After over two weeks of training, the Liverpool FC Women opened up their preseason friendly with a match against Nottingham Forest of the Nation’s League North. The match, which took place behind closed doors at the Solar Campus, was broken up into three 30-minute sections. Though no injury news was shared, both Rachael Laws and Gilly Flaherty were left out of the squad completely. The opening lineup saw new signings Eartha Cumings and Shanice van de Sanden get the starting nod.
Matt Beard didn’t have to wait long to see his newly-promoted squad score their first goal of preseason. In just the fifth minute Dutch winger Shanice van de Sanden sent in a cross that was turned home by last season’s top scorer, Leanne Kiernan.
Matt Beard made two changes to start the second 30-minute period. Missy Bo Kearns came on in midfield in place of Carla Humphrey while Katie Stengal replaced Leanne Kiernan as the point striker.
Van de Senden was involved in setting up several shooting chances, first squaring a ball to Melissa Lawley, and shortly thereafter she released Razza Roberts down the right wing, with the Welsh wingback’s cross sent wide of the goal by Katie Stengel.
Liverpool made five more changes at the 45 minute mark. New signing Emma Koivisto came on for her first appearance in Red at right wingback, while Lucy Parry, who just signed her first professional contract, came in on the left. Megan Campbell replaced Jasmine Matthews in central defense, while Rachel Furness came on for Ceri Holland in midfield, and Yana Daniels entered the fray for Shanice van de Sanden.
A further 5️⃣ changes from the boss as we reach the 45 minute mark. pic.twitter.com/J7xnydh0M8— Liverpool FC Women (@LiverpoolFCW) July 31, 2022
American Katie Stengel scored the second goal of the game, knocking a ball in off the post in the 50th minute. The shot was set up by Melissa Lawley.
Liverpool then turned on the jets, scoring four goals in the final 30 minute session. Razza Roberts was first to a loose ball off of a Missy Bo Kearns free kick, sending the ball into the back of the net for Liverpool’s third of the day.
The wingbacks combined to set up the fourth goal, with Lucy Parry sending Emma Koivisto free down the right. The Finnish wingback cut the ball back for Yana Daniels to power home.
Rachel Furness rounded things out with a late brace of headed goals. The Northern Irishwoman headed home from a corner kick from Missy Bo Kearns in the 82nd minute, and then headed home from a corner on the other side, with Megan Campbell providing the delivery.
Liverpool’s preseason preparations will get progressively more difficult as they ramp up towards the kick off of the WSL season. Matt Beard’s side will take on Blackburn Rovers of the FA Women’s Championship next Sunday before a series of friendlies against WSL sides.