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Women's Football News
Everton 2 (Walker pen 30, D.Turner 85) Bristol City 3 (Emslie 26,69, Farrow 51)
Bristol City have won promotion back to WSL 1 at the first attempt after a Claire Emslie double and injury time penalty save from Caitlin Leach helped them to the victory they needed in the crucial clash with Everton at the Halton Stadium.
The teams went into the game being separated by just two points in the WSL 2 table with two games remaining, meaning that a win would be enough for City whilst an Everton success would see them displace their opponents in the top two.
The first goal was always going to be important and it came with 26 minutes on the clock. Following good work by Jodie Brett, Emslie unleashed a shot from 20 yards past Kirstie Levell for the opener.
The Vixens' joy was to last just four minutes though as Gabby George was adjudged to have been fouled in the area and Everton were awarded a penalty. Claudia Walker stepped up to beat Leach from the spot and things were back in the balance again.
City had been boosted for the game by the return from a shoulder injury of Millie Farrow and the striker, who had gone close with a lob during the first half, struck early after the break as she latched onto a loose pass before finishing clinically.
Eloise Wilson was denied by Levell and Michelle Hinnigan headed inches wide at the other end but a moment of brilliance from Emslie was to put the Vixens in a very strong position. The striker picked the ball up on the halfway line and carried it to the edge of the area before another powerful shot found the corner of the net to hand her side a two-goal cushion.
Everton were not to give up though and they gave themselves a lifeline with five minutes remaining when Danielle Turner scored from close range following a goalmouth scramble from a corner.
Now Everton were throwing everything they could with Rosella Ayane clipping the bar from a free kick and then, in the final minute of injury time, they were awarded a second penalty. Walker again stepped up and her shot looked destined for the corner but Leach dived low to her left to palm the ball onto the post, with Megan Alexander completing the clearance.
Moments later, City celebrations could begin as the final whistle sounded. Willie Kirk's side still have a chance to clinch the title next week whilst Everton will now be hoping that London Bees can do them a favour against Yeovil Town on Sunday.
Everton: Kirstie Levell, Vicky Jones (sub Ellie Stewart 75mins), Gabrielle George, Millie Turner (sub Simone Magill 64mins), Megan Finnigan, Krystle Johnston (sub Jenna Dear 82mins), Michelle Hinnigan, Kelly Jones, Danielle Turner, Rosella Ayane, Claudia Walker. Subs not used: Alex Brooks, Emily Hollinshead, Lauren Davies.
Bristol City: Caitlin Leach, Eloise Wilson (sub Olivia Fergusson 81mins), Hayley Ladd, Frankie Brown, Megan Alexander, Flo Allen, Georgia Evans, Jodie Brett, Chloe Arthur, Claire Emslie, Millie Farrow (sub Lily Woodham 79mins). Subs not used: Hannah Reid, Paige Sawyer, Katie Jones, Poppy Wilson.
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