Match Preview: Liverpool Ladies v Everton Ladies

 “We go again” has become something of a Liverpool Football Club mantra over the last couple of weeks. This week it most certainly applies to Liverpool Ladies as they prepare to face Everton Ladies on Wednesday night, just days after being knocked out of The FA Cup by their Merseyside rivals.

 Despite a spirited second half comeback from Liverpool, who were without 6 first team players through injury, Everton held on for their first derby win in over a year.

 In his programme notes before the game, Matt Beard mentioned that the injury Libby Stout picked up at Chelsea will keep her out for a week or two. Kate Longhurst also required a scan following the Chelsea game and it is unclear whether these players alongside Martha Harris will be back for Liverpool’s opening Continental Cup group game.

 There were a number of positives Liverpool can take from the game, most notably including the performance of several development squad players. Claudia Walker, Megan Alexander and Ellie Stewart all made their first-team débuts coming on at 2-0 down, Stewart joined Lucy Bronze and Gemma Bonner at the back as Liverpool switched to a more attacking formation.

 Alexander came on to play on the left, comfortable playing either at left-back or higher up the pitch, while Walker came on and immediately added to the Liverpool attack creating chances for herself and helping back in defence.

 Everton’s Nikita Parris looked lively throughout the 90 minutes, although as Everton defended their lead in the second half the new Everton number 9 found herself isolated up front and was dealt with effectively by the Liverpool defence.

 Everton duo Alex Greenwood and Gabby George also stood out, Greenwood grabbing the second blues goal and George standing strong in defence against the Liverpool assault in the second-half.

 Liverpool may now be out of The FA Cup, but they will be even more determined to progress further in the Continental Cup starting on Wednesday evening with Everton and then Saturday night when Sunderland Ladies will come to Widnes.

 The derby is on Wednesday 30th April, 6:30pm kick off. Entry to all cup games is free of charge for all Liverpool season ticket holders, otherwise it is just £5 adults and £2.50 concessions on the turnstiles.

 A couple of things to finish off, first of all a massive congratulations to Liverpool development squad who beat Aston Villa 3-1 away on Sunday afternoon to progress to the development cup final.

 Gemma Jackson, Olivia Wild, Ellie Stewart, Sophia Riccio, Megan Alexander, Mollie Green, Emilie Revitt, Grace Vella, Hannah Dale, Beth Donoghue and Claudia Walker all starred as the team came from behind to win. Becca Hillman and Eve Kennerley were second-half substitutes.

 After falling a goal behind Claudia Walker scored the reds equaliser, after playing the night before for the first-team alongside Stewart and Alexander, Beth Donoghue put the reds in front before Hannah Dale completed the scoring from the penalty spot. As soon as details are announced for the final, to be played against Arsenal Ladies, I will put them on twitter and I am hoping to be able to get to the final myself!

 Finally the PFA awards took place in London on Sunday night, with Liverpool Ladies dominating the women’s awards.

 First of all no less than SEVEN current Liverpool stars were named in the PFA WSL Team of the Year, with Lucy Bronze, Gemma Bonner, Martha Harris, Fara Williams, Nicole Rolser, Gemma Davison and Natasha Dowie all in the best of XI.

 Next up Martha Harris picked up the inaugural Young Player of the Year award before Lucy Bronze was named PFA Player of the Year. Huge congratulations to all!

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