Albion Women secured their passage into the second round of the FA Women’s National League Cup with an impressive win against Liverpool Feds at Jericho Lane on Sunday.
Prior to the game, Head Coach Siobhan Hodgetts-Still opted for four changes from the side that beat Huddersfield Town at The Hawthorns last time out.
Ash Brown made her first start of the season, she replaced Hannah George in defence, Abi Loydon came in for Kate Evans, Phoebe Warner was replaced Jannelle Straker and Steph Weston was preferred to Simran Jhamat in the front-line.
The Baggies almost made a superb start to the game as Olivia Rabjohn broke in behind the defensive line and a square ball across the box found Straker, though her low shot was saved well by Freya Heap in the Feds goal.
Albion continued their early pressure and forced a goal-line clearance from the home side, this time Fran Orthodoxou’s dangerous corner nearly evaded everyone, but it was headed away by a Liverpool defender.
However, it was the Merseyside residents who bagged the opener as Bethany Donoghue poked home Abby Pope’s cross to give them the lead.
Albion were keen to bounce back, a series of dangerous Rabjohn corners resulted in Lucy Newell volleying just wide of the post from close quarters.
An inspired change at the halfway mark saw the Baggies equalise when Warner raced into the penalty area to meet a lofted pass, and she finished off a smooth attacking move with a calm finish.
Frustratingly for Albion, just seven minutes afterwards, Liverpool regained their advantage as Pope was found on the cutback, and her effort rifled past Lucy Jones and in.
Yet it wouldn’t be too long before Albion found another equaliser, as a fast break saw them win a penalty – Mariam Mahmood confidently dispatching the spot kick to draw level again.
There was a patch of Feds pressure just after, which was dealt with well by the Baggies defence and especially goalkeeper Jones, who smothered a powerful attempt in a one-on-one situation.
But Albion eventually found their winner as Orthodoxou twisted to find space just outside of the 18-yard box and unleashed a powerful shot which evaded the goalkeeper, earning the away team an impressive win.
The result sees the Baggies into the second round of the competition - and after the tie, boss Hodgetts-Still was pleased for her side.
She said: “I asked the girls to start brightly and they did that, we had a really bright first half and created a lot of chances.
“It’s positive, it’s another win and it gives the girls momentum and a bit of a buzz going into the next game.
“I think going into that next round just gives the girls confidence and each game we win, we’re getting much better as a squad.”
Albion: Jones, Brown (Warner 46’), Newell, Green, Reynolds, Loydon (Evans 90’), Orthodoxou, Rabjohn (Bennett-Steele 67’), Straker, Mahmood, Weston (Crackle 90’).