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
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
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.