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Women's Super League: Notts County Ladies beat Bristol Academy

By Tony LeightonWomen's football reporter
Notts County's Jess Clarke
Jess Clarke scored the final goal against Bristol Academy in Notts County Ladies' penultimate game of the season

Notts Countyexternal-link climbed four places to fourth in the Women's Super League with a 2-0 win at Bristol Academy.

An own goal by Academy keeper Mary Earps and a late strike into the top corner by Jess Clarke gave County a third successive victory.

The run has transformed the Magpies' season from a relegation battle to the possibility of finishing in the top half of the table.

The result sends Bristol Academyexternal-link down to sixth place in the table.

Defeat for Bristol was not a good way to prepare for their Champions League meetingexternal-link with Irish side Raheny on Thursday.

Academy made the early running and were almost a goal ahead after six minutes, striker Natalia hitting the post from 15 yards.

The Magpies responded with midfielder Sophie Walton curling an 11th-minute shot narrowly over the bar.

Midway through the half, Natalia twice forced goalkeeper Carly Telford into fine saves as the home side began to edge a tight contest.

Three minutes after the interval Telford had to make a good stop from striker Nicola Watts.

But as the second half wore on, County came more into the game and were handed the opening goal in the 73rd minute.

Midfielder Katie Hoyle curled a corner in to the near post and Earps, attempting to push the ball out, instead turned it into the net.

Striker Clarke made sure of victory in stoppage time when she cut in from the right to curl in a sumptuous shot.