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Liverpool 2 (Dowie 16,70) Bristol Academy 0
Natasha Dowie struck in both halves as Liverpool ground down a dogged Bristol Academy and ended any worries of being dragged into a relegation battle.
Following a period of sustained first half Liverpool pressure, during which Lucy Staniforth had a free kick well saved by Mary Earps, Dowie was on hand to tap home the opening goal after Ashley Hodson's initial shot was parried by Earps.
Kate Longhurst saw a shot saved but the visitors also had their moments and Jade Boho-Sayo broke away, outpacing the Reds defence but was unable to maintain her balance after taking the ball past Libby Stout and the chance was lost.
Dowie was just off target with a header and also tested Earps with a shot on the turn but at the other end, Christie Murray had Bristol's best chance of the first half on 43 minutes as her close range strike was excellently blocked by Stout.
Despite second half improvements from Bristol, Hodson and Dowie linked up again for Liverpool's second on 70 minutes. Hodson's pace took her clear of the Bristol defence, before squaring for Dowie to finish clinically for her second goal.
There was to be no late consolation for the away side as captain Sophie Ingle was denied by a goal line clearance from Martha Harris. Meanwhile Hodson was unlucky not to get on the scoresheet, as she missed a late chance for a Liverpool third.
Liverpool: Libby Stout, Martha Harris, Gemma Bonner, Kate Longhurst (sub Satara Murray 45mins), Natasha Dowie (sub Line Smorsgard 79mins), Becky Easton, Rosie White, Katie Zelem, Mayumi Pacheco, Ashley Hodson, Lucy Staniforth (sub Katrin Omarsdottir 59mins). Subs not used: Rachel Derbyshire, Ingrid Ryland, Mollie Green, Hannah Dale.
Bristol Academy: Mary Earps, Lauren Townsend (sub Nadia Lawrence 64mins), Caroline Weir, Hayley Ladd, Christine Murray, Jade Boho-Sayo, Sophie Ingle, Marije Brummel, Angharad James, Georgia Evans (sub Sharla Passariello 79mins), Hannah Short (sub Tatiana Pinto 45mins). Subs not used: Hannah Reid, Evdokia Popadinova, Frankie Brown, Gabby Bird.
(Report by www.fawsl.com)
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