run of play, on 18 minutes. The Lincoln defence appealed for offside but the linesman kept his flag down leaving Stoney facing three visiting attackers. Natasha Harding ran at the Lincoln captain before shooting straight at Karen Bardsley, with two team mates better positioned in the middle.
The game had settled as it reached the half hour mark. Horwood did well to win two headers, before seizing on the loose ball and firing over the top. That was the last chance of the first half, although Lincoln had looked the most likely to score, the game went into half time at 0-0.
Lincoln's best chance of the game came on the hour mark. Stoney found acres of room in Bristol's box, guiding her header past Chamberlain and against the post. Clarke was the first to react to the loose ball, slamming it towards goal from eight yards, but straight at the grounded Chamberlain, the loose ball being cleared off the line. The defenders could only clear it as far as Stoney, the England captain drilling her effort at goal, only to see it cleared off the line and to safety.
With fourteen minutes left on the clock, Bristol had a golden opportunity to take the lead. Grace McCatty's floating cross evaded everyone and gave Natalia Pablos Sanchon a virtually open net to nod in to, the Bristol player somehow nodding it over the bar.
Lincoln continued to press and look for the goal which would seal the three points, but it wasn't to be and as the game entered stoppage time it was Bristol who took the spoils.
Sophie Walton dived in front of Natalia at the back post, as the winger looked to take it round Walton, she was adjudged to handle the ball and the referee pointed to the spot. Up stepped Del Rio to side foot the ball past the fingertips of Bardsley and win the game.
There was only enough time for Lincoln to kick off before the referee blew for full time.
Lincoln Ladies: Karen Bardsley, Lara Fay, Amy Turner, Sophie Walton, Sophie Bradley, Casey Stoney, Bonnie Horwood, Rachel Lee, Carla Cantrell (sub Lillie Fenlon-Billson 86mins), Remi Allen (sub Courtney Sweetman-Kirk 58mins), Jess Clarke. Subs not used: Jules Draycott, Aileen Whelan, Emily Roberts.
Bristol Academy: Siobhan Chamberlain, Alex Windell, Corinne Yorston, Jaz Matthews, Jemma Rose, Angharad James, Natalia Pablos Sanchon, Christina Vega Leandro (sub Grace McCatty 71mins), Laura Del Rio, Nikki Watts (sub Ann Marie Heatherson 67mins), Natasha Harding. Subs not used: Ellie Curson, Ellie Leek, Laura May Walkley.
(Report by www.fawsl.com)
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