LFC Ladies started the new FA WSL campaign with a brave 1-0 win over Birmingham City Ladies, despite a red card for the hosts and two missed penalties from the opposition.
Scott Rogerr made three changes to the side which lost 2-0 to Manchester City in the FA Cup at the weekend; Emma Lundh, Shanice Van De Sanden and Kate Longhurst replaced Rosie White, Caroline Weir and Laura Coombs.
The Reds almost had the worst possible start as after just four minutes Birmingham were awarded a penalty after a handball in the penalty area. Linnett stepped to the spot and had a shot, but Chamberlain dived to her left and superbly saved the penalty.
It wasn’t long until the Reds took the lead. On eight minutes Kate Longhurst played a lovely through ball which found Van De Sanden. The Dutch international showed great pace and beat Birmingham goalkeeper Sophie Baggaley.
Supporters in Widnes were overjoyed with Van De Sanden who created a threat every time she was on ball, but Birmingham did the same on the other side. It was 20 minutes when Chamberlain again denied Linnett from scoring. The Birmingham forward had an effort from a tight angle, but Reds keeper comfortably saved it.
The Reds were close to doubling the lead before half time. Alex Greenwood’s delivery from the corner found Mandy Van Den Berg, but her shot was cleared off the line.
The second half brought more from the visitor’s side. Within the first 10 minutes Birmingham looked for the occasion to equalise and put the Reds under the huge pressure.
But it was Natasha Harding who had a great opportunity to double the lead for the home side, Baggaely produced a great save to deny Liverpool’s No. 40.
On 68 minutes the visitors had their chance to equalise. Van Den Berg conceded a penalty and the referee showed her a straight red card.
Freda Ayisi was the one to take the penalty, but she sent the ball wide of Chamberlain’s goal.
Birmingham looked for the goal within the last 20 minutes but despite playing with the advantage of one player they were unable to beat Chamberlain who made two important saves which secured three points for Rogers’ side at the start of FA Women’s Super League.
Liverpool Ladies: Chamberlain, Harris, Greenwood, Van Den Berg, Bonner, Ingle, Longhurst, Zelem (Coombs 79), Lundh (Weir 74), Harding (White 90), Van De Sanden
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