A late equaliser denied Liverpool FC Ladies a victory as they drew 1-1 with Merseyside rivals Everton in the Continental Cup tie at the Halton Stadium on Saturday night.

Despite the heavy snow on Merseyside a fantastic effort had been made by staff and local volunteers to clear the pitch and stage the game.

The Continental Cup was the curtain raiser for the new Women's Super League 2013 season and there was plenty of pride at stake at a freezing Widnes.

It was a typical derby full of passion and commitment with three former Blues in the Liverpool side and three former Reds in the Blue corner.

Up until the 75th minute Matt Beard's side had been left frustrated in front of goal thanks to some fine goalkeeping by Blues stopper Rachel Brown, but the breakthrough finally arrived from the penalty spot.

Natasha Dowie intercepted a back pass and just got a touch on the ball before Brown made contact with her former teammate.

The assistant referee had a clear view of the incident and gave the penalty, and new arrival from Sweden, Fors expertly beat Brown from 12-yards.

However, the Blues levelled four minutes from time when Nikita Parris headed home a free-kick to earn Everton a share of the spoils.

After a tentative opening to the game the Reds suffered an early blow after 22 minutes when Lucy Bronze had to leave the field with a knee injury and Becky Easton was her replacement.

Nicole Rosler was a very effective attacking weapon for Liverpool down the left wing and in first-half stoppage time there was a touch of controversy when Rosler was brought down by former Red Lindsay Johnson. The card could have been red but referee Sian Massey showed leniency and gave just a yellow.

Just before the end of the half Blues stopper Brown produced a brilliant point-blank range stop to deny Fara Williams.

Brown was in great form and she produced another great save to deny Dowie in the second half, before Liverpool's pressure finally paid off when they got the vital penalty.

Toni Duggan went close to a leveller for the Blues on 78 minutes with a rasping drive that just cleared the bar, but Parris then pounced to level things up.

Liverpool kick-off their new Super League season on Sunday, April 14, when they travel to Lincoln Ladies.

Reflecting on the 90 minutes, ladies boss Beard said: "We are disappointed not to take all three points as we were 1-0 up, but we took a lot out of this game and for us it's a good lesson.

"We know it's going to take us time to gel with the new players but overall I'm pleased with the 90 minutes.

"On another night we could have scored a few more goals but the Everton goalkeeper made some very good saves.

"There are lots of lessons learned and I think it's a good marker for us as the new players that have come in now know what this league is all about."

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