By Sam Millne
Merseyrail Ladies held off a second-half comeback from Crewe Alexandra to win 2-1 and extend their unbeaten league run to 14 matches with one game left to play this season.
The team were crowned champions of the North West Women’s Regional Premier Division last weekend and Liverpool captain, Jordan Henderson, was among those to congratulate the club.
Things you love to see! 💪😍
— Merseyrail Ladies FC ⚽ (@Mersey_LFC) March 13, 2022
Despite promotion already being secured, there was no let-up in performance from Merseyrail who received a visit from another Liverpool star, Takumi Minamino, before the match.
The Japanese international was filming an advert for television in his native country and took time to take photos with supporters whilst at Admiral Park.
Once the match got underway against Crewe, who sit third in the league, the hosts in L8 were composed and dominant.
They took soon took the lead after 10 minutes when Charlotte Tyers struck the ball across the keeper, into the top left corner from the edge of the box, giving opposition keeper Hannah Holloway no chance.
Merseyrail continued to create chances with Tyers playing a key part on the right wing and, 27 minutes later, the home side doubled their advantage thanks to a side-footed finish from Tess Littler after receiving a well-weighted pass on the edge of the box from Chelcee Grimes.
Perhaps complacency set in after the break for Lee Austin’s side as Crewe came back into the match and started to gain more control in midfield.
After Megan Parker failed to convert a one-on-one situation for the visitors, Crewe did pull one back in bizarre fashion with just under 15 minutes left to play.
One of their attackers had initially managed to find the net after getting in behind and prodding beyond the goalkeeper, Jess Carberry.
However, the referee appeared to blow the whistle before the ball had crossed the line so had to award a penalty despite Crewe having the ball in the net.
Fortunately for the referee, Laura Garner blasted her penalty high into the goal to score, but in the end, it was only a consolation as Merseyrail held on to take all three points.
After the match, manager Austin spoke about the quality of his wingers, Tyers and Grimes: “They’re two ends of the spectrum really. Chelcee (Grimes) is a very experienced player; she can play in multiple positions; she’s played at a decent most of her career – she’s been at Fulham and Tottenham.
“Then you’ve got young Charlotte (Tyers). Charlotte was with me at Tranmere but only played a couple of games and this is really her first year in open age football. I think she’s matured a lot.
“I think she’s still got her abilities, which is taking people on and her quickness, but she’s learning the other side of the game now which is the defensive side and she’s progressed really well.”
About the afternoon’s match, Austin said: “The pressure is slightly off but we wanted to maintain our home record. We haven’t been beaten at home and that’s massively important to me today.
“I just wanted them to play their football still and still have that drive and commitment…
“To get the win again was brilliant.”
Merseyrail’s promotion means they will begin next season in the fourth tier of English women’s football, playing in the FA Women’s National League Division One North.