Liverpool Ladies v Everton Ladies
Everton Ladies went down fighting as Liverpool took the spoils in the final Merseyside derby of the campaign.
Despite taking a fourth-minute lead through Nikita Parris, Tash Dowie netted a first-half brace to put the Reds ahead.
A stunning Parris strike restored parity just minutes before half-time but, despite the Blues starting the second half the stronger, home skipper Gemma Bonner put Liverpool back in front and Dowie completed her hat-trick to seal a 4-2 win.
Everton’s play going forward at times was impressive and never more so than in the opening four minutes.
Some neat and tidy build-up saw the ball end up at the feet of midfielder Jill Scott, who had snuck into the box. She wriggled past a couple of Reds defenders before crossing for Parris, whose first-time shot curled around goalkeeper Rachel Laws and into the net.
But the Toffees had hardly finished celebrating before former Blue Dowie levelled, lifting a perfectly executed lob over the onrushing Rachel Brown-Finnis to make it 1-1.
Scott then had a header hacked off the line before the visitors were dealt a blow when Jody Handley went down injured and had to be replaced by Simone Magill.
Dowie rubbed salt into the wounds by putting her side ahead when she turned home Corina Schroder’s pinpoint cross, but the half's best moment of quality was yet to come.
Everton were in need of inspiration to find a way back into the contest and in Parris they found it.
Picking up the ball 35-yards out, Toni Duggan was screaming for a through ball in behind the defence. Instead, having spotted Laws off her line, the youngster drove a quite exquisite lob over the keeper and into the net.
The goal, quite rightly, gave Everton a lift and they started the second period with renewed vigour.
But Liverpool punctured the bubble with a third. From a corner, Bonner rose at the back post to nod the ball across goal and past the dive of Brown-Finnis.
A deflated Everton tried to respond but Dowie headed in late on to bag her third and with that the points were Liverpool’s.
The Blues will now face Lincoln in their penultimate game of the campaign at Marine on Sunday.