Liverpool Feds proved too strong for Stockport County Ladies, taking a 2-0 win and three points back to Merseyside in the National League Division One North.
Feds control first half
Goals from Rosie Kinvig and Abby Pope either side of the break ensured both teams picked up a second win and loss respectively.
Feds beat Durham Cestria 2-0 last Sunday, with County losing 1-0 late on away at Leeds United.
Feds were on top for the majority of the first half, and settled into the game better, comfortable in possession and first to any loose balls in the opening stages.
Emily Douglas had the first meaningful shot on target for the visitors, but home goalkeeper Emily Gibbins was on hand to palm the ball away after nine minutes.
Olivia Dixon had the home side’s first attempt on the quarter hour, but her shot was easily collected by visiting keeper Rach Darbyshire.
Kinvig’s goal came on 28 minutes, slotting a rebound past Gibbins at close range after she had initially made a pair of decent saves from the lively Paige Cole.
Cole puts in star performance
Cole was at the centre of the majority of Feds’ good play, and repeatedly linked up well with Kinvig down the right and into the centre using her strength and turn of pace.
Ellie Fletcher was sent to the sin bin with a few minutes of the first half left, temporarily reducing the Feds to ten players, but they were able to double their lead early in the second half despite this disadvantage.
Cole again proved to be a problem for the home defence, going on a solo run into the box past three defenders, and her deflected shot fell kindly for Pope who was able to pass the ball past Gibbins.
County responded well to going two down, although without reward. Dixon’s freekick was punched away by Darbyshire and captain Kenedy Owen had a shot over the bar.
Tactical change brings improvements for County
The introduction of Maria Figueredo with 20 minutes to play brought some spark and pace to County’s game.
Feds were momentarily thrown off course by home manager Ronnie Green deploying some tactical adjustments, with Figueredo heavily involved and causing problems for the away back line.
County hit the woodwork twice, with Owen’s dipping free kick touched over the crossbar by Darbyshire, and another set play coming off the post.
The game was a physical affair at times, with both sides needing to bring on assistance for players after some tasty challenges.
The referee drew the ire of both sides, failing to penalise some clear fouls, while blowing the whistle for much softer offences.
Reaction from Ronnie Green
Manager Green said: “Last weekend, we did really well off the ball against Leeds, I think the girls let themselves down today. The workrate wasn’t there off the ball, and we weren’t really in the game in the first half, Feds controlled it. The early goal in the second half deflated the team, but the team kept going until the end, although with little quality. We need to regroup and go again in the next game.
“Maria’s got great potential, and she made a big impact for us when she came on. We changed the formation to 4-3-3 to try and push for an early goal to get back into the game, but fair play to Feds who limited us to a few chances.”
County go on the road to Chorley on Thursday night looking for their first points.