SCOTT Rogers’ Liverpool Ladies were held to a frustrating 1-1 draw away at Bristol City on Saturday evening.
Katie Zelem had come from the bench to fire the Reds ahead with 10 minutes to play, yet Bristol equalised just minutes later through a substitute of their own — Lily Agg.
There was just one change to the side that beat Sunderland midweek as Shanice Van De Sanden returned to the starting 11 in place of Niamh Charles.
Chances were sparse during the first half, despite Liverpool showing plenty of promise on the ball — Laura Coombs in midfield a particular stand out, controlling and dictating the pace of the game.
While in defence, Casey Stoney stopped Bristol in their attempts to mount a counter attack and intercepted Chloe Arthur’s cross.
Liverpool also had an abundance of corners yet couldn’t capitalise as they had done in recent weeks, Gemma Bonner first beaten to a header by Jodie Brett and then heading one just wide moments before the break.
The second half followed the pattern of the first, Liverpool looking to build up the play patiently from the back and Bristol sitting back and soaking up the pressure.
The Reds did make an encouraging start with Van De Sanden first seeing her cross deflected away from goal, the Dutch winger getting back on the ball, looking for the run of Coombs only for the Bristol defence to clear.
A Coombs free-kick then missed Stoney by inches while Liverpool’s Player of the Year Sophie Ingle shot wide from distance.
Katie Zelem came on for Caroline Weir with half an hour left on the clock, immediately introducing herself with a strike from 40-yard that sailed into the arms of Leach.
Shortly after Ali Johnson also took to the pitch in place of Clarke, while a challenge on Greenwood forced the England left-back off with Kate Longhurst replacing her.
It was the substitutions that shook up the game, the aforementioned Zelem strike and Bristol substitute Lily Agg showing promise going forward for the hosts. Agg attempting to make a direct run into the Reds area but this matched all the way by Bonner, who was able to square the ball to Chamberlain.
Zelem then opened the scoring on 80 minutes, the midfielder has made a habit out of scoring from the bench, arriving in the right place at the right time to smash the ball into the back of the net. This after Van De Sanden had shook off her marker to cross along the six-yard box, and flicked on by Harding into the path of Zelem.
Unfortunately for Liverpool, the lead was short lived. Claire Emslie’s cross ricocheting around the area before being converted by Agg.
In the game’s closing stages Longhurst received a dubious second yellow and Liverpool were reduced to 10 players for the last few minutes.
Bonner went close for the Reds in injury time yet Bristol stood firm to hold Liverpool to a 1-1 draw.
LIVERPOOL LADIES: Chamberlain, Hodson, Bonner (C), Stoney, Greenwood (Longhurst), Ingle, Coombs, Weir (Zelem), Van De Sanden, Clarke (Johnson), Harding
PLAYER OF THE MATCH: Laura Coombs