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Abby Bennett, Salford City LionessesSalford City Lionesses secured their first win of the season as they beat Liverpool Feds Reserves 9-3 at Jericho Lane on Sunday afternoon. 

Goals from Laura Tobin, an Abby Bennett hat-trick, Feiruz Abdullahi’s brace, Chelsea Wharton, Stacey Barley and Jess Lawson was enough for the Lionesses as they overcame their disappointing draw at Warrington Wolverines last week with a much-improved performance. 

On a slightly reduced sized pitch, Salford started brightly with Abdullahi seeing early warning shots go wide and saved by the Liverpool keeper as the Lionesses found their feet on what was a warm day on Merseyside. 

They didn’t have to wait long for the opener however as right back Annabel Ainscough’s cross picked out Abdullahi in the box. The striker controlled well before laying off for Tobin who stroked the ball home to put the Lionesses ahead in the 12th minute.  

Laura Tobin, Salford City LionessesThe lead didn’t last long though. Despite the early control the Lionesses had, they were pegged back as a Liverpool midfielder struck a powerful shot from long range that looped over Salford keeper Jess Duke, pulling the home side level with their first shot of the game. 

Despite the setback, the Lionesses responded immediatley as, only two minutes after the leveller, Bennett put the Lionesses back in control as her marauding run forward, beating three Liverpool defenders, was rewarded with a goal as she chipped the on-rushing Liverpool keeper from the right hand side of the area.

As the game approached the half hour mark, Salford put breathing space between them and their opponents when Phoebe Duckworth headed on to Abdullahi who controlled the ball down brilliantly before escaping her defender with a great burst of pace, allowing her to slot away Salford’s third with a left footed effort at the keeper’s near post. 

And it was the same combination that gave Salford their fourth as Duckworth played through Abdullahi, beating the offside trap before calmly placing the ball under the Liverpool keeper to put Salford firmly in control. 

But it wasn’t over there as, only two minutes later, Wharton picked the ball up 30 yards from goal, unleashing a powerful strike into the top left hand corner, giving the keeper no chance of saving as Salford claimed a fifth. 

However, before the half ended, the home side managed to close the deficit to three as their striker was played through with a great ball behind the Salford defence, scoring past Duke for their second goal of the game.

Chelsea Wharton, Salford City Lionesses

Half Time: Liverpool Feds Reserves 2-5 Salford City Lionesses

The second half began as the first had ended with a strike from the home side. Their winger picked up the ball on the right-hand side, just outside the area before firing a well-struck effort to the far post, beyond the reach of Duke in what was their best goal of the match. 

With the gap reduced to two goals, the game hung in the balance. Salford couldn’t make the most of their possession as Pip Wakefield and Molly Etchells saw attempts fired over and saved respectively. 

Despite a couple of dangerous moves forward from the home side, the Lionesses defended well and their resilience was rewarded when substitute Barley ran though on goal, placing her shot into the corner of the net as Salford got their sixth, putting the game well and truly beyond the reach of the home side. 

That didn’t stop the Lionesses though as they quickly added a seventh thanks to Bennett, her run beating three defenders before seeing her shot spilled by the Liverpool goalkeeper before creeping over the goal-line.

Jess Lawson, Salford City LionessesFour minutes later, seven became eight when Lawson cut inside from the left before smashing home a powerful effort that curled past the near post with the keeper scrambling as Salford showed the ruthlessness that served them so well last season.

The scoring wasn’t finished however, as the Lionesses won a penalty when Abdullahi was fouled making a run into the box. Bennett stepped up to slot it home to the keeper’s left for Salford’s ninth and completing her hat-trick.

Abby Bennett, Salford City Lionesses
Bennett now has five goals from the opening two games of the season
Full Time: Liverpool Feds Reserves 3-9 Salford City Lionesses

A much-needed win was needed after a disappointing showing last week and the Lionesses didn’t disappoint with a commanding away performance. They will play their first home fixture against Northwich Vixens on Sunday 15th September at Partington Sports Village.