Mid Season Review 2014

 After 1,122 miles, 9 games, 16 goals and a lot of chanting, welcome to @LFCladiesfans Mid Season Review! 

 Including: Fixtures & Results, Attendances & Goals, WSL, The FA Cup, Continental Cup, ‘… of the Season so far’ Awards and Development Squad Season Review.

Liverpool fixtures & results

13/04/14 (a) Sunderland Ladies     W 2 – 0     The FA Cup   attendance 308
17/04/14 (h) Manchester City     W 1 – 0     WSL   attendance 1572
20/04/14 (a) Chelsea Ladies     D 0 – 0     WSL   attendance 503
26/04/14 (h) Everton Ladies     L 2 – 0     The FA Cup   attendance 824
30/04/14 (h) Everton Ladies     D 0 – 0     Continental Cup   attendance 770
03/05/14 (h) Sunderland Ladies     W 6 – 0     Continental Cup   attendance 403
14/05/14 (a) Manchester City     L 2 – 1     Continental Cup   attendance 746
18/05/14 (a) Notts County Ladies     D 0 – 0     WSL   attendance 1071
24/05/14 (h) Birmingham City     D 1 – 1     WSL   attendance 477

click the team name above to read the match report from each game

Liverpool Ladies at Manchester City away
credit: @justaballgame

W 3 /  D 4  / L 2

Total attendances: 6,674
Average attendance: 742
Average home attendance: 809 (1,024 WSL games) 

The average home attendance of 809 is a massive increase on the average attendance at the midway point last season, which stood at 478 for games played in Widnes. It is however a slight drop on the average attendance at the end of the season, which was 861. (This figure does rise to 965 if you include the semi-final at Anfield.)

The average home attendance for WSL games at Select Stadium is 1,024, with teams like Arsenal Ladies, Chelsea Ladies and a league derby yet to come this figure should hopefully rise and it is a great number to build on going into the next round of games.

Liverpool goal scorers

Natasha Dowie   6   vs Sunderland x 4, Manchester City x 2
Martha Harris   1   vs Sunderland
Gemma Davison   1   vs Sunderland
Corina Schroder   1   vs Sunderland
Katrin Omarsdottir   1   vs Sunderland
Fara Williams   1   vs Birmingham City  

 Liverpool Ladies have scored 11 goals so far this season, conceding just 5. Libby Stout has kept 4 clean sheets from 6 appearances, Danielle Gibbons has 2 clean sheets in 3 starts and 1 from a substitute appearance at Chelsea.

 Natasha Dowie is of course Liverpool’s top scorer, Dowie now has 25 goals in 30 appearances overall for the reds.

Natasha Dowie scored a hat-trick against Sunderland
credit: @Girlsontheball

FA Women’s Super League

W 1 /  D 3 /  L 0

 Liverpool Ladies began their title defence with a 1-0 home victory over league newcomers Manchester City on Thursday 17th April. Attacking from the opening whistle, Kate Longhurst opened the scoring after closing down Andie Worrall in the first-half however the referee controversially ruled the goal out for handball. 

 Following this Liverpool lost their composure slightly, allowing Manchester City into the game a bit more while still maintaining control with the majority of the possession. New number 1 Libby Stout produced a fantastic performance between the posts, saving well from Toni Duggan twice in the second half.

 Well into the second half last season’s WSL Golden Boot winner Natasha Dowie opened her league account for 2014 with a well-taken goal, Lucy Bronze picking her out with a great ball forward from centre-back. 

 Four days later on Sunday 20th April came Liverpool’s first away league game of the campaign, against an impressive Chelsea Ladies side that boasts an intimidating front three of Ji So-Yun, Yuki Ogimi and Eni Oluko.  

pre-game huddle at Chelsea away
credit: @Girlsontheball

 Ashley Hodson did well for Liverpool after replacing Kate Longhurst midway through the first half due to injury, the development squad striker linking well with Natasha Dowie

 A second forced substitution seen Danielle Gibbons replace Libby Stout in goal, Gibbons with a couple of important saves just before a late scare when Aluko sent her strike wide of the post after going through on goal; the game finishing 0-0.

 Liverpool then had to wait almost a month for their next league game, Notts County away on Sunday 18th May coming after 4 cup games and an international break. 

 Despite scoring 7 in their last two games Liverpool couldn’t break Notts County down, the game saw few attempts on goal from either side, also finishing 0-0, yet it was Notts with the majority of attacking play – the reds defence coming under immense pressure particularly during a tense 10 minutes in the second half where Liverpool’s attempts to control the game just seemed to further invite the home side to press high up the pitch and try to catch the visitors off guard.

 Gemma Bonner put in a good shift at centre-back, chasing every ball and dealing well with the threat of Jess Clarke and Desiree Scott

 The final game before the mid season break seen Liverpool entertain Birmingham City Ladies at home on Saturday 24th May, being held by the in-form City 1-1.

 A dubious penalty decision against Libby Stout seen her concede her first league goal this season, with Karen Carney sending the reds stopper the wrong way.

 Liverpool drew level through a penalty themselves in the second half, Fara Williams coolly finishing from the spot after Hannah Dale was fouled in the box.

 The point earned means everything is still there to play for in the second half of the season, Liverpool are just 2 points off league leaders Birmingham City with 10 games to play.

Liverpool’s back line, Easton, Bonner, Bronze, Schroder
credit: @SupportHerApp

The FA Cup

W 1 / D 0 / L 1

 Having reached the semi-final of this competition last season, Liverpool Ladies were hoping to go one step further in 2014. 

 Starting brightly with a 2-0 victory away at Sunderland Ladies on Sunday 13th April despite losing Amanda Da Costa to injury in the warm-up and being forced into an early tactical change.

 Kate Longhurst worked hard on the wing brilliantly setting up Martha Harris for the opener; Longhurst was also involved in the build up for the second after Sunderland failed to clear her strike, Natasha Dowie finishing from just yards to double the reds lead.

 This win set up a quarter-final with Merseyside rivals Everton Ladies, on Saturday 26th April the first derby of the season enticed a crowd of 824 spectators who watched as Liverpool crashed out the cup following a great first-half performance from the blues.

 Nikita Parris struck the first goal after racing past Gemma Bonner into the box, Alex Greenwood doubling Everton’s lead just before half-time following a corner.

 Everton Ladies have since beaten Notts County in their semi-final, progressing to the final where they will face Arsenal Ladies on Sunday 1st June. Liverpool U17s also play the same day, they have their cup final against Everton U17s at 1pm which will be followed by The FA Cup final kicking off at 4:30pm. 

Claudia Walker & Natasha Dowie
credit: @SupportHerApp

Continental Cup

W 1 / D 1 / L 1

 Just four days after defeat to Everton in The FA Cup, Liverpool hosted their rivals yet again – this time in the Continental Cup on Wednesday 30th April

 Liverpool began this game much better, quickly seeking to win and retain possession with Everton seeming content to sit back and defend, attempting to catch the reds on the counter attack and utilise the pace of Nikita Parris.

 Gemma Bonner and Lucy Bronze effectively dealt with Parris this time around, frustrating the young striker and limiting both her options and attempts on goal.

 Everton also defended well, Natasha Dowie‘s cross to Claudia Walker well cut out by Gabby George. Walker also seen a late strike tipped over the bar by the Everton keeper, while Corina Schroder hit the crossbar in the first-half. The game finished 0 – 0.

 On Saturday 3rd May, after 3 games with no goals for Liverpool, the reds welcomed title winning keeper Rachael Laws and Sunderland Ladies to Select Stadium. Laws did not start as Liverpool ran rampant, putting 6 past the black cats.

 The ever-impressive Gemma Davison opened the scoring with her first goal since her winter move from Arsenal Ladies, an excellent goal from outside the 18-yard box. Davison then turned provider for the following goal, putting a cross across the face of goal for Corina Schroder to score the second.

 Natasha Dowie then bagged herself a hat-trick; the first headed home from a Fara Williams corner, the second a fantastic move after turning with the ball and finishing from just inside the box and the third another brilliant finish – this time with her left foot. 

 Katrin Omarsdottir rounded off the scoring after scrambling the ball home from close range.

Danielle Gibbons, Corina Schroder, Gemma Bonner & Lucy Bronze defend a corner vs Everton
credit: @Girlsontheball

 Following a short international break for the World Cup Qualifiers, the Continental Cup action resumed as Liverpool travelled to Manchester City on Wednesday 14th May, picking up their second defeat of the year with a 2-1 loss.

 City – much like Everton in The FA Cup – piled pressure on Liverpool early on, Toni Duggan‘s header going out wide for a cross to be swung in and cleared only as far as Abbie McManus. McManus finishing well from distance past Libby Stout, on her first start since return from injury.

 Natasha Dowie equalised for the reds, heading Gemma Davison‘s cross into the back of the net. Dowie scoring her 25th goal in a Liverpool shirt on her 28th appearance

 Minutes later Katrin Omarsdottir almost put Liverpool in front – her strike was blocked by Steph Houghton and the follow-up from Claudia Walker also hit the England captain. 

 Manchester City retook the lead through Izzy Christianson shortly after half-time, while a positive for Liverpool in the second half was the return of Martha Harris who has missed most of the season so far through injury.

 Liverpool have two Continental Cup group games remaining, away at Durham on Sunday 6th July and at home to Doncaster Belles on Saturday 12th July. There are 3 groups of 6 in the group stages, the winner of each will progress to the semi-finals joined by the best runner-up.

Liverpool prepare to defend an Everton free kick
credit: @Girlsontheball

‘… of the Season so far’ Awards!

Player of the Season so far

At the midway point of the season last year, fans of Liverpool Ladies nominated Louise Fors as their Player of the Season so far, with the Swedish winger producing a number of eye-catching displays as the reds went on a goal scoring rampage to the top of the league. 

This season, other than when facing Sunderland Ladies, goals have been few and far between and the Liverpool defence has come under pressure. The stand out player amongst the brilliant back four has been Becky Easton and Becky has been voted as POTSSF by fans on twitter and on facebook.

Walking in an Easton wonderland
credit: @SupportHerApp

 Becky Easton has started all but one game this season for Liverpool Ladies, the defensive shuffle at the back meaning Lucy Bronze moved into centre-back has given her an opportunity to make the right-back spot her own and she has done so with ease. 

 Provides cover on the right-wing when Davison cuts in, Easton is tough in the tackle and solid at the back under pressure. Has also played at centre-back this year; at Notts County away when Liverpool needed to alter their game plan, Easton moved to partner captain Gemma Bonner with Lucy Bronze moving out wide. For the following game at home to Birmingham City, Becky also started at centre-back proving a versatile defender before finishing the game back at right-back.

 Vastly experienced in the world of women’s football, she is also a player that the youngsters now coming into the squad can look up to and aspire to having a career as long and decorated as hers – and still be performing to the highest standards. 

 Becky stormed ahead in the votes, particularly following the two aforementioned games against Notts County and Birmingham City. One voter summed it up perfectly, describing her as ‘the female Jamie Carragher’, ‘hard, passionate and scouse‘. 

 Altogether now, “There’s only one Becky Easton!”

Runners up:

2) Gemma Davison

Oh it’s Gemma, Gemma Davison on the wing
credit: @Girlsontheball

The reds number 10 has quickly settled on Merseyside, dazzling the crowds with her blinding pace and brilliant runs forward, swinging cross after cross into the 18-yard box. With losing other key players both before and during the season, Davison’s role in the team has grown in importance and she is a key first-team player, playing every minute of every game so far. 

Davison scored her first Liverpool goal with a great effort against Sunderland to break the reds string of 3 games with no goal, also providing the assist for Corina Schroder in the same game. 

In 2014 Gemma also received a long overdue and welcome call-up to the England squad; having missed out on 2 squads since, the winger is making it hard for Mark Sampson to keep ignoring her and has received a call-up to an England training camp which is a preliminary squad for the next World Cup qualifiers

3) Libby Stout/ Gemma Bonner

 As already mentioned the Liverpool defence has been key so far this season, it’s no surprise then that tied in 3rd place is goalkeeper Libby Stout and captain Gemma Bonner.

 Libby Stout was one of four winter signings, making the move from the German league. On her competitive home début against Manchester City pulled out a string of great saves. Comfortable controlling the defence in front of her, strong in one-on-one situations and bravely coming out to collect when under pressure. 

Super, Super Stout!
credit: @SupportHerApp

 Gemma Bonner is the perfect captain for Liverpool Ladies Football Club, last season Bonner pulled the team through a number of tough matches following the mid season break and this year has been much the same. A vocal and commanding presence at the back, chases and challenges for every ball.

When I shout Gemma, you shout…
credit: @SupportHerApp

4) Lucy Bronze & 5) Katrin Omarsdottir

Young Player of the Season so far

Given the unprecedented first-team injury crisis, many of Liverpool’s development squad have made the step up to plug the gaps. Ashley Hodson and Hannah Dale both coming off the bench at Sunderland away, Hodson a week later a first-half substitution away at Chelsea to replace the injured Kate Longhurst and then starting the following game at home against Everton. Dale has also started for the first team, replacing Katrin Omarsdottir in the final game before the break and putting in a performance as if she’d been there all season.

Ellie Stewart has impressed on her couple of first-team appearances, the young centre back even scoring the winner during the pre-season friendly against Doncaster Belles, while Megan Alexander has also been given a chance at senior level after a good season with the development squad; all 4 not looking out of place.

Amongst the host of youth players, Claudia Walker has stood out. Called up following injury to both Longhurst and Martha Harris after a gruelling first week back; Walker made her début in the derby defeat to Everton, immediately impressing and immersing herself into the game as Liverpool attempted to mount a comeback. Walker’s performance earned her a spot in the starting 11 for the following 3 games, including the 6-0 victory over Sunderland Ladies where the young striker was an important part of the Liverpool attacking movement and unlucky not to get on the score sheet. Even more impressive is that between the two derbies, Walker played and scored for the development squad in their Cup semi-final away at Aston Villa; setting up a final against Arsenal Ladies in Birmingham on Saturday 31st May. 

All we need is… Claudia Walker!

Highlight & Team performance of the Season so far

After 3 games with no Liverpool goals, talk began of a drought and where the next goal would come from. Step forward Gemma Davison and Natasha Dowie and a cup tie at home against Sunderland Ladies, Davison opening the scoring and providing the assist for Corina Schoder minutes later and Dowie with a brilliant hat-trick. Katrin Omarsdottir bundled home the final goal of the game after a Lucy Bronze cross, meaning Liverpool had put 6 past the unfortunate Sunderland side. 

Liverpool celebrate Davison’s opener vs Sunderland
credit: @Girlsontheball

Goal of the Season so far

Last season Natasha Dowie scored 19 goals in 21 appearances for Liverpool, this season so far the England striker has 6 in 9 appearances (and 25 in 30 appearances overall in a red shirt). For goal of the season so far it could have been a number of Dowie’s goal, however her second against Sunderland Ladies stands out. An excellent ball forward from Fara Williams was expertly controlled by Dowie, on her first touch controlling the ball and turning the Sunderland defender to fire from just inside the 18-yard box.

@ 56 seconds

Disappointment of the Season so far

One day we’ll be able to look back on The Great Injury Crisis of 2014 and laugh, maybe. To lose two key players in Nicole Rolser and Lucy Staniforth before the season began was a blow, to then lose Katie Zelem for the entire first half of the season and each of Amanda Da Costa, Libby Stout, Martha Harris and Kate Longhurst for a number of games has been more than unlucky. For a couple of games Liverpool were missing no less than 6 first team players. Katrin Omarsdottir also missed the final game before the break against Birmingham City.

Casualties of The Great Injury Crisis of 2014

Development Squad

As mentioned already, the injuries plaguing the first-team has given opportunities to a number of players from the clubs development squad so to take positives from the unfortunate situation it is a testament to the coaching staff that these players have made the step up confidently. Aside from the 5 development squad players making their senior debuts there are many more waiting in the wings, Shannon Beckwith, Olivia Wild and Beth Donoghue to name just a few. 

Liverpool Ladies development squad & coaches

 Since opening their season with a 3-1 win at home against Doncaster Belles, Liverpool went on to win 4 of their opening 5 games – scoring 12 and conceding 4 in those 4 wins. Including a 1-0 win away at league leaders Manchester City, Ashley Hodson with the only goal in that game.

 The next 8 games seen 3 draws, against Doncaster Belles, Everton and Birmingham, a loss away to Aston Villa and 4 victories – a 5-0 thrashing of Doncaster Belles coming just before a 3-0 win over Notts County. Following this game their season was disrupted by the first team injury crisis, losing 5 players at different times along with Katie Zelem, Ellie Stewart and Danielle Gibbons who had all already been training with the seniors.

 Despite 2 losses in a row, a 4-2 defeat to Sunderland and beaten 3-1 away by Birmingham City, the development squad was never short of goals and have in fact scored at least one goal in each game since the goalless draw at Everton in February. In that time they have scored 28 goals in 12 games.

 Following the 2 losses they travelled to face Aston Villa away in their cup semi-final, falling a goal behind Claudia Walker brought the scores level before Beth Donoghue and then Hannah Dale scored to set up a final on Saturday 31st May against Arsenal Ladies.

 On the run-in to their cup final (where they were narrowly beaten 1-0 with a late goal from Arsenal), Liverpool had been finishing off their league campaign in style with a run of 4 games and 4 wins including a derby double over Everton.

 In their final game of the season on Sunday 8th June, the team twice came from behind to beat Durham 4-2 with goals from Ashley Hodson, Sophia Riccio and a brace from Beth Donoghue to finish 3rd overall in the league.

 Overall from 23 games, the development squad have scored 48 goals – an average of 2.08 a game – from 12 different goal scorers. Beth Donoghue is their leading goalscorer with 10 goals in 23 appearances.

Goal scorers:

Beth Donoghue   10   vs Aston Villa, Doncaster Belles, Durham WFC x 3, Everton Ladies x 3 & Sunderland Ladies x 2
Claudia Walker   7   vs Birmingham City, Durham WFC, Doncaster Belles x 2, Aston Villa x 2 & Notts County
Ashley Hodson   7   vs Sunderland Ladies, Durham WFC x 2, Doncaster Belles, Aston Villa, Manchester City x 2
Katie Zelem   4   vs Notts County, Manchester City, Sunderland Ladies x 2
Hannah Dale   4   vs Doncaster Belles, Durham WFC, Aston Villa x2
Sophia Riccio   4   vs Durham WFC, Notts County, Aston Villa & Sunderland Ladies
Mollie Green   3   vs Everton Ladies, Manchester City & Aston Villa
Shannon Beckwith   3   vs Durham WFC, Birmingham City, Doncaster Belles
Olivia Wild   2   vs Durham WFC, Doncaster Belles
Eve Kennerley   2   vs Doncaster Belles, Notts County
Megan Alexander   1   vs Durham WFC
Ellie Stewart   1   vs Durham WFC

 Development Player of the Season

 Picking this was not an easy decision, reading back over match reports from these games a number of names jump out – Ashley Hodson, Claudia Walker, Beth Donoghue, Olivia Wild and Megan Alexander.

 Having said that, a mini vote amongst supporters has narrowed this short list down to just 2 and therefore Beth Donoghue and Megan Alexander are the joint winners for Development Player of the Season.

Beth Donoghue

 As mentioned Beth Donoghue is the top scorer for the team, with 10 goals in 23 appearances – including 3 against Everton Ladies. Lightning quick on her feet and with an eye for a brilliant pass, picking out the runs of her team mates with ease. Donoghue has also made the most appearances for the squad this season.

 From the first time I watched the development squad play, Megan Alexander has been a stand out performer. A versatile player who can play either left wing or left back, Alexander is ever-reliable in defence and over the season has developed a great attacking sense bombing up and down the wing and sending dozens of crosses into the box. 

Megan Alexander

This season I have caught 6 development squad games, seeing them win 3, draw 2 and lose 1. Watching the team is a great way of seeing the future talent at the club, a lot of faith has been put into the players who have aided the first team this year and that faith has been repaid. Hopefully these players and more will be given chances in the second half of the season as well.

The development squad season plays from October to May. Match reports for a number of development squad games can be found below:

10/11/13 – Liverpool Ladies 6 – 2 Durham WFC         potm Megan Alexander
24/11/13 – Liverpool Ladies 1 – 1 Birmingham City         potm Danielle Gibbons
02/02/14 – Liverpool Ladies 0 – 0 Doncaster Belles         potm Beth Donoghue
09/05/14 – Liverpool Ladies 1 – 3 Manchester City         potm Mollie Green
22/05/14 – Everton Ladies 1 v 2 Liverpool Ladies         potm Beth Donoghue/ Megan Alexander
25/05/14 – Liverpool Ladies 4 v 1 Aston Villa         potm Claudia Walker

Liverpool Centre of Excellence 

 To finish on a cup-winning note, on Sunday 1st June Liverpool Ladies U17s beat Everton Ladies 1-0 in The FA Youth Cup final at Stadium MK in Milton Keynes. Maz Gillam, Jess Davenport and Tash Rothery all going close to opening the scoring before Kess Elmore scored the only goal of the game. At the other end of the pitch Rachel Darbyshire was ever-reliable in goal with the solid centre-back pairing of Rachel Robinson and captain Olivia Fuller in front of her, Fuller eventually lifting the cup.

 Match report here: Liverpool U17s 1 – 0 Everton

Thank you to @SupportHerApp, @Girlsontheball and @justaballgame for allowing me to use their pictures in this review, make sure to follow each on twitter!

SupportHer Apparel have a great range of merchandise available for all supporters of women’s football, check out their website here: SupportHer

Liverpool Ladies with their SupportHer App scarves!

Finally, thanks as always for reading my blogs on Liverpool Ladies! I have been lucky enough to catch every game so far this season, in the second half of the season the only game I should miss is Bristol Academy away so stick with me (and of course the official website & twitter) for news and updates on the club – 9 games down, 13 to go!

WSL table going into the break

Heather, @LFCladiesfans

Match Report: Liverpool Ladies 1 – 1 Birmingham City

 Liverpool Ladies were unlucky not to come away with all 3 points in their final game before the mid season break, held at home to a 1-1 draw by Birmingham City.

 The only change to the Liverpool starting 11 seen Hannah Dale start in place of the injured Katrin Omarsdottir, while Kate Longhurst started as a substitute to make the team sheet for the first time since picking up an injury at Chelsea away

 Lucy Bronze also began the game at right back, the defender moving back to the position she excelled in last season with Becky Easton alongside Gemma Bonner at centre back.

 Liverpool started the game much more brightly than last Sunday, Gemma Davison and Lucy Bronze immediately linking well on the right wing; Davison cutting in and shooting from the edge of the 18-yard box early on, her shot was punched wide by Becky Spencer.

 It was in fact Liverpool with the majority of the chances in the first half, mainly a threat down the right with Lucy Bronze sending a number of crosses into the box; almost finding Natasha Dowie with one and then finding herself on the left but there was no one to get on the end of her cross.

 A controversial decision by the referee on the 25th minute to award Birmingham a penalty, the referee judging Libby Stout had fouled Jade Moore right on the edge of the area – no card was given, Karen Carney stepped up to send the Liverpool no.1 the wrong way and open the scoring against the run of play.

 This decision did not put Stout off coming out off her line, throughout the 90 minutes the goalkeeper displayed just why she has become a firm favourite during her time at Liverpool so far with a number of interceptions. At corners and free kicks, Stout commands her box well and never takes her eye off the ball to come out and collect with ease.

 Aside from the penalty decision, the referee made a number of poor calls; Hannah Dale being fouled a number of times, including right in front of the referee but nothing was given. The young development squad midfielder more than impressed on her first 1st team start, both assisting in attack and helping out in defence.

 Liverpool displayed good attacking movement throughout the game. Searching for an equaliser Corina Schroder found Gemma Davison with a great cross, her shot was blocked with the rebound coming out to Hannah Dale. Surrounded by blue shirts, Dale did brilliantly to get the ball back to Amanda DaCosta who squared the ball to Martha Harris – her strike going wide.

 The again minutes later Gemma Davison was fouled on the half way line, a great delivery into the box from Fara Williams seen Corina Schroder find Amanda DaCosta on the edge of the box yet her shot was also blocked.

 As with the first half, the second 45 minutes mainly saw Liverpool attacking as Birmingham seemed content to press and wait for a misplaced pass to mount an attack; the blues almost taking advantage of this when Karen Carney tried a decent effort from the corner of the box, the ball narrowly sailing over the crossbar.

 Hannah Dale continued to impress; Natasha Dowie forced out the box by the Birmingham defence passed back to Dale, who recovered well from a slip, to shoot just wide of the post.

 It was Dale who won the penalty for Liverpool, making a run forward she was tripped in the box for the referee to award the reds a penalty. Fara Williams stepped up, Spencer diving the right way but Williams finished well with a great penalty for her first goal this year and to make it 1-1.

 Gemma Bonner had another brilliant game at the back, the captain at one point in the second half beating two blues players on a great run into the other half, sending the ball forward for Natasha Dowie to chase as Liverpool searched for a winner.

 The game finished 1-1, meaning Liverpool have won 1 and drawn 3 of their opening WSL games. With 10 games left to play following the break, anything could happen – we are just 2 points behind leaders Birmingham City and will no doubt be bringing in some reinforcements during the transfer window.

 XI: Stout, Bronze, Easton, Bonner (C), Schroder, Williams, Dale (Hodson), DaCosta, Harris (Longhurst), Davison, Dowie

 POTM: Lucy Bronze

 Thanks for reading, mid season review will be up tomorrow evening (Monday 26th May) at 6pm. If you haven’t yet voted for Player of the Season so far now is the time to get your vote in! One player has taken the lead, but there is still a tie for 3rd place!


Match Preview: Liverpool Ladies v Birmingham City

 Six weeks after kicking off the 2014 campaign away at Sunderland Ladies, Liverpool Ladies host Birmingham City in the final game before the mid season break.

 It has been a tough opening for Liverpool, losing 3 players before a ball had been kicked and then missing each of Amanda DaCosta, Libby Stout, Martha Harris and Kate Longhurst for one or more games has tested the reds.

 Having said that the players injury-free have more than stood up to the task, Liverpool’s back line in particular coming under heavy pressure at Notts County and Chelsea away – Lucy Bronze and Gemma Bonner‘s centre back partnership grows every game, while Corina Schroder and Becky Easton have been solid at left and right back respectively.

 Gemma Davison has been the catalyst to the majority of Liverpool’s attacking movement, her pace blinding defences. At the last home game at Select Stadium, supporters were treated to a master class in attack from Davison as she opened her Liverpool goals account and provided an assist minutes later.

 Natasha Dowie remains the reds primary goal threat, with 6 goals to her name already this season and 25 in 29 appearances overall in a Liverpool shirt.

 The game against Birmingham will be only the fourth league game, with 5 of the 9 opening games being cup ties. Liverpool remain unbeaten in the league and are also the only WSL side yet to concede a league goal.

 Despite being tipped by many to be candidates for relegation, Birmingham have proved their doubters wrong so far this season and come into this game sitting top of the Women’s Super League. On their last two outings they have beaten both Chelsea Ladies and Arsenal Ladies, scoring 4 goals and conceding 1.

 Kirsty Linnett is the blues top scorer, with 3 goals in 7 games. Remi Allen and Jo Potter, both recently receiving England call-ups, have 2 in 7 each while former reds striker Hannah Keryakoplis has scored one goal so far this year.

 Alongside their 2 wins and a draw so far in the league, Birmingham also progressed to the Champions League semi-finals. The first leg in Birmingham saw a brilliant performance from the blues as they held on to a 0-0 draw against players like Marta and Christen Press, their luck ran out in the second leg a week later; 3 late goals defeating the blues and destroying their hopes of reaching the final.

 Liverpool’s average home attendance so far this season is 892. Down on last years high of 965 however if they get a gate greater than 431 tomorrow night, this average will rise to 1,000+ (WSL games).

 Kick off is 6:30pm, Select Stadium, Widnes. £5 entry for adults on the gate, £2.50 concessions.

 Two things to finish off; first I am putting the finishing touches to my 2014 mid season review, the voting for Player of the Season so far has been a battle between both Becky Easton and Gemma Davison – one player has just pulled ahead of the other so if you haven’t voted yet either tweet me or message/ comment on facebook! Libby Stout and Gemma Bonner are also fighting it out for 3rd place.

 Finally last night I went to watch the development squad in their derby as, for a second time in one week, they defeated Everton Ladies 2-1. This was the 5th development game I’ve gotten to over the course of their season, many players there at the beginning of their season are now with the first team so getting to these games is a brilliant way of seeing the future talent at the club.

 As well as the players who have already made the step up, there are many more deserving of an opportunity. Beth Donoghue has been in fantastic form over the last few weeks, netting 3 of the 4 goals scored against Everton this week, while Olivia Wild and Shannon Beckwith also continue to impress at right back and centre back.

 The development squad have one final home game left this year, on Sunday 25th May at 2pm they will take on Aston Villa at Select Stadium so if you don’t have any plans get down and support the girls! All games are free entry.

 Thanks for reading, mid season review will be up on Monday 26th May! Including: Fixtures & Results, Attendances & Goals, WSL, The FA Cup, Continental Cup, ‘… of the Season so far’ Awards and Development Squad.


Match Report: Everton Ladies 1 – 2 Liverpool Ladies (development squad)

 Liverpool Ladies development squad tonight beat Merseyside rivals Everton Ladies 2-1 with an excellent team performance.

 Following a late ground change, the game from moved from Ford Sports & Social Club to the more familiar surroundings of the Select Stadium.

 Liverpool had two U17 players in the starting 11, Rachel Robinson starting alongside captain Sophia Riccio at centre-back and Jessica Davenport on the right of midfield. Olivia Wild and Emilie Revitt the two full-backs, with Megan Alexander playing left wing and Grace Vella and Vicky Rumsey in the centre of midfield. Another U17 graduate Mollie Green, who had 2 goals in 3 games before tonight, started just behind Beth Donoghue up front. Gemma Jackson in goal.

 Immediately looking to attack from the opening whistle, Liverpool hit the ball forward for Beth Donoghue and Mollie Green to chase but Everton managed to clear.

 Within 5 minutes Liverpool had opened the scoring, Sophia Riccio intercepting the Everton attack and hitting the ball forward. Beth Donoghue collected the ball in midfield and made a brilliant run past the defender, finishing well for her 7th goal of the season.

 Boosted by her goal, Donoghue went from strength to strength throughout the first-half; minutes after scoring coming out wide to assist Emilie Revitt on the left wing, beating her marker and putting an inch-perfect cross into the box for Mollie Green, who’s header was caught by the keeper.

 Then again on another dazzling run forward, rounding the keeper and getting a strike in on goal. The Everton defender doing just enough to poke the ball wide, Megan Alexander almost getting there for the rebound. Donoghue was causing Everton all kinds of trouble.

 Olivia Wild and Emilie Revitt were also causing the blues trouble down the flanks; Wild at first doing well to retain possession when surrounded by three blue shirts, doing just enough to get the ball back to Riccio who’s ball forward to Green was caught by the goalkeeper. Next it was Revitt doing well to find Donoghue in space, but this time the strikers cross was intercepted.

 Following a period of sustained Liverpool pressure, where the reds could easily have scored 3 or 4, Revitt was forced off with an injury – replaced by Eve Kennerley. The substitution and brief break in play seemed to slow the tempo of the game, this suited Everton who began to drag themselves back into the game.

 Both in the 10 minutes before half-time and the first 15 minutes of the second half, Liverpool found themselves facing a revived Everton attack. All credit for not conceding during this time to the Liverpool back four who stood strong; on the one time the blues looked as though they had beaten Sophia Riccio, Rachel Robinson did brilliantly to get across and force the attack back out to the wing.

 Robinson and Riccio made for a good centre-back pairing, the former with a number of crucial blocks on her second appearance for the development squad.

 Megan Alexander had a fantastic 90 minutes, constantly creating space for herself on the left wing and assisting both the Liverpool attack and defence – a number of interceptions in particular in the second half. One nice move seen the winger leaving her marker behind, making a great run up the wing but the through ball to Donoghue took a deflection slowing it down and meaning the keeper got there first.

 Under pressure from Everton, Liverpool brought Yasmine Swarbrick on for Jessica Davenport with 30 minutes remaining. Swarbrick got stuck in immediately, winning the ball back, pressing and closing down players.

 Liverpool began to see more of the ball and started to again search for a second, one strike blocked seen the ball fall to Alexander on the edge of the area – her strike going out for a goal kick. The goal kick was taken short, Beth Donoghue chased causing a shaky moment for the blues defence and they hastily cleared the ball out for a throw.

 Swarbrick and Donoghue linked well, first Donoghue breaking from a corner but her final pass was intercepted. Minutes later the striker was able to find Swarbrick however surrounded by blue shirts she couldn’t get the ball back to her.

 Eventually the second goal came, Swarbrick picking out Donoghue’s run into the box, Donoghue skipping past the defender and confidently finishing past the goalkeeper. Beth Donoghue is now the development squad’s top scorer with 8 goals, prior to this game she tied Claudia Walker with 6.

 Donoghue almost had her hat-trick after shrugging off a foul from the defender, the referee indicating play on, the shot was saved and Swarbrick almost got there for the rebound.

 Credit must be given to Everton, who have some brilliant players in their development squad. The stand out player for the blues was Charlie Fitpatrick who had an ongoing midfield battle with Grace Vella and Vicky Rumsey,while it was also good to see Paige Williams come on as a second half substitute and continue her return from injury. The blues pulled a goal back just before full-time with a well taken effort from distance.

 XI: Jackson, Wild, Robinson, Riccio (C), Revitt (Kennerley), Vella, Rumsey, Davenport (Swarbrick), Green, Alexander, Donoghue

 POTM: Megan Alexander/ Beth Donoghue

 Overall a brilliant performance from the team, the attacking movement going forward was entertaining to watch. Donoghue’s blinding pace and Liverpool’s pressing on both wings making it difficult for Everton to mark while under pressure the defence was solid, not one player had a bad shift.

 Next up for the development squad they’re at home on Sunday 25th May at 2pm kick off, this will unfortunately be the last development game I will be able to cover for the blog this season but, if you can, make sure you get down to Birmingham on Saturday 31st May to support the girls in their cup final vs Arsenal Ladies.

 Thanks for reading,


Match Report: Notts County 0 – 0 Liverpool Ladies

 Liverpool Ladies picked up another tough point away from home this afternoon, battling Notts County Ladies to a 0 – 0 draw. With other results on the day going our way, Liverpool and Notts now both sit joint top of the table on 5 points each.

 Last season Liverpool’s attack attracted a lot of attention as the reds ran rampant against almost every WSL side, this year so far the pressure has been put on the defence with teams proving hard to break down.

 From the opening whistle Notts County were looking to press and run at Liverpool, with the majority of the first-half chances limiting Liverpool’s passing options and chasing every ball. A lively start from the hosts see Canadian Desiree Scott shoot straight at Libby Stout while the in-form Jess Clarke fired over.

 It wasn’t all Notts however, with Fara Williams and then Gemma Davison both putting balls into the box for Natasha Dowie however the striker was well-marked on both occasions and the ball was cleared. Martha Harris, making her first start since return from injury, also since a couple of her crosses cleared before reaching their intended targets.

 As Liverpool passed the ball around at the back, trying to find a way through and get their passing game going County continued to pile on the pressure. Libby Stout saving well from one attack, the resulting corner being headed wide.

 Corina Schroder had a good game on the left, making a brilliant run in the first-half that resulted in a nice passing move between her, Fara Williams and Martha Harris. Harris found herself dispossessed but worked well to win the ball back.

 For the second half Lucy Bronze switched with Becky Easton, moving out to right back. Immediately the reds looked better going forward; Gemma Davison‘s cross being blocked and out for a corner and then Katrin attempting to pick Schroder out on the wing with a great ball.

 Lucy Bronze on one run forward was fouled just outside the 18-yard box right in front of the referee, Davison played on but the attack came to nothing.

 For all the attacking play, Liverpool found their attempts on goal limited. The defence was put under immense pressure but captain Gemma Bonner put in a fantastic shift particularly during a tense ten minutes when it seemed a Notts goal was inevitable, Bonner fought for every ball and never stopped chasing Jess Clarke limiting her chances and forcing her out wide.

 Ashley Hodson replaced Martha Harris with around 20 minutes remaining, almost teeing up Natasha Dowie after a Fara Williams corner was headed on by Gemma Bonner. Hannah Dale also was a second half substitute, replacing Amanda Da Costa with 5 minutes left. Both Hodson and Dale playing high up the pitch as Dowie dropped a little deeper in an attempt to win the ball

 The game fizzled out to a goalless draw with neither side having a stand out chance to win the game.

 POTM: Gemma Bonner

 XI: Stout, Easton, Bonner (C), Bronze, Schroder, Omarsdottir, Williams, Davison, Harris (Hodson), Da Costa (Dale), Dowie

 Next up for Liverpool Ladies they face Birmingham City at home next Saturday evening in a 6:30pm kick off. If Liverpool get more than 431 supporters in for the game they will have averaged a gate of 1,000 supporters for the first half of the season! Make sure you get down to Widnes and support the team!

 If you can’t wait until then the development squad have another derby on Thursday night, after beating Everton earlier today with goals from Mollie Green and Beth Donoghue. Details for this game are TBA.

 Finally, after the Birmingham game next week the first teams season will break for 1 month. I am writing a mid season review for the blog and want your votes for Player of the Season so far! At the midway stage last year supporters voted for Louise Fors, make sure you tweet or comment in the sections below/ on facebook!

 Thanks for reading,


MATCH PREVIEW: Notts County v Liverpool Ladies

 Four days after defeat in the Continental Cup away at Manchester City Women, Liverpool Ladies are on their travels again – this time to face Notts County Ladies on Sunday 18th May in a game that could see Liverpool go to the top of the league.

 The international break following the 6-0 demolition of Sunderland perhaps came at the wrong time for Matt Beard’s side, as they struggled to break down the sturdy City defence. Similarly to Everton, Manchester City set up to defend against the reds and catch us on the counter attack; a tactic that Liverpool will have to get used to it seems following last seasons goal scoring exploits.

 Despite the team being disappointed following the loss at City, there were a number of positives to take from the game. The first being that Libby Stout returned following injury, Liverpool are lucky in that they have two good goalkeepers at the club with the more than capable Danielle Gibbons deputising well in her absence. Martha Harris also made her first appearance in almost a month, an undisclosed injury has limited the new signings appearances since her move.

credit: @SupportHerApp

 Secondly Liverpool attacking movement following going a goal down was impressive, Gemma Davison working well down the right wing with Corina Schroder and Claudia Walker linking well down the left. Schroder’s initial cross missed the waiting Natasha Dowie on the edge of the 6-yard box however just minutes later Davison was able to pick out Liverpool’s number 9, Dowie heading home her 6th goal of the season and 25th overall for Liverpool in just 28 appearances.

 Coming up against Rick Passmoor’s Notts County will be no easy task for Liverpool. Formerly Lincoln Ladies, Notts will likely also set up to defend against the reds with Passmoor’s Lincoln deploying this tactic in last years Continental Cup semi-final – frustrating the reds into a 1-1 draw and eliminating us on penalties.

credit: @SupportHerApp

 Notts County have lost striker Ellen White for the entire season, however have been boosted by the emergence of Jess Clarke who has hit the ground running this year with 9 goals in 8 games. Clarke is quick and supported by the likes of Desiree Scott and Katie Hoyle means County have a lot to offer in attack, not just defence. Courtney Sweetman-Kirk is also a threat, the young striker started the last game on the bench but Liverpool supporters will remember her for scoring the equalising goal against the reds in August’s semi-final.

 With Carly Telford in goal and a back line that includes Dunia Susi and Sophie Bradley, County’s defence will be hard to get past however as the 6-0 victory over Sunderland shows there is goals in this Liverpool side and an early goal on Sunday could be key.

 Victory here could see Liverpool top the WSL table for the first time this year, Liverpool and Notts County are both currently on 4 points each to sit top alongside Chelsea Ladies who are away at Everton. Kick off is at 2pm at Notts County’s Meadow Lane Stadium.

credit: @SupportHerApp

 There are a number of Liverpool supporters travelling to Nottingham for this game, if you are too get in contact via twitter!

 Finally I have begun writing a mid season review for the blog and I want to know who your Player of the Season so far has been! Let me know via twitter, facebook or in the comments section below!

 Thanks for reading,


Match Report: Manchester City Women 2 – 1 Liverpool Ladies

 Tonight Liverpool Ladies fell to a 2-1 defeat away at Manchester City Women. This being a Continental Cup game means Liverpool have now won 1, drawn 1 and lost 1 of their opening group games.

 The set-up at City means supporters paying on the day have to go to a box office to purchase tickets, the printers broke leaving queues of people waiting for tickets minutes before kick-off.

Finally pitch-side! Or as close as can be!

 Liverpool lined up with the same side who beat Sunderland Ladies 6-0 in the game before the international break and it was the reds who had the first chance of the game; Amanda Da Costa finding Claudia Walker but her shot went over the cross bar.

 Manchester City sought to quickly regain position, pressing high up the pitch. Within 5 minutes City had the start they wanted, good build up play around the 18-yard box with Toni Duggan‘s header leading to a cross being cleared only as far as Abbie McManus who finished fantastically well from 30 yards.

 Following the goal Liverpool were quick to compose themselves, unlike when they went behind against Everton were they seemed to become frustrated. Natasha Dowie forced Steph Houghton into a clearance, Corina Schroder finding Da Costa with the throw but she couldn’t find a red shirt.

 Gemma Davison continued to impress going forward, working mainly from the right wing Davison also cut across the box in one impressive run but again the final ball couldn’t get through. Davison was then involved in the equaliser minutes later; Corina Schroder put a good cross into the box that just missed Natasha Dowie, it came out to Davison on the other side who put it back in and this time Dowie put it in the back of the net.

 Katrin Omarsdottir almost put Liverpool in front, Steph Houghton blocking the Icelandic’s strike. Claudia Walker‘s rebound was also blocked by the England captain.

 For the remainder of the first half, play was end-to-end. Dowie clearing from a City corner for Walker to chase but Bardsley got there first. Liverpool then won a corner which was headed on by Gemma Bonner, cleared by City but Bonner got back quickly to the half-way line to win back possession; the referee deeming that she had however fouled Jill Scott and awarding the blues a free kick.

 Out for the second half, Manchester City began as they had the first. Looking to attack and catch the Liverpool defence out, Izzy Christianson putting them back in front shortly after the restart.

 Liverpool seemed to be lacking the fluid movement they had displayed against Sunderland just a week and a half ago, credit must be given to the City defence who put in a great performance.

 Liverpool playing a high line at the back meant in the second half City managed to catch us a number of times on the counter attack, Izzy Christianson beating Gemma Bonner and Lucy Bronze at one point but Libby Stout – on her return to the first team – bravely came out to brilliantly save from the striker.

 Another player returning to the Liverpool side was Martha Harris, who replaced Walker on the hour. Harris was immediately involved in the action with a shot on goal headed towards the top corner but punched away by Karen Bardsley. Ashley Hodson also made an appearance, after two starts for the development squad in the last week, to add some much needed fresh legs to the Liverpool side.

 For all Liverpool’s possession and hard work on the wings, Corina Schroder linking well with Claudia Walker and Becky Easton pressing high up the pitch to support Gemma Davison, they couldn’t break the defence down.

Katie Zelem should be returning from injury soon

 Manchester City were arguably the better team on the night, although Liverpool are disappointed with their performance there are positives with some play tonight – in particular the build up to Natasha Dowie‘s goal, youth players again playing with maturity and both Libby Stout and Martha Harris returning to the team.

 With Katie Zelem and Kate Longhurst both due to return in the coming weeks, Lucy Staniforth and Nicole Rolser of course out with long-term injuries, Liverpool should soon be back to full strength.

 POTM: Becky Easton

 XI: Stout, Easton (Hodson), Bonner (C), Bronze, Schroder, Omarsdottir, Williams, Davison, Walker (Harris), Da Costa, Dowie

 Next up we are away at Notts County in the league on Sunday 18th May, kick off is at 2pm.

 Thanks for reading,


Match Preview: Manchester City Women v Liverpool Ladies

 Liverpool Ladies will travel to WSL newcomers Manchester City Women on Wednesday night in their third group game of the 2014 Continental Cup.

 Liverpool beat Manchester City 1-0 in the opening game of the WSL season, despite having a first-half goal ruled out for hand ball. Natasha Dowie scored the only goal of the game and goalkeeper Libby Stout had a storming game between the posts.

 Liverpool have drawn one and won one of the group games so far, undeservedly drawing 0-0 with an Everton Ladies side that proved tough to break down before thrashing Sunderland Ladies 6-0 just days later.

 Reds striker Natasha Dowie bagged a hat-trick against the black cats, bringing her goals tally for 2014 up to 5 in 6 games. Gemma Davison also grabbed her first goal for the club following a string of impressive displays, while Corina Schroder and Katrin Omarsdottir rounded off the scoring.

 During the display the Liverpool attack linked well, with the front 3 of Dowie, Davison and Claudia Walker linking well to create opportunities. Walker has missed both the development squad games in the last week, which is possibly an indication that she will be involved again on Wednesday night.

 Since the Sunderland game a number of Liverpool players have been involved in World Cup Qualifiers; Katrin Omarsdottir was a second half substitute in Iceland’s game in Switzerland, Iceland lost 3-0 and currently sit 2nd in their qualifying group on 9 points.

 England continued their unbeaten run in the qualifiers with a 4-0 victory over Ukraine in Shrewsbury, Lucy Bronze, Fara Williams and Natasha Dowie all started for the Lionesses with Dowie scoring twice.

 Manchester City have endured a mixed start to their first season in the top tier, currently sitting bottom of the WSL after two defeats in their opening games. City were also knocked out The FA Cup by Chelsea Ladies and lost their opening Continental Cup game after at Doncaster Belles.

 Striker Toni Duggan missed the victory over her former side Everton through injury, an injury that also kept her out of the England game. Duggan is the blues top scorer with 4 goals in 5 games, although in the opening WSL match in Widnes Lucy Bronze and Gemma Bonner dealt with her effectively.

 The game will played at Manchester Regional Arena, which is at the Etihad complex. Tickets can be purchased on the day, they are priced £6 adults and £4 under-16s, at either the box office or upstairs at the club shop at the ground. Kick off is at 7:30pm, Wednesday 14th May.

 Thanks for reading,


Match Report: Liverpool Ladies 1 – 3 Manchester City (Development Squad)

 Liverpool Ladies development squad’s season has been disrupted by the first-team injury crisis, with many players making the step up to fill the gaps. Claudia Walker, Ashley Hodson, Hannah Dale, Megan Alexander and Ellie Stewart have all made appearances while goalkeeper Gemma Jackson has been a substitute on a couple of occasions.

 Tonight with no first team games until next Wednesday, the team was back to full strength against Manchester City with Hodson, Dale, Alexander and Stewart all starting.

 Jackson started in goal, with Olivia Wild at right-back, Sophia Riccio captaining the team from left-back and Shannon Beckwith and Stewart the preferred centre-back pairing.

 In midfield Eve Kennerley started alongside Dale, with Megan Alexander playing on the right wing, Hodson on the left and Mollie Green, who has been playing for the under-17s, just behind Beth Donoghue who was playing as striker.

 Manchester City attacked from the opening whistle, Shannon Beckwith and Ellie Stewart immediately finding themselves under pressure and initially each making a clearance. A cross put in across the 6-yard box however eventually eluded the Liverpool defence and was headed home.

 Following the goal the reds began to grow more into the game, with Sophia Riccio in particular linking well with Ashley Hodson on the left wing. Riccio making one of many forward runs, picking out Hodson who crossed to Mollie Green but despite Green doing well to control her strike went over the bar.

 Green grabbed Liverpool’s equaliser minutes later, Hodson again doing well to head the ball forward to Beth Donoghue. Donoghue made an excellent run to the edge of the 18-yard box, shrugging off the defender with ease to cut the ball back to Green who finished nicely.

 Beth Donoghue was a stand out player, particularly during the first-half where she caused the City defence all sorts of problems with her pace. Donoghue was playing up front however continually drifted out wide, bringing the central defender with her and creating space for Green and Megan Alexander to get forward.

 Donoghue linked well with the attacking trio of Green, Hodson and Alexander behind her, the trio providing great service but the City defence tightened following the goal making it tough for Liverpool to break them down.

 As mentioned in previous development match reports, the full-backs are just as important as the midfield in the attacking movement of the team. Olivia Wild constantly up and down the wings, with Megan Alexander just in front of her also comfortable playing at full-back meaning there is cover should City win the ball back.

 Eve Kennerley and Hannah Dale also kept things ticking over in the centre of midfield, Kennerley with an excellent ball forward midway through the first-half to Riccio but her cross was cleared.

 Manchester City found themselves back in front with a brilliant goal from 40-yards out, Liverpool were enjoying the majority of possession and limiting City to long range shots however the City midfielder spotted Jackson off her line.

 The blues then extended their lead to 2 goals in the second-half, catching Liverpool on the counter attack with the attacker drawing Ellie Stewart out and then squaring the ball to an oncoming team mate that had made a run past Shannon Beckwith who finished past Jackson.

 Ellie Stewart had a good game at centre-back, even almost scoring from a first-half free kick that was more than 40 yards out. The goalkeeper only just getting a hand to it and sending it out for a corner, Riccio fouled at the resulting corner but nothing was given. As Liverpool began to put more pressure on Manchester City, Stewart dealt well with yet another counter attack – comfortably shielding the ball and instead of passing back to Jackson, turning and bringing the ball back forward between two City players.

 With the reds 3-1 down and ten minutes to go, Liverpool ramped up the pressure with Olivia Wild in particular a driving force in the side finding herself far forward. Grace Vella came on for Eve Kennerley, Emilie Revitt replaced Sophia Riccio and Yasmin Swarbrick for Megan Alexander to add some fresh legs to the side but the City defence stood strong to defend their lead.

 POTM: Mollie Green. Recently making the step-up from the U17s, Green did not look out of place and was a crucial part of the Liverpool attack. Unlucky not to have at least one more goal to her name.

 XI: Jackson, Wild, Beckwith, Stewart, Riccio (C) (Revitt), Kennerley (Vella), Dale, Alexander (Swarbrick), Green, Hodson, Donoghue






 With this defeat Manchester City remain top of the development league table, 7 points clear of Liverpool but the reds have 4 games in hand meaning they can still finish much higher than their current league position of 5th.

 Coming up next the development squad have 3 home games, starting with Durham this Sunday 11th May. All dev. squad games are free entry and a great way of seeing future (and current!) first team players with many talented players in every position.

 Thanks for reading,


Match Report: Liverpool Ladies 6 – 0 Sunderland Ladies

 After 3 games with no goals, Liverpool Ladies ran riot against Sunderland Ladies tonight in their second Continental Cup group game.

 Matt Beard named an unchanged line-up from the side that started the midweek game against Everton, while it was good for Liverpool fans to see both Libby Stout and Martha Harris on the bench.

 Liverpool completely dominated the game from the opening whistle, immediately attacking down the wings and not allowing Sunderland to settle. The Sunderland keeper Helen Alderson, former reds stopper Rachael Laws was on the bench, made a few good saves early on but the reds continued to press and find openings in the defence.

 Gemma Davison has been a stand out performer in the side since her winter move from Arsenal Ladies, tonight her performances were finally rewarded with a goal with a brilliant strike from outside the box. Following her goal Davison continued to impress, putting cross after cross into the area and making great runs down the left wing.

 Another stand out performer has been Claudia Walker who again tonight did not look out of place in the reds starting 11, as well as helping out in attack Walker drops back further into midfield to help win the ball back and is quick to move back into position when Liverpool regain possession. Walker almost set Natasha Dowie up for the second after a great run forward and ball to Dowie, yet Alderson pushed it away.

 It was Corina Schroder who eventually made it 2-0 after sustained Liverpool pressure, the German defender hit the cross bar against Everton on Wednesday but made no mistake when Gemma Davison crossed the ball low into the box.

 Then it was Natasha Dowie‘s turn to get on the score sheet, a brace before half-time and then completing her hat-trick in the second half. Her first goal coming following a Fara Williams corner, the second an excellent finish to beat the keeper and the third a left-footed strike.

 Katrin Omarsdottir finished the rout with a tap-in after a scramble in the box, minutes later Katrin also had a strike ruled out for offside.

 Danielle Gibbons kept her second clean sheet in three games, Amanda DaCosta never stopped running and Becky Easton had another solid game at right-back as did Gemma Bonner and Lucy Bronze in the centre of defence. A couple of Sunderland forays forward were effectively dealt with.

 Ashley Hodson, Megan Alexander and Ellie Stewart were late substitutes, with Alexander showing her attacking quality from left-back continuing Schroder’s work pressing high up the pitch.

 A brilliant all-round performance from Liverpool Ladies tonight, who just never allowed Sunderland the chance to get into the game.

 POTM: Natasha Dowie

 Liverpool XI: Gibbons, Easton (Stewart), Bonner (C), Bronze, Schroder (Alexander), Katrin, Williams, Walker (Hodson), DaCosta, Davison, Dowie

 Liverpool’s next game is away at Manchester City in the next game of the Continental Cup, on Wednesday 14th May.

 The development squad have a home game on Thursday night, free entry vs Manchester City 7:30pm kick off – hope to see you there!

 Thanks for reading,