Reds Weekly Round Up! Week 2

 This past week has once again seen a number of Liverpool Ladies representing their countries and we also have news of our on-loan duo Caroline Charlton and Katie Brussell from across the pond.

  •  Liverpool’s Caroline Charlton is currently on loan in the USA, playing in the Women’s Premier Soccer League for ACF Torino who are based in Maryland. Last Tuesday ACF Torino were held to a 2-2 draw away with Chesapeake Charge and four days later welcomed the same side to their home ground but this time were beaten 1-0. You can watch video highlights of the 2-2 draw below and read a match report from the 1-0 defeat on the clubs website here. Caroline wears shirt number 18 for Torino, who also have another couple of Liverpool girls Amie Fleming and Sophie Jones there this season.

  • Last week the England squad for Euro 2013 was revealed with Liverpool’s Gemma Bonner, Fara Williams and Lucy Bronze amongst those called up. This week it was Iceland’s turn to announce their squad with a place there for Liverpool midfielder Katrin Omarsdottir. Also announced was host nation Sweden’s squad however somehow reds winger Louise Fors has missed out on a spot.
     This means Liverpool will have just the four players at Euro 2013. Katrin and Iceland play their first game against Norway on Thursday 11th June while England will take on Spain in their opener the following day. Germany and Holland make up the rest of Iceland’s tough group and along with England and Spain in Group C are Russia and France.
Katrin Omarsdottir
  •  England Women’s National Team have met up this week at St Georges Park for their pre-Euros training camp. Fara Williams and Lucy Bronze were both interviewed for FATV ahead of Wednesday’s friendly against Japan, you can view both of these interviews below.
Fara Williams (Birmingham’s Karen Carney also in this video)

Lucy Bronze
  •  On Wednesday England played current World Champion’s Japan in Barnet. This match seen Arsenal’s Rachel Yankey become the most capped England player with 126 caps. Fara Williams played the full 90 minutes in a position slightly higher up than where she plays for Liverpool. Lucy Bronze made her England debut in front of the 5000 strong crowd and very nearly capped it with a winning goal in the last few minutes, volleying the ball into the back of the net from a free kick but Jess Clarke had strayed into an offside position and the goal was disallowed. The game finished 1-1 with Liverpool captain Gemma Bonner an unused substitute.
     This was actually England’s second friendly this week, they beat Holland 3-2 on Monday in a behind-closed-doors game. Team news for that match is unavailable.
     Below you can view highlights from England’s 1-1 draw with Japan and to watch a post-match interview with Lucy Bronze please click here.

England 1 – 1 Japan highlights

 That concludes our weekly round up for this week then, thanks for reading! I just wanted to add one more thing, on Sunday evening I posted my mid-season review. Thank you to everyone who read, retweeted and gave me feedback on it, it was all greatly appreciated and it quickly became my most popular blog yet! Player of the Season so far went to Louise Fors after she got the most twitter votes, Goal of the Season so far I did not put to a twitter vote and put my personal favourite Amanda Da Costa’s 1st vs Arsenal. If anyone has a different favourite do let me know!

 I am also happy to say that Liverpool website This Is Anfield have asked me to join their team, providing them with articles from Liverpool Ladies. Their site is well established having been online since 2001 and they have a fair amount of twitter followers! I am very excited to get the opportunity to get the Ladies news out to a much wider audience so keep your eyes peeled for that!

Mid Season Review

 Welcome to LFC Ladies Fans Mid Season Review! Results, analysis, stats and opinions abound.

Liverpool fixtures & results.

17/03/13 (a) Aston Villa     W 5-0     FA Cup     attendance unavailable
23/03/13 (h) Everton     D 1-1     Continental Cup     attendance unavailable
31/03/13 (a) Sunderland     W 2-1     FA Cup     attendance unavailable
14/04/13 (a) Lincoln     W 1-0     FAWSL     attendance 509
26/04/13 (h) Arsenal     L 2-1     FA Cup     attendance 2008
04/05/13 (h) Doncaster     W 1-0     Continental Cup     attendance 471
07/05/13 (a) Arsenal     W 4-0     FAWSL     attendance 2017
12/05/13 (a) Chelsea     L 2-1     FAWSL     attendance 508
19/05/13 (a) Chelsea     W 4-0     Continental Cup     attendance 357
29/05/13 (h) Lincoln     W 3-2     FAWSL     attendance 527
04/05/13 (a) Everton     W 4-1     FAWSL     attendance 1,124
08/06/13 (h) Birmingham City     W 4-1     FAWSL     attendance 436

W 8 / D 1 / L 3

Total attendances: 7957 (of those available)
Average attendance: 663
Average home attendance: 861 (including the game at Anfield, without: 478)

First league game away @Sincil Bank, Lincoln

Liverpool goal scorers.

Natasha Dowie: 10     vs. Aston Villa, Lincoln x 2, Arsenal x 2, Chelsea x 2, Birmingham, Doncaster Belles & Everton
Louise Fors: 5            vs. Aston Villa, Everton x 2, Arsenal & Lincoln
Nicole Rolser: 4          vs. Chelsea, Everton & Birmingham x 2
Fara Williams: 4          vs. Aston Villa x 3, Chelsea
Amanda Da Costa: 2    vs. Arsenal x 2
Katrin Omarsdottir: 1   vs. Sunderland
Lillie Fenlon-Billson: 1  vs. Sunderland
Whitney Engen: 1        vs. Chelsea
Corina Schroder: 1      vs. Everton
Lucy Bronze: 1            vs. Birmingham

Liverpool have scored 31 goals in 12 games this season so far, 17 of those have been in 6 league games and have already surpassed last seasons total of 15 in 16 league games. Of the goals scored 11 have come from strikers, 16 from midfield and 3 from defence with 1 own goal.

Liverpool have kept 5 clean sheets this season, first choice keeper Sarah Quantrill with all 5 of those in the 10 games she has played.

Sarah Quantrill vs. Arsenal @ the Emirates

FA Women’s Super League.

W 5 / D 0 / L 1
 Liverpool have been on fire in the league in the opening 6 fixtures. Losing just the once and winning 5 games, scoring 17 goals and conceding 6. 
 Liverpool began the league season away at Sincil Bank, the home of Lincoln Ladies. In windy conditions Natasha Dowie put Liverpool ahead early on and despite many chances we won the game by just one goal to nil. Next up for Liverpool was a tough encounter away at reigning champions Arsenal, or so you would think. 2 goals either side of half time from Amanda Da Costa and 2 more from Dowie and Louise Fors embarrassed Arsenal at the Emirates in their first league defeat since 2011. Five days later we were back in London again, this time facing Chelsea who like us had strengthened their team over the winter off season. Whitney Engen scored her first Liverpool goal to put us ahead but Chelsea went on to claim victory in controversial circumstances. For their winning goal Engen was clearly fouled in the build up yet this went unnoticed by the referee. After the defeat against Chelsea we hosted Lincoln at Halton Stadium in our first home league game this campaign, goals from Natasha Dowie, Fors and an own goal deflected in from a Fara Williams effort meant the reds raced 3-1 ahead. A brilliant goal from Precious Hamilton pulled a goal back for the Imps however Liverpool hung on to take all 3 points. Liverpool then made the short trip to Marine FC in Crosby for a mid week derby against Everton, despite a nervy start Liverpool began to dominate possession and capitalised on this when Nicole Rolser slotted the ball home. Everton came out fighting in the second half and their skipper Jill Scott equalised just after half time. The blues didn’t stay ahead for long as the reds ran rampant scoring 3 more goals through Fors, Corina Schroder and Dowie. Our final league game before the break was back at Halton Stadium against Birmingham, for the second time in a week we hit 4 goals past a team in blue. Rolser opened the scoring before Birmingham equalised from a corner. Lucy Bronze ensured we went in at half time 2-1 up with a thundering header while who else but Natasha Dowie scored our third goal of the game and Nicole Rolser got our fourth. 
Amanda Da  Costa nets her second goal in the 4-0 victory over Arsenal

FA Cup.

W 2 / D 0 / L 1
 Liverpool began their 2013 FA Cup run away at a muddy Aston Villa, thumping the midlands side 5-0 with a Fara Williams hat trick and goals from Natasha Dowie and Louise Fors. Next up was a tough test against Premier League champions Sunderland, Liverpool went ahead through Lillie Fenlon-Billson but Sunderland pulled a goal back. Minutes from time Icelandic midfielder Katrin Omarsdottir scored the winning goal to set up a semi final tie against Arsenal. The semi final was a memorable occasion for players and supporters alike, playing at Anfield for the first time the ladies put in a great shift and at times outplayed the strong Arsenal side. The gunners opened the scoring through Ellen White before Natasha Dowie scored a great diving header at the Kop end to bring the scores level before half time. Kim Little was Arsenal’s match winner, taking them into the final with a goal from a counter attack on 52 minutes. Arsenal went on to lift the cup at Doncaster’s Keepmoat Stadium a month later.
Lillie Billson opened the scoring in our FA Cup quarter final
Continental Cup.

W 2 / D 1 / L 0

 Liverpool’s Continental Cup run thus far this season has seen 2 wins and a draw. We began our first competitive home game of the season against Everton in a tie that was screened live on ESPN. Despite heavy snowfall the pitch was cleared in time for kick off and Liverpool went ahead through a Louise Fors penalty. Shortly after Everton won a dubious free kick decision which led to Nikita Parris equalising and the game finished in a 1-1 draw. In our next game against Doncaster Belles over a month later we created a lot of chances completely dominating the Belles but somehow managed to score just one goal, Natasha Dowie netting the only goal of the game to take our first 3 points in the competition. For the last group game Liverpool traveled to Chelsea to take on the Londoners for the second time in a week, this game followed our 2-1 defeat to them in the league. Liverpool were in inspired form, with Dowie scoring twice and Nicole Rolser and Fara Williams scoring one apiece. This ensured a 4-0 win and to place Liverpool above our Merseyside rivals Everton to finish top of the group. Finishing top means we will host the semi final against Lincoln Ladies at Halton Stadium on Wednesday 7th August.

Louise Fors & Natasha Dowie celebrating one of four goals vs Chelsea

‘… of the Season so far’ Awards!

 Player of the Season so far

 With so many of our players playing consistently well this decision was not an easy one. Not one of the Liverpool Ladies is having a bad season and you could probably name any of the starting 11 and give a valid argument for that choice. Having said that I threw the question out on twitter and it was mainly a core group of 4-5 players being mentioned.

 Let’s start from defence, an all new back line this season plugged our leaky defence from the last couple of seasons and we have kept 5 clean sheets out of 12 games played. Sarah Quantrill with all 5 in the 10 games she has played. Gemma Bonner and Whitney Engen have formed a formidable partnership in the heart of our defence and on occasion when required to step in Lucy Bronze has also put in a couple of good shifts, most notably her performance against Birmingham in our last game. Club captain Gemma Bonner leads by example from the back and always gives a calm and reassuring performance. Whitney Engen is a great presence at the back, very vocal always interacting with her team mates. It is no surprise Engen seems to have finally cemented a well deserved place in the US Women’s National Team, her performances for us have been fantastic. In particular her display in the 4-1 derby win over Everton when barely 48 hours earlier she had played another full 90 minutes in Canada for the USA.
 Moving onto midfield, a creative hub so far this season and the reason we have managed to control and dominate many of the games played. Two players that stick out are Louise Fors and Nicole Rolser, both classy players on the ball who are entertaining to watch. Between them they have 9 goals as well as creating many chances for the rest of the team. Louise Fors especially is impressive to watch down the left wing, as well as being our penalty taker and free kick specialist. Her best performance in a red shirt so far was against Lincoln at home in the league, where she scored one, hit the bar with a free kick and went close with a long range effort.
 The final player I am going to highlight, and like said previously there could be many more, is our leading goal scorer Natasha Dowie. 10 goals in 12 goals so far this season, a tally which also makes her the leading goal scorer in the league, Dowie’s performance’s in a red shirt have been a revelation. As well as putting the ball into the back of the net Natasha’s all round contribution as a lone striker has been brilliant, she holds the ball up really well in and around the 18 yard box to bring other players into the attack to create chances for others as well as herself. Our attacking front four of Dowie, Rolser, Fors and Amanda Da Costa must put fear in defences all around the league.
 If I could pick a player from each area of the field it would be: Defence – Engen, Midfield – Fors and upfront – Dowie. Overall I’m going to go with Louise Fors, a very classy player who is great to watch and hopefully her brilliant form will continue as we go into the second half of the season in August. 
Louise Fors playing in our 1-0 win over Lincoln Ladies

Performance of the Season so far

 This one for me is going to go to our FA Cup Semi Final at Anfield, the players more than rose to the occasion and did the supporters proud. They put in a great performance matching Arsenal, the reigning league champions and winners of the FA Cup 12 times, right until the end of the 90 minutes. It was probably the first game where you began to see the progress in the side and the fact we followed this game by thumping Arsenal 4-0 away a couple of weeks later showed we learnt from the defeat. 
Natasha Dowie against Arsenal at Anfield

Highlight of the Season so far

 The highlight of the season so far is a personal one, it goes to following the 4-0 win at the Emirates on Twitter with other supporters. Despite not being able to watch the game following it on twitter as we went 1-0 up, 2-0 up, then 3 and 4 was an incredible feeling! The fact it was Arsenal’s first league defeat in almost two years made the victory and achievement of beating them away from home sweeter. I only wish the full 90 minutes were made available for us to watch as it sounds like a fantastic game that the 2 minute highlights doesn’t do justice. A second highlight of the season occurred in this game and it was Whitney Engen’s goal line clearance which is pretty amazing each time you watch it. A close 3rd would be the 4-1 derby win over Everton as a derby win is always a great feeling. 
Arsenal 0 Liverpool 4

Goal of the Season so far

1) Amanda Da Costa 1st vs Arsenal (4-0), Natasha Dowie passed the ball back to the oncoming Da Costa who switched the ball quickly onto her left foot to hit a great strike from outside the 18 yard box past Arsenal’s Emma Byrne.
2) Fara Williams vs Chelsea (4-0), Williams struck the ball well from just outside the 18 yard box, it went straight through the Chelsea wall and in at the near post.
3) Louise Fors vs Everton (4-1), Dowie crossed the ball into the box for Nicole Rolser who spotted Louise Fors at the edge of the box. Rolser passed it back to Fors who fired past Everton’s impressive young keeper Lizzie Durack.
4) Natasha Dowie vs Chelsea (4-0), Da Costa hit a through ball to Dowie who finished well chipping the keeper. 

Picture of the Season so far

Disappointment of the Season so far
 Natasha Dowie being left out of the England squad for the upcoming Euro 2013 tournament was a massive disappointment, Natasha has been one of the most impressive players in the league this season and her record of 10 goals in 12 games makes her the top scorer in the country.
 The second disappointment was the 2-1 defeat at Chelsea. As mentioned above for the 2nd Chelsea goal a foul on Whitney Engen went unnoticed in the build up to their goal, robbing us of at least a point.

Second Half of the Season mini preview.

 It’s a shame that the season had to break when it did, with Liverpool in fine form. We go into the second half of the table topping Bristol by goal difference only. We are still to play Bristol home and away and so these games will be crucial and 6 points from them will be needed. Also still to play we have Arsenal at home in the first game back on 4th August. Arsenal are currently 8 points behind us but with two games in hand, if we can beat them on 4th August it would almost certainly put them out of the title race and give us a great advantage. We also have two home ties to play against Chelsea and Everton and will travel to Birmingham City and Doncaster Belles. Our final day fixture is a home one against Bristol.

 We also have our Continental Cup Semi Final against Lincoln the first week back, that game is at Halton Stadium on 7th August, it would be great to go all the way and possibly win this competition. The other semi final is between Arsenal and Everton and will be played the day after ours.

Thanks for reading this mammoth mid season review I hope it has been interesting! Throughout the summer there will be a weekly reds round up on here every Friday evening bringing you up to date with our players news from international or loan duty. Then when our season starts back in August we will of course be bringing you match reports and updates as well as live tweeting the games we will be at.


Reds Weekly Round Up!

 Twitter is sometimes a hard place to keep track of important (and not so important) news, so from this week you can catch up with all the latest Liverpool Ladies news here every Friday night. This first round up will also carry a couple of items across from last week.

  •  On Saturday 8th June Liverpool Ladies signed off from the first half of the FAWSL season with a thumping 4-1 victory over Birmingham City Ladies. Goals from Natasha Dowie, Lucy Bronze and 2 from German midfielder Nicole Rolser ensured the reds will go into the second half of the season as league leaders. Highlights can be found in the video below.

  •  Liverpool midfielder Amanda Da Costa writes an online blog for Equalizer Soccer which do differ slightly from the blogs she writes for the monthly LFC magazine. Her blogs are always worth a read and you can find the latest installment here: Amanda Da Costa blog: A Paris Excursion
  • England’s Euro 2013 squad was announced Monday 17th June with places in the squad for 3 Liverpool players, the uncapped duo of our captain Gemma Bonner and Lucy Bronze and 100+ capped midfielder Fara Williams. Gemma attended the announcement at the British Museum in London and gave this interview to Below are two videos, one from the announcement itself and the other introducing the squad. A noticeable and disappointing absence from the squad is Liverpool striker Natasha Dowie. Arguably the most in form attacking player going into the summer break and of course the leagues top scorer. The first game England play will be against Spain on 12th July.
  • Onto more international action now, this week Wales had two games against Slovakia. Reds striker Hannah Keryakoplis came off the bench in both games. The first game on Monday finished in a 2-2 draw, while the game on Wednesday seen a 1-1 draw with both games being played in very hot conditions – 31 degrees on the Monday!
  • The next red taking part in an international game this week was midfielder Katrin Omarsdottir who also came off the bench to feature in Iceland’s 2-0 defeat against Denmark. The defeat means Iceland have now lost 6 out of 7 games in 2013 so far. 
  • Whitney Engen’s USA team also had a couple of games in the last week, on Sunday night she was an unused substitute in their victory over South Korea and last night Whitney played the full 90 minutes as they did the double over the Korean side. During this game Abby Wambach surpassed Mia Hamm’s international goal scoring record, scoring 4 of the 5 goals during the 5-0 win in New York. 

credit: citylightsdreamer on tumblr.

  • Danielle Gibbons, Sarah Quantrill and Sam Chappell are at a 6 day England U23 training camp until 27th June, with Gibbons and Chappell part of the Team GB squad for Universiade in Russia this summer.
 Next week may be slightly quieter on the news front, the main event next week will be the England friendly against Japan on Wednesday in which we will hopefully see some of our reds! Thanks for reading.

Match Report: Liverpool Ladies 4 – 1 Birmingham City Ladies

 Another game, another team, another 4 goals scored, not a bad habit to be getting into. Liverpool made sure we go into the summer break at the top of the table with yet another emphatic 4 goal performance. Captain Gemma Bonner sat this game out through illness, Lucy Bronze partnering Whitney Engen in defence and Amanda Da Costa stepping into the role of team captain in her absence. Katrin, who missed the Everton game with a hamstring injury, started the game on the bench with Jess Holbrook in the starting 11 again. Rachael Laws our on loan goalkeeper also returning to the starting line up.

 Both teams had early chances to go ahead, Liverpool almost immediately getting a goal through a Fara Williams corner then straight up at the other end a Birmingham corner was cleared by Nicole Rolser. Lucy Bronze did well all game keeping Rachel Williams quiet, pressuring her into passing the ball wide instead of shooting at goal and the resulting Birmingham cross was comfortably collected by Laws. Jess Holbrook continued her good form from the derby win and provided a great ball to Natasha Dowie who fired a shot on target but this was saved by blues keeper Mary Earps. Dowie’s next strike at goal hit the post and rebounded to Rolser who confidently slotted the ball into the net to put Liverpool in front. Birmingham equalised shortly afterwards when Kerys Harrop made the most of us not clearing the ball from a corner. Corina Schroder fresh from opening her Liverpool goal scoring account against Everton almost doubled her tally but her effort was saved by Earps. Just before half time Lucy Bronze capped an impressive first half performance with a powerful headed goal to ensure the reds went in 2-1.

 With the teams back out for the second half, Liverpool perhaps spurred on by the news Bristol had beaten Lincoln meaning we had to win this game to stay at the top of the league. Rolser was pulled down just outside the Birmingham box but Fara Williams, playing probably her finest game in a red shirt yet, overhit her free kick. Dowie then almost went through on goal but her first touch let her down and the blues keeper collected the ball. Birmingham then had a free kick in a dangerous position which was taken well forcing a save from Laws. Somehow Birmingham then failed to score when a goal bound strike from Jo Potter bounced between both posts before being cleared, the travelling blues supporters thought it had gone in. Lucy Bronze continued her great performance by dispossessing Rachel Williams again and going on a run past a couple of Birmingham players into the other half. Jess Holbrook almost claimed her first Liverpool goal after a fantastic Fara Williams ball found Rolser on the right, Rolser passed it back to the waiting Holbrook who unluckily hit the post. Whitney Engen then raised a chuckle from the crowd with some choice language when she was nearly sent flying by the blues winger. Into the last ten minutes of the game, Birmingham noticeably tiring and being run ragged by our attack, Natasha Dowie took her goals tally for the season into double figures when she deflected an ambitious Fara Williams shot into the back of the net. Schroder then hit a great ball to Rolser who added insult to injury for Birmingham and scored our fourth goal of the game.

Liverpool team: Laws, Easton, Bronze, Engen, Schroder (Riccio), Williams, Holbrook, Rolser, Da Costa (C)(Katrin), Fors, Dowie (Billson). Unused subs: Gibbons, Chappell, Keryakoplis

POTM: Lucy Bronze

 So that’s it, the first half of the season gone already. We now break for the European Championships which kick off in Sweden on the 10th July, the final on the 28th  July. Hopefully there will be more than one Liverpool player in the England squad, Fara Williams our only player certain of a place. Gemma Bonner and Lucy Bronze I think have done enough to deserve a call up and hopefully their inclusion in the recent England training camp is an indicator Hope Powell has them in her plans. Another Liverpool player who has done more than enough to receive a call up is the league’s top goalscorer Natasha Dowie. I really hope England have been taking notice of her performances for us and give her a well deserved spot in the squad. Katrin Omarsdottir will likely receive a call up for the Iceland team and Louise Fors will hopefully have caught Pia Sundhage’s eye and get a call up for host nation Sweden.

 Our first week back after the break will be a busy one, we host Arsenal on Sunday 4th August before our Continental Cup semi final takes place 7th August against Lincoln in a game also to be played at Halton Stadium. Then the following weekend we travel to Bristol for a crucial top of the table clash.

 Thanks for reading these blogs this side of the season and for following @LFCLadiesFans on twiter. I’m away for a week now but when I come back  I will be posting a mid season review on here so keep an eye out for that. Also on twitter I will be providing updates on our players progress at the Euros.

Match Preview: Liverpool Ladies vs Birmingham City

 Liverpool’s final game before a two month break for the European Championships sees us welcome Birmingham City to Widnes’ Halton Stadium tomorrow evening. Birmingham have had a poor start to the season by their standards while Liverpool have enjoyed an incredible first half exceeding most expectations.

 Birmingham currently lie 5th in the FAWSL table with just one win out of their 5 league games and have failed to find the net in 2 of those. Their last outing seen them beaten 2-0 at home by second in the table Bristol Academy. During the transfer window they lost striker Eni Aluko to Chelsea and are without two first team players Karen Carney and Rachel Unitt through injury. With Aluko gone and Carney out Birmingham have looked to England striker Rachel Williams to provide their goals and she has not disappointed hitting 7 in 10 games. Most if not all of the blues goal threat comes from Williams and the majority of their attacking play comes down the right through Kirsty Linnett. Blues keeper Hourihan will undoubtedly be kept busy throughout the 90 minutes. Birmingham have already qualified for the 2013/14 Champions League however they really need to target a win against us if they want to qualify again and break into the top four of Chelsea-Arsenal-Bristol-Liverpool.

 While Birmingham have scored 11 goals in 10 games this season, our goal crazy reds have scored 27 in 11. Natasha Dowie of course is top scorer with 9 goals but 14 of the 27 have come from midfield showing the diversity in our team. Interesting that with Dowie contributing 9 goals (2 more than Blues striker Williams) we are not over-reliant on her to provide the goals – as Birmingham seem to be with Williams. When Williams has an off day for Birmingham they suffer, the Everton game a perfect example of this. Liverpool have scored at least once in every game played thus far this season and average just under 2 and a half goals per game. While our attack is clearly in top form our defence is a strong foundation to build upon, Whitney Engen and Gemma Bonner forging a brilliant partnership in the centre of defence and we were very unlucky to concede during the midweek derby on the counter attack. Matt Beard has said this week midfielder Katrin Omarsdottir will miss this weekends game through the hamstring injury picked up on international duty so Jess Holbrook will likely start again.

 Liverpool’s first game after the break will be against Arsenal, this is the rearranged home fixture from earlier this season and will be played on Sunday 4th August @ 2pm KO. Also that week on Wednesday 7th August will be our Continental Cup semi final against Lincoln, again at Halton Stadium, 7:30pm KO.

 Thanks for reading, after the Birmingham game I will of course have a match report up and within the next couple of weeks hope to have a mid season review up! Please keep following on twitter @LFCLadiesFans – despite being no Liverpool games to follow we will be bringing you updates on our players at the Euros!

Match Report: Everton Ladies 1 – 4 Liverpool Ladies

 Last night Liverpool Ladies claimed their first FA Women’s Super League derby victory over rivals Everton and strengthened their hold at the top of the table in style. In front of a packed Marine ground – 1,124 being the official gate number – the ladies in red ran riot against the Everton defence.

 It was all change for Liverpool, both keepers were out injured meaning emergency loan signing Rachael Laws made her debut. Katrin Omarsdottir returned from international duty having picked up an injury leaving Jess Holbrook to fill her spot in the centre of midfield against her old team. Also back from international duty with the USA Whitney Engen retook her position at centre back with Lucy Bronze moving back across to right back.

 For the first ten minutes the two teams struggled to find their rhythm, both trying to get a hold on the game. Everton had a couple of early chances, first a Toni Duggan strike was blocked by Liverpool captain Gemma Bonner then Laws saved well from Nikita Parris. Once Liverpool settled it was the same as the Lincoln game, Liverpool holding the majority of the possession barely allowing Everton a sniff of the ball. The reds crept closer and closer to the Everton goal, both Nicole Rolser and Amanda Da Costa cutting through the Everton defence but being offside. Bronze then hit a great ball to Da Costa but her cross was sent narrowly wide by Corina Shroder. Liverpool now with all the pressure and growing in confidence, Engen up from a corner won the ball back and put it back into the box but Fara Williams placed her shot the wrong side of the post. Rolser then had a number of chances, her first sailed over the crossbar and in hindsight could have been passed to the waiting Natasha Dowie. Amy Kane blocked Rolser’s second goal bound effort however the Everton defence then failed to deal with the ball in the box and she slotted home her second goal of the season. Dowie and Schroder were working well together on the left, shortly before half time Dowie crossed the ball to the unmarked Da Costa but the ball ran just behind her.  Despite the relentless assault Liverpool somehow went in at half time up by just one goal.

 Everton came out with a renewed fighting spirit in the second half, showing some of the attacking movement they did last week against Doncaster Belles. Bronze and Bonner dealt confidently with the onslaught, Gemma Bonner hit the ball up field to Dowie who went close – the ball going out for a corner. Everton cleared quickly from the corner to hit us on the counter attack, Parris’ shot was saved by Laws but straight into the path of the oncoming Jill Scott who equalised for the blues. Everton’s joy was short lived, Louise Fors continuing her fine form with a goal from just inside the 18 yard box to put us back in front. A Fara Williams free kick then was saved by Lizzie Durack and sent out for another reds corner, this time Whitney Engen taking no chances and staying back to cover the defence. Yet another Fors strike from an almost identical position was punched away by Durack but only as far as Shroder, who had gotten herself into a fantastic position to score her first goal in a red shirt. Comfortably ahead and in control of the game Matt Beard made a double substitution bringing on Becky Easton and Lillie Billson to replace Williams and  Rolser, Bronze moving into midfield. Towards the end of the second half both teams had chances, Natasha Dowie’s chip was saved and up at the other end Laws kept out Everton substitute Simone McGill. With the 90 minutes drawing to a close Dowie put the final nail in the Everton coffin after Billson found her unmarked in the Everton half, she struck the ball past the unfortunate Durack for her 9th goal on the season. 4-1 Liverpool.

 It’s difficult to single out just one player for player of the game, not one of our ladies put in a bad shift. Our starting back four all did well halting the Everton attacks, Bronze made more than one crucial interception, Bonner with numerous clearances which also seemed to find a red shirt every time and Schroder not just for bagging a goal but for being the catalyst for many of Liverpool’s attacks down the left. If it were based purely on the first half then  I would have said Nicole Rolser but taking the full 90 minutes into consideration the POTM for me has to go to Whitney Engen. A rock at the heart of our defence, breaking up many of Everton’s attacks and keeping Toni Duggan quiet all evening limiting the number of chances she could take. This was made all the more impressive when you take into account that barely 48 hours she had put in another player of the match performance for the USWNT against Canada, playing the full 90 minutes in Toronto.

 Birmingham are the next side to face our in form reds. It will be the last game before the season breaks for the European Championships, the game kicks off 7:15pm this Saturday 8th June at Halton Stadium. The match preview for this game will be up on Friday evening. Thanks for reading!

LFC: Laws, Bronze, Engen, Bonner (C), Schroder, Holbrook, Williams (Easton 81), Fors, Rolser (Billson 81), Da Costa, Dowie. Unused subs: Chappell, Keryakoplis, Riccio

EFC: Durack, V.Jones, Greenwood, Johnson, Chaplen, Scott (C), Kane (Whipp 85), Hinnigan (K.Jones 64), Parris, Duggan, Boye-Hlorkah (Magill 78). Unused subs: Brown-Finnis, Nelson, Handley, Williams.

Match Preview: Derby Day! Everton Ladies v Liverpool Ladies

Tuesday 4th June 2013, 7:30pm KO
Marine FC, Crosby

 On Tuesday Liverpool Ladies will make the trip to Crosby to play Everton in the first league derby since Liverpool’s makeover. Liverpool have not had much luck in this fixture in the two previous WSL seasons; losing 3, drawing 1 and conceding 8 goals along the way. The good news is that 6 of those 8 goals were scored by players who have since joined the red revolution! (Natasha Dowie, Fara Williams and Lucy Bronze)

 Since our last game some reds have been away on international duty. Fara Williams, Lucy Bronze and Gemma Bonner have been at a 3 day England training camp and Katrin Omarsdottir played during Iceland’s 3-2 defeat against Scotland. Also suffering defeat was reds striker Hannah Keryakoplis who’s Wales U19 team were beaten 2-1 by the Hungarian NT. Whitney Engen was the last of the reds away, she produced a player of the match display as USA beat Canada 3-0. That game took place on Sunday evening so Engen is a doubt to play in the derby.

 If that is indeed the case there should be no changes to the starting line up that beat Lincoln 3-2 last Wednesday, with the more than capable Lucy Bronze filling in at centre back and Becky Easton retaining her place at right back. One player who I would like to see getting more game time is Lillie Billson. Billson nearly always comes on towards the end of a game and creates a few chances but at the moment it’s difficult to see who she would replace in the starting line up with our attacking players all in fine form. Natasha Dowie in particular is in unstoppable form at the moment, thriving under the service provided by Fors, Rolser and Da Costa. Dowie can hold up play brilliantly to bring the midfield into the attack and as a result Liverpool look dangerous on the counter attack. Louise Fors is another player producing consistently good displays, player of the match against Lincoln where she added to her goals tally for the season taking her to 4 in 10 games.

 Everton despite our winter raid are a well oiled machine and will prove tough to defeat on home soil. Their last two games here in the league have ended in draws and they will be desperate to get back to winning ways. Their last WSL outing resulted in a 2-2 draw with a spirited Doncaster Belles side. They were without main striker Toni Duggan who was serving a one match ban for picking up 5 yellow cards in 8 games. Duggan’s absence was felt by the blues and she will be back to play against us. Leading the Everton attack was a lively Nikita Parris but Everton struggled getting the ball forward in the first half instead deciding to pepper the Doncaster goal with a number of long range shots. Jill Scott went closest to scoring before Jody Handley saw her goal ruled out for offside. All the goals came in the second half, Parris opened the scoring netting a fantastic effort from outside the 18 yard box however Everton twice gave up the lead to give Doncaster a well earned point. Lizzie Durack gave another convincing performance in the Everton goal while Rachael Brown is out through injury.

 Both teams will be looking forward to this game and while Everton are a very good side I think now the quality in our reds side will be just enough to secure our first WSL victory over the blue half of the city. Last time we played Everton was right at the start of the season in a Continental Cup game when we were unlucky to come away with only a point. Since that game our team has grown a lot stronger having spent a lot more playing time together and we are beginning to dominate games against proven WSL sides (see Arsenal and Chelsea results for evidence of this!). Hope to see you there!