WSL: Natasha Dowie strike extends Liverpool lead

By Tony LeightonWomen's football reporter
Liverpool Ladies

Liverpool's Natasha Dowie hit her 10th goal in 12 Women's Super League games as the Reds beat Doncaster Belles 2-0 to move five points clear at the top.

But 11 days after a 9-0 thrashing of Donny, who are bottom of the table, the leaders had to battle before midfielder Louise Fors scored a late clincher.

In Wednesday's other WSL game, fourth-placed Birmingham City came from behind to beat Everton 2-1.

Nikita Parris scored before Jade Moore and Mel Lawley earned City victory.

Liverpool 2-0 Doncaster Belles

Striker Dowie put the Reds in front after 10 minutes, striking home from winger Nicole Rolser's drag-back for her 16th goal in 18 games this season.

As the Belles rallied, winger Sue Smith and defender Rhiannon Roberts both went close with long-range efforts.

Liverpool were finding it difficult to create openings and both defender Lucy Bronze and Rolser sent speculative efforts over the bar.

The battling Belles worked hard for a second-half equaliser but the hosts' win was confirmed when Fors hit their second five minutes from time.

The victory means Liverpool are five points ahead of reigning champions Arsenal, who have two games in hand.

Birmingham City 2-1 Everton

In a frantic opening spell, midfielder Jo Potter almost gave Birmingham the lead with a 25-yard free-kick that flew just over the bar.

But it was the visitors who opened the scoring, striker Parris latching onto defender Aoife Mannion's under-hit 15th minute back pass to shoot home.

Both sides were then restricted to long-range goal attempts in a first half Birmingham edged without creating any clear-cut goalscoring chances.

The home side started the second half well and, two minutes after the break, striker Isobel Christiansen forced goalkeeper Megan Walsh into a fine save.

Walsh then denied midfielder Moore as Birmingham continued to press for an equaliser.

Everton substitute Paige Williams went close to wrapping up victory with a tremendous 71st-minute strike that bounced back off the bar.

But in the 76th minute, Birmingham were rewarded for their persistence when Moore flicked a floated Potter free-kick into the net for the equaliser.

And the home side grabbed the winner three minutes from time, striker Lawley sliding the ball in from a Kerys Harrop pass.