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Champions off and running
 Women's Football News 18 Apr 2014
 
Champions off and running - 18 Apr 2014 - Women's Football NewsLiverpool 1 (Dowie 71) Manchester City 0
Liverpool got their Women's Super League title defence off to the perfect start as Natasha Dowie's second half strike clinched victory over newcomers Manchester City. 
 
Dowie, who was WSL top scorer last year, broke the deadlock for the Reds after Kate Longhurst had a goal chalked off for handball in the first half.
 
Liverpool came flying out the blocks and could have gone in front after just four minutes, but Dowie steered Fara Williams' header wide.
 
They went closer still after the ball rebounded off Longhurst and into the net from Andrea Worrall's attempted clearance, but referee Amy Fearn ruled handball against the striker.
 
Just before half time, it was City's turn to spring forward as forward Isobel Christiansen forced a fine stop out of Libby Stout.
 
After the restart, Gemma Davison saw a close range effort cleared off the line by Steph Houghton before Amanda DaCosta, Dowie and Williams all missed chances.
 
Then on 71 minutes, Dowie latched onto a through ball from Lucy Bronze before slotting the ball past the onrushing Worrall and inside the far post for the only goal of the game.
 
City's Toni Duggan hit a rasping shot in the closing stages but Stout was equal to the effort as Liverpool held on for the three points.
 
Liverpool: Libby Stout, Martha Harris (sub Becky Easton 69mins), Corina Schroder, Fara Williams (sub Hannah Dale 88mins), Gemma Bonner, Lucy Bronze, Gemma Davison, Katrin Omarsdottir, Natasha Dowie, Amanda Da Costa, Kate Longhurst. Subs not used: Danielle Gibbons, Ellie Stewart, Ashley Hodson.

Manchester City: Andrea Worrall, Steph Marsh, Chelsea Nightingale, Jess Holbrook, Emma Lipman, Steph Houghton, Krystle Johnston (sub Natasha Flint 81mins), Jill Scott, Toni Duggan, Issy Christiansen, Betsy Hassett. Subs not used: Alex Brooks, Kim Turner, Nicki Harding, Lynda Shepherd.

(Report by www.fawsl.com)


 
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