Earlier this evening Liverpool Ladies were knocked out of The FA Cup, suffering a 2-0 home defeat to Merseyside rivals Everton Ladies.
Many had tipped Everton as relegation favourites this season having lost two key players during the transfer window, however they still boast a talented young squad and attacked Liverpool from the starting whistle to immediately put the reds on the back foot.
Liverpool’s injury list grows longer by the week; Libby Stout, Martha Harris and Kate Longhurst joining Katie Zelem, Lucy Staniforth and Nicole Rolser on the sidelines, along with Louise Fors out on loan that makes Liverpool 7 first team players down.
Everton took an early lead when Nikita Parris beat Gemma Bonner to race into the 18-yard box, Parris’ goal is the first Liverpool have conceded this season so far.
Amanda Da Costa went closest to getting Liverpool an equaliser, Fara Williams with a brilliant low ball but Da Costa’s strike went inches wide. Da Costa was involved again moments later, beating a couple of blue shirts on a mazy run into the box before squaring the ball to Gemma Davison who was fouled on the edge of the box.
Fara Williams took the free kick, in almost the exact same position from the one she scored again Chelsea last season. Unfortunately the ball swung in low at the near post and went out for a goal kick.
Nikita Parris was by far Everton’s best player on the pitch, a constant menace for Gemma Bonner and Lucy Bronze to deal with.
Everton’s lead was doubled when Alex Greenwood headed past Danielle Gibbons, an Everton corner was cleared only to be put straight back into the 6-yard box for the recent England débutante to score.
In the second half Liverpool came out fighting, Gemma Davison in particular a stand out once again in the Liverpool attack. Alex Greenwood standing strong against the Liverpool winger and constantly forcing her out wide.
Claudia Walker made her first-team début replacing development squad strike partner Ashley Hodson. Once on the pitch and despite being thrown in at the deep end Walker did not look out of place, having the confidence to shoot from distance – which blues keeper Rachel Brown did well to keep hold of – and also tracking back to defend and kickstart another Liverpool attack.
The final 10 minutes became frantic as Liverpool searched for an opening, Ellie Stewart and Megan Alexander replaced Becky Easton and Corina Schroder. Stewart joining Bronze and Bonner at the back with Alexander going to left wing to aid the Liverpool attack.
|Claudia Walker impressed on her first team début|
In the closing minutes Lucy Bronze made an excellent run forward from centre-back into the 18-yard box, winning a corner for Liverpool which Everton again defended well and cleared.
POTM: Gemma Bonner. A captain’s performance tonight, driving the team on and pushing high up the pitch during a frantic final 10 minutes.
Liverpool: Gibbons, Easton (Alexander), Bonner (C), Bronze, Schroder (Stewart), Williams, Katrin, Da Costa, Davison, Hodson (Walker), Dowie
Unused subs: Jackson, Dale
It is of course disappointing to be knocked out of The FA Cup and not to reach the semi-finals as we did last year, Liverpool threw everything they had at Everton during the second half and were unlucky not to come away with at least a goal for their efforts.
Credit of course must go to Everton, a brilliant performance from the blues and deservedly into the next round – good luck to them!
Next up for Liverpool it’s Everton again, this time in the Continental Cup on Wednesday 30th April. Liverpool will be out looking for revenge in this cup tie which kicks off at 6:30pm.
***Any Liverpool supporters who have already purchased tickets for The FA Cup Final please remember our Under 17s will also play at MK Dons that day, their FA Youth Cup Final will kick off at 1pm. If you’re headed down south get into the ground early to support the girls!***
Thanks for reading,