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!


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