JESS Clarke’s second-half strike booked Lincoln their place in the semi-finals of the FA Women’s Super League Continental Cup – and made it a hat-trick of victories over Bristol.
Megan Harris put the visitors ahead late in the first half against the run of play, but Jess Fishlock levelled for the home side on the stroke of half-time.
The second half was a more even affair after Bristol had Jade Radburn sent off. and once Clarke curled home Lincoln’s second 14 minutes from time, the Lady Imps held firm to see out their triumph.
Bristol made the early running with Lincoln keeper Nicola Hobbs finger-tipping Helen Bleazard’s inswinging delivery over the top before Lillie Billson shot wide from the corner of the box after good through ball from Jade Radburn.
Lincoln’s Remi Allen did well to prevent Anouk Hoogendijk forcing home another dangerous inswinging corner – this time from Corinne Yorston.
Billson then had a one-on-one opportunity but was thwarted as Hobbs made a good save and then dived at the striker’s feet to smother the loose ball. The keeper was injured in the process and it sparked a flare-up between Lincoln skipper Casey Stoney and Billson, who were both booked.
Bristol keeper Siobhan Chamberlain was forced to make her first save of the game when she blocked Leandra Little’s downward header from Lucy Staniforth’s cross, but Bristol continued to dominate the opening period until Lincoln struck against the run of play four minutes before the interval.
Stoney got the better of Corinne Yorston down Bristol’s left and her low cross was scrambled home by Harris.
Lincoln’s lead was short-lived, however, and Fishlock fired home a deserved leveller in first-half stoppage time. Hobbs got her hands to the ball but could not prevent the Welsh international’s shot from 14 yards trickling over the line.
There were early chances for either side in the second half with Chamberlain diving at the feet of the onrushing Harris before Yorston floated a shot just wide of the top corner at the other end.
Bristol were reduced to 10 on the hour when Radburn was shown a straight red for clipping Clarke’s heels after the Lincoln striker turned her and broke towards goal.
Chamberlain then did well to tip over a dipping free kick from her former England team-mate Sue Smith, but was beaten in the 76th minute as Lincoln regained the lead.
A corner was taken short to Smith, whose square ball was curled into the top corner by Clarke.
Bleazard fired narrowly wide from 22 yards as Bristol tried in vain to summon up another leveller.
Bristol Academy: Chamberlain; McCatty, Radburn, Rose, Yorston; Heatherson (Dykes 82), Hoogendijk, Daley (Clark 82), Fishlock, Bleazard; Billson (Matthews 58). Subs (not used): Green, Curson.
Lincoln: Hobbs; Sutcliffe, Bradley, Stoney, Daly; Harris, Allen, Staniforth, Smith (Barker 85); Clarke, Little. Subs (not used): Cantrell, Horwood.
Bristol: Fishlock (45)
Lincoln; Harris (41), Clarke (76)
Bristol: Billson (16), Fishlock (62)
Lincoln: Stoney (16), Barker (19)
Bristol: Radburn (60)