REPORT: Liverpool Ladies 1 Blues Ladies 0
BLUES Ladies suffered a hugely frustrating WSL1 defeat in the north west as they were made to pay for missed chances and a lapse in defensive concentration.
Niamh Charles’ 31st-minute lob proved the difference between the sides but Marc Skinner’s team will be wondering how they left empty-handed.
As early as the 11th minute the visitors almost took the lead when Freda Ayisi headed inches over the bar from Lucy Quinn’s superb left-wing cross.
Quinn then forced Siobhan Chamberlain into a smart save before Ayisi drilled a right-footed strike towards goal but the Reds keeper saved well at her near post.
Liverpool then struck against the run of play when Gemma Bonner’s long ball split the visiting defence and Charles lifted the ball over the stranded Hannah Hampton.
Five minutes before half time Blues missed a superb chance to level when Ayisi found space impressively and sent a defence-splitting pass into the path of Charlie Wellings, but her lob over the advancing Chamberlain dropped inches wide.
As Blues pressed, they twice should have been punished on the counter-attack either side of the break.
Firstly, Martha Harris fired wide at the near post and then eight minutes into the second half Beth England blazed wildly over from five yards out.
Blues were enjoying the bulk of possession and Paige Williams and Hayley Ladd both fired free kicks narrowly over the bar.
Only the woodwork denied Blues a goal 15 minutes from time when Ayisi thundered a close range strike against the bar and over after fine build-up between Wellings and Rachel Williams.
Blues continued to press as Liverpool remained a threat on the counter-attack, but there were no further goals on one of those nights for the visitors in Widnes.
Blues: Hampton, Carter (C), Sargeant, Mannion, Paige Williams (Hegerberg), Stringer (Follis 88), Ladd, Quinn, Wellings, Rachel Williams, Ayisi (Linden 86).
Unused subs: Stenson, Scofield, Westwood, Cusack.