Liverpool 1-1 Everton
The FA WSL Continental Cup
Saturday 23 March 2013
Live on ESPN
by John Hynes
Liverpool’s Natasha Dowie was disappointed not to register a win over her former colleagues as the Merseyside derby finished all square at Halton Stadium in Widnes.
The centre forward earned the spot-kick which saw Louise Fors put the hosts ahead 14 minutes from time, only for England U19 international Nikita Parris to nod in a late Everton equaliser.
Dowie said: “We felt we could win the game and that was our ambition.
“A draw was probably a fair result as both sides had a few chances. It might be a good thing for us as it shows how tough this division will be.
"We’re a very new team and tonight will have demonstrated to everyone exactly how difficult this league is. It was probably an eye-opener for some of the girls.”
Dowie’s battle with goalkeeper Rachel Brown was one of the key tussles on a sub-zero evening. In both halves Brown produced fine blocks to deny the striker from close range.
Everton’s best efforts came from Toni Duggan who twice went close to opening the scoring in the space of 60 first-half seconds.
When the breakthrough eventually arrived it was due to Dowie’s persistence, as she chased down a short back pass before Brown upended her. Referee Sian Massey consulted her assistant before pointing to the spot.
Despite the delay Fors remained composed before drilling a low effort in to the net.
The Blues quickly rallied, Duggan firing a rising drive just over. And when Michelle Hinnigan floated in a free-kick it was Parris who climbed highest to plant a cushioned header into the net from close range.
Visting manager Andy Spence felt his team’s efforts merited a draw.
He added: “On the balance of play I think it was the right result. Both teams had a few chances.
“We’re optimistic about this season and on the evidence of tonight we feel that confidence is well placed.
“The weather meant it wasn’t easy out there. The players had to show their battling qualities, especially after going a goal down late on. But I’ve never had any doubts about the spirit in our group and the result gives us a good base to build on.”
Quantrill; Bronze (Easton 22), Engen, Bonner, Schroder; Fors, Williams, Omarsdottir, Da Costa (Fenlon-Billson 73), Rolser; Dowie. Subs not used: Gibbons, Brusell, Holbrook, Ince, Riccio.
Brown; Jones, Nelson, Johnson, Greenwood; Scott, Duggan, Hinnigan, Chaplen, Parris, Kane. Subs not used: Handley, Durack, Williams, Whipp, Boye- Hlorkah.
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