Liverpool Ladies v Everton Ladies
Everton Ladies were unable to do the double over their Merseyside rivals as they fought out a goalless draw to Liverpool this evening.
It was the second match-up between the two Merseyside clubs in three days after Everton had the bragging rights over their neighbours at the weekend with a 2-0 win in the FA Cup.
Due to the quick turnaround from their Cup heroics, Andy Spence made four changes to the side that beat Liverpool in the FA Cup 2-0 at the weekend.
Megan Walsh, Vicky Jones, Simone Magill, and Lucy Whipp coming into the side, at the expense of Rachel Brown-Finnis, Jody Handley, Billie Murphy, and Millie Turner.
The squad for this evening's clash contained 11 players under 21 years of age and with three under the tender years of 17, as Spence proved his faith in his youngsters for such an important encounter.
It was evident that Liverpool were out to avenge their Cup defeat straight from the off as they pressurised the Everton defence for the first goal.
Natasha Dowie and Amanda Da Costa both had early attempts to take the lead.
Dowie firstly firing over from the edge of the box before Da Costa got on the end of a Gemma Davison cross but she again failed to trouble the Everton keeper.
Despite going through a lot of the first-half without the ball, Everton limited their opposition to mainly chances outside of the area, exemplifying a resilient defensive performance from Spence’s outfit.
At half-time Spence freshened things up bringing on Brooke Chaplen, and Jody Handley for Lucy Whipp and Simone Magill.
And the changes proved dividends, as The Blues hit the ground running when they returned onto the field.
Full-back Alex Greenwood played in a teasing ball from the left into Handley, but the substitute’s header was blocked by a number of red shirts.
In a game that provided chances few and far between, it was Everton who went arguably went closest to breaking the deadlock courtesy of Captain Michelle Hinnigan.
A clever ball into the skipper on the edge of the box was matched with the midfielder’s trickery; Hinnigan tricking her marker before releasing a blistering strike that beckoned the net, only for Liverpool shot stopper Danielle Gibbons to deny her with the first goal of the game on 76 minutes.
However, with just seconds left on the clock, Liverpool very nearly snatched victory if it wasn’t for the sharp thinking Vicky Jones on the back post.
A ball into The Blues penalty area was met with a well-timed interception from the defender who denied an almost certain goal with Ashley Hodson lurking just behind her.