Liverpool Go Third, Everton Off The Mark

Niamh Charles celebrates scoring for Liverpool (Photo: Matt West for FA)

It was double joy on Merseyside on Saturday, as Liverpool went third in WSL 1 by beating Birmingham City 1-0, while Everton banked their first points with both goals at Yeovil Town.

FA WSL 1

Yeovil Town 0-2 Everton (Att: 683)
Liverpool 1-0 Birmingham City (Att: 843)

Charles chips Reds’ winner 

A Niamh Charles lofted effort on the half-hour was enough to Liverpool to take all three points at home to Birmingham City.

Freda Ayisi had earlier gone close twice for the visitors, heading over from a Lucy Quinn cross and then seeing Siobhan Chanberlain do well to stop her ball in from crossing the line.

But when Gemma Bonner’s ball set Charles through on the right had side of the box, she lifted the ball over out-rushing goalkeeper Laura Hampton.

Chamberlain soon had to be swiftly off her line to smother an attack from Birmingham, for whom Charlie Wellings flashed an effort wide.

Beth England might have doubled the lead before the break but was thwarted by Jess Carter fired inches over the crossbar.

The closest City came to levelling after the interval was when Wellings and Rachel Williams combined to set up Ayisi, who hit the bar from close range.

Everton win basement battle

Both teams went into the game having picked up no points in 2017/18, but the Blues left with all three thanks to goals from Courtney Sweetman-Kirk and Chloe Kelly.

The visitors made the breakthrough on 17 minutes as Sweetman-Kirk was played in behind as she lifted it over the onrushing Megan Walsh and into the back of the net.

The striker should have made it 2-0 six minutes later when again she broke clear of the home defence but this time Walsh did enough to put her off and the shot drifted just wide.

At the other end, Yeovil had a great opportunity themselves shortly afterwards as an Ellie Curson cross found Ella Pusey, but despite being unmarked she put her downward header inches wide.

In the second half, Angharad James stung the palms of Walsh with an effort that was gathered at the second attempt.

The Toffees’ second goal did eventually arrive from the penalty spot in the 60th minute when Nicola Cousins brought down Sweetman-Kirk in the box and Kelly stepped up to convert.