A late goal from Lincoln's Lucy Staniforth condemned Liverpool Ladies to a 1-0 defeat in the battle of the Women's Super League's bottom two at Skelmersdale on Sunday.

Despite again creating a number of chances, Liverpool were unable to turn pressure into goals and saw the visitors claim their first victory.

After their narrow defeat to Doncaster in midweek, manager Robbie Johnson made three changes to his team, with Cheryl Foster and Lynda Shepherd coming in for Michelle Evans and Carmel Bennett. There was also a change in goal, where Danielle Gibbons made her WSL debut in place of Andrea Worrall.

In an entertaining opening to the game, both teams struck the bar within the first 10 minutes. First, Liverpool's Ruesha Littlejohn supplied the cross for Nicki Harding to power a header against the woodwork.

Less than five minutes later, Lincoln's captain Casey Stoney repeated the feat, firing a shot against Gibbons's bar after the home defence had failed to deal with a long throw.

After 15 minutes, Littlejohn tested Imps 'keeper Nic Hobbs. The striker latched onto a through ball before shooting at Hobbs from just inside the area.

Hobbs's crossbar was rattled again mid-way through the half as Liverpool continued to push for the opener. Katie Brusell was fouled 20 yards out, and Foster stepped up to smash a terrific free-kick against the underside of the bar.

After a period of few chances, Liverpool will wonder how they didn't go into the break in the lead after carving out several opportunities as the first half came to an end.

Littlejohn broke down the right and was able to send a dangerous cross to the back post where Kelly Jones was just out-jumped by Lucy Staniforth. The attack was kept alive and, after Brusell had seen her shot blocked, Jones's follow up was saved by Hobbs.

On the stroke of half-time, Hobbs was tested again after neat build-up play from the Reds. Littlejohn and Brusell exchanged passes on the edge of the area and Brusell was able to unleash a goal-bound shot which the visiting 'keeper was just able to tip away.

In testing conditions at the start of the second half, both teams struggled to create anything in the strong wind and driving rain. However, as the sun returned, the game exploded into life mid-way through the half, as astonishingly, Stoney struck the bar again.

The Lincoln skipper's free kick from 40 yards seemed to deceive Gibbons, and the goalkeeper just managed to touch the ball onto the woodwork.

Two minutes later, it was Liverpool's turn to threaten. Brusell was scythed down on the right flank, and Foster's delivery was met by Lappin. Despite losing her marker, the Scottish midfielder had to generate the power on her header herself, and could only direct the ball a foot over the bar.

The end-to-end nature of the game continued, and after Gibbons had done well to claw a Smith free kick out, Liverpool went close again. Kelly Jones's cross was headed back by Lappin to Foster, but Liverpool's influential No.8 could only hook her shot wide.

After Leandra Little and Kelly Jones had both gone close at either end, Lincoln finally opened the scoring after 82 minutes.

Smith's back-heel on the corner of the area gave Jess Clarke time and space to bend in an inviting cross which Staniforth glanced home from six yards.

Facing their third successive defeat, the Reds pushed forward but left gaps at the back which the Imps nearly exploited through Little and Clarke. However, one goal proved to be enough for them to register a first win and keep Liverpool rooted to the bottom of the table.

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