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Liverpool 3 (Foster 61, Harding 73, Littlejohn 90)
Everton 3 (Dowie 43,90, Scott 70)
Natasha Dowie grabbed a dramatic injury time equaliser to earn Everton a point against their Merseyside rivals in a thrilling start to the new WSL season at Skelmersdale.
Ruesha Littlejohn looked like she had pulled off a shock victory for the Reds when she struck in the final minute of a pulsating derby clash. But Dowie's second goal of the game in the third minute of stoppage time ensured Everton, one of the favourites for the title, left with a share of the spoils.
Defender Nicky Twohig nearly gave Liverpool a dream start after just two minutes but goalkeeper Rachel Brown produced a fine save to keep out her header. Dowie did have the ball in the net on six minutes but her effort was ruled out for offside. The lively Blues striker was denied again minutes later, this time by a superb stop from Andrea Worrall.
Everton received a let-off on the half hour mark when Suzanne Lappin's clever pass sent Littlejohn clean through but the Liverpool forward's shot lacked the power to trouble Brown. The current FA Women's Cup holders finally took the lead two minutes before half time and it was no surprise that it was Dowie who struck, the England international heading home Jody Handley's cross. It would have been two less than a minute later but for Worrall acrobatically tipping over Handley's fierce strike.
Toni Duggan saw another Everton effort disallowed at the start of the second half, this time for a trip on Sam Chappell, and the visitors' failure to turn their dominance into goals was punished on 61 minutes when the Reds broke quickly and Cheryl Foster smashed home a stunning equaliser. Jill Scott then put Everton back in front after Worrall could only parry Dowie's shot.
Nicky Harding levelled again when her cross flew in at the near post and Littlejohn thought she had pulled off a famous win for the Reds when she pounced from close range in the last minute only for Dowie to have the final say.
Liverpool: Andrea Worrall, Vicky Jones, Nikki Twohig, Sam Chappell, Nicky Harding (sub Gemma Watson 77mins), Kelly Jones, Cheryl Foster (sub Jo Traynor 85mins), Michelle Evans (sub Carmel Bennett 82), Katie Brusell, Suzanne Lappin, Ruesha Littlejohn. Sub not used: Danielle Gibbons.
Everton: Rachel Brown, Rachel Unitt, Lindsay Johnson, Fern Whelan, Becky Easton (sub Michelle Hinnigan 74mins), Gwennan Harries (sub Lucy Bronze 74mins), Fara Williams, Jill Scott, Jody Handley (sub Brooke Chaplen 82mins), Natasha Dowie, Toni Duggan. Subs not used: Danielle Hill, Amy Kane.
(Report by www.TheFA.com)
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