WSL Continental Cup: Stalemate in Merseyside derby

Last Updated: 30/04/14 9:49pm

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Lucy Bronze: Mix-up with keeper did not cost Liverpool

Lucy Bronze: Mix-up with keeper did not cost Liverpool

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Liverpool and Everton had to settle for a point apiece in the opening game of their WSL Continental Cup campaigns.

In the same competition Sunderland began with a comfortable 3-0 derby victory over Durham.

And Notts County Ladies began their campaign in blistering fashion with a 5-0 victory over Aston Villa at Meadow Lane.

Everton's counter-attacking style had worked well in the weekend's 2-0 FA Cup win over their neighbours and they seemed content to adopt those tactics again.

With plenty of possession Liverpool slowly began to carve out chances.

Amanda Da Costa shot wide, before Claudia Walker couldn't divert in a corner and Corina Schroder rattled the crossbar with a cracking drive.

The sight of Everton boss Andy Spence urging his side forward emphasised that they were living precariously, as was demonstrated again on 37 minutes as Natasha Dowie was inches away from connecting with a Gemma Davison cross.

Liverpool were almost made to regret those misses right after the turnaround as Nikita Parris broke clear but could only direct her attempted lob wide.

The best chance of the second half came the Blues' way after a mix up between Lucy Bronze and goalkeeper Danielle Gibbons. Michelle Hinnigan pounced to shoot, only to see Gibbons recover to punch the ball away.

At the other end Everton keeper Megan Walsh's only moment of concern required her to palm away a cross as the evening ended in frustration for both Merseyside outfits.

Liverpool boss Matt Beard was left to rue his side's profligacy in front of goal.

It was Liverpool who dominated proceedings however but they could not find a way through, much to Beard's disappointment.

"With a bit more luck in front of goal tonight we might have won," he said.

"We created the lion's share of the chances and probably deserved the three points.

"When it comes to scoring, we've had three different sets of players in attack. Injuries haven't helped us in that area but it's going to take time before the forward players gel and work well together.

"That's normal. The more games they play together the more that will develop."

At Sunderland Abbey Joice opened the scoring on the stroke of half-time and Beth Mead and a Lauren Jordinson own goal saw Sunderland to their fourth straight win in all competitions.

Notts County got off to a fine start - Dunia Susi sent a looping header beyond Caitlin Leach from Jess Clarke's cross early on and on 20 Clarke converted Emily Roberts' pull back.

It was 3-0 when Rachel Corsie burst into the area where her cross was met by Caitlin Friend on the volley.

It was game over just before the break. This time Susi escaped down the left-hand side, strode into the area and planted a firm shot beyond Leach.

After the break Susi had a goal ruled out for offside, but the hosts eventually grabbed their fifth when Clarke produced a super finish from Corsie's pass.

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