REPORT: Liverpool 1-1 Durham

Beth Hepple’s stunning late finish saw Durham take a deserved point from title favourites Liverpool.

The midfielder dinked the ball home in the dying minutes to hold the Reds to a draw after Rachel Furness’ opener.

Lee Sanders handed debuts to Mollie Lambert and Bridget Galloway at Prenton Park as he picked from a full-strength side.

And it was Durham who had the first chance of the game – Sarah Robson dispossessing Furness on the edge of the box before drilling narrowly wide.

Liverpool bit back and twice came close through Rinsola Babajide who drilled a low cross across the face of goal before sending a drilled effort wide after a short corner.

Gears then came close to opening the scoring when her cross from the right almost caught out Rachael Laws, who did well to tip the dipping ball over the bar.

Durham continued to take the game to their hosts with Salicki the next to threaten as she sent a powerful header onto the roof of the net – during what was a strong spell pressure for the Wildcats.

Moments later, Galloway sent a hooked volley into the arms of Laws as the visitors completely dominated the opening half.

But against the run of play, it was Liverpool who struck first. Furness latched on to a long ball before firing into the bottom corner despite pressure from Ellie Christon.

The first half petered out after that, with Furness and Christon both attempting long range efforts which failed to trouble either stopper.

And the second half followed a similar pattern and was a far more sedate affair.

Laws had to be alert to hold a rasping drive from Hepple while Megan Borthwick showed safe hands to keep out Babajide from range.

With chances at a premium, the game became far scrappier with some tasty tackle from both sides adding an edge to the game.

Iris Achterhof was injured late on and, with three breaks having already been taken for substitutions, Durham were forced to play out the final ten minutes with ten players.

But even with their numerical disadvantage, Durham continued to press.

And they got their rewards with just three minutes left on the clock as Hepple managed to loft a fine effort over the heads of Laws and in.

Christon saved the Wildcats late on as she hooked a Furness header off the line, as Durham claimed a well-deserved point.

Durham XI: Borthwick, Hill, Lambert, Robson, Hepple, Gears, Galloway (Sharpe 58), Salicki, Christon, Roberts (Achterhof 68), Holmes (Wilson 73)

Durham subs: Mackain, Briggs

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