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Liverpool clinch the title
 Women's Football News 29 Sep 2013
 
Liverpool clinch the title - 29 Sep 2013 - Women's Football NewsLiverpool 2 (Fors pen 36, Omarsdottir 78) Bristol Academy 0
Liverpool are the Champions for the first time in their history after getting the better of Bristol Academy in the title decider at the Halton Stadium. 
 
The win was a deserved one for Matt Beard's side who controlled the match throughout against an Academy side which never got going on the day.
 
Liverpool started the game on the front foot and created a good chance on nine minutes when Nicole Rolser slipped a pass into the path of Louise Fors who dragged her shot wide of the far post.
 
Rolser was in typically lively form for the Reds, first with a shot which bounced awkwardly in front of Siobhan Chamberlain who did well to gather at the second attempt and then a minute later, Chamberlain parried Rolser's near post shot out for a corner.
 
Despite being cheered on by a large and enthusiatic support, the Academy players looked visibly nervous and were struggling to threaten the Liverpool defence during the first half. They did have half an opportunity though when Corinne Yorston's inswinging corner was not dealt with and just evaded Ann Marie Heatherson in front of goal.
 
Back came Liverpool and inevitably it was Rolser who threatened again, after being fed by Fara Williams on the left she cut inside and fired a rasping shot just over the bar. A minute later, Rolser reacted quickest to a long ball over the Academy defence and this time her low shot brought out a brilliant fingertip save from Chamberlain.
 
Williams struck the outside of the post with a swerving 30-yard strike but Liverpool's pressure eventually told and on 36 minutes, Alex Windell brought down Rolser in the area and a penalty was awarded. Fors stepped up and, although Chamberlain guessed the right way, the kick was too accurate and found the corner of the net.
 
Academy almost responded immediately, Laura Del Rio chasing a long ball down the left and, with Rachael Laws advancing off her line, the Spanish striker was unlucky to see her lob drift narrowly off target.
 
The second half saw Academy needing to settle and up the pace of their game and, although Natasha Dowie had the first chance of the half when cutting in and firing wide, they began to create danger for the first time.
 
Natalia had a snap shot saved by Laws and then a Yorston free kick picked out an unmarked Del Rio in front of goal but she miscued her shot and Laws gathered safely.
 
Despite a promising start from Academy, Liverpool began to assume control again and were dominant in midfield. A free kick led to their next chance just before the hour, Fors' strike was not held by Chamberlain who managed to pounce on the loose ball under pressure from Katrin Omarsdottir.
 
Del Rio shot over at the other end but Liverpool stayed firm at the back, superbly led by Gemma Bonner and well supported by Whitney Engen alongside her in the centre. Dowie meanwhile headed a chance wide from a cross by Amanda Da Costa who herself couldn't hit the target with a header from Lucy Bronze's centre. Chamberlain also made a great instinctive save with her left hand from Da Costa after she had fired a shot goalwards from an acute angle.
 
The crowning moment for Liverpool came with twelve minutes left on the clock. Corina Schroder's free kick into the area could not be cleared and Dowie laid the ball off for Omarsdottir who took a touch before drilling home from twelve yards despite the best efforts of Jaz Matthews.
 
Although noted for their fightbacks from seemingly impossible situations throughout the seasons, this time Academy could not muster a reply and, for once, their heads began to go down. A series of substitutions, including a late appearance from Becky Easton for the Reds, slowed down the flow of the play and Liverpool closed the game out without any further scares before the title celebrations could really begin.
 
Liverpool's tally of 36 points and 46 goals are both league records, whilst Bristol Academy have the unwanted record of gathering the highest number of points by a team finishing runners-up. Natasha Dowie's 13 goals was just one short of Rachel Williams' record set in 2011.
 
Special mention should be made to Fara Williams, who finally has a Championship medal after having finished as a runner-up so many times with Charlton Athletic and Everton in the last ten years, and Becky Easton who wins her first title in 15 years, since doing so with Everton in 1998. Meanwhile Rachael Laws has equalled Jordan Nobbs' achievement of winning a WSL and Premier League title in the same year.
 
Disappointment on the day for Bristol Academy but it should not be forgotten that this has been the best season in their history, their highest ever league finish as well as reaching the FA Women's Cup Final. 
 
Liverpool: Rachael Laws, Lucy Bronze, Corina Schroder (sub Becky Easton 82mins), Fara Williams (sub Jess Holbrook 87mins), Gemma Bonner, Whitney Engen, Amanda Da Costa, Katrin Omarsdottir, Natasha Dowie, Louise Fors (sub Sarah Gregorius 80mins), Nicole Rolser. Subs not used: Sarah Quantrill, Sam Chappell, Kate Longhurst, Katie Zelem.

Bristol Academy: Siobhan Chamberlain, Grace McCatty, Corinne Yorston, Jaz Matthews (sub Christina Leandro Vega 80mins), Jemma Rose, Angharad James (sub Ellie Curson 80mins), Natalia Pablos Sanchon, Alex Windell, Ann Marie Heatherson (sub Nikki Watts 80mins), Natasha Harding, Laura Del Rio. Subs not used: Ellie Leek, Rhian Cleverly, Charlotte Haynes, Laura May Walkley.

Photos:

(top) Natasha Dowie takes on Jaz Matthews
(second) Angharad James is pursued by Louise Fors
(third) Katrin Omarsdottir fires home the title clinching goal
(bottom) Gemma Bonner lifts the WSL trophy to her team mates' delight

 
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