Precious Hamilton secures Continental Cup win for Lincoln

Lincoln's Precious Hamilton (left)

Precious Hamilton struck late to give Lincoln a 1-0 Continental Cup group victory at Bristol Academy.

Hamilton scored three minutes from time, the Imps' win going some way to avenging their 2-0 defeat by the Vixens in last week's FA Cup semi-final.

Both made changes from the semi - most notably Bristol, who rested Spanish strikers Natalia and Laura del Rio.

The lethal pair destroyed Lincoln last week, each of them scoring in a victory whose margin could have been far wider.

Without their goalscorers-in-chief, however, the Vixens rarely looked as sharp up front while the Imps produced a much improved performance.

They started strongly and only a great save from Academy goalkeeper Siobhan Chamberlain denied striker Carla Cantrell a 13th minute opener.

England winger Jess Clarke had a 33rd minute chance to celebrate her 24th birthday with a goal but shot straight at Chamberlain.

The home side hit back after the break and Lincoln's England keeper Karen Bardsley was forced into a good 51st minute save from striker Nikki Watts.

But six minutes later Chamberlain had to make an even better stop from Hamilton's goalbound header.

Natalia was sent on as a 63rd minute substitute and immediately began causing problems, but the visiting defence held firm.

And their solid display was rewarded when Hamilton forced home a close range shot after the home defence had failed to clear Clarke's free-kick.

The result lifted Lincoln to the top of the group with four points from two matches, a point ahead of Birmingham City who have played only one.

Bristol are pointless after playing two games while Arsenal, the holders, have one point from their only game to date, a 1-1 draw with Lincoln.