Match reportLFC Women suffer home defeat by Aston Villa in WSL
Liverpool FC Women were beaten 1-0 by Aston Villa in their Barclays Women's Super League clash on Sunday afternoon.
Rachel Daly’s penalty early in the second half – the decision for which was strongly disputed by the Reds – separated the sides at Prenton Park.
A minute’s silence was observed before kick-off to mark the forthcoming Remembrance Day, and both teams wore shirts featuring poppies in support of the Royal British Legion.
Villa settled into a better passing rhythm during the early stages of the contest, though there was little penalty-box action of genuine note.
That almost changed with 27 on the clock as Kenza Dali broke into space in the right channel and tried to pick out Kirsty Hanson across the box. But Emma Koivisto was alert to the threat and intervened to clear.
At the other end, Jasmine Matthews carved out space to send in a strike from 20 yards that took a firm deflection and skewed the wrong side of the left-hand post.
Taylor Hinds scooped a right-footer too high from the edge of the box, before Liverpool created their best chance of the opening half.
Excellent hold-up play by Katie Stengel inside the area allowed the striker to serve the ball back to Koivisto, who crept around three defenders but sliced her attempt off target.
Stengel flicked a near-post header wide from a trademark Megan Campbell long throw-in as the Reds enjoyed a prolonged spell of pressure leading up to the break.
The visitors had a golden opportunity to take the lead, however. On a breakaway, Alisha Lehmann was one-on-one with Rachael Laws and saw her shot bounce back off the post, perhaps with a vital touch from the Liverpool goalkeeper on its way.
Matt Beard’s team began the second half with renewed intent but fell behind 10 minutes into it.
Laws raced out from her goal as Hanson chased a ball in behind and made a challenge to halt her opponent that she was adamant did not constitute a foul.
The referee disagreed, though, pointing to the spot for a penalty. Daly stepped up and kept her composure to convert the kick and break the deadlock.
The Reds attempted to rally as the rain increasingly came down, with Beard introducing Shanice van de Sanden and Missy Bo Kearns from the bench in the search for a response.
Villa remained steadfast, however, offering the hosts little by way of promising opportunities – until deep into stoppage time.
Another substitute, Rhiannon Roberts, made ground down the right flank and lofted in a cross that found Koivisto, whose cushioned side-footer went wide of the left post.
LFC Women: Laws, Koivisto, Flaherty, Fahey, Campbell, Hinds (Humphrey, 89), Furness (Kearns, 72), Matthews, Lawley (Roberts, 89), Daniels (Van de Sanden, 72), Stengel.
Unused substitutes: Cumings, Kirby, Robe, Wardlaw, Silcock.