Liverpool Ladies produced their best performance of the season to claim a point in a 0-0 draw against runaway league leaders Birmingham at Stratford on Thursday.

The goalless draw means that the Reds end the first half of the season winless, but a display full of spirit, grit and no lack of quality with give them plenty of heart looking ahead to the season's resumption in July.

It could have been even better for Robbie Johnson's side had Nicky Twohig not missed an early penalty and Ruesha Littlejohn had a little more luck with a  late effort that hit the woodwork.

After the bitter disappointment of Sunday's home defeat to Lincoln, Johnson made changes to both formation and personnel for this daunting looking trip to the league leaders.

Andrea Worrall reclaimed her place in goal in place of Danielle Gibbons, and Cheryl Foster was replaced by Caroline Charlton, who took her place in a back five, with Nicki Harding and Vicky Jones acting as wing-backs. New signing Chloe Jones took her place on the bench.

Despite their hosts' strong reputation, it was the Reds who carried the early threat and created the best early chance. Kelly Jones made progress down the left hand side and her cross found Katie Brusell, who could only guide her header straight at Marie Hourihan.

After 17 minutes, Liverpool wasted an even better opportunity to take a shock lead. Brusell's through ball found Ruesha Littlejohn, who out-muscled Blues skipper Laura Bassett, before Bassett hauled the striker down.

The referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot, and after Littlejohn's miss from 12 yards against Doncaster, Twohig stepped up to take the kick. Unfortunately for the Reds, she suffered the same fate as Littlejohn and saw her effort saved by Hourihan.

Liverpool were forced into a change after half an hour, with Caroline Charlton hobbling off to be replaced by Michelle Evans.

Despite the defensive re-shuffle, the league leaders were still having no joy in front of Liverpool's goal, thanks in no small part to a fantastic last ditch tackle by Sam Chappell, who denied Karen Carney after the England forward found space in the box.

A minute later, Liverpool again went close. Twohig's ball over the top found Littlejohn, and she again proved too strong for the Blues defence but could only lift her shot wide of the onrushing Hourihan's post.

Predictably, Birmingham came out with renewed energy and purpose in the second half, and went close three times in the early stages.

Chelsea Weston's long range effort swerved wickedly in front of Worrall, and although the Reds keeper managed to parry the ball, her defence had to be alert to deny Williams from the rebound.

A minute later, Emily Westwood mis-directed her header after Dunia Susi crossed from the right, and Susi again proved a danger just before the hour. The England international cut in from the right before hitting a low cross-shot which Vicky Jones did well to clear.

Midway through the half, Brusell came off to give Chloe Jones her Reds debut, but the home side continued to create the better chances. Westwood should have scored on 73 minutes, but her attempt was brilliantly smothered by Worrall.

Despite all Birmingham's second half pressure, it was Liverpool that came closest to taking all three points with 10 minutes left. The impressive Suzanne Lappin flicked the ball onto Littlejohn whose dipping half volley crashed against the top of the bar.

A minute later, the home side against wasted a great chance. This time Williams was played through, but with only Worrall to beat she put her shot wide.

Jade Moore's late dipping effort came close, but the Reds held out magnificently for a hugely impressive point.

Click here to visit Liverpool Ladies' official website>>