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Liverpool 0 Notts County 2 (White 5,23)
It was a night of bitter disappointment for an injury hit Liverpool as their Continental Cup dreams are over after a 2-0 semi final defeat to Notts County at the Select Security Stadium on Sunday night.
County will now face Arsenal in the final at the AESSEAL New York Stadium, home of Rotherham United on Sunday 1st November. It will be the Lady Pies' second major Final of the year following their SSE Women's FA Cup Final appearance back in August.
Matt Beard's charges made a blistering start to the proceedings and Rosie White almost scored in the opening two minutes when she hit the bar direct from a left wing corner, but when the loose ball fell inviting to Satara Murray she could only send her header over the bar.
County then took the lead after five minutes when Ellen White turned in a left wing free kick. It would prove to be a decisive moment as Rick Passmoor's side never looked back.
With Libby Stout still recovering from a shoulder injury, Danielle Gibbons was again in goal and she showed her capabilities with a brilliant save to keep out Rachel Williams goalbound header.
It was 2-0 though on 23 minutes. Liverpool gave the ball away cheaply and Danielle Buet broke down the right flank and found White with a perfectly executed pass, and the striker made no mistake.
The Reds at this point were rattled as County threatened more goals. It was nearly 3-0 on 27 minutes when Jess Clarke wriggled her way past Maz Pacheco before firing a shot just wide.
Liverpool were struggling to put meaningful pressure on their visitors but they did carve out a decent chance on 38 minutes when Katrin Omarsdottir drilled a low shot wide from the edge of the box.
Liverpool came out after the break with a renewed determination and they nearly got a goal on 53 minutes. Superb work in midfield from Katie Zelem saw her release Ashley Hodson down the right flank where her cross caused havoc in the County back line and they just cleared the ball as Natasha Dowie threatened to pounce.
Beard introduced Lucy Staniforth and debutant Mollie Green for the second half, but County continued to be resolute at the back and dangerous on the counter attack. Dowie, who had been starved of any decent service all night, at last had a chance on 75 minutes but she was denied at close range by a good block from County stopper Carly Telford.
Fara Williams then made a welcome entrance on 81 minutes when she replaced Zelem on her return from a long term injury.
Overall, it was a frustrating evening for Liverpool but ultimately the absence of key personnel through injury proved to be a big factor.
Liverpool: Danielle Gibbons, Ingrid Ryland, Shannon Beckwith, Satara Murray, Mayumi Pacheco, Hannah Dale (sub Lucy Staniforth 60mins), Katrin Ormarsdottir, Katie Zelem (sub Fara Williams 81mins), Ashley Hodson, Natasha Dowie, Rosie White (sub Mollie Green 72mins). Subs not used: Rachel Darbyshire, Olivia Wild.
Notts County: Carly Telford, Sophie Walton, Amy Turner, Laura Bassett, Alex Greenwood, Danielle Buet, Desiree Scott, Leanne Crichton, Jess Clarke, Rachel Williams, Ellen White (sub Aileen Whelan 87mins). Subs not used: Siobhan Chamberlain, Fern Whelan, Ashleigh Plumptre, Alice Hassall, Laura-Jayne O'Neill.
(Report by www.fawsl.com)
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