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!

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