LFC Ladies striker Natasha Dowie came off the bench to fire the winning goal in a third consecutive win for the LFC Ladies in the Continental Cup on Saturday evening.
The Reds’ number nine was surprisingly left on bench as Matt Beard decided to rotate the squad due to next week’s important game in Women’s Super League against Bristol. Satara Murray also named in the squad after returning from the injury.
Liverpool Ladies started the game with early pressure and within a couple of minutes totally dominated. Ashley Hodson was one of the brightest points in Beard’s side as the young player caused the problems down the right flank. She had a golden opportunity in the early stage of the game in one-on-one situation with Durham goalkeeper Anna Moorhouse, but Hodson’s shot was placed well wide of the target.
The pressure from the Reds continued as Longurst had her chance one minute later, but Durham goalkeeper produced another fine save.
Moorhouse and her colleagues in defence had plenty work to do as Liverpool Ladies dominated in the first half. Within the first 18 minutes of play Reds had 7 corners, but all the danger was well prevented by the opposition.
On 24 minutes it was Smorsgard who forced Moorhouse again to produce a fine save to stop the effort from Reds’ number 10.
Eight minutes later Katie Longhurst’s shot was again well saved by Moorhouse and Lucy Staniforth was unlucky with her fantastic 30-yard free-kick came off the bar.
Liverpool Ladies continued to dominate in the second half and captain Gemma Bonner forced Moorhouse to produce another great save with a low drive effort superbly kept out by Durham keeper.
Matt Beard’s frustration in lacking the finishing power in front of goal was showed up in substitutions coming on the pitch as Dowie and White replaced Smorsgard and Omarsdottir.
It wasn’t too long for Dowie to shine on the pitch as White put Reds number nine clear, but again Moorhouse showed her skills and produced another great save.
It came to 66 minutes for LFC Ladies to break the deadlock as wonderful Ashely Hodson placed a great ball from the right flank and Dowie gave Moorhouse no chance from the close range.
Durham’s first opportunity came on 68 minutes as a long range free-kick from Hebble was well held by Libby Stout who did not have many chances to show her goalkeeping skills.
Liverpool continued to dominate until the rest of the game, but the magnificent Moorhouse continued to prevent Reds from scoring.
It was another injury blow at the late stage of the game as Longhurst had to come off and Beard is hoping that his number seven will be ready for the upcoming crucial fixtures in the coming days.
Liverpool Ladies: Stout, Harris, Pacheco, Bonner, Easton, Staniforth, Longhurst (Murray 74), Omarsdottir (White 56), Smorsgard (Dowie 56), Zelem, Hodson. Subs not used: Darbyshire, Green, Dale.