Match Preview: Birmingham City vs Liverpool Ladies

 For the final away game of the season Liverpool Ladies travel to Stratford-upon-Avon to face last seasons runners up Birmingham City.

 Midweek Arsenal narrowly beat Chelsea 1-0 in the London derby to further decrease the points difference between ourselves and them. The Gunners are now 2 points behind us in the league with a game in hand, this makes each of our 4 remaining games a must win if we are to challenge until the end.

 Liverpool go into this game on the back of a thumping 9-0 win away at Doncaster Belles, the landslide victory coming after two narrow 4-3 victories and giving our goal difference a welcome boost.

 Prior to this game Liverpool conceded 6 goals in 2 games, leading to a half time substitution during the Chelsea game. Rachel Laws then remained in goal against Doncaster to keep our first clean sheet this side of the season.

 Natasha Dowie and Fara Williams continued their fine run of form over the last couple of games, Natasha bagged a first half hat trick over the Belles. New number 7 Kate Longhurst also scored her first Liverpool goal after coming on as a substitute while brilliant German Nicole Rolser also added her 8th goal of the season and Liverpool’s 8th of the game during a more subdued second half.

 In contrast to our season, our opponents have had a disappointing campaign by their standards. Already qualified for this years Champions League they were effectively out of the running for next years by the time the summer break came around – unable to keep up with the pace set by both Liverpool and Bristol Academy.
  During the second half of the season Birmingham manager David Parker has been giving the clubs youth a chance to impress, dropping lead scorer Rachel Williams to the bench.
 Melissa Lawley in particular has impressed and has a record of 3 goals in her last 3 starts for the blues. Karen Carney, who was injured during the first half of the season, has also featured in each of Birmingham’s last 3 games. Carney came on as a substitute against Doncaster and Lincoln and started last weekends defeat to Arsenal. 
 @LFCLadiesFans will be providing coverage of the game on Sunday, travelling to Stratford-upon-Avon much to the delight of my friend who has inherited my season ticket for some other game taking place at Anfield the same afternoon! If any other reds are going to be at the game get in touch! Kick off is at 2pm.
 A few other bits to conclude this preview, tomorrow Liverpool’s Katie Zelem and  Ellie Stewart will be part of the England squad defending the Under 19’s European Championship trophy. The final against France kicks off at 3pm and you can watch the game by following this link.
 Secondly the next Liverpool Ladies monthly round up for This Is Anfield will be online over the next couple of days, bring yourself up to date by reading June & July’s.
 Lastly the  official LFC magazine is due out early September and will feature Amanda Da Costa’s latest diary, which is always worth a read! There will also be a brief interview with myself – which I am slightly nervous about but if you want to know who my favourite player is (and I did manage to settle on just one after initially going through several) make sure you pick up a copy.
Thanks for reading!

Match Preview: Doncaster Belles vs Liverpool Ladies

 Midweek Arsenal soundly beat  Doncaster Belles 6-0 at the Keepmoat Stadium, closing the gap on Liverpool Ladies in the league table to 2 points. The Gunners also have a game in hand and have leapfrogged our goal difference, now having +14 to our +10.

 This game then another must win for Liverpool, at this stage in the season with Arsenal hot on our heels we cannot afford to drop points. In our last 3 league games we have conceded 9 goals, scoring 8. The 3 goals we conceded versus Chelsea in our last league game could be considered as unlucky. Chelsea’s first came after a mix up between Corina Schroder and goalkeeper Sarah Quantrill, the second via a counter attack and the third being an own goal. 
 After fighting to peg Chelsea back to 2-2, it could have been demoralising for the team when the 3rd Chelsea goal when into the back of the net. However showing great character, as Matt Beard commented after the game, the reds snatched victory with less than 10 minutes remaining. Natasha Dowie was a constant threat during the 2nd half, scoring the equaliser with a brilliant diving header from a Nicole  Rolser cross. Minutes later the same two players combined in the 6 yard box with Dowie setting Rolser up for the winner.
 On Saturday night we have the opportunity to go 6 points clear of Bristol Academy and 5 points ahead of Arsenal, the Gunners next game is a London derby against  Chelsea next Thursday.
 Our opponents plight over the course of the season has been well-documented. Doncaster Belles were unfairly informed after the opening game that matter the course their season were to take, next season would see them playing their football in the new 2nd tier of Women’s Football. Their top tier place going to Manchester City. No matter how disheartening this must have been and still is for the Belles and their supporters they have valiantly stuck behind their team.
 Doncaster are yet to win a game this season, although they have come close. Away at Birmingham a couple of weeks ago the Belles had numerous chances to go ahead, Ashleigh Mills hit the post in the first half with Sue Smith also seeing a free kick saved but Birmingham scored with 7 minutes to go to take all 3 points.
 Midweek against Arsenal during the opening 30 minutes Doncaster appeared to be holding out against the Champions, before 3 goals came in as many minutes to break their resolve. As mentioned earlier Doncaster have great supporters behind them, who could be heard singing “We’re going to win 4-3!” It wasn’t to be unfortunately for them and Arsenal ran out 6-0 winners.
 Doncaster are determined in their search for a win before the end of the season, they have been boosted both by the return of Sue Smith from injury before the summer break and during the summer signed Liverpool forward Katie Brusell.
 The game will kick off at 6pm at  Doncaster Belles’ Keepmoat Stadium. This is the only game of our 5 remaining I will not be at, a combination of lack of trains back to Liverpool after the game and my yearly trip to Villa Park to watch the men’s side. @Girlsontheball will be there, alongside both clubs official twitters and the @bellesnoisyfans.

 Following this game, next Sunday 1st September sees our final away game of the season against Birmingham City. There is a few of us travelling by train for this one, it’s a 2pm kick off in Stratford-upon-Avon and if you have any interest in coming with to support the reds, please get in touch @LFCLadiesFans.

 Thanks for reading!

Match Report: Liverpool Ladies 4 – 3 Chelsea Ladies

 Before the break Liverpool Ladies seemed to make a habit out of 4-0, 4-1 scorelines. Having watched two narrow 4-3 wins in the last week I have to say I hope we don’t make a habit out of this one – my nerves can’t take it!

 In the match day programme Matt Beard talks about how expectations for this season have shifted from targeting a top 4 finish to a European place, after tonight’s result we are definitely are in with a great chance of placing in the top 2.

 Onto the game then, similar to the one against Arsenal a couple of weeks earlier our London visitors were faster out of the blocks than us. Swedish international Sofia Jakobsson in particular causing a stir on the right wing and capitalising on a defensive mix up to put Chelsea ahead.
 Liverpool had a couple of chances to equalise, Amanda Da Costa’s goal bound shot was saved by blues keeper Telford and Nicole Rolser also seen a strike saved.
 Within 7 minutes of kick off Chelsea had doubled their lead, new signed Ogimi setting up Eni Aluko who scored past Sarah Quantrill.
 The second goal caused Liverpool to regroup and step up their game, Fara Williams in particular pressing up the pitch and driving the team forwards. Williams tried a couple of long range efforts, one just wide of the post and the other narrowly over the crossbar.
 Fara was then fouled and awarded a free kick in a similar position to where she scored against Chelsea in the Continental Cup. The ball swung in low at the near post, narrowly beating Telford to pull a goal back for Liverpool and the reds went in at half time trailing 2-1.
 Matt Beard switched keepers at half time, Rachel Laws replacing Sarah Quantrill in the Liverpool goal.
 Nicole Rolser was brought down in the penalty box, controversially nothing was given despite the German midfielder needing to leave the field for treatment. Shortly after returning to the pitch Rolser equalised. Louise Fors’ corner found Gemma Bonner, who’s headed looked to be clearer off the line but Rolser was there to tap the ball in.
 Gemma Bonner then went down in our box with a back injury, the Liverpool captain did attempt to run it off and returned to the field after receiving treatment. Minutes later Becky Easton replaced her, with Lucy Bronze moving across to centre back and Amanda Da Costa taking the arm band.
 Chelsea’s Ogimi was lively throughout, she went through on goal after Whitney Engen missed her header yet Lucy Bronze did brilliantly to get back and clear.
 Natasha Dowie then had a brilliant chance, also going through on goal but was denied by a great save from Telford.
 Sofia Jakobsson’s cross was then deflected into the back of the net to put Chelsea back in front, Becky Easton got the final touch but the ball was going in anyway.
 3-2 down yet still not giving up the fight, Natasha Dowie equalised for Liverpool with a brilliant header. Dowie has now scored 6 goal in 9 league games.
 Natasha then played a part in the next goal, setting Nicole Rolser up nicely for Liverpool to go in front for the first time during the game. Even Matt Beard and the bench were on the pitch celebrating the goal!
Nerves frayed in the stands and on the pitch, Ogimi feeling that  Easton was taking her time on a throw in and rather amusingly handing her the ball.
 6 minutes of added time due to the injury to Bonner thankfully seen no more goals and the reds secured another important three points.
 POTM Nicole Rolser
 Liverpool team: Quantrill (Laws), Bronze, Bonner (c)(Easton), Engen, Schroder, Omarsdottir, Williams, Rolser, Da Costa, Fors (Longhurst), Dowie

 Next up for Liverpool we are away at Doncaster Belles on Saturday 24th August. There will be a match preview up for this game but no match report, I will be at Villa Park instead. (sorry!)

 Will be covering the final 4 league games however starting with Birmingham away on Sunday 1st September, missing the Man Utd game for that one! Thanks for following @LFCLadiesFans again on twitter tonight and for reading these reports, all comments are really appreciated and I also want to say a massive thank you to everyone who wished me a happy birthday! Especially @Girlsontheball who gave me some pretty cool GOTB merch!

Match Preview: Liverpool Ladies vs Chelsea Ladies

 Liverpool Ladies go into this game on the back of a thrilling 4-3 victory away at Bristol Academy, Gemma Bonner with the crucial winner minutes from time to ensure our return to the top of the table. Sitting top for now, once again on goal difference, every game left is now important with Arsenal having closed the gap between us to 5 points and they have 2 games in hand.

 Like Liverpool, Chelsea have been in the process of rebuilding their team over the past two transfer windows. However unlike Liverpool, Chelsea have found it hard to click. After beating us 2-1 in May, Chelsea lost the remaining 5 games of the first half of the season. Returning after the break, having made an impressive signing with World Cup winner Yuki Ogimi, they won their first fixture back against Doncaster Belles but a week later fell to a 2-0 defeat to Lincoln Ladies. This has left them well off the pace in the league, they have played one more game than us yet sit 8 points behind.
 Chelsea’s points return is disappointing given the attacking talent they have at their disposal. Swedish international Sofia Jakobsson is the blues top scorer with 6 goals in 13 games, while England’s Eni Aluko is just behind with 5 goals. Welsh striker Helen Ward has been a mainstay in the Chelsea side since the inception of the Women’s Super League, last season she scored 9 goals while this season has found the back of the net just 3 times.
 In our last two fixtures against Chelsea we have won one and lost one. The loss being the 2-1 defeat in the league, with their 2nd goal coming after an unnoticed foul on Whitney Engen in the build up. The win came a week later in the Continental Cup – a convincing 4-0 victory with the leagues top scorer Natasha Dowie scoring twice.
 Following a disappointing start to the second half of the season after defeats to Arsenal and Lincoln, the momentum we had built up with 4 straight wins before the break was halted. During the Bristol game last Saturday we raced 3-1 ahead, goals from Louise Fors, Nicole Rolser and Katrin Omarsdottir, before the Vixens scored twice in 2 minutes to level the score. Searching for a winner, the chance fell to centre back Gemma Bonner who fired an incredible strike past the hapless Siobhan Chamberlain to secure 3 points.
 Despite Chelsea’s lack of wins this season they are not a side to be taken lightly and will be desperate to add to their points tally in the 5 games they have left.
 The game will be played at Liverpool’s Halton Stadium with a 7:15pm kick off. Tickets are £5 adults, £2.50 concessions and Anfield season ticket holder get in free. It is not televised but you can follow match updates through the official clubs twitters, alongside @LFCLadiesFans and @Girlsontheball will also be there.
 Also, this week I did an interview with the Official LFC magazine, very grateful for that opportunity – I answered questions on Women’s Football in general and of course the Liverpool Ladies. You will be able to read this after Amanda Da Costa’s diary in the next issue. I hope I did ok!

 Thanks for reading!

Match Report: Bristol Academy 3 – 4 Liverpool Ladies

 Liverpool fought their way back to the top of the Woman’s Super League with a hard-earned 4-3 victory away at league leaders Bristol Academy.

 Following a 3-0 league defeat against Arsenal last weekend, Liverpool needed to win this game to keep our title hopes alive – lose and Bristol would extend their lead to 6 points. Matt Beard made two changes to the team that lost midweek in the cup to Lincoln, Sarah Quantrill returned to the starting line up in place of Rachel Laws and Sarah Gregorius dropped to the bench in favour of Katrin Omarsdottir.

 Liverpool got off to a good start, Amanda Da Costa with the reds first effort after goalkeeper Siobhan Chamberlain’s clearance only went as far as the American midfielder. Da Costa’s first time strike at the empty Bristol goal however went over the crossbar.

 Lucy Bronze put in another great shift on the right and an early cross nearly found Natasha Dowie, forcing Chamberlain to punch the ball away.

 Nicole Rolser, Liverpool’s tricky German midfielder, once again found herself the main target of opposition fouls and was pushed over by Grace McCatty just outside of the 18 yard box. Fara Williams and Louise Fors stood over it with Fors taking, hitting the wall.
 Natasha Harding picked up a nasty looking eye injury, one that put Liverpool captain Gemma Bonner’s black eye to shame, following a tumble with Sarah Quantrill in the box.
 Bristol were awarded a dubious free kick decision, it was sent towards Heatherson in the 6 yard box who’s first strike was parried away by Quantrill but she followed up the rebound to put Bristol ahead.
 Katrin Omarsdottir almost equalised immediately for Liverpool, a Louise Fors corner was only cleared as far as Da Costa who hit the ball back into the box but Katrin couldn’t control her volley.
 Shortly after Nicole Rolser was again knocked down by Grace McCatty, this time in the penalty area and Liverpool were correctly awarded a penalty. Given our luck with penalties over the last week, Louise Fors stepped up to smash the ball past Chamberlain and grab that all important equaliser to put us back in the game.
 Into added time at the end of the first half, Louise Fors swung her corner kick into the box. The ball bounced through a few players before literally bouncing off the surprised Nicole Rolser into the back of the net. The goal at the stroke of half time sent the Ladies in 2-1 up.
 Back out for the second half and now playing with confidence. Liverpool were awarded another free kick on the edge of the box, this time Icelandic midfielder Katrin Omarsdottir stepped up but again it hit the wall. 
 Omarsdottir was to get a third chance at goal a few minutes later and made no mistakes with this one, scoring a brilliant goal from the edge of the box to give us a 2 goal cushion. The was Katrin’s second Liverpool goal and not her first as the BT Sport commentator informed everybody – she scored the winner against Sunderland in our FA Cup Quarter Final.
 Chasing the game Bristol made two attacking substitutions, sending on Spanish duo Laura Del Rio and Keka. Del Rio made an immediate impact.
 Sarah Quantrill’s goal kick only went as far as Natalia who quickly passed to Del Rio and she slotted the ball past Quantrill to pull a goal back.
 Not even two minutes later Bristol had their equaliser – Natasha Harding’s cross into the box found Natalia who made it 3-3.
 With 10 minutes left for either side to find a winner, both Lucy Bronze and Whitney Engen did well breaking down Bristol attacks.
 Becky Easton came on to replace Corina Schroder for her first appearance this half of the season and Sarah Gregorius came on for penalty scorer Louise Fors.
 Captain Gemma Bonner suddenly found herself in a bit of space in the Bristol half, letting the ball roll a couple of yards in front and glancing towards goal she superbly struck the ball which went flying past Chamberlain. Liverpool were 4-3 up with minutes to go.
 Into injury time – Kate Longhurst replaced Natasha Dowie up front for the reds but it was all Bristol as they desperately searched for another equaliser. They won a corner deep into injury time yet any hope was crushed as Rose headed well over.
 A great shift put in tonight by all Liverpool Ladies, player of the match has to go to Gemma Bonner for a great all-round performance and a crucial match winning goal that could be so important for our season. Nicole Rolser and Lucy Bronze the other stand out players in this great Liverpool side this evening.
 The Ladies now have a week until their next game against Chelsea Ladies. This will be played at Halton Stadium Saturday 17th August, 7:15pm KO. The match preview for this game will be up during the week.
 Thanks for reading and thanks to all those that joined @LFCLadiesFans on twitter tonight during the game! All comments are much appreciated.

Match Preview: Bristol Academy vs Liverpool Ladies

 Looking at the list of games for the second half of the season, this one perhaps draws a little more anticipation than the other fixtures. Until Liverpool slumped to a 3-0 defeat by Arsenal last weekend and Bristol were gifted 3 points at Everton, ourselves and the Vixens were equal on points – with Liverpool having the superior goal difference. Their win last Sunday meant they leapfrogged us into 1st place, ahead by only 3 points. The outcome of this match could be crucial to our league season.

 Hoping to bounce back from the Arsenal defeat, Liverpool played Lincoln in a mid-week semi final. The reds unfortunately lost the game on penalties despite dominating the run of the play. Liverpool peppered the Lincoln goal with shots, yet England number 1 Karen Bardsley reminded everyone why she is regarded as one of the worlds top keepers with a number of inspired saves to keep us out. Bardsley also saved two penalty kicks during the shootout, from Louise Fors and Natasha Dowie.
 At times during the game Liverpool looked like the team we had watched during the first half of the season, particularly during the first 45 minutes as we created many chances and could have gone in at half time easily up by 2 or 3 more than 1-0
 Unlike Liverpool, Bristol won their first game back after the break against our Merseyside rivals Everton. The half of the game was a 4 goal thriller, twice the Vixens went ahead with Everton twice bringing the score level. Bristol’s first was a Jill Scott own goal, while their second came after a misplaced Everton back pass. Heavy rain during the second half seemed to slow the tempo of the game however debutant Billie Murphy scored the blues second own goal of the game to gift Bristol the win.
 Bristol play an attacking game, Natalia is a constant threat – always lurking around the 18 yard box – alongside fellow Spaniard Laura Del Rio. Del Rio carried a slight injury problem through May and June which limited her appearances but she did come off the bench against Everton. Natasha Harding is another key player for the Vixens, netting the second goal against Everton at the weekend, Harding seems to have easily slipped back into her fine form straight after the break.
 This is a game Liverpool cannot really afford to lose, a Bristol victory would see them extend their lead over us at the top to six points with Arsenal also breathing down our necks.
 Natasha Dowie scored for us against Lincoln during the week and was unlucky not to double or treble her tally as she linked up well with Nicole Rolser. Fara Williams was the driving force behind most of Liverpool’s attacks on Wednesday, along with Amanda Da Costa. New signing Kate Longhurst was cup tied during the week but could feature against Bristol after impressing while coming on as a sub against Arsenal.
 Hopefully 120 minutes played during the week will not affect us, I don’t think motivation will be a problem however and I am sure Liverpool will throw everything at Bristol to get our season back on track.
 This is an away game for Liverpool Ladies and will be played at Bristol Academy’s Stoke Gifford Stadium. Kick off is at 7:45pm with adult tickets priced at £5 and concessions £3, the game is also live on BT Sport for those who can’t make it and for those who don’t have BT Sport keep an eye out on twitter as I will try and share a stream!
 @LFCLadiesFans will be live tweeting the game, although not there I will be watching on BT Sport. The @Girlsontheball will be there however so make sure you’re also following them.
 Thanks for reading!

Match Report: Liverpool Ladies 1 – 1 Lincoln Ladies (AET 2 – 4 on penalties)

 Liverpool Ladies heartbreakingly crashed out of the Continental Cup semi final tonight to Lincoln Ladies. Sarah Gregorius was handed her first start in a red shirt, replacing Jess Holbrook. Gregorius’ fellow new signing Kate Longhurst was cup tied as was Lincoln’s Lillie Billson, who of course had featured in our campaign in the first half of the season.

 Following a 3-0 league defeat at the weekend to Arsenal the reds were determined to bounce back with a win. Natasha Dowie put us a goal up within a minute of kick off, Lucy Bronze with a perfectly weighted pass which outwitted the Lincoln defence setting Dowie up to smash the ball past England number 1 Karen Bardsley. 
 Louise Fors had switched to the centre of midfield alongside Fara Williams, leaving Nicole Rolser and Sarah Gregorius to interchange on the wings. Rolser was attacking with intent in the first half, linking up well with Natasha Dowie on the left hand side only for that attack to be thwarted. Seconds later the same pair combined, this time with Rolser on the right, but Dowie just missed the cross.
 Gemma Bonner had a fantastic game at centre back, blocking Lincoln’s first shot on target before getting herself forward to cross to the lurking Amanda Da Costa in the box but Bardsley was first to the ball. 
 Lincoln really sat back and invited Liverpool to play, allowing our defence to play a very high line and to get forward to join the attack. Full backs Lucy Bronze and Corina Schroder linked up well for Schroder to shoot straight at the keeper. Whitney Engen also was able to hit a strike at the Lincoln goal from the edge of the box, only for her shot to be blocked.
 This was more like the Liverpool we had seen in the first half of the season, Louise Fors was next to have an attempt on goal with a fantastic dipping effort going narrowly over, the ever-lively Amanda Da Costa also forced a save from Bardsley. 
 Jess Clarke was one of Lincoln’s best player, Whitney Engen managed to limit her chances on goal. Clarke attempted a run into the Liverpool box, Engen shielded the ball from her for Rachel Laws to comfortably collect. 
 Captain Bonner had to leave the pitch for 5 minutes to have treatment for a head injury with Fara Williams stepping back into defence in her absence. This allowed Engen to go on a completely unchallenged run deep into the Lincoln half, her final pass was too far for Dowie. 
 Natasha had another chance seconds later following yet another Rolser run but this went just wide of the post. Liverpool somehow went in at half time leading by just a goal. 
 Back out for the second half Lincoln appeared to be looking to press more and get the ball forward, searching for the equaliser. Once they had this with new signing Courtney Sweetman scoring past Laws, Lincoln seemed content to sit back and wait for penalties. 
 Undettered Liverpool continued to play an attacking game, Amanda Da Costa with a run this time passing to Williams who couldn’t keep the ball down and put it into the stands. 
 Chances then at both ends with Sweetman forcing a good save from Laws at close range and Da Costa for us with a low drive that Bardsley dived to save. 
 Katrin Omarsdottir was brought on by Matt Beard, replacing Sarah Gregorius – Louise Fors moving onto the wing. 
 With 20 minutes to go of normal time, Liverpool peppered Bardsley goal – who was in inspired form producing a hat trick of saves. First she saved Dowie’s header, then a thundering Williams strike and Louise Fors’ goal bound effort following some silky skills on the edge of the box.
 With 5 minutes of normal time to play Halton nearly had cause to celebrate, Fors and Da Costa impressively passing the ball between them to set up Natasha Dowie for a strike that half the stadium thought was in but again Bardsley made the save. 
 The last play of normal time saw Liverpool throw everyone forward but Schroder for a free kick, Bonner was the player to get on the end of it but her shot sailed over the crossbar.
 Onto 30 minutes of extra time then, Liverpool picked up were they left off. A controversial offside decision was given against Natasha Dowie who had found space in the 18 yard box.
 Fara Williams was the catalyst of the majority of Liverpool’s attack in extra time with some fine balls into the box, first for Dowie who just couldn’t get her head to the ball then Shroder who was offside. 
 Player of the match Amanda Da Costa had another goal bound strike saved by Bardsley before Williams seen her long range effort go the wrong side of the post. At this point Lincoln had every player back – at one point every players bar Laws was in the Lincoln half. 
 With 1 minute to go both Williams and Dowie had strikes saved and we were onto the dreaded penalties.
 Louise Fors, Gemma Bonner, Fara Williams and Natasha Dowie all stepped up to take the Liverpool penalties, unsure of who the 5th penalty taker would have been as both Amanda Da Costa and Katrin Omarsdottir seemed to be in the mix. 
 Lincoln’s Casey Stoney scored first before Williams leveled the score. Remi Allen scored next for the Imps sending Rachel Laws the wrong way. Bardsley then saved Natasha Dowie’s penalty while Lincoln’s Walton missed hers. Bardsley saved again from Louise Fors before Jess Clarke scored making it 3-1 to the Imps. Liverpool Captain Gemma Bonner then stepped up, scoring her penalty for it to go 3-2 and keeping us in the shootout. Carla Cantrell then scored to make it 4-2 to Lincoln and to send us out of the competition.
 Liverpool Ladies should not be disheartened by this result, they put on a fantastic fight and it is heartbreaking to be knocked out in this fashion. Best of luck to Lincoln in the final.
 Liverpool team: Laws, Bronze, Bonner (C), Engen, Schroder, Williams, Fors, Gregorius (Omarsdottir), Rolser, Da Costa, Dowie
 POTM Amanda Da Costa, never stopped running for the full 120 minutes. Close second would be Fara Williams and a special shout out to Lincoln keeper Karen Bardsley for save after save after save!
 Thanks for reading and following the match updates this evening – the twitter gained over 50 followers tonight so welcome to anyone new reading this! 
 Next up for Liverpool we have a top of the table clash away at Bristol Academy. Won’t be at the game but it is on BT Sport so you can expect the usual match preview/ live tweeting/ match report. Thanks again!

Match Preview: Liverpool Ladies vs Lincoln Ladies

 After topping our group following a resounding 4-0 victory over Chelsea Ladies in the last Continental Cup game, Liverpool Ladies host Lincoln Ladies in the Semi Final at Halton Stadium on Wednesday 7th August.

 Liverpool’s cup run so far has seen two victories, the previously mentioned 4-0 away at Chelsea and a 1-0 win over Doncaster Belles at Halton, and one draw against Everton Ladies. The Everton game being our first competitive fixture this season, the Ladies were unlucky not to take all 3 points.
 Against expectations Lincoln made it out of a very tough group, first off they fought it out against Arsenal at home to take a share of the points. Next up for the Lady Imps was a 1-0 victory over WSL leaders Bristol Academy and in their final group game they again drew 1-1, this time their opponents being Birmingham City.
 Both teams lost their opening game of the second half of the season, Lincoln went 2-0 down with a goal either side of half time from Birmingham’s Mel Lawley. Lincoln did pull a goal back, former Liverpool striker Lillie Billson with a perfect pass to set up Carla Cantrell for the game to finish 2-1 to Birmingham.
 Liverpool disappointingly also lost at home to a vibrant Arsenal side who looked hungry for goals. 2-0 down at half time, Natasha Dowie unluckily had a second half penalty saved by the Arsenal keeper. Jordan Nobbs scored her second and Arsenal’s third with a well taken strike.
 Matt Beard handed Liverpool debut’s to new signings Sarah Gregorius and Kate Longhurst. Both looked bright after their introduction, Longhurst in particular impressed wearing the number 7 shirt. Another of Liverpool’s new signings made the bench for the game, young attacking midfielder Katie Zelem.
 Lincoln have also added to their attack force over the break with 3 new strikers – Courtney Sweetman-Kirk, Aileen Whelan and ex-Red Lillie Billson. These added to Lincoln’s brilliant Jess Clarke and frontwoman Cantrell means they should score a few more goals during the second half of the season.
 In our last head to head game Liverpool ran out 3-2 winners. The reds dominated the game for large periods with Natasha Dowie and Louise Fors both having a great game and scoring a goal each. Natasha also scored the only goal in a 1-0 victory over the Imps back in the first league game of the season.
 Lincoln will be a tough team to beat, but Liverpool will be desperate to put the Arsenal defeat behind them and progress to the Cup Final – which will be played Friday 4th October.
 Kick off is at 7:30pm. Anfield season ticket holders get in for free, while Adult tickets are priced just £5 and concessions at £2.50. Tickets available on the gate. 
 Thanks for reading!

Match Report: Liverpool Ladies 0 – 3 Arsenal Ladies

 Of all the results discussed prior to this game, a 3-0 defeat was not one I was expecting. It is a disappointing result to start the second half of the season with, but I have no doubt the Ladies can pull it back and – ahead of Bristol’s game today against Everton – we still top the table on goal difference.

 Arsenal had played a couple of friendlies in the lead up to the second half of the season and were far quicker out of the blocks than Liverpool. Their quick passing and through balls through the middle cutting through our midfield, Gemma Davison in particular impressing for the Gunners. Arsenal’s defence kept our attacking players quiet throughout. They limited our shots but there were a few bright moments during the first half for Liverpool. First – with the score level, Gemma Bonner’s free kick found Whitney Engen in the 18 yard box who headed it on for Natasha Dowie who shot just wide. Following that Engen made a great interception starting a Liverpool attack which saw Nicole Rolser’s strike again off target. Arsenal’s Danielle Carter then missed a sitter at the other end, Liverpool’s relief was short lived as Jordan Nobbs put Arsenal ahead. Ten minutes before half time Alex Scott doubled Arsenal’s lead to send Liverpool in at the break down by two goals to nil.
 Liverpool looked revitalised upon beginning the second half, for the 10 or so minutes we dominated possession creating chances and driving the ball forwards but were unable to capitalise on this. Katrin Omarsdottir came on replacing Jess Holbrook and made an impact, immediately making a difference and providing a bit more muscle in our midfield. Liverpool were awarded a penalty which Natasha Dowie stepped up to take, unfortunately it wasn’t Dowie’s night in front of goal and despite a well taken penalty it was well saved by Emma Byrne. The fantastic Jordan Nobbs then scored a great goal for her second of the game and Arsenal’s third. New signings Sarah Gregorius and Kate Longhurst made their Liverpool debuts in front of the 746 strong crowd, Longhurst in particular looked great when she came on. 
POTM has to go to Arsenal’s Jordan Nobbs who was brilliant throughout. For a Liverpool player it would be between Whitney Engen and Lucy Bronze, with Engen perhaps having the slightest of edges on her team mate with a number of great interceptions which prevented the scoreline from being more than what it was.
 We will bounce back from this result, as it stands now we still top the table on goal difference. Arsenal are 5 points behind us but with two games in hand, we really need Everton to beat Bristol Academy tomorrow but even then that would see Everton just 4 points behind us with the same number of games played! It certainly makes the league more interesting. 
 The Ladies are next in action Wednesday night, we have a huge game against Lincoln Ladies in the Continental Cup Semi Final. As we topped our group we will host the game at Halton Stadium, the game kicks off at 7:30pm and I will have a match preview up for this in the next few days!
Thanks for reading @LFCLadiesFans

Reds Weekly Round Up! Week 7

 It’s been a long 8 weeks since we played our last league game against Birmingham City. Tomorrow night we play Arsenal Ladies at Halton Stadium, Widnes in a 7pm KO that will be screened live on BT Sport.

 Here is the final weekly round up (until the end of the season);

  • Fara Williams was in last Sunday’s Mirror commenting on the upcoming Arsenal game and the disappointment of crashing out of the Euros early.

    “I’ve felt very low since we went out of the Euros, but being back with my Liverpool team mates has given me a big lift.”

    “We had a massive boost from beating Arsenal at their place, and if we can do it again on Saturday that will give us the confidence to go on and win the league.”

  • Louise Fors has been updating her website this week, giving it a makeover in time for the second half of the season! The blogs are a great insight to what it’s like living in Liverpool and playing for the club, I really recommend that you go and check out a few of them.

    Louise Fors’ Official Website 

  • Last week there were rumours of a number of Liverpool players leaving the club, one of those has been confirmed this week as Hannah Keryakoplis who has gone to play for Stoke. Hannah made her debut for the Potters this week and scored on her debut.

    Keryakoplis was our joint top scorer last season and made 18 appearances. However this season has found opportunities limited. Good luck at Stoke Hannah!

  • Liverpool Ladies first game back against Arsenal will be shown live on new channel BT Sport, if you have BT Broadband this channel is free and you can subscribe by going to channel 413.

    Full details on how to get BT Sport are here:

    Anyone unable to watch BT Sport I am sure there will be a live stream link and will share that as soon as I find one on Twitter!

  • Today came the news that at the end of the season defender Whitney Engen will leave Liverpool for Swedish side Tyreso FF. There she will join a number of previous and international team mates. There are conflicting reports on Twitter as to whether this is purely over the off-season or a permanent deal.

    Tyreso put an official statement on their website, which when translated by Google gave us gems such as “American country impact jaw Whitney Engen is ready for the club”. Luckily Katja (@applessqabbles on Twitter) has translated this again for us so it makes a little more sense, you can find that here: Tyreso statement

Thanks for reading this weeks weekly round up, hope to see you at Halton tomorrow night!

PS One last thing, the latest issue of LFC magazine is duo out next week and should feature Amanda Da Costa’s regular column.