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Charlton pleased with point in 0-0 draw at leaders Liverpool

By Football Reporter

Liverpool and Charlton shared the points in a goalless draw at Prenton Park.

Matt Beard’s side had the majority of the chances in the FA Women’s Championship clash but the visitors were resolute at the back and Eartha Cumings made good saves when called upon.

A win would have taken the hosts another step closer to the title but luck wasn’t on their side.

It was a cagey opening 15 minutes, and the first clear cut chance came shortly after when Taylor Hinds’ long-range strike was pushed wide by Cumings.

Shortly before the break, Hinds saw another effort go just over the bar.

The hosts came incredibly close on 53 minutes when Yana Daniels’ header from a corner brought about an excellent reflex save from Cumings.

Charlton had a rare opportunity four minutes later when Ella Rutherford’s strike went over the bar after a poor pass into her path from the Liverpool defence.

The visitors came agonisingly close agin on 78 minutes when Rutherford’s effort was scuffed over the bar by Jasmine Matthews when she attempted to clear Liverpool’s lines.

Liverpool could’ve got in front two minutes later but Rachel Furness’ volley went just wide of the mark to leave the FA Women’s Championship leaders frustrated again.

On 84 minutes, Katie Stengel made ground on the right, squared it to Leanne Kiernan and her strike was stopped by the legs of Cumings and Ceri Holland put the rebound over the bar.

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Liverpool manager Matt Beard said: “We’re at a stage in the season where if we can’t get three points, then a point is very valuable. I don’t think we started the game well at all.

“I was frustrated with that. I didn’t think we were brave enough in possession and brave enough with our movement and then I think we grew into the game after that.

“We had a great end to the first half and we’ve had a really good chance to win it at the end there which unfortunately we never took. It’s about picking points up - whether it’s one, whether it’s three and the gap is now eight points so it means we’ve got to keep picking up the points now.

“They’re a tough team to play against, it was proven last week – it was a set play that won it last week. As I said before, the one moment where we really opened them up, the keeper has made a great save and unfortunately Ceri [Holland] put the rebound over the bar.

“I think Leanne [Kiernan] had an impact in the game, definitely for sure. We changed the shape, we went to a front two and I think it gave us a little bit more on the ball centrally and getting the crosses in, and to be fair to Charlton they’ve defended for their lives at the back end.

“But maybe we need to manage that transition a little bit better at the back end ourselves, especially like on the incident there where we had the ball which was frustrating but look, we can’t change that now.”

Charlton manager Karen Hills said: “Overall the performance was very good, I think we were disappointed with last week because we played them [Liverpool] then and we pretty much matched them and outplayed them in patches of the game, and I thought that was very much the same sort of story today.

“I’m really pleased for the point because I think we didn’t deserve to lose that game, the same as how we didn’t deserve to lose last week. I think it was a fair result.

“Two teams that played some fantastic football at times, two teams that cancelled each other out and we’re really pleased that we’ve been able to compete with the league leaders, not just on the off chance but we’ve been able to do that over two consecutive weeks.

“The game opened up [towards the end] and both teams were wanting to go for the win, and rightly so. There was a lot of openings, and like you say the game could’ve gone either way towards the end but overall I thought our defence stood strong with some bodies on the lines and great blocks but like you say at the other end we didn’t have a couple of opportunities that could’ve gone our way with a bit more clinicalness in front of goal but hopefully it was an exciting game for the spectators and shows once again what the Championship is all about.”

Liverpool: (3-4-3): Rachael Laws; Megan Campbell, Charlotte Wardlaw, Jasmine Matthews; Rhiannon Roberts, Carla Humphrey, Rachel Furness, Taylor Hinds; Melissa Lawley, Yana Daniels, Katie Stengel.

Substitutes: Leanne Kiernan for Lawley 59’, Ceri Holland from Humphrey 59’, Jade Bailey for Campbell 79’

Substitutes not used: Charlotte Clarke, Missy Bo Kearns, Ashley Hodson, Meikayla Moore, Hannah Silcock, Lucy Parry.

Bookings: Hinds 90+3

Red cards: None

Charlton Athletic (4-1-4-1): Eartha Cumings; Beth Roe, Kiera Skeels, Anna Filbey, Lois Heuchan; Mia Ross; Megan Wynne, Ella Rutherford, Lois Roche, Katie Robinson; Emma Follis.

Substitutes: Jess King for Follis 66’, Elisha Sulola for Roche 71’, Sophie Quirk for Wynne 81’

Substitutes not used: Natalia Negri, Elise Hughes, Hannah Godfrey, Vyan Sampson, Holly Olding.

Bookings: Rutherford 90+6

Referee: Richie Watkins

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