Despite Liverpool Women coming from behind to take a point at Goodison Park, manager Matt Beard was left frustrated by a decision that cost his visiting team the win.
In front of over 22,000 supporters, Gabby George put Everton Women ahead midway through the first half with a cross-cum-shot on her 100th appearance for the hosts.
Before the break, Katie Stengel drew Liverpool level and after half time, Leighanne Robe thought she had completed the turnaround when she converted a cleverly worked corner-kick routine.
The celebrations were short-lived, though, as the referee ruled the goal out and pointed to the ground for a free kick in Everton‘s favour.
The foul appeared to be declared on the basis that Ceri Holland had pushed Everton‘s goalkeeper, Courtney Brosnan, in the build-up. After the ball had hit the net, the keeper rushed towards the referee to protest the goal.
NO GOAL! ?
Robe sticks the ball in the back of the net after a well-worked corner routine but the goal is disallowed ? pic.twitter.com/vdDXHSXGW6
— Sky Sports WSL (@SkySportsWSL) March 24, 2023
This rightly exasperated Reds manager Beard, with no further goals being scored on the night.
After the match, the Liverpool boss lamented: “I’m frustrated because I’ve just seen the disallowed goal and it shouldn’t have been disallowed. On the chances we created, we should have won the game.
“It 100 percent should have stood.”
Speaking to Sky Sports, he added: “I can’t believe it to be perfectly honest with you, it’s crazy.
“We had enough chances to get the win and it’s another decision that’s cost us three points.”
Liverpool’s players were also puzzled by the disallowed goal.
While the missed opportunity to take three points is a frustrating one, the disappointment shown indicates how much Liverpool improved on their 3-0 defeat at Anfield, to the same opposition in September.
Missy Bo Kearns said: “I think we deserved more than just the point – we created a lot of chances and their goal, they had a worldie.
“It’s obviously frustrating. We think we should have got three points but that’s football; at least we’re creating chances.”
Stengel echoed her thoughts, saying: “It was a much better performance for 90 minutes form us. Yeah, we’re frustrated with the result but it’s better than a loss…
“There are things to build on but we walk away a little frustrated.”
Holland, who was the player judged to have fouled the goalkeeper, reacted afterwards on social media, as did Kearns and fans:
— ceriholland (@Ceriholland_11) March 24, 2023
— Missy Bo Kearns (@bokearnsxxx) March 25, 2023
— Tay (@taylorhinds_) March 25, 2023
One of the worst refereeing decisions I've ever seen! https://t.co/sOG40wxOW2
— Ste Hoare (@stehoare) March 24, 2023
That is as mystifying as anything I’ve seen on a football field! https://t.co/rYlR4ch1Sd
— Alan Biggs (@AlanBiggs1) March 25, 2023
Merseyside should of been RED lastnight! I’m still scratching my head with this decision!
Decision like this can define your season, we’ve had some many incorrect decisions against us this season!
Want to grow then game? Then improve the officiating also! https://t.co/8C1IBh9JYU
— Swell ?? (Pronoun: She/Her) (@Swell09) March 25, 2023
Liverpool Women are next in action on April 2, against West Ham at Dagenham & Redbridge’s Victoria Road stadium.