7-goal thriller with Man City as record set and Liverpool striker returns after 14 months

Liverpool fought valiantly in their Women’s League Cup clash with Man City, with a new appearance record set, but were eventually edged in a seven-goal thriller.

LFC Women 3-4 Man City WFC

Women’s League Cup (2), Prenton Park
November 9, 2023

Goals: Bonner 45′, Flint 47′, Enderby 90+6′; Angeldal 33′, Park 48′, Kelly 69′ 81′

Wednesday marked a significant night for Liverpool’s women’s side for two reasons, including a record-breaking appearance for Gemma Bonner.

The centre-back, who made an emotional return to the club after four-and-a-half years away, played her 135th game, exceeding the previous record held by Ashley Hodson.

Bonner marked it with a goal on the night, too, equalising after Filippa Angeldahl’s opener with a well-taken strike on the cusp of half-time.

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - Sunday, August 20, 2023: Liverpool's Natasha Flint during a pre-season friendly match between Birmingham City FC Women and Liverpool FC Women at St Andrews. (Pic by Jessica Hornby/Propaganda)

The second half brought five more goals, the first of which was scored by Liverpool striker Natasha Flint, only to be cancelled out immediately after as Jess Park converted from close range.

A brace from the bench from England striker Chloe Kelly looked to have put Man City out of sight, though the Reds grabbed another late on through Mia Enderby.

Enderby’s first for the club came too late, in the sixth minute of stoppage time, as Liverpool came out on the wrong end of a seven-goal thriller.

The 4-3 defeat makes it two losses from two in the Women’s League Cup, but it was still a positive afternoon for Matt Beard and his players.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, October 15, 2023: Liverpool's Leanne Kiernan applauds the supporters after the FA Women’s Super League game between Liverpool FC Women and Everton FC Women at Anfield. Everton won 1-0. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Aside from Bonner’s record night, it also marked a long-awaited return for striker Leanne Kiernan, who came off the bench for her first senior game in 14 months after a serious ankle injury.

“We said afterwards in our chat with the girls after everything that had happened out there, that was just an emotional moment for her, you could see it,” Beard told the club’s official website.

“I’m just delighted for her. She did well when she came on as well and looked sharp, but we are going to take our time with her.

“We are not going to rush her back, hopefully she will get some more minutes next week in our academy team and we will build her fitness back up and get her up and running over the next few weeks.”

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - Sunday, August 20, 2023: Liverpool's team huddle before second half during a pre-season friendly match between Birmingham City FC Women and Liverpool FC Women at St Andrews. (Pic by Jessica Hornby/Propaganda)

It is a busy stretch for Liverpool FC Women, with a trip to Tottenham in the league up next and clashes with Chelsea, Man United (twice), Brighton, Bristol City and Everton all to come in five weeks before the winter break.

LFC Women: Laws; Parry, Bonner, Fisk (Hobinger 46′), Daniels; Matthews (Nagano 46′), Taylor, Holland (Clark 46′); Van de Sanden (Hinds 46′), Enderby, Flint (Kieran 76′)

Subs not used: Spencer, Haug

Next match: Tottenham (A) – Women’s Super League – Sunday, November 12, 12.30pm (GMT)