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Bristol Academy 5 (Natalia pen 3,10, Watts 38,72, Yorston 60)
Everton 2 (K.Jones 23, Chaplen 35)
Bristol Academy picked up three vital points but added to Everton's worries at the bottom of the WSL1 table.
Five points had separated the teams going into the match but despite a first half fightback from Andy Spence's side, Academy produced a fine display of finishing to catapult themselves into a mid-table position.
The home side were handed the best possible start when, with just three minutes on the clock, Loren Dykes drove into the area and was tripped by Fern Whelan. Natalia Pablos Sanchon stepped up to send Rachel Brown-Finnis the wrong way from the penalty spot to give her side the lead.
Alex Greenwood drove over the bar from long range but Academy's fast start to the game brought further reward on the ten minute mark. Natalia intercepted a goal kick from Brown-Finnis and made her way to the edge of the area where she was denied by a good saving tackle from Lindsay Johnson. However the respite was only temporary for Everton, they were caught flat footed by the resulting corner which was taken short and Angharad James whipped in a cross which was not dealt with and Natalia fired home from six yards on the turn.
Kelly Jones was narrowly off target at the other end but Academy were constantly beating the Everton offside trap with Natalia and Natasha Harding being released down either flank. Harding was close to a third goal as she broke down the right and drilled an angled shot which went just past the far post.
However a minute later, Everton were back in the game with a fine strike of their own. Danielle Turner sent in a deep cross beyond the far post where Kelly Jones was waiting to fire a perfectly executed volley past Mary Earps and into the roof of the net.
A good move saw Academy go close again, Jaz Matthews' pass was dummied by Natalia and this allowed Harding through but her curling shot was just wide. Academy's midfield duo of James and Sophie Ingle were showing little signs of fatigue from playing for Wales against England less than 48 hours earlier as they dictated possession in the centre of midfield.
Everton had been inspired by the goal though and an even better strike was to get them on level terms. Brooke Chaplen picked up the ball midway in the Bristol half and carried the ball forward before unleashing a powerful shot which sailed past Earps for the equaliser.
Parity lasted for just three minutes though with Academy conjuring up a stunning response. Nikki Watts received the ball 30 yards from goal and her attempted lob to beat Brown-Finnis was judged to perfection, the ball dipping under the bar with the Everton keeper stranded.
Everton could have been level again two minutes later, after good work from Johnson who retrieved the ball from a Michelle Hinnigan corner. Johnson laid the ball back to Turner whose shot from the edge of the area rattled the bar.
After a first half in which both teams looked like scoring almost every time they attacked, things inevitably tightened up more after the break and it was Academy who seized the initiative as the hour mark approached.
Natalia slid a neat pass to put Harding through on goal but the Welsh international striker was denied by Brown-Finnis, who came off her line to block the shot with her legs.
A minute later though, the England goalkeeper was given no chance as Natalia once again was the creator, playing in Corinne Yorston who lifted her shot over Brown-Finnis and in off the underside of the bar.
The goal appeared to deflate the Everton players and Academy took further advantage with another excellent goal. A good passing move involving several players culminated with Grace McCatty crossing from the right and Watts steered the ball home for her second goal.
It could have been worse for Everton a minute later as Johnson slipped and Harding picked up the loose ball but Megan Walsh, who had earlier come on for the injured Brown-Finnis, was able to save. Johnson deflected a Natalia cross onto her own post and Turner made a superb goal line clearance to deny Dykes as an Academy side, with their confidence restored, finished the game well on top.
Bristol Academy: Mary Earps, Grace McCatty, Corinne Yorston, Jaz Matthews, Jemma Rose, Sophie Ingle (sub Alex Windell 87mins), Natalia Pablos Sanchon, Angharad James (sub Frankie Brown 69mins), Natasha Harding (sub Gabrielle Bird 75mins), Nikki Watts, Loren Dykes. Subs not used: Cristina Vega Leandro, Laura Del Rio, Alice Evans, Georgia Evans.
Everton: Rachel Brown-Finnis (sub Megan Walsh 70mins), Vicky Jones, Alex Greenwood, Brooke Chaplen, Fern Whelan (sub Lucy Whipp 65mins), Lindsay Johnson, Danielle Turner, Michelle Hinnigan, Nikita Parris, Simone Magill (sub Paige Williams 52mins), Kelly Jones. Subs not used: Amy Kane, Gabrielle George, Millie Turner, Lauren Davies.
(top) Lindsay Johnson slides in to make a great tackle on Natasha Harding
(middle) Grace McCatty in a chase for the ball with Simone Magill
(bottom) Mary Earps catches under pressure from Kelly Jones
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