Fara Williams' spectacular strike edges Reds nearer top

Sunday 21 Sep 2014
Fara Williams celebrates her winner at Birmingham

Defending FA Women's Super League champions Liverpool moved to second in the table after they won 2-1 at Birmingham City on Sunday. 

England midfielder Fara Williams scored a spectacular late winner from the half-way line. 

The Blues looked to have rescued a point when Hannah Keryakoplis struck on 87 minutes, but Williams netted straight from the resulting kick-off to add to Amanda Da Costa’s first-half opener. 

Amanda Da Costa

Amanda Da Costa put Liverpool in front

The victory delighted Reds manager Matt Beard but insisted Chelsea are still the team in control of the title's destiny.

“It was a massive game, especially with Chelsea losing," he said. 

"I think there was more pressure on Birmingham than ourselves, because the league title was back in their hands.”

Beard continued: “Fara does things like that in training. She’s one of the best footballers I’ve ever worked with in the women’s game. Sometimes you need that kind of brilliance. 

“It’s Chelsea’s title to lose now and all we can do is put pressure on them. When we were in this position last year, Arsenal managed to drop points in two games, so all we need is for Chelsea to slip up, and then we’ve got to make sure we take full points.” 

Everton sit seven points from safety with just three games remaining after former Toffees Jill Scott and Toni Duggan - who bagged a brace in England's victory in Montenegro - helped Manchester City to a 3-0 win. 

Chelsea saw their lead at the top cut to just one point after they suffered a 1-0 defeat away at Notts County on Saturday. 

Jess Clarke headed home five minutes before half-time, but despite having an number of chances, Chelsea were unable to equalise. 

Toni Duggan

Toni Duggan scores against her former club

Their best effort came through Eniola Aluko - who scored a hat-trick for England in Wednesday's 10-0 win - as the striker hit the post shortly after the Blues went behind. 

Manager Emma Hayes says her side remain underdogs for the league title, even if they will fight all the way to win it. 

“I’m proud of the effort from my players, they put a lot in. They wanted to win the game,” she said. 

“We just lacked that bit of quality in the final third to get that winner and conceded a poor set-piece that gave them their win. 

“We showed why we are a work in progress and why Birmingham and Liverpool are still favourites for the title."

Hayes added: “You have got to take your chances. We got in behind and created several chances to finish but it wasn’t to be. 

“Notts County are fighting for their lives. They’ve proved all season they are difficult to break down and they proved why they do not give much away.” 

Elsewhere, veteran striker Kelly Smith came off the bench on Saturday to score a 16-minute hat-trick as Arsenal fought back from 2-0 down to beat Bristol Academy 4-3. 

In FA WSL2, Sunderland moved a step closer to promotion with a 2-1 win at Yeovil Town, Stephanie Bannon scoring the winner on 70 minutes. 

But Black Cats manager Mick Mulhern says his side are not getting ahead of themselves despite holding an eight-point lead at the top. 

Jill Scott

Jill Scott was on target for Manchester City

“I thought we were in control of the game and in the second half we gathered momentum and the second goal was always coming,” he said. 

“I’ve done this job for a long time now and the last thing you do now is get carried away, we haven’t won it yet; it is one game at a time, and it is on to the next game against Donny [Doncaster Rovers Belles] and we will see how we go.” 

Doncaster kept the pressure on the leaders with a 3-1 win against Millwall Lionesses, Beth England scoring twice. Meanwhile Aston Villa ended Reading’s unbeaten run with a 3-0 win while Oxford United came from 2-0 down to draw with Durham. 

And Sasha Adamson gave Watford their first win in seven games – a 1-0 triumph at the expense of London Bees.

For all the latest news, results and fixtures from The FA Women's Super League, visit www.FAWSL.com

By FA Staff