LFC Women denied in dramatic 3-3 draw with Reading
Liverpool FC Women were denied by a late equaliser as they drew 3-3 with Reading FC Women in the Barclays Women's Super League.
Katie Stengel’s clinical header gave Matt Beard’s Reds an early lead at Select Car Leasing Stadium on Thursday night but the hosts levelled just before the break through Tia Primmer.
Former LFC forward Natasha Dowie put the home team in front just past the hour mark, only for the visitors to respond as Stengel equalised and substitute Rhiannon Roberts gained another advantage.
But Reading salvaged a point and limited the Reds to a second successive 3-3 result as Sanne Troelsgaard forced home a header with a minute of normal time remaining.
Liverpool carved out the first serious opportunity of the fixture in the sixth minute.
Melissa Lawley was freed with space to attack down the left-hand side and she pulled a precise pass back for the waiting Rachel Furness, whose effort from the centre was blocked away at the last.
Reading swiftly produced a promising chance of their own. A free-kick from the right channel was dangerously swept in low and met first by Amalie Eikeland but she prodded a finish off target at the near post.
The Reds’ threat had been increasing, however, and they took the lead in excellent fashion with 16 minutes on the clock.
The influential Lawley showed neat footwork to open up space on the left flank and guide in a lovely cross that Stengel sweetly redirected beyond the reach of Grace Moloney into the right of the net for 1-0.
Liverpool could and, given the reaction of Furness, perhaps should have doubled that lead in the 25th minute when the vice-captain nodded wide of the left post from Taylor Hinds’ angled set-piece from deep.
The open, flowing nature of the clash persisted and Beard’s charges came close to adding to the scoreline again before the interval.
A counter-attack saw Stengel show strength and poise to dribble the ball the length of the opposition half before cutting in and aiming a curler towards the top corner that was deflected over.
Reading then drew level in the final seconds of added time as Primmer met a cleared free-kick 20 yards out with a looping strike into the far corner.
The Reds began the second half with renewed intent and half-chances and sights of goal were frequent for both teams from the resumption.
And a flurry of goals began three minutes after the hour mark.
A set-play delivery into the Liverpool area was headed off the foot of the right post by Dowie and she then pounced when the ball was kept alive to thread a finish past Eartha Cumings from close range.
Beard instantly made changes from the bench as Megan Campbell and Roberts were introduced – and the pair were pivotal in his team going back in front.
It was Campbell’s sumptuous, lifted pass into the Reading box from which Stengel netted a second of the evening, sending an accurate header down and in.
Soon after, Lawley swung another inviting cross from right to left that picked out Roberts at the far post, the Wales international getting enough on her header to defeat the hands of Moloney.
But the visitors were prevented from returning to Merseyside with maximum points a minute from the 90, Troelsgaard emulating Roberts by directing a back-stick header over the line to snatch a draw.
LFC Women: Cumings, Koivisto (Roberts, 64), Fahey, Matthews, Hinds (Campbell, 64), Holland, Wardlaw, Furness (Kearns, 73), Lawley (Daniels, 83), Van de Sanden (Robe, 73), Stengel.
Unused substitutes: Kirby, Humphrey, Silcock.