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Liverpool 1 (Fors pen 75) Everton 1 (Parris 86)
Liverpool and Everton finished all square in the only Continental Cup match to survive the weather, as two late goals meant that the points were shared in freezing cold conditions at the Halton Stadium.
Liverpool's new look side included three players - Natasha Dowie, Fara Williams and Lucy Bronze - lining up against their old club whilst Everton gave debuts to former Liverpool defender Vicky Jones and Julie Nelson.
Despite the cold, the game started off in typical local derby fashion with tackles flying in from both sides before Liverpool had a great chance to take the lead on seven minutes. Liverpool attacked down the right and Nicole Rolser's cross broke kindly in front of goal for Katrin Omarsdottir but Rachel Brown-Finnis was quickly off her line and spread herself to block the Icelandic midfielder's shot.
Everton began to settle down and began to carry a threat to their neighbours' goal, going close to taking the lead as Alex Greenwood's corner was headed goalwards by Toni Duggan but Corina Schroder was well placed to head off the line.
Duggan was looking lively playing as a lone striker for Everton and the England international was inches wide with a first time effort following good play down the left by Brooke Chaplen.
Liverpool were forced into a change midway through the first half when Bronze went off in distress with what appeared to be a knee injury to be replaced by another former Evertonian, Becky Easton.
It was the Reds who were to carve out the next opportunity, Rolser feeding Louise Fors who tried her luck with a left foot strike which was narrowly off target.
Chances were few at either end as both defences were looking strong, Nelson in particular having an impressive debut alongside the experienced Lindsay Johnson in the Everton defence. However on the stroke of half time, there was a scare for the Toffees as Easton's deep cross was clawed away by a back pedalling Brown-Finnis, who did superbly well to get up and block Williams' powerful shot from the loose ball.
The half ended with some controversy when Rolser chased down Amanda Da Costa's pass and tumbled when caught from behind by Johnson. A free kick was awarded and referee Sian Massey elected to show a yellow card, deeming that Rolser was not clean through on goal.
The pattern of the game continued at the start of the second half with both teams working hard but struggling to make headway. The first opportunity did fall Everton's way as Jill Scott picked out Nikita Parris who tried her luck from the edge of the area but the shot lacked power and Sarah Quantrill saved comfortably.
Back came Liverpool and Fors crossed for Dowie to turn past Nelson before being denied by another excellent point blank stop from Brown-Finnis. The save was a particularly brave one as the keeper had taken a blow in the face moments before through an accidental collision with team mate Chaplen.
The game went into a lull as the teams cancelled each other out until an error led to the deadlock finally being broken. A loose back pass from Greenwood was seized upon by an alert Dowie who went down under a challenge from Brown-Finnis. Contact appeared minimal but under the advice of her assistant, referee Massey awarded a penalty and Fors stepped up to find the corner of the net, despite Brown-Finnis getting a hand to the ball.
Everton responded well to the setback with Scott feeding Duggan who made space for herself on the edge of the area before firing a shot inches over the bar.
However with four minutes left, Everton were handed a chance to draw level when Whitney Engen was penalised for a foul on Parris, despite looking to have cleanly won the ball. Michelle Hinnigan curled a neat free kick into the area for Parris to evade her marker and plant a header into the corner of the net for the equaliser.
There were a few anxious moments for Everton late on as Liverpool inflicted pressure in the dying minutes but they could not fashion a chance and both sides had to settle for a point apiece and a fair result on the night.
Liverpool: Sarah Quantrill, Lucy Bronze (sub Becky Easton 22mins), Whitney Engen, Fara Williams, Gemma Bonner, Corina Schroder, Amanda Da Costa (sub Lillie Billson 71mins), Katrin Omarsdottir, Natasha Dowie, Louise Fors, Nicole Rolser. Subs not used: Danielle Gibbons, Jess Holbrook, Katie Brusell, Lizzie Ince, Sophia Riccio.
Everton: Rachel Brown-Finnis, Vicky Jones, Alex Greenwood, Amy Kane, Julie Nelson, Lindsay Johnson, Nikita Parris, Jill Scott, Toni Duggan, Michelle Hinnigan, Brooke Chaplen. Subs not used: Jody Handley, Lizzie Durack, Paige Williams, Lucy Whipp, Chantelle Boye-Hlorkah.
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