LFC Women narrowly beaten by Man City Women in pre-season friendly

Match reportLFC Women narrowly beaten by Man City Women in pre-season friendly

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By Andy Kelly

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Liverpool FC Women gained more valuable pre-season minutes in their 1-0 defeat by Manchester City Women at the Academy Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

The hosts emerged victorious courtesy of a winner 15 minutes from time from former Red Laura Coombs.

Niamh Fahey and Missy Bo Kearns both went close to an equaliser in what was a useful exercise as Matt Beard’s side build up to the start of the Barclays Women’s Super League next month.

Amid high temperatures, the opening period took a while to take shape, with both sides seeking rhythm.

The Reds had an early speculative effort from Natasha Flint but the opening 20 minutes were fairly routine.

Real danger finally arrived from City’s Lauren Hemp on the left – fresh from the Women’s World Cup with England – and her low delivery was met by a swivelling Deyna Castellanos, with Rachael Laws showing fine instincts to tip the effort over the bar.

City striker Bunny Shaw lashed a cut-back over the bar as players began to find more space amid the sweltering conditions.

Ceri Holland tried an audacious reverse clip but gave it too much and cleared the bar.

Liverpool were beginning to apply some serious pressure on their hosts as they tried to play out and from such an occasion, Marie Höbinger appeared to be brought down in the box by Laia Aleixandri for a penalty but the referee waved play on.

Flint hammered home a Höbinger free-kick just before the break but the assistant referee had the flag up for offside.

PHOTOS

By Nick Taylor

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The second half saw Teagan Micah come on for her first minutes as a Liverpool player and the Australian will have been relieved to see a dangerous Mary Fowler cross flash across her goal without a touch early on.

A superb tackle from Fuka Nagano denied Fowler 10 minutes later just as she prepared to shoot from a good position.

Beard made a triple substitution just after the hour, with Fahey, Kearns and Mia Enderby coming on, and they were instantly into the action.

Fahey made a great block to keep out Shaw, while Kearns found a lovely pass to release Holland but ’keeper Sandy MacIver was swiftly off her line to clear.

Chloe Kelly drove narrowly over for the hosts before she played a key role in the opening goal.

Her corner was headed clear by Jenna Clark but Coombs was waiting to fire the rebound low past Micah.

The Reds’ press was an issue for City all day and from such a moment Yui Hasegawa came within inches of an own goal as she tried to play out.

Fahey met the resulting corner well but her header didn’t reach the line, while Kearns curled a lovely effort just over the bar.

Enderby yelled her frustration as she found a great position right on 90 minutes but her shot was too close to MacIver.

TEAM

LFC Women: Laws (Micah, 46), Koivisto (Taylor, 81), Hinds, Fisk, Bonner (Fahey, 62), Clark, Holland (Lundgaard, 72), Höbinger (Kearns, 62), Nagano, Daniels, Flint (Enderby, 62).

NEXT UP

Liverpool return to Manchester on Wednesday afternoon for a meeting with Manchester United in their penultimate pre-season fixture.

The behind-closed-doors clash at Carrington kicks off at 12pm BST and can be watched live on LFCTV GO.

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