Fern Whelan and Natasha Dowie help Everton to victory

Fern Whelan and Natasha Dowie scored as Everton beat Bristol Academy 2-0 to keep alive their slim chances of winning the Women's Super League title.

Dowie opened the scoring on 63 minutes after England midfielder Fara Williams had an earlier penalty saved.

Whelan then made it safe six minutes from time when she headed home a Williams corner.

Meanwhile, England winger Sue Smith scored twice direct from corners as Lincoln beat Liverpool 4-2.

Williams wasted the chance to give the Toffees the lead when she saw her 58th-minute penalty saved by goalkeeper Siobhan Chamberlain.

But five minutes later striker Dowie broke the deadlock with an angled shot that crossed the goal-line despite the efforts of left back Grace McCatty before Whelan struck late on.

Sue Smith: Did you know?

  • The first club she played for was Tranmere Rovers
  • She made her England senior debut at 17
  • Smith's first hat-trick for her country came against Spain in March 2001
  • In 2002 she suffered a broken leg and torn ligaments in a training ground accident
  • She was one of only 17 players to be given central contracts by the Football Association in 2009

It was a sixth win in seven matches for third-placed Everton and takes them to within three points of leaders Birmingham, though both teams have just two games remaining.

Second-placed Arsenal, who entertain Everton in a key game on Thursday evening, are just two points behind Birmingham with a game in hand.

Lincoln fell behind to a Nicky Twohig header after 13 minutes before Smith's 32nd minute equaliser - her first Super League goal.

Although Casey Stoney put Lincoln ahead with her first goal in the league, Katie Brussell's 25-yard deflected shot levelled the score at 2-2 two minutes before the interval.

After the break, Smith scored a carbon copy of her first goal, before fellow England winger Jess Clarke wrapped up victory.

Defeat means Liverpool, who now have only one game of the inaugural WSL season remaining, are certain to finish in the bottom two.