Bristol Academy reach their first Women's FA Cup final

By Tony LeightonWomen's football correspondent
Bristol Academy
Bristol bounced back from a defeat by Birmingham in the Super League

Bristol Academy have reached the Women's FA Cup final for the first time after beating Liverpool 3-0 in the semi-finals on Sunday.

Bristol will make their debut in the Champions League next season as one of England's two entrants.

They will be joined by either Arsenal or Barnet, who meet in next week's second FA Cup semi-final.

The victory against Liverpool was unexpected after Bristol were beaten 4-0 at Birmingham in the Super League.

Academy manager Mark Sampson said: "The girls had two options after Thursday, either to roll over or bounce back with a really solid performance - and I never had any doubt it would be the latter."

In the Premier League Nottingham Forest beat Barnet 3-2 to clinch the runners-up spot behind champions Sunderland, who ended their season with a 2-0 win at Blackburn Rovers.

FA Women's Cup semi-final

Liverpool 0-3 Bristol Academy

Bristol bounced back in great style from their humbling at Birmingham, taking the lead after six minutes when Jess Fishlock drove home from 12 yards via a post.

On 16 minutes later Fishlock crossed for strike partner Ann-Marie Heatherson to double the lead with a close range shot.

Captain Corinne Yorston then hit the post in the 20th minute, but the third goal arrived from a Helen Bleazard penalty on the half-hour.

Academy goalkeeper Siobhan Chamberlain then had to make a tremendous 39th-minute save from Liverpool striker Cheryl Foster's 25-yard free-kick.

But Sampson's team had no further scares as they coasted through the second half to book those FA Cup final and Champions League places.

Women's Premier League

Blackburn Rovers 0-2 Sunderland

Sunderland were presented with the Premier League winners trophy at the end of a match won by two first-half goals.

The fourth minute opener was put into her own net by Blackburn's Dani Cox as she attempted to clear Steph Bannon's free-kick.

Then in the 36th minute, Demi Stokes shot home after exchanging passes with Rachel Furness .

Nottingham Forest 3-2 Barnet

A second half fight-back failed to save Barnet after they had made the worst of starts when Jade Dempster handedg Forest an eighth minute own goal.

The home side were outstanding in the first half but were unable to increase their lead until Andi Bell scored twice in the first three minutes of the second period.

Vicky Boardman pulled a goal back in the 56th minute and Abbie Prosser added a second for the Bees nine minutes later.

But despite some pressure in the closing stages the visitors could not force an equaliser and are in real danger of relegation.

The result of their final league match of the season, against Blackburn, could decide which of the two teams drops out of the top flight.

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