Match Report: Liverpool Ladies 1 – 1 Birmingham City (Development Squad)

 Until the final whistle this game seemed to be going the same way as last weekends victory away at Sunderland, with a last minute winner surely on the way. Unfortunately for Liverpool they did everything but score a second goal.

 Liverpool started the game brightly, both Rebecca Hillman and Claudia Walker spotting early openings in the Birmingham defence and trying their luck from range.

 Ashley Hodson had another fine game up front and was extremely unlucky not to get on the scoresheet, an early run into the box only halted by the oncoming Birmingham keeper.

 Ellie Stewart has also been in great form so far this season, assured at the back when the defence is under pressure and dangerous when attacking the ball at corners – today going close with two headers.

 Both of the games goals came during the first half, Claudia Walker working well just behind Hodson cutting in from both wings and deservedly grabbing her fourth goal of the season.

 Birmingham’s goal was against the run of play, a long range effort caught Danielle Gibbons just off her line to equalise for the blues.

 Shortly before half-time and after nearly putting Liverpool back in the lead following a corner, Olivia Wild picked up a wrist injury that looked to be quite painful and was replaced by Emilie Revitt. Revitt coming on forced a change at the back, going to left-back meaning Sam Chappell moved across to right-back and Sophia Riccio to centre-back.

 With the teams out for the second half it was once again Liverpool controlling the game and dominating the possession, Birmingham set themselves up a bit more defensively attempting to catch us on the counter attack.

 Despite the Birmingham attacks being few and far between, reds keeper Danielle Gibbons produced a number of crucial saves. Doing well on one occasion to get down to her left to stop a goal-bound strike.

 Liverpool had many chances throughout the second half, Bethany Donoghue almost putting Katie Zelem through on goal, Emilie Revitt also with a brilliant cross into the box that only just skimmed the top of Ashley Hodson’s head.

 Holly Yates then came on for Donoghue as the chances kept on coming. Katie Zelem the driving force behind many of the Liverpool attacks, a pass to Hodson who’s cross went just behind Yates and then unlucky not to find Hillman with a low pass on the edge of the box.

 With 5 minutes to play Liverpool continued to press but to no avail, the second goal simply not coming. Zelem this time on the end of a couple of chances, first with a shot intercepted and then heading over.

 In the final minutes it was Hodson who almost claimed the late winner, the ball coming to her just outside the six-yard box just a little too fast giving her no time to control it and the shot over the crossbar.

 Team: Gibbons (C), Chappell, Stewart, Riccio, Wild (Revitt), Dale, Zelem, Donoghue (Yates), Hillman, Walker, Hodson

 POTM: Danielle Gibbons

 Liverpool will be disappointed to not have won all 3 points this afternoon but should not be disheartened by their fighting performance. Today was the final time this year Liverpool will play at home, next Sunday they are back away at Sunderland before breaking over Christmas. The next home fixture will be against Doncaster Belles on 2nd February 2014, for full fixtures and results click here & follow @LFCLadiesFans on Twitter for any news between now and then!

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Match Report: Liverpool Ladies 6 – 2 Durham WFC (Development Squad)

 Prior to this cup tie, Liverpool Ladies Development Squad had played 3 games – winning 2 and losing 1 away to Notts County in their last outing. Looking to bounce back with a win over Durham and with a strong starting 11, full-back Olivia Wild one of the players not featuring however due to being at St Georges Park.

 This was the 2nd cup game for the reds this season, they beat Manchester City 1-0 away on 13th October and they continued their cup form with a great display which included 6 goals scored by 6 different goalscorers. 
 After getting slightly lost trying to find our way to the stands, a different entrance to watching the first team play, we missed the first few minutes including an early injury to Sophia Riccio. Riccio looked in some pain and was replaced by Shannon Beckwith, hopefully the injury wasn’t as bad as it looked. 
 Liverpool were attacking with intent and looked hungry for goals, so far this season the team had scored 5 goals in 3 games. Katie Zelem took a free kick that hit the wall, hit back into the box the ball went out for a corner kick and the resulting corner was put in by Beckwith who had been on the pitch only a couple of minutes. 
 Following the goal Durham mounted an attack that broke down when Samantha Chappell was fouled in the 18-yard box, goalkeeper Danielle Gibbons took the free kick that led to the attack in which Bethany Donoghue doubled Liverpool’s lead to 2-0.
 Showing no signs of sitting back to defend the lead, Liverpool continued to press forward and quickly extended the lead to 3. Center-back Ellie Stewart took a free kick that thwarted the Durham keeper to end up in the back of the net, despite the fact it wasn’t actually a strike it was a great first Liverpool goal for Stewart. 
 Liverpool’s defence dealt well with the Durham attack, before unfortunately conceding a penalty and Durham débutante Stacy Crooks sent Gibbons the wrong way to pull a goal back. 
 Just before half-time former Claudia Walker scored her 3rd goal in 4 games to re-extend the reds lead to 3 goals.
 Throughout the 2nd half it was mostly Liverpool pressure, slightly more settled than the first-half the reds had shot after shot on the Durham goal blocked or saved by the keeper. There were also some fantastic crosses into the box, Ashley Hodson almost got onto the end of one early in the 2nd half, her shot blocked the ball fell to Walker who shot wide.
 Megan Alexander had an impressive second half on the left, first with a great run which was only halted with a fine sliding tackle. Alexander then came close to scoring twice, through on goal her first strike was punched away by the keeper and her second cleared off the line. 
 Ashley Hodson was another player who was a constant attacking threat, her cross across the 6-yard box to Donoghue was just missed by the former Blackburn Rovers midfielder. Donoghue also saw a low drive from the edge of the box saved. 
 Both players got themselves onto the scoresheet as the Durham defence fell apart, Alexander with the 5th and Hodson the 6th after sliding the ball past the oncoming goalkeeper. 
 Durham had a couple of chances late in the game, Crooks did add a second consolation goal injuring Gibbons in the process and Katie Zelem was unlucky not to get herself a goal. Zelem’s injury time strike over the crossbar.
 A great all-round team performance from the reds, six different goal scorers speaks for itself and many more players could have grabbed themselves goals – especially during the second half. 
 Next Sunday Liverpool travel to Sunderland for their 3rd league game of the season, and 2 weeks today we will be back at Halton for another league game – this time vs Birmingham City and also a 2pm kick off.    
 Gibbons, Riccio, (Beckwith), Stewart, Chappell, Alexander, Dale (Vella), Rumsey, Donoghue, Zelem, Walker (Revitt), Hodson
 POTM: Megan Alexander, a particularly impressive 2nd half performance with a hat-trick of chances capped with a well taken strike.