LFC Women narrowly beaten by Tottenham in WSL
Liverpool FC Women were narrowly beaten 1-0 by Tottenham Hotspur in the Barclays Women's Super League on Sunday.
A tense affair was decided by an unfortunate Niamh Fahey own goal during the first half, with the hosts holding at bay a much-improved Reds performance following the break.
After a scrappy and unsettled beginning to the contest at Brisbane Road, Spurs took the lead on 11 minutes with the benefit of a significant stroke of luck.
Celin Bizet Ildhusoy made ground with a dribble along the right-hand side and her delivery into the Reds area deflected off Fahey and left Rachael Laws no chance as it skewed inside the near post.
Liverpool were still trying to find their rhythm, though launched claims for a penalty soon after.
Gilly Flaherty’s deep ball from the right eventually came to Taylor Hinds, lurking in the opposition area. Her attempt to move past Amy Turner was blocked, with the visitors believing by a handball. The referee was uninterested, however, and replays suggested the ball had come off Turner’s back.
From there, Spurs enjoyed much the better of the remainder of the half with Drew Spence unlucky to see her thumped 25-yard effort clatter off the left post.
Next, Nikola Karczewska was frustrated when, having been found in the middle by Ashleigh Neville’s cross, she could only touch a finish harmlessly wide.
Neville had the opportunity to double Tottenham’s advantage four minutes before the break, getting free in behind the Liverpool defence.
She initially hesitated in a one-on-one against Laws but the ball was recycled to her and a rising strike bounced off the crossbar and away.
The pattern of play continued in the early stages of the second half and Laws had to exhibit excellent handling when Eveliina Summanen rasped a well-hit shot towards the bottom left corner from long range.
LFC Women boss Matt Beard introduced Ceri Holland from the bench on the hour mark and the Reds asserted themselves ever more strongly as time ticked on.
Emma Koivisto was thwarted as she weighed up whether to pass or strike having broken free inside the box, before Holland dribbled past two and lifted her close-range finish too high.
Liverpool were now able to mount a consistent spell of pressure and looked the likelier side to score, creating their finest two chances late in the day.
Jasmine Matthews was just unable to connect on the stretch when substitute Rhiannon Roberts surged nicely into the area along the right and squared the ball in.
Then Katie Stengel found space in the same channel and eventually fired an angled effort on goal that was punched away by Tinja-Riikka Korpela, as Spurs held on to three points.
LFC Women: Laws, Koivisto (Roberts, 68), Flaherty, Fahey, Matthews, Hinds, Kearns (Campbell, 68), Furness (Holland, 60), Daniels, Lawley, Stengel.
Unused substitutes: Cumings, Kirby, Robe, Humphrey, Wardlaw, Silcock.
The Reds continue their Women’s Super League campaign by hosting Arsenal in a midday BST kick-off at Prenton Park next Sunday.