MATCH PREVIEW: Chelsea Ladies v Liverpool Ladies

 This Sunday Liverpool Ladies travel to Staines to face Chelsea Ladies in their first away game of the WSL season. Midweek Liverpool and Chelsea were the only two teams to take all 3 points, making this an early top of the table clash.
 On Thursday evening Liverpool stretched their unbeaten run to 13 games against a determined Manchester City side. Kate Longhurst gave the reds the lead but the goal was disallowed after the referee deemed Longhurst had handled the ball in the build-up.
 It was Natasha Dowie who finally broke the deadlock in front of the 1,500 strong crowd, Lucy Bronze with great vision to pick out the strikers run and Dowie with a brilliant finish past the blues keeper.
Natasha Dowie celebrates her goal with Gemma Davison
 Amanda DaCosta returned to the starting line-up after missing out last Sunday in The FA Cup, with Martha Harris switching to right-back and Corina Schroder at left-back. Schroder had another great attacking game on the left wing, linking well with Gemma Davison who also impressed with her incredible pace. 
 Liverpool’s defence put in a solid shift, Gemma Bonner and Lucy Bronze effectively dealing with anything sent their way and goalkeeper Libby Stout with an outstanding performance between the posts in her league debut.
 In midfield Katrin Omarsdottir and Fara Williams held their own, the latter having a massive influence on the reds attacking movement in the first half. An early free kick from Williams was sent narrowly wide by Lucy Bronze.
Liverpool’s No. 1 Libby Stout
 On the same evening Chelsea Ladies beat Bristol Academy 2-0, both goals scored by Japanese World Cup winner Yuki Ogimi. The same two teams also faced each other in The FA Cup last weekend, new signing from Birmingham City Rachel Williams with the winning goal in that tie.
 Like Manchester City, Chelsea have strengthened their squad since the end of the 2013 season. Despite losing keeper Carly Telford, the blues have signed 8 new players including Arsenal duo Gilly Flaherty and Katie Chapman and attacking Dutch midfielder Jackie Groenen.
 Manchester City were a huge test for Liverpool midweek, Chelsea will be another just 3 days later. Liverpool’s squad has coped well despite losing Katie Zelem, Lucy Staniforth and Nicole Rolser through injury, with youth players more than capable of stepping up – 18-year old midfielder Hannah Dale made her league debut on Thursday night.
Liverpool Ladies development squad

 A couple of things to finish off, this weekend the development squad are away at Birmingham City on Sunday. The girls will be looking to bounce back from a tough 4-2 loss to Notts County last weekend.
 Today the PFA nominations were announced; Natasha Dowie, Lucy Bronze and Nicole Rolser have all been nominated for the prestigious Players’ Player of the Year, Bronze has also been nominated for Young Player of the Year alongside Martha Harris. Massive congratulations to all 4 players, the winners will be announced Sunday 27th April. Full nominations can be found here.
 Finally I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who follows and reads my blogs on Liverpool Ladies, when I started the twitter account 12 months ago I never imagined it would grow to be this big!
 The Chelsea game is not on television so for live updates please follow the official @LFCladies twitter or you can follow my tweets on the game from @LFCladiesfans as there are a few of us headed to Staines!
 Heather

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