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!