Liverpool Ladies suffered a blow to their title hopes when they were held to a 2-2 draw by Merseyside rivals Everton at the Select Security Stadium in Widnes on Thursday night.

With Chelsea's dramatic 3-2 win at Arsenal they are now four points clear of the Reds at the top of the table while Birmingham are second after their win over Bristol meaning Liverpool dropped down to third place. With three games to go for the Reds the race for the Women's Super League crown is going right to the wire.

With both clubs chasing a vital three points for different reasons, it was sure to be a no holds barred encounter with Matt Beard's side chasing another crucial three points.

However, having come into this clash at the bottom of the table and without a win all season, the Blues were determined to cause an upset against the title-chasing Reds.

Natasha Dowie came close to opening the scoring against her former club after just six minutes when a clearance ricocheted into her path. However, her finish lacked any real conviction and was cleared off the line.

Despite the lack of real chances on goal, it was the away side who enjoyed the bulk of possession and spraying the ball about at will.


Another ex-blue came close with her own effort on 22 minutes when Fara Williams tried her luck from about 30 yards which forced goalkeeper Rachel Brown-Finnis to be at full stretch to tip her effort wide. From the resulting corner Lucy Bronze came close herself but her header was straight at the stopper.

Everton's first chance came six minutes later courtesy of some neat footwork from Nikita Parris that led to her carving out a chance of her own which was saved by the legs of Libby Stout.

On 31 minutes, the hosts were ahead when Danielle Turner's inswinging corner from the right inexplicably flew into the back of the net via the fingertips of Stout.

However just before half-time, the reigning champions found themselves level when a long ball by Katrin Omarsdottir was flicked on by Gemma Davison into the path of Dowie who made no mistake by guiding the ball home.

In the second half Matt Beard's side found themselves in front early on.

Dowie turned provider on 49 minutes when her cute flick found strike partner Longhurst. The number seven who grabbed the winner when the sides last met back in July, tucked her shot away into the far corner at the first time of asking.

Their lead didn't last for long though as they were punished for backing off their opponents. Parris, who scored in their 2-0 win over Liverpool in the FA Cup back in April, got herself on the score-sheet when her shot from 25 yards arrowed into the far corner.

The Toffees had a questionable penalty appeal turned down on 67 minutes when Parris appeared to be bundled over in the box by Katrin Omarsdottir, but the referee waved away their claims.

The Reds went close on 77 minutes when Amanda Da Costa came close to scoring when her dipping effort scraped just over the bar, then at the other end the Blues wasted a golden opportunity when Michelle Hinnigan headed agonisingly wide from a corner.

There was late drama when Dowie netted after latching onto a flick on from Longhurst, only to see her joy turn to despair as the linesman gave offside.

Everton were then reduced to 10 players when Parris was shown a second yellow card for a late lunge on Becky Easton.

Despite their late pressure Liverpool just couldn't break down their Blue counterparts who defended admirably.

Liverpool Ladies: Libby Stout, Corina Schroder, Gemma Bonner, Nina Pedersen, Lucy Bronze, Fara Williams, Amanda Da Costa, Katrin Omarsdottir (Becky Easton 68), Kate Longhurst (Ashley Hodson 89), Gemma Davison (Katie Zelem 77), Natasha Dowie. Subs not used: Danielle Gibbons, Ellie Stewart, Hannah Dale, Claudia Walker.

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