Everton and Liverpool draw 1-1 in WSL Merseyside derby

Everton and Liverpool were forced to settle for a point a piece from a 1-1 draw in Friday's Merseyside derby in the Women's Super League.

Gabby George's 27th-minute opening goal for the hosts was cancelled out by Katie Stengel's 40th-minute leveller for Liverpool before both teams had goals ruled out after the break.

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Back at Goodison for the first time this season and playing in front of a crowd of 22,161, Everton struggled to find their best football over the opening exchanges, with the best of the early chances going the way of the Reds.

But the hosts slowly got into the game and saw a half-chance denied by Jess Park before George opened the scoring with a cross-cum-shot that curled beyond Rachael Laws' outstretched glove and into the side of the net.

Everton went close to a second when Megan Finnegan arrived in the box to rifle a shot towards the bottom corner, only to be kept out by the combined efforts of Laws and Gemma Bonner.

Liverpool began to build again and saw a handful of chances go begging with Stengel, Missy Bo Kearns and Emma Koivisto all narrowly missing the target. However, the persistence of the Reds paid off when Taylor Hinds slipped the ball through to Stengel who, having wriggled clear of one challenge, swept the ball low under the reaching glove of Courtney Brosnan.

Liverpool thought they had the advantage five minutes later when Leighanne Robe sent the ball home at a corner but referee Lauren Impey ruled the goal out for a minor foul on Brosnan.

The decision left Liverpool manager Matt Beard far from pleased after the final whistle.

"Frustrated because I've just seen the disallowed goal and it shouldn't have been disallowed," he said. "She's not impeded her, she's stood in front of her, she's got her arms out, she's not touched her.

"Courtney's tried to get through her, so if anything... it's not a foul on my player and it's not a foul on the goalkeeper. I've seen it back on film and it 100% should have stood."

Everton were dominating possession at home but were far less purposeful with the ball than their opponents. But a rare direct attack for the hosts almost resulted in a goal when, just after the hour, Jess Park met a whipped cross with a flying header that just went wide of the target.

Park was involved again 15 minutes from time when she unleashed an inch-perfect curled effort from outside the box, but again Impey intervened to chalk the effort off with the ball having struck the attacker on her outstretched hand as she tussled with Robe in the build-up.

Neither team could find a winning goal to improve their lot in the league standings, although Ceri Holland came close at the death with a driven effort Brosnan had to parry.