Liverpool manager Vicky Jepson insists she and the squad will fully support a “heartbroken” Anke Preuss after the goalkeeper’s mistake handed Everton victory in the first FA Women’s Super League Merseyside derby at Anfield.
The 27-year-old German allowed Lucy Graham’s speculative strike to slip through her grasp in first-half added time as the visitors won 1-0 in front of a crowd of 23,500.
“It’s going to hurt us more as we were the better team today and we gave them a goal with a mistake from our keeper,” said Jepson.
“It was a goal we chucked in the back of our net. There was no way they were going to score today if we didn’t give them that.
“She (Preuss) came to me and put her arms around me and apologised for the mistake and I said ‘We’ll speak Tuesday’ and gave her a hug back.
“Unfortunately for a goalkeeper it is highlighted more than if a striker makes a mistake so we have to stick together and help her through those emotions because she is obviously heartbroken for the mistake she made.”
Defeat left Liverpool rooted to the bottom of the table with just a point but the significance of the occasion means Jepson is keen to return to the ground for another game.
“The good thing is we got 23,000 people at Anfield to watch a women’s game and that is the celebration,” she added.
“It was a proud moment for our club and we will push on from here, 100 per cent.
“There will be more opportunities to play here. Peter Moore (Liverpool’s chief executive) was with us in the dressing room and I’m honoured to be at a club that wants to keep pushing the women’s game forward.
“It is just a step in the right direction to add to the growth, not just for us but for the women’s game, and I’ll keep knocking on the door to make sure we can play here again.”
Everton leapfrogged Manchester United into fourth with victory and their manager Willie Kirk enjoyed the occasion.
“It means a lot to the club as it’s been a while since any Everton team has won at Anfield,” said the Scot, referring to the men’s team’s 20-year run without a victory at the ground.
“I feel sorry for Anke, I feel she should probably have done better but it’s not for me to say.
“The atmosphere was fantastic. It felt like it was about 50 (thousand) and I think some of the players felt that in the closing stages.
“For one-off matches it is definitely moving the game in the right direction.”