Liverpool Ladies v Everton Ladies
Everton are through to the semi-finals of the FA Women’s Cup after a thrilling two-goal victory over city rivals Liverpool.
The Blues were keen to bounce back from a somewhat disappointing performance against Notts County last week, and first-half goals from Nikita Parris and Alex Greenwood delivered a hugely promising win.
It was a fantastic tactical showcase from Andy Spence’s side against the current WSL champions, with the Blues boss urging his girls to soak up Liverpool pressure and hit them on the counter-attack.
The win means the Blues will now travel to either Portsmouth or Notts County (who face each other on Sunday 27 April).
Both Millie Turner and Gabbie George made their full debuts in the game, with George in particular impressing from start to finish.
The 17-year-old defender took the place of injured Fern Whelan at centre-back, and when called upon, ensured Rachel Brown-Finnis’ goal remained largely unthreatened.
It was the strength of the Blues’ watertight defence that allowed Spence’s girls to use their attacking flair on the counter – and that’s exactly how the deadlock was broken with just 10 minutes on the clock.
Parris, who looked dangerous throughout, picked up the ball just inside the Liverpool half and ran unchallenged into the 18-yard box. She struck powerfully into the bottom right of the goal and gave goalkeeper Danielle Gibbons no chance.
Everton doubled their lead on 30 minutes, this time from the unlikely source of left-back Alex Greenwood. After Liverpool failed to clear a corner, the defender took advantage and struck on the volley from close range.
Some may have thought the lead was vulnerable with both goals coming so early in the game, but the accumulation of Spence’s tactics and an Everton side all fighting for one another, the Ladies held on for a fantastic two-goal victory.