Blackburn Rovers Ladies 1 v 3 Liverpool Ladies (Pre-Season Friendly)
Blackburn Rovers Ladies returned to action at the Sir Tom Finney Stadium in Bamber Bridge this weekend, in a pre-season friendly against a Liverpool Ladies side of the FA Women’s Super League Division One. New manager Neil Redfearn selected a strong starting line-up which included new summer signing Courtz Sweetman-Kirk.
Both sides started the game well with some excellent passing and one touch football from the back through midfield into the strikers. The first real effort of the half fell to the home side, as Natasha Flint forced Scottish International keeper Rebecca Flaherty into an early save diving low to her right to stop the home side taking the lead.
On ten minutes, Liverpool had their first chance of the game, following some excellent possession and passing the ball found its way to Amy Rodgers who shot from outside the area was well held by tribalists goalkeeper Alex Brooks, who was offered a contract and signed for the Lancashire club after the match.
Just two minutes later, Courtz Sweetman-Kirk ran onto a great through ball from Christie Murray, but her shot from the edge of the area was again well saved by Alex Brooks.
The visitors were now starting to build some pressure and had another great chance on twenty-two minutes, when the trialist delivered an outstanding lofted ball across the six yard box for Sweetman-Kirk to hit a shot that was well saved again by Alex Brookes in the Blackburn Rovers goal.
On thirty minutes, England U23 International Natasha Flint brought the ball down and beat a couple of players before sending the it out wide to Alex Taylor who crossed the ball into the visitors box only to see it cleared with ease without finding a Rovers player.
The visitors should have broken the deadlock on thirty-eight minutes as Sweetman-Kirk saw her header cleared off the goal line by Kayleigh McDonald who was having a great game in the centre of the Rovers defence.
The final effort of the half came on forty-three minutes as Natasha Flint collected the ball around thirty yards from goal and hit an excellent shot that beat Rebecca Flaherty in the Liverpool goal, only to her shot go just over the crossbar to leave the half-time score 0-0.
Liverpool manager Neil Redfearn made two changes at half-time bringing on Jess Clarke and Ellie Fletcher. It took just four minutes to break the deadlock as Little played the ball up field for Sweetman-Kirk to cross and a trialist was on hand to thunder the ball past Brooks to make it 1-0 to Liverpool Ladies.
Just five minutes later, Liverpool doubled their lead when nine minutes after coming off the bench the Reds second trialist slotted the ball home after a scramble in the Blackburn area to score her first and Liverpool’s second goal of the game.
Blackburn Rovers, pulled a goal back straight from the kick-off, as another trialist Bethany Donoghue (who also signed for Rovers after the game) beat the Liverpool defence before playing the ball over Flaherty for Lagan Makin to tap into an empty goal and make it 1-2.
Just after the hour mark Christie Murray tried her luck from the edge of the 18-yard box only to see Alex Brooks tip her strike over the crossbar, from the resulting corner it was Kayleigh McDonald who put her body on the line again to clear the ball, but she clashed heads with a Liverpool player and they were both down for around five minutes.
On eighty-one minutes, Kearns introduces herself to the action quickly and is unlucky not to score with her first touch, her effort looked destined for the bottom corner but again it was well saved by Alex Brooks in the Rovers goal.
As the home side began to fade, Christie Murray went close with a free kick from just outside the box, but despite her strike dipping at the end it just went over the crossbar.
With just three minutes of the game remaining the visitors added a third goal as Christie Murray’s set piece is converted by Courtz Sweetman-Kirk to make the final score 3-1 to Liverpool Ladies.
Blackburn Rovers – Brooks, McDonald, Robertson, Shepherd, Fenton, Taylor, Makin, Trialist, Jordan, Flint (Subs) Walsh, Trialist, Trialist, Clarkson, Trialist, Dykes
Liverpool – Flaherty, S.Murray, Little, Fahey, Matthews, Fletcher, Rodgers, Roberts, C.Murray, Trialist 1, Sweetman-Kirk (Subs) Bradley-Auckland, Trialist 2, Clarke, Kearns,
Goals – (Blackburn) Makin (Liverpool) Trialist 1, Trialist 2, Sweetman-Kirk,
Attendance – 48