Wednesday 29 August 2012
The Merseyside derby failed to disappoint as a Cheryl Foster spot-kick was cancelled out by two injury-time Everton goals, taking bragging rights back to the Blue half of the city.
The Reds again let a lead slide away late into the game, but the derby lived up to it's name and proved to be an entertaining spectacle none the least.
Both sides started the match with obvious signs of nerves, but the visitors had Nicola Davies in the Red’s goal fretting early on when a Fara Williams corner rebounded off the near post.
The two teams had soon settled when a clash of heads left Katie Brusell down holding her jaw, but in true derby day fashion she got back to her feet and soldiered on for her side.
Everton upped their search for a back-four splitting pass, but Liverpool’s defensive training paid off and their well-constructed, high line resulted in a busy day for the linesman, who was forced into flagging for offside on a number of occasions.
Hannah Keryakoplis continued her recent good form, proving herself a tough task to handle for the Everton back line, twisting and turning her way past defenders, but failing to find the net.
Liverpool were awarded a penalty just before the break when Michelle Evan’s long range shot deflected off a Blue hand. Cheryl Foster stepped up and she kept her cool, firing to the right of Rachel Brown in the Everton goal, who even after guessing correctly failed to keep it out.
The second half resumed with Toni Duggan showing trickery in front of Davies’ goal, but the keeper was quick off her line and smothered all threats. Everton’s leading goal scorer was then replaced on the 50th minute for Gwen Harries.
Nicola Davies prevented the Blues equalising soon after, with a fantastic save, clawing Fara Williams’ curling effort away from the top corner, after a smart back heel from Jill Scott presented her with the shooting opportunity. The keeper was then hastily up again to parry the rebound out for a corner.
The second half saw Everton pile on the pressure in search of an equaliser, but captain Vicky Jones lead her side, and more specifically her back four to an extremely organised defensive display who found themselves unfortunate to succumb to defeat.
A late Everton free kick from Alex Greenwood proved no bother to Nicky Davies, as the low effort rebounded off the wall.
The fourth official showed 4 minutes of additional time, cueing Everton’s late goal-scoring surge.
Gwen Harries’ strike came first after a long throw in was flicked on, and she picked her spot conclusively at the back post.
Natasha Dowie then found herself one on one with Nicky Davies after a hopeful punt forward, but she retained her composure and her finely placed lob looped over the onrushing keeper into an empty net.
Official Attendance figures showed 1568 fans had made their way to Skelmersdale United watch the tie.
Final Score Liverpool Ladies 1-2 Everton Ladies
By Mitch Francis.