Bristol City Women 0 - 1 Liverpool FC Women
Liverpool FC Women: Furness 13’
After a hiccup last week regarding the pitch at Prenton Park, the Women are back in action on the road, heading to Stoke Gifford Stadium to face the Bristol City Women. A string of good draws had been encouraging for the troubled Women’s team, and there was the heartbreak with another loss, so it could be a wash going to Bristol.
Liverpool get out of the gate running, with new signing Rachel Furness making an impact in her first start from the get go. Furness sends a pinpoint pass down the middle of the defense that Rinsola Babajide is able to pick up unimpeded and send towards goal, but it hits the post in probably the best representation of some of the Women’s teams problems.
Liverpool are well determined to make something happen this far from home and their persistence pays off early one. Melissa Lawley takes advantage of open space on the left hand side of the pitch and gives it a go, her shot causing chaos in the box briefly. Thankfully, the ball falls to Furness who turns it and scores the first goal of the New Year for the Red Women!
From then on it’s a matter of trying to double it the lead and/or protect it. Babajide takes the role of trying to double it, as she breaks down the wing but doesn’t send enough power into her shot and Sophie Baggaley deals with it easily. Liverpool keep pushing through the half, looking for that second, but all their focus on finding the goal isn’t helping them on the back end.
Bristol take a solid chance to equalize through Olivia Chance as she’s able to charge into the box chip a shot around Anke Preuss, but her effort hits the crossbar and goes out of bounds, thankfully saving the Reds for a moment. Rachel Furness continues her impressive debut, linking up with Babajide and Niamh Charles on a strong counterattack, but her shot goes wide just at the end of the half, but the Reds end things ahead.
Liverpool started the second half well in control, doing more to protect their lead than to add to it, but probably for the best knowing that an equalizer is only one bad decision away.
Furness takes another chance around five minutes after the restart, picking up another cross from Babajide, and shooting it right into the waiting arms of Baggaley. Furness looks like she’s slotted right into the fold, and her link up play with one of the best players on the squad in Babajide has been a sight to see in action.
Things look dire around the 62nd minute when a foul in the box awards a penalty to the home side. In a thankful twist of fate, Anke Preuss is able to save Charlie Wellings’ shot and preserve the Reds’ thin lead for the time being. Preuss was even on her toes enough to save the rebound, to keep Bristol from sneaking in an equalizer.
Bristol saw the chance to keep pressing their luck throughout the rest of the half, but would be dealt with pretty easily by Leighanne Robe, Niamh Fahey, and Sophie Bradley-Auckland to keep the Reds ahead. One the attacking sides of things, Liverpool’s luck wasn’t as sure, as Babajide and Furness both tried to find a second only to be thwarted by Baggaley and the post.
LIVERPOOL. FINALLY. DID. THE. THING. They kept a lead, they won a game, they’re out of relegation for the moment!!!