Liverpool Feds 3 (Kinvig 6, Slade 15, Rogers 112) Wolves 3 (Darby 35, Merrick 60, Cooper 113)
Wolves Women fell to Liverpool Feds on penalties as they were knocked out of the FAWNL Cup after a 3-3 thriller.
It was a well contested battle in the opening five minutes. With Wolves attacking into the intense sunlight, they were put through their paces by Liverpool Feds who worked some promising goal scoring opportunities.
Liverpool Feds were soon to capitalise on a handful of failed clearances by the Wolves defence. The home side found space down the left-hand side and drilled a low cross across the box. The cross was not dealt with by the defence and eventually fell to Rosie Kinvig who fired in from close to give her side the lead.
Feds gained momentum off their first goal and grabbed a second after another mishap from Wolves. Goalkeeper Becki Thomas looked to float a ball to Anna Morphet, but the Wolves midfielder was quickly pressed and lost the ball on the edge of her area. Erin Slade picked up the dispossessed ball and slid it under Thomas to double their lead.
Wolves began to wake up and found themselves piling the pressure back on the home side. Tammi George won a freekick wide right. Morphet whipped in a deep cross towards George who struck the ball first time. Rachel Derbyshire reacted well in goal and dived low to parry the ball out but only to the feet of Kelly Darby who tapped in to give Wolves a goal back before the break.
Beth Merrick opened up the second-half with a stunning strike to level the scores. After picking up the ball wide left of the penalty area, she opened up space for herself on her right foot and hit a brilliant curling effort stamping the ball into the top right corner.
Feds endured a wrath of Wolves pressure sitting deep in their own half and invited the old gold to attack. They came close to taking the lead after a goal mouth scramble saw George and Merrick have their shots blocked and saved from an abundance of Feds defenders.
The home side wanted to react immediately and went down the other end in hope of regaining the lead. A searching low cross towards the far post was narrowly missed by the attacker who had an open goal to score in.
Both sides went into extra time with their attacks going end to end. Darby blocked a low driven header off the line before Leo Joyce went down the other end and narrowly hit her shot over the crossbar.
With the time ticking it looked be Liverpool Feds who would deal the final blow. After a corner was headed across goal, Jen Rogers hit a clean strike on the volley to give the home side an all-important lead.
But in dramatic fashion Laura Cooper levelled the scores just a minute later with a wonder strike from range. Hitting the ball cleanly from outside the area her shot swung outwards and smashed off the crossbar to settle in the back of the net.
The drama was not quite over yet with Liverpool Feds rattling a freekick off the crossbar with the last kick of the game.
However, for Dan McNamara’s side, it would be a penalty which would seal their fate as Liverpool Feds won the shootout 3-2 to knock Wolves out of the competition.
Despite the dramatic fashion in which Dan McNamara’s side were knocked out the FAWNL cup, he still had praise for Liverpool Feds and thought it was an exciting match.
“First off, what an advert for female football. I thought the match was fantastic and end to end. But ultimately you could see the side we had to put out today, we were struggling.
"We’ve lost big players this week through injuries, suspensions and Covid playing its part. We had a centre half playing centre midfield for 120 minutes, we had 16-year-old Daisy coming on off the bench making her debut. I can’t ask for anymore for what the girls gave today they were fantastic.
“Liverpool Feds were hard and this is a hard place to come to. You see the way they defend when they stick five in front of that goal and they rarely move. Even when they go forward, they’re tough to break down so credit to them. They came out the blocks quicker than us and we know you can’t afford to give any team a 2-0 head start.
“But from after 15 minutes, I thought we completely controlled the game. Rarely were we threated especially from half time and in the second half I thought there was only going to be one winner. But Leo [Joyce] went down so we had to rejig again but credit to Liverpool Feds and best of luck to them in the third round and we’ll pick ourselves up and try and get ready for next week.”
On what changed during the second half
“I thought half time came at a bad time for us. From 15 minutes on we started to threaten and ten minutes before the end of the first half we really started to get into it and then the goal came and it was one way traffic for a large period.
“Second-half, I thought we were completely dominant, they had one corner and maybe a couple of counter-attacks, but like I said, they were hard to break down and when you do break the five down, they’ve got a fantastic goalkeeper. But we’re a young side, the girls will dust themselves off and get ready for next week.”
On Daisy Wickett making her debut
“Daisy is really talented. She came through the RTC last year and she’s finding her way in football. It was great to see her come on the pitch and I thought she came on and impacted the game and it was fantastic to see her out there. Hopefully she can now use that as a platform and really excel and start to move towards regular first team football.”
16/01 Knowle (A) BCC
23/01 Derby County (H)
26/01 West Bromwich Albion (A)
30/01 AFC Fylde (A)
13/02 Huddersfield Town (H)
Feds: Derbyshire, Pope, James, Clark, Fletcher, Kinvig (Charlton 68), Seagraves, Thompson, Rogers, Slade (Farley 84), Deveraux.
Unused subs: Hickney, Jones.
Wolves: Thomas, Cooper, E. Cross, George (Wickett 95), J. Cross, Dicken (Butler 63), Darby, Morphet, Miller (Joyce 76) (Edwards 101), Elsmore, Merrick.
Unused subs: Widdal.
By Tom Alston