MATCH REPORT: Liverpool Ladies 4 – 2 Stoke City (U17s)

 Liverpool Ladies U17s staged an impressive comeback to beat Stoke City 4-2; Ainscow scored either side of half-time to draw the score level before substitute Boydell netted a vital brace to win the game.

 The Reds lined up with Myler in goal behind a back 4 of Howard, McPartlan, Yeldrem and Powell. Ainscow led the line up front with Thomas, Pemberton and Parry behind her, Cole on the right and Charles on the left.

 Liverpool were quick out the blocks and looking to use their pace to expose the width on the wings, Thomas coming out to the left and cutting the ball toward Charles who found Ainscow with the ball sent out for a corner.

 England youth international Cole was on set piece duties throughout, with a number of impressive balls into the box – 2 successive corners in the opening minutes, both towards Pemberton first at the near post and then the back, were dealt with by the defence before another towards a charging Ainscow moments later was cleared.

 Despite the early pressure, a bit of luck gave Stoke their opener – a free kick sent into the box from the halfway line only just trickling over the line after Myler stretched to get a hand to it.

 1-0 up, the visitors almost doubled their lead immediately with another free kick narrowly headed over the crossbar while Myler was again called into action claiming crosses from both the right and left wings.

 Once more Liverpool piled forward in numbers, winning a free kick of their own from which Parry’s ball was met by Ainscow but cleared.

 Charles then did well to win the ball back in her own half, passing the ball infield to Thomas who’s pinpoint pass found Cole out wide left. Cole’s tricky feet were too much for the Stoke’s left-back, who brought her down and Cole sent the resulting set piece just wide of the post.

 Unfortunately Stoke would capitalise on a quick counter attack to score a second a well-taken strike at the edge of the 18-yard box moments after Liverpool had them penned in by the corner flag.

 At 2-0 down, Liverpool continued to impress. Never looking panicked and keeping their composure, passing the ball well and building up their chances confidently.

 They were eventually rewarded for their efforts before half-time, Powell finding herself in space on the right wing and crossing to Ainscow at the near post who clipped the ball past the goalkeeper with the side of her foot to pull a goal back.

 Sensing an opportunity to equalise before the break, Charles sent a cross into the box – this was tipped away by the keeper only as far as Cole who carried the ball back goal wards and looked to put through Ainscow but her pass was intercepted.

 Cole herself then seen the keeper get a hand to her low drive and the score remained 2-1 to Stoke at half-time.

 Out for the second-half there were 2 changes to the back line, Sophie Rotherham coming on for Howard at right-back and Tia Lander in for Yeldrem in central defence.

 Liverpool continued to attack using the wings, notably the left with Powell and Charles overlapping and Cole sending a cross towards goal from that side also.

 The Reds scored their equaliser only minutes into the half, Ainscow pouncing on a Powell free kick with a lovely finish across the face of goal.

 As the team flourished in attack, the defence too – with McPartlan in particular – looked impressive; As Stoke looked to play long balls over the top McPartlan read these well, taking a step back and preventing the forward from turning.

 Now looking to go ahead for the first time Liverpool made a number of substitutions, Cassia Pike on for Cole, Meg Boydell for Charles, Caitlin Gerrard for Parry and Jessica Tomlinson for Pemberton.

 Pike gave the Reds a different option on the right, and linked well with Rotherham behind her. One attack seen Rotherham charge forward with the ball, get herself into the box and pass out wide to Pike – almost connecting with the return pass but stopped by the defence before she could get a shot in.

 Rotherham also proved tough to beat defensively, nothing getting past her for the second 45 minutes.

 A late double from Boydell would secure the 3 points for Liverpool, first the substitute put her side in front after converting a corner then in injury time scored the pick of the afternoon’s goals after controlling the ball well at the edge of the box and volleying it over the keeper.

 Before Boydell scored the 4th and final goal, Myler had been alert and came out of her box to clear up a loose ball and the keeper also put in a commanding performance behind her defence, constantly talking to them and the rest of the team.

 LIVERPOOL: Myler, Howard (Rotherham), McPartlan, Yeldam (Lander), Powell, Parry, Pemberton, Thomas, Cole, Charles, Ainscow

 PLAYER OF THE MATCH: Ainscow

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