Liverpool Ladies v Everton Ladies
Nikita Parris struck a late equaliser as Everton forced a share of the spoils in their Continental Cup clash with rivals Liverpool.
In a game of few clear cut chances, the Blues had Rachel Brown-Finnis to thank for a number of top saves as the Reds looked to stamp their authority on Merseyside after a summer of heavy recruitment.
And it was one of their new foreign contingent who scored the game’s first goal, with Louise Fors converting a second-half penalty after Brown-Finnis’ challenge on ex-Toffee Natasha Dowie.
But with just three minutes remaining, Michelle Hinnigans’s pinpoint free-kick found an unmarked Parris and she guided a header beyond Sarah Quantrill.
Everton owed a lot to Brown-Finnis, who was called upon as early as the seventh minute as Liverpool seized on a loose bit of defending from Alex Greenwood found Katrin Omarsdottir but the Icelander was met by a sprawling Everton keeper.
The Blues hit back and Corina Schroder had to be alert to clear off the line as Duggan’s header from Greenwood’s corner looked to be going in. Duggan then fired wide from 12 yards after Brooke Chaplen picked her out after fine worth down the left.
Louise Fors was next to try her luck as the pendulum swung back and forth, but the Swedish forward’s effort from range fizzed wide of the post.
The conditions played a part in both sides being unable to carve out any real chances but Bown-Finnis was alert with seconds of the first half remaining to keep a fierce shot from Williams out, as the Reds finished on top.
The hosts began the brighter in the second period but Parris squandered the half’s opening chance. Picking up Jill Scott’s pass, the youngster tried a shot with her left but it was simple for Sarah Quantrill.
Brown then bravely denied Dowie from close range.
On 75 minutes, the game finally saw a goal. When Greenwood’s attempted pass back was latched onto by Dowie, she was bundled over by Brown-Finnis. Up stepped Fors who placed her spot-kick just out of the reach of the Blues keeper who had guessed the right way.
Everton’s response was immediate, striker Duggan taking aim from range with an effort that wasn’t too far over Quantrill’s crossbar.