Match report: Liverpool claim derby victory
Liverpool Ladies claimed a 2-0 win over Merseyside rivals Everton Ladies at the Select Security stadium in Widnes on Friday evening thanks to goals from Natasha Harding and substitute Niamh Charles.
Liverpool created the first clear cut chance of the game as on 9 minutes as Caroline Weir whipped in a fantastic cross for Bethany England but she flicked her effort just wide of the target.
It was all Liverpool in the opening stages as Alex Greenwood burst into the box before her cross was well blocked by Blues captain Danielle Turner from the resulting corner Gemma Bonner latched on to the ball but her header lacked power and was eventually cleared.
England was creating problems for Everton and she nearly has her side ahead on fifteen minutes as Jess Clarke played a defence splitting pass however the striker was denied by a fine low save from Elizabeth Durack.
In a frantic opening Everton thought they had the lead as they hit Liverpool on the counter attack when Megan Finnegan slipped in Mollie Green but her effort was cleared off the line by Sophie Ingle.
Scott Rogers side could have taken the lead from a free-kick from just outside the area on 26 minutes as Gabrielle George brought down Casey Stoney however Laura Coombs fired her effort well wide of the target.
In an end to end battle in typical derby fashion it was the Blues who once hit their rivals on the counter attack as Finnigan crossed for Jodie Brett but she just couldn’t get the vital connection that would surely have put her side ahead.
George than thought she had put Everton into the lead as Liverpool failed to clear a low corner the ball coming out to the edge of the area before the defender lashed her strike just over the crossbar.
Liverpool then thought they had broken the deadlock on 36 minutes as Weir whipped a freekick into Jess Clarke her effort cracked the bar before the ball fell to England who saw her diving header superbly saved by the superb reactions of Durack.
Everton were playing some very nice football and it was they who tested Liverpool stopper Siobhan Chamberlain at the end of the first half as the England international keeper plucked a cross from Marthe Munsterman out of the air when Claudia Walker was lurking at the back post.
Liverpool started the second half the better of the sides and could have been ahead inside three minutes of the restart as Greenwood whipped an inch perfect cross into England but she flicked her effort just wide of goal.
Chamberlain was called into action on 55 minutes as she made a fine save to keep out a low powerful shot from Walker from 25 yards out as Everton were pressing high up the pitch forcing Liverpool into mistakes.
In a battle of the goalkeepers Durack then made yet another superb top as Everton failed to clear a low cross the ball fell to Gemma Bonner but the Liverpool captains stinging drive was superbly kept out by the fine reactions of the young keeper.
68 minutes had passed before the next real chance of note as Munsterman played in Courtney Sweetman-Kirk but she was adjudged to be offside.
Liverpool then took the lead two minutes later as Everton failed to clear a whipped in free-kick the ball fell to Harding and she fired the ball across Durack and into the net.
Durack was putting in a superb display as she made yet another stunning stop to keep out a powerful drive from England as she was played through on goal by Coombs on 77 minutes.
Andy Spence’s side were playing some good football but just couldn’t get the shot away at the final moment as Northern Ireland international Simone Magill was played through but she was denied at the final minute by a dine tackle by Bonner.
Liverpool could have had a second on 88 minutes as the impressive Greenwood whipped a low ball into Hodson but she was denied by player of the match Durack as she tipped her effort away from goal.
Liverpool made it two in the final minute as Charles converted from close range after Durack had made a superb save from Hodson as she spilt the Everton defence to seal the victory for the Merseyside Reds.