What an exciting weekend for football! The newly minted Liverpool Women capped off a fairly successful pre-season with a 3-0 win against Durham Women FC, setting them up for their first home match in a couple weeks.
The match started with it’s challenges with Courtney Sweetman-Kirk twice kept from scoring for the Reds early by Durham keeper Hannah Reid - catching a set piece swung in by Christie Murray only to have that punched away, and then a header at the back post somehow miraculously swept away at the crossbar.
Frustration abounded until the Reds were given a lucky break when Murray went down in the 18 yard box before she could get a shot off. Liverpool were awarded a penalty without much fuss and Murray stepped up to take it herself, converting with even less fuss. She made it 1-0 to the Reds when her ball went down the middle and found the back of the net easily.
The first half ended without any other theatrics, and it was the second half that got things really going for Liverpool. Neil Redfearn made two changes going into it, bringing on Leandra Little and even-newer-than-anyone-else signing Kirsty Linnett. Christie Murray is so far instrumental in this half, winning the ball back deep in the Durham half and blazing a trail towards goal, only to have her effort sail just past the far post.
It was only 58 minutes in when Jess Clarke doubled the score for Liverpool, when she tucked in a corner delivered by Murray, the ball heading straight for the back post.
For all their work, Durham truly tested the new Liverpool backline, making new keeper Fran Kitching truly work for her spot, including stopping a deadly free kick from Durham. Jasmine Matthews and Niamh Fahey were both instrumental in keeping the clean sheet as well, even when all the focus is on the attack.
The best goal of the match came at the 65th minutes, with Kirsty Linnett and Yana Daniels pressing the Durham defenses enough for Laura Coombs to regain possession of the ball. Coombs then raced to the 18 yard box, played a beautiful one-two with Christie Murray and then smashed the ball home past Hannah Reid, making the Reds’ win absolute. While there were plenty of chances following that goal, the match ended with 3-0 to Liverpool and all sorts of good feelings.
️ "Every game is a big game, you turn up to a friendly and everyone says it’s a friendly but you want to win every game you play - that’s the mentality that we’ve all got installed in us and we’ll be exactly the same next week." @sophiebradley2 ✊ pic.twitter.com/Li5aSXYo8I— Liverpool FC Women (@LiverpoolFCW) August 12, 2018
This kind of confidence boost is paramount going into what is surely going to be a tough match against Manchester United on August 19th, recently announced to take place at Prenton Park. Tickets for that Continental Tyres Cup match are already on sale, so if you’re in or around Merseyside, be sure to make some time to support the Red Women!