Brighton 3 - 1 Liverpool
Brighton: Elisabeth Terland 21’, Danielle Carter 26’ (pen), Katie Robinson 34’
Liverpool: Missy Bo Kearns 17’, Shanice van de Sanden 76’, Rachel Furness 92’
The Liverpool FC Women come into the match in search of points for the second time this season, and face another side in Brighton who are also in the bottom quarter of the table. Matt Beard’s side were disappointed to take a loss on a late penalty against Aston Villa last match out, and are still looking to find some goals in this side. Brighton have conceded a league-high 23 goals this season, but got a morale-boosting 5-4 win against West Ham last time out for their interim manage.
Liverpool have a couple of injuries to deal with, with the most glaring being Rachael Laws. She misses out, giving Eartha Cumings her first WSL start. Ceri Holland is still working her way back from a muscle injury, but is fit enough for the bench for the first time this month. Shanice van de Sanden is also slowly being worked back to fitness after an achilles injury, and is on the bench as well. Missy Bo Kearns steps back into a starting role in midfield in place of Rachel Furness with the rest of the outfield players retaining their places.
Brighton and Liverpool trade attacks and counters over the first ten minutes, with each side earning a couple free kicks midway into the opponents half. Neither side are able to create much from the early chances, however.
Taylor Hinds with a great bit of 1v1 defending to steal the ball away inside her own box, clearing the ball out for a throw. Brighton earn a corner after the throw, but the Reds do well to clear the ball first time.
Liverpool get their first shot off courtesy of Katie Stengel. Megan Campbell launches on of her signature long throws into the box, and the American striker gets a head to the ball facing away from goal, but manages to flick it goalwards. Megan Walsh comfortably catches the ball before any other Liverpool players can crash the goal.
GOAL LIVERPOOL!!! Katie Stengel does well to win the ball just inside her own half, and plays the ball wide to Melissa Lawley, who carries the ball down the left wing. Lawley uses the run from Yana Daniels to create a little space before charging past two defenders to the end line, and cuts the ball back in front of goal. Missy Bo Kearns times her run to perfection and gets just enough on the ball to send it into the goal for the opener!
Brighton don’t waste any time, coming right back to score just two minutes later. The Seagulls get the ball to Katie Robinson on the right wing, and she sends in a driven cross into the box. Elisabeth Terland gets on the end of the cross, sending in a bullet header to the corner of the net, leaving Eartha Cumings with no chance.
Brighton smell blood in the water and ramp up the pressure. Danielle Carter gets the ball in the box with a head of steam, and Liverpool just manage to poke the ball away for a corner. Liverpool half clear the ball in, but a shot from outside the box is driven into the body of Jasmine Matthews, who is trying to charge down the ball, and the referee awards a penalty kick for a hand ball. Her arms were tight to her body, so literally nothing she could have done there, very harsh penalty. Danielle Carter steps up and coolly slots the ball home after sending Eartha Cumings the wrong way.
Liverpool try to get an attack going right away after going down a goal. Yana Daniels does well down the right side and gets pulled back, but the referee decides that’s not worthy of a foul. Liverpool still manage to get a cross off, but it is too close to Megan Walsh in net.
Brighton have a third goal in the 34th minute. Katie Robinson again gets the ball on the right wing, and looks to send in a cross. The lofted ball doesn’t curl away from the goal, and instead drifts just inside the far post. Pain.
Liverpool make an early change in the 38th minute. Megan Campbell comes off, with Ceri Holland coming on. Not sure if Campbell had a knock, or if the change was tactical. Jasmine Matthews drops into central defense in place of Campbell, with Holland taking Matthews place in midfield.
Liverpool finally get some fluid movement carrying the ball forward in the 44th minute. Some nice interplay sees the ball come to Yana Daniels, who cuts from left to right and unleashes a shot from five yards outside the box. The shot screws high and wide of the net, however.
Both Liverool and Brighton make changes coming back from the half. Shanice van de Sanden comes on for Yana Daniels to try and jumpstart the Reds attack. For the Seagulls, Megan Connolly comes on for on for Lee Geum-Min.
Liverpool are trying to force balls forward with low percentage long passes for van de Sanden and Lawley to start the half. Too many of these balls are very easily cut out, leading to counter attacks for Brighton.
Gilly Flaherty gets herself in a spot of bother in the 53rd minute. A poor pass back to her is short, but she goes to ground too early and clips Danielle Carter in the ankle. The referee allows play to continue as Brighton attack, but she comes back to show Flaherty a yellow after the sequence ends.
Minutes later, Jasmine Matthews attempts to dribble the ball out of the back, gets trapped, and loses the ball. She trips up a Brighton player and is shown a yellow for the cynical foul.
Eartha Cumings shows great bravery, leaping and punching away a free kick from the left wing while under immense pressure. Cumings collides with a Brighton player, with both staying down momentarily, but both able to continue.
Liverpool turn the ball over in the attacking half, and Brighton counter quickly. It looks like Katie Robinson might be through on goal, but Gilly Flaherty takes a fantastic angle on the recovery run and gets down to block the shot out for a corner.
Liverpool make two changes in the 69th minute. Charlotte Wardlaw comes on for Niamh Fahey, and Rachel Furness enters for Missy Bo Kearns. Looks like Liverpool will go with four at the back with Wardlaw playing in a holding midfield role.
Liverpool come oh so close to getting back into the game. They finally show some great ball movement to get the ball forward, and it is played to Emma Koivisto at the top of the box. The Finnish drives a shot to the far post, but Walsh is just able to get a fingertip to the ball to push it wide of the goal.
GOAL LIVERPOOL! The Reds ramped up the pressure after Koivisto’s attempt, sustaining the attack for several minutes. A lofted ball into the box was flicked on by Katie Stengel to Koivisto, with the wing back putting the ball back across the face of goal. Shanice van de Sanden made the run to get to the ball and head it in from close range!
With 10 minutes left to play, Livie Bance comes on in place of Danielle Carter for Brighton.
Emma Koivisto steams forward on the counter, but has to slow the ball down as she gets into the attacking third with only Shanice van de Sanden in support. Koivisto and van de Sanden combine on the right before dropping it to Gilly Flaherty, but the defenders cross is claimed by the keeper.
Charlotte Wardlaw goes to ground to get to a ball, but ends up going through a Brighton player. The young Liverpool player is shown a yellow for the tackle.
Brighton doing everything they can to slow the game down as the final minutes of regular time tick down. Some real “professionalism” going on down there.
Liverpool get a couple of decent attacks off down the right wing, with Emma Koivisto playing balls into the box. The second one goes out for a throw, and Matt Beard makes a final change, bringing in Razza Roberts for Koivisto. Roberts immediately gets involved, and her deflected cross almost finds a Liverpool player in the box.
So close from Taylor Hinds! She gets the ball outside the top of the box and clips a shot. The ball looks like it might drop in, but it caroms off the crossbar instead.
IT’S AN EQUALIZER FROM LIVERPOOL!!!!! Shanice van de Sanden shows off the pace she is so well known for, chasing down what looked to be a hopeless ball down the right wing. She plays a perfect cross into the box, and Rachel Furness flies in to head the ball past Walsh from close range!!!
Liverpool mount a couple of final attacks, but nothing comes of it before the referee blows for full time.
What a thrilling finish to the match! Liverpool started well, but fell apart midway through the first half. It looked like they might go off the rails, going down 3-1, and really struggling to get much going until the 70th minute. Shanice van de Sanden showed her class, however, scoring a goal to get get them back in the game, then setting up the equalizer. With the draw, Liverpool stay 10th in the table, but now have a point over Reading, who lost 3-1 to Aston Villa. The Reds will travel to Reading next weekend in a massive match for the bottom of the table.