Match Report: Liverpool 2 – 0 Bristol Academy

 This season the Liverpool Ladies have been nothing short of outstanding, fantastic team spirit and performances meant they went into this final day battle with Bristol Academy needing only a point to be crowned Champions.

 Bristol got us underway and it was a nervy opening from both sides, Fara Williams had the first chance of the game but her shot went over the crossbar.

 Natasha Dowie and Nicole Rolser were really linking up well on the left side, playing neat one-twos and creating a few chances. Rolser cut straight through the middle of the Bristol midfield at one point but the return pass from Dowie was cut out.

 The Vixens brought a vocal travelling ‘Smurf Army’ who can be proud of their teams goalkeeper, Siobhan Chamberlain the sole reason the final scoreline was less than what it could of been with a string of fine saves – including a fingertip save from Rolser that many believed was in.

 After a lot of Liverpool pressure the Bristol defence started to creak, Fara Williams seen a strike hit the post. The frustrated defence then produced simutaneous fouls, nothing came from the first free kick however Nicole Rolser was then brought down in the box.

 Liverpool are lucky to have a penalty taker like Louise Fors in the team, cool under pressure the super Swede stepped up to make it one-nil to the reds.

 Following the Liverpool goal Bristol were re-motivated, only 3 points for them would win the league. Laura Del Rio cheekily attempted lobbing Rachael Laws. An attempt that went close but thankfully wide.

 For the first 5-10 minutes of the second half, Bristol were pushing on trying to break through the rock solid defence of Whitney Engen and Gemma Bonner. The duo sat tight and did a brilliant job keeping Bristol’s Spanish duo of Natalia and Del Rio quiet.

 The game was mostly being fought in the middle of the park, Katrin Omarsdottir and Fara Williams managed to keep on top controlling the battle. Amanda Da Costa again proving to be the most determined player on the pitch and again giving 110% in the red shirt.

 In the final 20 minutes, the chances flowed for Liverpool. Natasha Dowie and Amanda Da Costa seen headers just wide of the post, while an offside was given against Dowie when she was through on goal which I’m not too sure of – I haven’t seen any replays yet!

 Katrin Omarsdottir then scored to make it 2-0 to Liverpool and put us firmly in the driving seat, Katrin had had an earlier chance at a corner but was unlucky not to be able to control her header. Natasha Dowie provided the assist with a brilliant knock back from a free kick.

 During the final 10 minutes goal-scorer Louise Fors, Corina Schroder and Fara Williams made way for Sarah Gregorius, Becky Easton and Jess Holbrook and Liverpool held their resolves to win the win by 36 points – a new record in the WSL.

 Liverpool’s performance on the day deserved a bigger goal margain, but again credit to Siobhan Chamberlain who has been fantastic for Bristol all season.

 POTM Nicole Rolser

 Laws, Schroder (Easton), Bonner (c), Engen, Bronze, Omarsdottir, Williams (Holbrook), Fors (Gregorius), Da Costa, Rolser, Dowie

 Attendance today was 2,165 – absolutely amazing & our record crowd! Hopefully the majority will be back next season.

 This season has flown by – particulary the second half. I have had an incredible time running this blog, the twitter and writing for This Is Anfield. Thank you to everyone who reads and follows! Do stick with me throughout the off-season, although the Ladies season is over I’ll be bringing you news from the international games – Sarah Gregorius and New Zealand have a huge game against Whitney Engen’s USA and England also have another World Cup Qualifer coming up which hopefully will have some of our players involved. Whitney is also off to Sweden to play for Tyreso so will be bringing you her results from there!

 The End of Season review will be online over the next week, unfortunately last night my laptop died (which is why I’m now sat in the Uni library, Bonner shirt on and Engen’s boots next to me typing this up) but I will have it on as soon as it’s done! If you haven’t already then do vote for your Player of the Season, so far the frontrunners are Natasha Dowie, Nicole Rolser, Lucy Bronze and Whitney Engen.

 Thank you again, see you next season!


Press Conference: Liverpool Ladies v Bristol Academy

 Usually a couple of days before the game I post a match preview on this blog, for this game however you can find my match preview on This Is Anfield and a shorter version on Empire Of The Kop!

 Instead of the usual match preview on here then, I am going to post a transcript of this afternoons press conference from Melwood with Matt Beard, Amanda Da Costa and Whitney Engen.

Q: Matt, you only need a point to win the Women’s Super League title but knowing your philosophy you’ll be bound to win this game – won’t you?
Matt Beard: Yeah of course, I think it would be a dangerous game plan if we go out and set up not to get the 3 points. There is a lot at stake on the day and we’ll be prepared and going for the win. 
Q: People have to remember that you inherited a team that was bottom of the league, now you’re on the verge of the title. What do you put this incredible transformation down to?
MB: The players more than anything else. We give the players a structure and as a group, with me and the staff, there’s a lot of communication with us and the players. The players deserve the credit because they are the ones that cross that white line and produce some of the performances they have produced this year and it’s been a pleasure to watch.
Q: Amanda, how important going into this game is it to know that you have already qualified for the Champions  League next season?
Amanda Da Costa: Right now our focus is solely on the game and winning the league, Champions League is an extra bonus but we’re hoping we’ll be able to celebrate it all at the end of the season. One thing at a time and right now Sunday is our goal.
Q: Whitney, the team spirit has been spoken about many a time this season. How big a factor is that in your success so far?
Whitney Engen: I think it’s a really important factor especially in women’s football. We came in early this year and spent a lot of time together as a team, we’ve really developed a strong bond. It’s easy for teams to say ‘we fight for each other’ and ‘we believe in each other’, this is actually a team that I have been on that that actually rings true and we do fight for each other. It’s been a lot of fun to be able to experience that. 
Q: Matt, I know you’re good friends with the Bristol manager Mark Sampson, have you exchanged any banter with him ahead of this one?
MB: We had a conversation yesterday, but no we’ve got to focus on Sunday. I’m sure we’ll have one or two words after the game. It’s going to be an exciting game for both of us and without the pressure now with both having qualified for the Champions League, we can just concentrate on winning the game. 
Q: Matt, how important is the title for the club, as the club is now one entity, how important is it for Liverpool to win this title?
MB: Our targets at the start of the year were to finish in the top half of the table and build for the second year. So for us to be where we are is a good achievement because obviously we’re in this business to win trophies and to win football matches so I think it’s important for me, the staff, the players and especially the club as well. 
Q: How integral has that investment at the start of the season been for the success this season?
MB: It’s been fantastic, the resources of coming here [Melwood] at times and the manager’s allowed me to come and watch the first team train so that’s helped my development. We’ve got great facilities at the Academy and we’ve got the resources from people behind the scenes which goes unnoticed a little bit, but it’s fantastic it is a one club mentality. It’s not them and us, everyone works together.
Q: Amanda, did you follow last weeks Doncaster-Bristol game?
ADC: Yeah, I think we all were keeping an eye on it and again we know regardless we have one more game left in this season, it wouldn’t be a complete season without this game coming up. Football’s a funny game with strange things at times and we’re fortunate to still be in this position and ready to get a win on Sunday.
Q: Matt, obviously you’ve got some key players involved in a World Cup qualifier for England tonight including leading scorer Natasha Dowie and inspirational captain Gemma Bonner. For you is that a case of fingers crossed they will come back fine for Sunday?
MB: Yeah a little bit! We’ve had 8 away over the last week and this week, the preparation has been a little disjointed. Hopefully everyone gets through their games tonight and we’ll regroup on Saturday morning to focus and prepare for the game on Sunday.
Q: Whitney, you obviously earlier on in the season before you began the campaign had the opportunity to go with the squad to  Melwood, to meet Brendan Rodgers, Steven Gerrard and train with the first team. How much of a big experience was that for you all?
WE: I actually didn’t get to partake in that, I was away on international duty with the national team but in speaking with the girls it was a phenomenal opportunity. Especially being welcomed into this club and it really gave us the confidence that Liverpool was behind the women’s team and that we are one club. From speaking with the girls it was a phenomenal experience and definitely one that I am sorry to have missed out on. 
Q: Coming over to Liverpool from America at the start of the season, along with Amanda, how incredible a season has it been for you – has it in many ways exceeded your expectations?
WE: I would say that I expected it to be a great season, a great team especially with what was being put together behind the scenes at Liverpool. So I wouldn’t say that it has exceeded my expectations but I would say that my expectations have been met, I knew that this would be a team that was going to be able to compete for a title and that’s something that I wanted to be part of and I have had a phenomenal time in my experience here.
Q: Matt, when you consider Arsenal have dominated for a long time, how much credit do you feel yourselves and Bristol deserve for setting up what is perhaps the most exciting finish to a Women’s Super League season?
MB: It’s been an interesting season, there’s been a lot of changes. Arsenal lost their manager, we’ve invested heavily and Bristol year in and year out seem to progress as a football club on and off the pitch. I’m not surprised Bristol are where they are, they’ve got a fantastic goal scorer in Sanchon so if you look at our goal scoring record this year and the amount of players that have scored goals, I think that’s been an important factor for both teams that we’ve got players that can score goals.
Q: There is one player, Amanda, that can score goals – Natasha Dowie, 19 goals in 20 appearances. That’s pretty phenomenal?
ADC: Yeah she’s done amazing things for this team and credit to her she just keeps getting better and better every game. Part of that has to do with the team as a whole getting used to each other, when we came in no one knew each other. We were all different, at least Whitney and I especially because we’re not from England but we’ve done a great job gelling together and it definitely shows every single game. [Natasha] is getting better, we all are getting better and she’s done big things for us this year.
Q: The first team are playing this Sunday at 4pm, for those Liverpool fans not travelling to Sunderland if they were to come down and support what would that mean to you all?
ADC: It would mean the world to us, we’ve worked incredibly hard this season and we have amazing fans that come and support us every single game. Halton is a pretty big stadium, it doesn’t feel that big when we’re out there and we have that support so we’re looking to bring The Kop to Halton. Hopefully everyone can come out and support us it would be amazing and a good end to the season.

International Reds

 Before the season finale next Sunday against Bristol Academy, a few Liverpool Ladies are away with their national teams.

 England have Fara Williams, Lucy Bronze, Gemma Bonner and Natasha Dowie amongst their ranks while Sarah Gregorius is away with New Zealand.

 Below is the schedule for these games;
 Saturday 21st September 

 England v Belarus, World Cup Qualifier
 1pm KO, Goldsands Stadium, Bournemouth
 Sunday 22nd September

 Brazil v New Zealand, Valais Cup
 3:30pm KO, Stade de Lussy, Chatel-St-Denis

 Thursday 26th September
 England v Turkey, World Cup Qualifier 
 7:05pm KO, Fratton Park, Portsmouth
 *New Zealand will also play a second game on Wednesday 25th September, the time and opposition are TBC
 For more information on the Valais Cup click here.

Liverpool Ladies: Road to The Champions League

 Earlier today The FA announced that due to Arsenal Ladies fielding an unregistered player during their 3-0 league win over us in August, they were to be deducted 3 points. This means Liverpool Ladies and Bristol Academy have both qualified for the 2014/ 2015 UEFA Women’s Champions League ahead of the title showdown on Sunday 29th September.

 Here are 5 key moments from Liverpool’s season that have led to Champions League qualification for the first time in our history:
 Winter Signings
 Liverpool’s winter signings showed a real statement of intent from the club as they invested in many top class players. 
 Just two days after last seasons final day defeat to Doncaster Belles, the club announced the signing of US international Whitney Engen. Engen is a world class central defender and following her move to Liverpool has forced her way into contention for the US Women’s National Team starting 11.
 A week later Liverpool released 10 players and began the rebuild, first signing Engen’s centre back partner-to-be Gemma Bonner from Chelsea and then launching a raid on local rivals Everton. Making the move across Merseyside was England international Fara Williams, Becky Easton, Lucy Bronze and Natasha Dowie
 Over the following months Liverpool captured the talents of European players including Swedish star Louise Fors, Icelandic Katrin Omarsdottir and German duo Corina Schroder and Nicole Rolser.
 Amanda Da Costa and Jess Holbrook completed the summer transformation and Liverpool were ready for a new challenge in the WSL.
 Arsenal Ladies 0 – 4 Liverpool Ladies

 Liverpool travelled to Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium a couple of weeks after the Gunners knocked them out of The FA Cup at Anfield. 
 With the scores level at 0 – 0, Whitney Engen produced a fine goal line clearance to prevent Arsenal taking the lead. Fellow American Amanda Da Costa scored either side of half time, her first a brilliant strike from outside the box after switching the ball onto her left foot. 
 Louise Fors and Natasha Dowie also scored during the second half, causing Arsenal’s first league defeat in almost 2 years and many to question whether Arsenals reign at the top of women’s football was coming to an end. 
 Bristol Academy 3 – 4 Liverpool Ladies

 Liverpool’s Champions League hopes took a slight hit following the mid-season break, Arsenal appearing to hit form at just the right time and Bristol sat top of the table after beating Everton 3-2 the weekend before.
 Despite having the better chances of the two teams Liverpool fell a goal behind, Nicole Rolser then won a penalty after being pushed in the box which Louise Fors confidently slotted past Siobhan Chamberlain. Rolser herself then scored the equaliser on the brink of half time.
 Katrin Omarsdottir gave Liverpool a 2-goal cushion early in the second half with a thundering strike that went in off the crossbar. Unfortunately Bristol were able to pull the score level, Spanish duo Laura Del Rio and Natalia grabbing a goal each.
 Into the final 10 minutes it was Liverpool’s Captain Fantastic Gemma Bonner who popped up with the crucial winner (and the FAWSL’s August Goal of the Month) to gift the reds those all important 3 points and take us back to the top of the league.
 Doncaster Belles 0 – 9 Liverpool Ladies

 With Arsenal closing in on our goal difference after a couple of tight 4-3 victories for Liverpool, this 9-0 thrashing of the Belles set the goal difference advantage firmly back in Liverpool’s court.
 7-0 up at half time with goals from Gemma Bonner, Louise Fors, a double from Fara Williams and the first of two league hat tricks for leading goal scorer Natasha Dowie. 
 Easing up slightly after the second half, Nicole Rolser added to her tally for the season and summer signing Kate Longhurst scored her first Liverpool goal to complete the rout.
 Liverpool Ladies 4 – 2 Everton Ladies
 A Merseyside derby is always a special occasion, but this victory was extra sweet sending Liverpool into the final game of the season against Bristol knowing a draw or a win would see us crowned Women’s Super League Champions for the first time.
 Natasha Dowie’s superb hat trick and a thundering header from Gemma Bonner secured the 3 points for Liverpool.
 At this point their was still an outside chance that we would not make the Champions League, if on the final day of the season Bristol beat us 2-0 and Arsenal won 5-0 at Everton then Liverpool would finish 3rd in the league and outside of the European spots.
 Today’s news then means that both Liverpool and Bristol are guaranteed Champions League football for 2014/ 15 and the final game of the season will be the title decider.
 Liverpool Ladies vs Bristol Academy will be played at the Select Security Stadium, Widnes (otherwise known as Halton Stadium). Anfield ST holders get free entry to all Ladies home games, alternatively Adult tickets are £5, Concessions £2.50 and children get in free with a paying adult.
 Thanks for reading, it’s been a great season for Liverpool Ladies and no matter what happens on the final day of the season Liverpool need to be congratulated on their fantastic effort and commitment this season.

Match Report: Liverpool Ladies 4 – 2 Everton Ladies

 Liverpool Ladies went into this game in pole position in the FA Women’s Super League, 6 points from the final two games would see us crowned Champions of England for the first time.

 Liverpool kicked the game off with both sides eager to get off to a good start. Fara Williams saw an early strike tipped over the bar while Natasha Dowie was almost handed a goal by the Everton keeper, Rachael  Brown spilling the ball into the path of the oncoming Dowie but she recovered well.
 Despite the early chances it was Everton who took the lead, Jill Scott doing well to turn inside the box and set up Nikita Parris who’s curling effort sent Laws the wrong way.
 Liverpool had an equaliser moments later, Natasha Dowie leveling the score. The cross came to Dowie from the right, one look at goal and she audaciously chipped the ball over Brown who had come well off her line.
 After the equaliser Liverpool began to settle into the rhythm of the game, our midfield trio of Amanda Da Costa, Fara Williams and Katrin Omarsdottir controlling the middle of the park. Da Costa in particular who’s work rate during 90 minutes is impressive and she has been unlucky this season not to add to her 2 goal tally.
 Lucy Bronze put in another great performance at right back, surely working her way into contention for a place in the England starting 11. Bronze was up and down the wing for the full 90 minutes, sending cross after cross into the box. One of Bronze’s runs seen her end in the 18 yard box but the final ball couldn’t reach Dowie and was cleared for a corner.
 Nicole Rolser then made a run down the left, before cutting in and passing to Da Costa who’s strike was off target. Rolser then almost set up Dowie, Liverpool displaying some great passing football with the move starting from the back; Whitney Engen hitting the ball up field to Fors who found Katrin, she passed to Rolser who was dispossessed but quickly won back possession to hit the through ball to Dowie but it was unfortunately intercepted. The ball fell to Louise Fors who battled her way through a number of blue shirts but Brown collected.
 Liverpool won a couple of corners in quick succession half an hour into the game, the second of which was deemed to have been hand balled by Whitney Engen for an Everton free kick.
 Following the free kick Liverpool were quick to win back possession. Lucy Bronze again with the run to the half way line, onto Rolser who sent Corina Schroder into the box. Schroder crossed the ball to the incoming Dowie on the edge of the 18 yard box to put Liverpool ahead.
 Everton were struggling to get close to the Liverpool box and instead decided to try their luck from range, Paige Williams with the first and just before half time Nikita Parris scored a fantastic goal from 30 yards our to send the sides in 2-2 at half time.
 After disappointingly conceding on the stroke of half time, the reds came out fighting. Bronze won an early free kick but no one was on the end of the resulting Louise Fors cross.
 Everton’s Toni Duggan was kept quiet throughout by our defence, Duggan forced out wide and further up the pitch to get a touch of the ball.
 In contrast at the other end Blues keeper Brown was kept busy, first coming off her line to collect Dowie’s Da Costa bound header and then catching Fors’ ball aimed for Rolser. Rolser had another chance minutes later, Lucy Bronze setting her up in the box but her strike was straight at Brown.
 A few weeks ago Gemma Bonner was the hero with the crucial winning goal against Bristol. Tonight saw Liverpool Ladies’ Captain Fantastic again pop up with an important goal, Fara Williams’ perfectly taken corner powerfully headed into the back of the net to once more put Liverpool ahead.
 Liverpool continued to press and search for a fourth goal, Sarah Gregorius made her derby debut with 20 minutes to go, replacing Louise Fors. Gregorius was quickly thrown into the action – setting Da Costa up for a low hit hard drive that shot narrowly wide of the post.
  News filtered through that Bristol Academy had won against Birmingham City, further stressing the importance of a win for Liverpool in this game.
 Who else then but Liverpool’s prolific Natasha Dowie to finally give the reds a bit of breathing space and complete her hat trick. Dowie headed in Rolser’s cross proving her England call up was more than well-deserved and overdue. Natasha has now also scored an average of a goal a game with 13 goals in 13 league appearances.
 The 4-2 victory over our Merseyside rivals again sends us clears at the top of the league, our main competitors now for the title Bristol Academy sit 5 points behind in second with a game in hand.
POTM Natasha Dowie
Laws, Bronze, Bonner (C), Engen, Schroder, Omarsdottir, Williams, Rolser (Longhurst), Fors (Gregorius), Da Costa, Dowie
 The final day fixture against Bristol will be a title decider should they beat Doncaster in their game in hand. Liverpool vs Bristol is on Sunday 29th September, 2pm KO @ Halton Stadium.
 Thanks for reading and following @LFCLadiesFans tonight, the twitter page hit 1,000 followers this evening so welcome to anyone new who might have found this page!
SEASON REVIEW: During the mid season break I put a review up of the season so far, I am now gathering information for the full season review but I want your views! Over the next couple of weeks please either tweet me or comment below with the following: 1) Highlight of the Season, 2) Goal of the Season & 3) Player of the Season. For the Player of the Season at the midway point many different players were mentioned, if you think more than one player is deserving of a mention that’s fine all the votes will be added! Thank you!
Lastly it was a nice surprise to arrive at Halton last night and find myself in the match day programme, very surreal to see people around the ground reading about me!

Match Preview: Liverpool Ladies v Everton Ladies

 Since Liverpool Ladies last stepped out, Arsenal Ladies have played out two goal-less draws to hand advantage in the title race back to the red half of Merseyside. Liverpool go into the final two games of the season knowing that winning both will see them crowned Women’s Super League Champions and guarantee Champions League football in 2014.

 That said, the opponents the reds are due to take on in those two games are no easy task. First this Thursday our neighbours Everton pay a visit to Halton Stadium, Widnes while on the final day Bristol Academy will arrive for a game that could be a title decider.
 This will be the 3rd derby of the 2013 season, back in March the two teams fought to a 1-1 draw during the first competitive fixture of the campaign. A bitterly cold night in Widnes saw a cagey affair in which Louise Fors opened the scoring from the penalty spot before Nikita Parris grabbed an equaliser, giving Everton a share of the points in the Continental  Cup tie.
 The next time the sides met was back in June shortly before the European Championship induced break. After a scrappy opening Nicole Rolser put the reds ahead but again Everton were able to get a goal back through their captain Jill Scott.
 This time however Liverpool managed to pull themselves back in front, Louise Fors again scoring a derby goal to make it 2-1. Corina Schroder then scored her first – and to date only – Liverpool goal before Natasha Dowie added a fourth minutes from time.
 A shaky start to the second half of the season for Liverpool seen a home defeat in the league to Arsenal Ladies and an exit from the Continental Cup against Lincoln Ladies on penalties. Despite this Liverpool have gone on to win their last 5 matches, two thrilling yet narrow 4-3’s versus Bristol Academy and Chelsea Ladies. A 4-2 victory away at Birmingham City and two games against Doncaster Belles to conclude the 5 with a total of 11 goals scored and 0 conceded.
 In the last 5 games Liverpool have scored 23 goals, conceding 8. While in the last 3 they have scored 11 and conceded just 2. 
 Amongst the goals of course is brilliant striker Natasha Dowie. This week Dowie earned an overdue but well deserved call up to the England squad ahead of the World Cup Qualifiers later this month. Captain Gemma Bonner has also received a call up following her fine form and after winning the league’s August Goal of the Month, alongside Suarez-esqe (according to the WSL highlights commentator!) Lucy Bronze and Fara Williams.
 Liverpool’s two wide players Nicole Rolser and Louise Fors have been fantastic all season and have 20 goals between them. The duo are a constant attacking threat constantly switching wings and running rings around opposition defences.
 Goalkeeper Rachael Laws was dropped after the Cup defeat to Lincoln but after being recalled to the side a couple of games later, Laws put out a great performance last week against Doncaster to keep her second clean sheet in her last 3 starts.
 Everton Ladies have played 6 games this side of the season, winning just the once against Chelsea at home. In their first game back they were narrowly beaten 3-2 at home by  Bristol Academy, the blues were very unlucky not to take at least a point from the games and at times displayed great attacking movement.
 Two heavy defeats followed to Arsenal before the Chelsea win lifted the Blues spirits. Last week they lost 2-1 away to Birmingham and at the weekend were held at Doncaster’s Keepmoat Stadium to a 1-1 draw.
 Despite the poor run Everton have only failed to scored in 2 of the last 6 games and boast the services of England forward Toni Duggan up front.
 Recently they have lost excellent young keeper Lizzie Durack as she has left to go to college in the USA. No. 1 Rachel Brown-Finnis suffered an injury during the pre-match warm up at Birmingham meaning new signing Megan Walsh made her debut between the posts.

 With Everton looking to end their poor run and Liverpool spurred on by the fact winning this game puts them another step closer to the league title, as well as the small matter this is a Merseyside derby, this should be a great game between two sides both capable of winning and scoring goals.

 The game kicks off at 7:30pm at Halton Stadium, Widnes. Anfield ST holders have free entry to this and all Liverpool Ladies home games, alternatively Adult tickets are £5 and Concessions £2.50.

 The game is also live on BT Sport for anyone who can’t make it!

 Thanks for reading, make sure you follow @LFCLadiesFans for updates during the games.

Match Report: Liverpool Ladies 2 – 0 Doncaster Belles

 Goals either side of half-time gave Liverpool Ladies a well deserved win over the leagues bottom placed side Doncaster Belles. Louise Fors’ second half strike was also a record breaker, being Liverpool’s 39th of the WSL season it meant that we overtook Arsenal for most goals scored by a team in a single season – with two games to go!

 Despite their low league position Doncaster came out fighting, Sue Smith urging her team mates forward. Smith made an early run down the right wing, coming up against Liverpool left-back Corina Schroder who put the ball out for a throw from which Liverpool quickly gained possession.
 Liverpool began passing the ball around and shifted into second gear with a number of attacking plays, first Lucy Bronze’s ball found Natasha Dowie but the attack was cut off by the Doncaster defence. Fara Williams and Louise Fors then combined well but the ball was intercepted before it could reach Bronze who had made a great run. Schroder then hit a cross into the box attempting to find Nicole Rolser which keeper Nicky Davies came out to catch.
 Liverpool’s brilliant German was involved in the first goal minutes later, getting herself into a one-on-one position in the box she unselfishly squared the ball to Natasha Dowie who tapped the ball in from six yards for her 16th goal of the season.
 The reds (playing in white) had a great game defensively, which was great to see as before this game we had kept just 1 clean sheet out of 6. Captain Gemma Bonner in particular shone making a number of interceptions, most notably in the first half when Sue Smith tried to find Leandra Little.
 Goalkeeper Rachael Laws had a storming game between the posts, commanding her box well during set plays and corners and coming out for the ball. At one point after coming out for a corner Laws was challenged in the 6 yard box, requiring treatment while Liverpool prepared for a substitution. No sub was needed however and Laws was fine to continue. 
 It was thanks to Laws that Liverpool went in ahead at half-time, the keeper producing a number of good saves to keep the Belles out.
 Nastasha Dowie was unlucky not to get a second early in the second half, strongly holding off the Doncaster defender she turned and shot at goal but it was well caught by Davies.
 Doncaster began to really push for a goal. Sigworth made a mazy run through our half, Whitney Engen couldn’t catch her but Schroder did and put the ball out for a corner which was punched away by Laws for another corner which she caught. Rachael Laws did well again moments later when Sue Smith hit a free kick into the box, the keeper came well off her line to claim.
 Liverpool then had numerous chances from a hat-trick of corners. Two deliveries from Fors; one skimming the top of Katrin’s head and the other cleared only as far as Bronze, who passed the ball to Rolser but her shot went wide. Then from a Fara Williams corner Gemma Bonner went close.
 Amanda Da Costa showed her incredible work rate during the 90 minutes, at one point in the second half battling well to get the ball into the 18 yard box only to be unluckily dispossessed. Da Costa had a strike on target saved also, the ball came to her in space at the edge of the box but with a looming defender she hit straight at the keeper.
 It looked as though it was going to be another nervy ending at the Halton Stadium, however Lucy Bronze forced her way into the box through the defence to pull the ball back to Louise Fors. Fors’ first strike was parried back to her and she made no mistake with the second chance, scoring Liverpool’s second goal and sealing the 3 points for the reds. 
 During the second half injury time, Matt Beard introduced a three substitions – Kate Longhurst, Sarah Gregorius and Jess Holbrook who replaced Natasha Dowie, Nicole Rolser and Amanda Da Costa. 5 added minutes entailed but passed without incident and Liverpool went 5 points clear at the top of the table, ahead of Arsenal’s game tomorrow night vs Lincoln.
Team: Laws, Schroder, Engen, Bonner (C), Bronze, Omarsdottir, Williams (Holbrook), Rolser (Gregorius), Fors, Da Costa, Dowie (Longhurst)
POTM: Lucy Bronze won the twitter vote and had another fine game on the right. Rachael Laws for me is a very close second.
 Thanks for following the match updates on @LFCLadiesFans
 Next up for Liverpool Ladies, it’s the big one, it’s Derby Day! Next Thursday 12th September @ Halton Stadium, Widnes 7:30pm KO. Also live on BT Sport for those who can’t make it.
In non-match related news, the latest edition of the official LFC magazine is out now. It features midfielder Amanda Da Costa’s diary and this month also features an interview with myself! Having bought this magazine religiously since I was 10 this is very exciting for me and I hope it comes across ok!

Match Preview: Liverpool Ladies v Doncaster Belles

 On Sunday afternoon Liverpool Ladies played their final away game of the 2013 season and now embark on a run-in that consists of three home ties, starting with the visit of Doncaster Belles tomorrow night.

 These two sides met just under two weeks ago at Doncaster’s Keepmoat Stadium. Gemma Bonner gave Liverpool an early lead before the Belles had a player sent off and went on to concede 8 more goals, Liverpool running out 9-0 winners on the day.

 Alongside Bonner’s goal, leading goalscorer Natasha Dowie grabbed a first half hat trick to take her goals tally to 15 in 18 games this season while Nicole Rolser, Louise Fors, Fara Williams and Kate Longhurst scoring the rest.

 German midfielder Nicole Rolser has been on fire over the second half of the season, scoring 7 goals in her last 4 games – including a hat trick against Birmingham at the weekend. Rolser also set up Dowie’s winning goal in our last home game against Chelsea.

 Against Birmingham, Liverpool sprinted into a 4 goal lead and during the first half played some of the finest football, passing and moving the ball across the field with ease. This led to the free kick that Louise Fors brilliantly smashed past the blues keeper.

 During the second half Liverpool took their foot off the pedal a little, Birmingham capitalised on this and pulled 2 goals back but Liverpool held on and finished strongly to bring home another 3 points.

 Following our 9-0 win, Doncaster Belles picked themselves up and won for the first time this season, beating Lincoln Ladies 1-0. Next up for the Belles was Arsenal Ladies. Arsenal’s in-form forward Danielle Carter gave the Gunners the lead and Sue Smith equalised shortly after half time , however Arsenal went on to win the game 3-1. The last two results show the Belles have pulled themselves together following two heavy defeats.

 Despite the landslide scoreline on 24th August the Belles are definitely not a side to be taken lightly, more than capable of matching any side on the day.

 This game will be the last time we welcome Doncaster Belles to our home stadium in the league for at least a year. As mentioned in the last Doncaster preview, the Belles will be playing their football in the newly formed second tier of the WSL. The Belles and their noisy fans will be sorely missed next season.

 The game kicks off at 7:45pm at Halton Stadium, Widnes. Anfield ST holders have free entry to all Ladies home games, alternatively adult tickets are £5, concessions £2.50 and can be purchased on the gate.

 Thanks for reading, I will be at the game and updating from @LFCLadiesFans

Match Report: Birmingham City 2 – 4 Liverpool Ladies

 Liverpool Ladies capped an impressive away record in the FAWSL with a 4-2 victory at Birmingham City, making it 6 wins out of 7 on the road (not including the two FA Cup wins at Aston Villa and Sunderland).

 Birmingham started brightly creating a couple of opportunities for Melissa Lawley, who had played 70 minutes for England Under 19’s yesterday. The blues won an early free kick that was taken by Jo Potter but cleared with ease by Whitney Engen.
 Liverpool’s first attempt on goal came after 5 minutes however Fara Williams’ strike landed in the car park. The build up play before the shot was brilliant, with Gemma Bonner hitting a great ball to Nicole Rolser who pulled the ball back to Williams.
 Natasha Dowie then had a couple of chances, first shooting just wide of the post after being put through by Rolser and then only denied by good goalkeeping.
 Dowie then narrowly missed a Louise Fors cross minutes later, the ball instead reached the in-form Rolser who put Liverpool ahead from close range.
 Following the goal Liverpool really hit their stride, playing some of the most fantastic football which was pass and move at its finest. The fine run of play led to a Liverpool free kick, which super Swede Louise Fors superbly struck to beat the keeper – giving Liverpool a 2 goal cushion.
 Minutes later it was 3, Nicole Rolser again making a run into the 18 yard box. Her shot was deflected in off Birmingham’s Westwood but will go down as Rolser’s as it was going in anyway.
 After half time Liverpool came out playing as before the break, pressing high up the pitch. Nicole Rolser completed her hat trick to round off another super performance from the young German. The 4th goal also meant Liverpool have now scored 4 or more goals in no less than 9 games this season.
 Subsequently Liverpool took their foot off the pedal a little, Birmingham pulled a goal back immediately. Lucy Bronze nearly restored our lead back to 4 after cutting into the box from the right but her shot was saved.
 Birmingham continued to pile on the pressure throughout the second half, at one point forcing Rachel Laws to come way out of her box to clear. Birmingham scored a second goal on the 70th minutes to make it 4-2 to Liverpool.
 Liverpool used all 3 substitutions during the second half, with Jess Holbrook and Kate Longhurst coming on for Amanda Da Costa and Louise Fors. Becky Easton also replaced Corina Schroder and shortly after coming on made an excellent challenge to halt another Birmingham attack.
 The game tailed off towards the end of the 90 minutes, Natasha Dowie had the last chance of the game but her header went just wide.
 POTM: Nicole Rolser
 Liverpool team: Laws, Bronze, Bonner (c), Engen, Schroder (Easton), Omarsdottir, Williams, Fors (Longhurst), Rolser, Da Costa (Holbrook), Dowie
 Thanks for reading and following the match updates this afternoon. I do apologise for the lack of tweets during the second half but the reception at the ground was awful and I kept losing signal!
 Random moment of the day goes to bumping into Chelsea Ladies at an M6 service station. They were making their way home following a defeat to Everton. Had a great chat with Carly Telford swapping news from each game, Carly also thinks Arsenal will drop points during their 4 remaining games so let’s hope she is right!
 Next up for Liverpool Ladies is Doncaster Belles, we will face them on Wednesday 4th September at Halton Stadium, Widnes 7:45pm KO.