The Pride came from trailing 2-0 behind to secure a memorable draw with Liverpool at Prenton Park. An impressive comeback from London City Lionesses ensured they ended the season on a high after forcing Liverpool to settle for a 2-2 draw.
The Reds gained a 2-0 lead on home turf, but the Lionesses continued to persevere and managed to earn a point thanks to goals from Lucy Fitzgerald and Lily Agg in the final 30 minutes.
The Lionesses defended the first half excellently, preventing Liverpool from testing goalkeeper Shae Yanez. Their best chance of the match fell to Liverpool’s Amy Rodgers in the 56th minute, who hooked over the bar from close range after the turn and pass from Kirsty Linnett.
The first shot of the game came from Liverpool in the 44th minute, and the Reds made it count, with Amalie Thestrup cutting in from the left and picking out Becky Jane.
The former England youth international needed only one touch to convert, placing it into the back of the net from 10-yards out. Following the break, Liverpool made efforts to double their lead only to be prevented from a superb save from Yanez.
Rodgers got that second goal, putting The Reds up by two, controlling Rhiannon Roberts’ fierce cross before smashing home.
The Lionesses continued to fight and hit back, reducing the deficit in the 68th minute. Fitzgerald reacted quickest to a save from Rachael Laws to prod over the line from close range.
Yanez produced another great save to prevent Missy Bo Kearns, to keep the Lionesses in with a chance.
The Pride equalised in the 81st minute, as Agg beautifully headed home Lucy Fitzgerald’s left-wing cross.
MOMENT OF THE MATCH
A world-class header from Lily Agg proved to be pivotal as London City Lionesses rescued a dramatic draw.
HEAD COACH’S REACTION
London City Lionesses’ head coach Melissa Phillips said: “The character of the group was unbelievable. We were always in it even when we went a goal or two down.
“We had really good organisation on the defensive side of the ball to own our battles in the matchups we had. “Liverpool is a very good team, so for us to come back from 2-0 down is an unbelievable feat.
“We talk about the importance of responding whether it’s in transition moments, whether you go down or up a goal. That’s a character thing, that’s a togetherness thing. I think that really shined through, that everyone dug deep today.
“I think there is so much to build upon with the character of the group, the will, the desire. I am just incredibly proud of the way that every single member of the team has grown this year.
“Even when we went down two goals, it never felt like we were out of the game. I think we organised really well off the ball and created some quality chances.
“We had to defend a few corners at the end that we came up big on. Ultimately, that’s the important margins that get you a point in the end. “I think it’s a great result on the road and I’m proud of the way we’ve been able to respond. Only one team in the league has turned us for six points.
“The adjustments we made at half-time, albeit we didn’t start the half as fast as we normally do, we implemented those and you could see as the game wore on that we started to have more of the ball, and some looks in behind and movements to stretch them.”
London City Lionesses’ captain Harley Bennett said: “For us to go to 2-0 down, shows a lot of character for us to come back. I think we've had a great weekend together as a squad and that obviously transferred into the game. We had a strong togetherness and fought to the end and I think that the result shows that we deserve that.
“I think we were unlucky really on both the goals, obviously, Liverpool is a quality team. If you give them an inch, they're going to take it and take a chance if they get in front of goal.”
In response to how the team came together after the Reds went ahead on the scoreboard, Bennett said, “We just had a little chat and said we didn't really deserve that, and we need to just keep doing the right things. We’re in the game, so just stay positive.
“Great to finish on a high and get a good result against a really good team and just super excited about next year. I think we've been building throughout the season.
“Just trying to keep pushing on the style we want to play. Even today we were fluid, and we worked together and actually looked really [positive] attacking. We spoke after the game and said it was one of our best performances. Great to end like that going into next year.”
SETL Player of the Match: Lily Agg
Liverpool (4-5-1): Rachael Laws; Rhiannon Roberts, Meikayla Moore, Leighanne Robe, Taylor Hinds; Becky Jane, Amy Rodgers, Niamh Fahey, Missy Bo Kearns, Amalie Thestrup; Kirsty Linnett
Substitutes: Melissa Lawley for Amalie Thestrup 62'
Substitutes not used: Eleanor Heaps, Lucy Parry
Goals: Becky Jane 44’, Amy Rodgers 56’
London City Lionesses (4-3-3): Shae Yanez; Grace Neville, Ylenia Priest, Harley Bennett, Leanne Cowan; Ali Murphy, Hayley Nolan, Lily Agg; Atlanta Primus, Annie Rossitter, Lucy Fitzgerald
Substitutes: Kallie Balfour for Atlanta Primus 64’, Flo Fyfe for Annie Rossiter, Chantelle Mackie for Leanne Cowan
Substitutes not used: Hope Smith, Nina Wilson, Poppy Wilson, Juliette Kemppi, Wiktoria Fronc
Goals: Lucy Fitzgerald 68’, Lily Agg 81