Fahey finds the net as Irish-influenced Liverpool seal return to Women's Super League

Niamh Fahey, Megan Campbell and Leanne Kiernan will play their club football in England’s top flight next season.

Liverpool skipper Niamh Fahey.
Liverpool skipper Niamh Fahey.
Image: PA

LIVERPOOL SECURED THEIR Women’s Super League comeback after two years away as a 4-2 victory at Bristol City saw them crowned Championship winners with two games to spare.

The victory means Republic of Ireland trio Niamh Fahey, Megan Campbell and Leanne Kiernan will play their club football in England’s top flight next season.

After Fahey’s opener for the Reds was cancelled out by Aggie Beever-Jones, Jasmine Matthews and Katie Stengel put Liverpool 3-1 up against Bristol City.

Abi Harrison replied for Bristol City before a Missy Bo Kearns effort wrapped up the win for the away side in front of a Championship-record crowd of 5,752 at Ashton Gate.

It marks further success at Liverpool for boss Matt Beard, who returned last summer for a second stint in charge having overseen WSL title wins in 2013 and 2014 during his first.

Beard’s side have been unbeaten since losing their opening game of the campaign against London City Lionesses, and he told the club’s website: “It’s not easy to go 19 games unbeaten in the league and I’m incredibly proud of the players and the staff with what we’ve achieved.

“I say this every week, but we work incredibly hard at the training ground, on the training pitch and you don’t go 19 games unbeaten in any level of football without putting the hard work in that we have done – and we’ve got the rewards for that.

“Everything comes down to hard work, and the atmosphere around the training ground has been absolutely brilliant.”

Up in the top flight, Beth England and Sam Kerr each netted braces as Chelsea returned to the Women’s Super League summit with a 5-0 victory over Reading at Kingsmeadow.

Strikes from Jessie Fleming and England just before and shortly after the break put the hosts two goals up, and Kerr then scored twice from close range, in the 66th and 77th minutes. England subsequently completed the rout with a penalty in stoppage time.

The champions move back to the top, a point clear of Arsenal, with both teams having four more games to play.

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Arsenal had earlier briefly reclaimed top spot via a 5-0 victory of their own over Leicester at the King Power Stadium, where Vivianne Miedema scored twice.

Beth Mead’s volley put the Gunners ahead in the second minute before Miedema added a finish in the 67th minute and then another eight minutes later.

An Ashleigh Plumptre own goal further increased the visitors’ lead with 11 minutes of normal time remaining and substitute Tobin Heath provided number five four minutes later.

Manchester United continued their Champions League push with a 1-0 home win over Brighton, sealed by Leah Galton’s 68th-minute goal.

United go three points clear of fourth-placed Manchester City again, having played a game more – the Red Devils have three more fixtures remaining.

Tottenham are seven points behind City in fifth spot after a late Ramona Petzelberger header condemned them to a 1-0 home loss to Aston Villa.

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