MATCH REPORT: Manchester City 1 – 0 Liverpool Ladies

 After 4 straight wins, Liverpool Ladies slipped to a 1-0 defeat away to Manchester City Women earlier this afternoon.

 Liverpool were missing 3 players, with Ellie Stewart, Katie Zelem and Martha Harris in Canada preparing for the U20 World Cup with Engand. However the reds were boosted by the return of Claudia Walker who returned to the first-team squad after her recent spell with England U19s. Also amongst the substitutes was U17 FA Cup winner Mollie Green, who made the step up to the development squad in April and impressed over the last couple of months of their season.

 Libby Stout started in goal, with the back four of Lucy Bronze, captain Gemma Bonner, Nina Frausing and Corina Schroder in front of her. Fara Williams, Amanda DaCosta, Katrin Omarsdottir and Gemma Davison made up the midfield with Kate Longhurst and Natasha Dowie up front.

 Libby Stout was immense for Liverpool throughout the 90 minutes, time and time again coming out of her box to clear from the City attack. For the opening 10 minutes City pushed forward testing the Liverpool defence but Stout had them organised well and they could find no way through.

 Liverpool began to force themselves into the game, a Fara Williams free kick saw a glancing header by Katrin Omarsdottir headed just wide. Minutes later Amanda DaCosta tried to lob a ball over the blues back four for Natasha Dowie to chase but Karen Bardsley got there first.

 Corina Schroder made a number of runs forward on the left-wing, working hard to get crosses in and winning an early corner but Gemma Bonner couldn’t get on the end of Williams‘ delivery.

 Kate Longhurst was then involved in a couple of good Liverpool attacks, Gemma Davison making a pacy run through the centre of the pitch and finding Longhurst of the edge of the area; her low ball into Dowie on the edge of the 6-yard box was cut out. Longhurst then almost got on the end of a DaCosta cross but the City keeper again got out to collect.

 The only goal of the game came after Amanda DaCosta headed away a corner, Joey Johnson picked up on the loose ball and fired a strike from outside the box. The shot looked to be going wide before deflected off a couple of players still inside the box and sailing over the line.

 Liverpool’s defence then stepped up a gear, with Gemma Bonner doing well to win back possession and drive the ball forward. Lucy Bronze was pressing high up the pitch, first trying to get the ball across to Natasha Dowie and then winning a corner which was cleared.

 It was thanks to Libby Stout that the reds went in at half-time just a goal down, after winning possession in midfield City breached the Liverpool defence and spotted the Liverpool No.1 off her line. The lobbed shot was excellently saved by Stout as she got back and tipped the ball wide.

 The second-half continued the way the first-half carried on, with not many clear cut goal opportunities from either side.

 Kate Longhurst continued to work hard attempting to link Liverpool’s midfield with the attack, Longhurst winning an early second-half corner with herself and Nina Frausing almost getting on the end of it. Longhurst was instrumental in another Liverpool attack minutes later, getting the ball back to Fara Williams who looked to be fouled but the referee waved play on.

 Liverpool’s greatest chance to equalise came after Gemma Davison took on a number of players in the City box; unable to get a strike in herself, Davison turned and passed back to the incoming Katrin Omarsdottir but the Iceland agonisingly shot wide.

 In terms of the league table, the defeat leaves Liverpool in the same position – 3rd behind Birmingham and Chelsea. Now level on points with Manchester City, the reds remain in 3rd on goal difference. Next up for Liverpool will be Chelsea on 9th August, with 5 points separating the 2 teams this will be Liverpool’s biggest game of the season and one they will need to win to ensure the gap in the table does not widen.

 XI: Stout, Bronze, Bonner (C), Frausing, Schroder, Williams, Katrin, DaCosta, Davison, Longhurst (Easton), Dowie

 Unused subs: Gibbons, Dale, Green, Hodson, Walker

 POTM: Fara Williams, consistent in midfield and worked hard throughout the 90 minutes. Libby Stout a close second.

 Liverpool’s on-loan left-back Megan Alexander started for Oxford today, despite losing 2-1 to Watford it sounded like Alexander had a good game in her first start – clearing a shot off the line and creating opportunities going forwards.

 To finish off, I am going to be in the USA for 10 days from Tuesday so my twitter account may be a bit quieter than normal! Stick with me, I do have wifi in the hotel(s) so will be sharing the news – if any – during the international break as soon as I can. While over there I am going to see Washington Spirit take on Chicago Red Stars in the NWSL, which I am very excited about!

 Thanks for reading!


MATCH PREVIEW: Manchester City v Liverpool Ladies

 This Sunday Liverpool Ladies will make the short trip to Manchester to take on Manchester City Women for the third time this season.

 Liverpool opened their season with a 1-0 victory over the league newcomers through a Natasha Dowie strike, however fell to a 2-1 defeat in the Continental Cup tie at the Etihad in May.

 That loss came in the middle of a tough run for Liverpool Ladies; 8 games stretched over 2 months saw just the 1 win, with 3 defeats and 4 draws. However following the defeat to Arsenal Ladies on 29th June, Liverpool have won each of their last 4 games – scoring 14 goals and conceding 4.

 Starting with a thumping 7-1 win away in the Cup at Durham WFC, the reds then fought Doncaster Belles and Everton Ladies to the final whistle in respective 3-2 and 1-0 victories. Last weekend saw a 3-1 win over last season’s runners-up, Bristol Academy with manager Matt Beard citing the win as the reds best performance this season.

 The reds will be without Martha Harris, Katie Zelem and Ellie Stewart who will be away with England U20s in Canada for the World Cup. They could however be boosted by the return of Claudia Walker, who returns from the U19 Euros in Norway having both captained England during the opening game and scoring their only goal of the competition.

 Katrin Omarsdottir made her first start since the mid-season break away at Bristol, capping her performance with a goal – her 3rd in as many games against the Vixens.

 Gemma Bonner also doubled her goals tally for the season with a header from close range, while Gemma Davison netted a well-taken strike volleying home from a corner.

 Liverpool captain Bonner earned a well-deserved recall this week to the England squad ahead of their friendly against Sweden next weekend, she joins Lucy Bronze, Natasha Dowie and Fara Williams in the 23-woman squad. Davison somehow missed out on the final squad yet again, despite Mark Sampson being in attendance at the Bristol game last weekend. Fara Williams is in line to become the most capped England player of all-time, should Williams feature against Sweden she will bypass Rachel Yankey and collect her 130th international cap.

 Manchester City also find themselves affected by the U20 World Cup, they will be without Natasha Flint who has scored City’s only goal in their last two matches.

 Toni Duggan is their top scorer, the winter signing from Everton has bagged herself 7 goals in 14 appearances so far. Both Isabel Christianson and Abbie McManus have scored their only goals for Man City against Liverpool.

 Last time out City lost away to Chelsea Ladies, a tough away trip as Liverpool found back in April. They lost captain Steph Houghton to a head injury in the first-half and she could be a doubt for Sunday.

 So far this season Manchester City have been beaten by Bristol, Doncaster Belles, Chelsea and Birmingham, all teams that Liverpool have avoided defeat to making this an important game for both sides.

 Currently Liverpool sit 3 points ahead of Manchester City in 3rd place, 2 points behind 2nd placed Chelsea. A win here would extend the gap between the top 3 and the rest of the table.

 Manchester City play at the Etihad Stadium, tickets on the gate cost £6 adults and £3 concessions. The game will kick off 2pm this Sunday 27th July.

 Again apologies for no tweets during the game against Bristol – I was in London! -, make sure you’re following on Sunday for updates throughout the 90 minutes. The link to my twitter is below!

 To finish off on a non-game related note, this week I visited Anfield and had to stop off to pay a visit to our WSL trophy. It was great to see it displayed in the museum alongside all the fantastic memorabilia gathered there – including Natasha Dowie‘s boots from last season!


MATCH PREVIEW: Bristol Academy v Liverpool Ladies

 Tomorrow Liverpool Ladies travel to Bristol Academy, 3 days after a hard-earned victory over Everton Ladies.

 Last season this away clash produced one of the games of the season, as Liverpool raced 3-1 ahead with goals from Louise Fors, Nicole Rolser and Katrin Omarsdottir. With a 2-goal cushion Liverpool lost their way slightly and Bristol managed to pull the score back to 3-3, before Gemma Bonner stepped up to smash home a captains goal minutes from time to take all 3 important points.

 Liverpool would face Bristol again just 6 weeks later, in a game that was the decide the winner of the 2013 Women’s Super League. The reds made no mistakes during this game as goals from Louise Fors and Katrin Omarsdottir gave Liverpool their first major honour in women’s football.

 Both sides have undertaken a couple of changes in the 10 months since they last faced each other, most notably Bristol have lost goalkeeper Siobhan Chamberlain to Arsenal and have a new manager in Dave Edmondson.

 Louise Fors has departed Liverpool, while Nicole Rolser will also be missing for the reds as she has been all season with a serious knee injury.

 Of the Liverpool goalscorers against Bristol last season, Katrin Omarsdottir and Gemma Bonner remain. Katrin returning from injury herself and making appearances in the last two wins over both Doncaster Belles and Everton. Bonner has been an influential presence yet again and ever-present in Liverpool’s brilliant back four, scoring once so far in 2014 during the 7-1 victory over Durham WFC.

 In their previous two matches Bristol Academy have been away at league leaders Birmingham City. Winning the first Continental Cup clash 5-0 and then losing the league game 2-1 just 3 days later.

 Bristol boast an impressive attacking and defensive line-up, Natasha Harding, Natalia and Laura Del Rio have 13 goals between them in 11 games. While at the back they have Jemma Rose and captain Corinne Yorsten.

 The Vixens also have a game in hand over Liverpool, sitting 2 points behind us in the league table. Every game in the WSL so far this year has been fiercely contested and this clash should be no different, both teams will be wanting to take all 3 points.

 There will be no match updates on twitter and no match report for this game on the blog, I’m in London for the weekend (don’t ask where – I would never admit to it!). Make sure you follow @LFCladies for updates during the match. Normal service will resume next weekend for Manchester City away!


MATCH REPORT: Liverpool Ladies 1 – 0 Everton Ladies

 Liverpool Ladies claimed their first derby victory over Everton Ladies this season earlier tonight, beating the blues 1-0 with a Kate Longhurst strike. 

 Having won their previous two cup games, Liverpool went into this game with 10 goals scored and with perhaps more confidence than before the break when they drew their last two league games before returning to a home defeat to Arsenal.

 Despite this it was Everton who had the majority of the chances within the opening 10 minutes, Nikita Parris with an early strike that was brilliantly saved by Libby Stout – Liverpool’s No.1 excellently getting down to save from close range from the striker.

 Liverpool tried to push forward but kept finding themselves penned inside their own half, losing possession on the halfway line and then conceding a free kick which Kate Longhurst defended well to head out for a corner; the resulting corner headed wide with two Evertonians down needing treatment.

 Following the early burst of Everton activity, Liverpool began to find their rhythm; Libby Stout sending a short goal kick to Fara Williams who almost picked out Longhurst up front with the long ball but the defender got there first.

 Next Gemma Davison, continuing her fantastic form this half of the season playing predominantly through the centre did well to win a corner which Williams took and almost reached Gemma Bonner.

 Continuing the frantic opening ten minutes, Everton again attempted to breach the Liverpool defence on the counter attack – with Corina Schroder and Kate Longhurst joining forces to stop Nikita Parris from getting a strike in.

 Straight down the other end another brilliant run from Davison picked out Katie Zelem on the right, her ball across the box back to Davison and Natasha Dowie was chased down by the pair and sent towards the goal – Rachel Brown-Finnis collecting despite the oncoming Amanda DaCosta

 The only goal of the game came after Corina Schroder did fantastically well towards the corner, holding off 3 blue players to turn and get a pass to the edge of the box to Natasha Dowie. Dowie found Kate Longhurst waiting on the edge of the 18-yard box for the forward to confidently smash home her first goal of the season.

 The game continued to be end-to-end for the remainder of the first-half and the second, shortly after the reds took the lead Liverpool again finding themselves under heavy fire – Nina Frausing pairing exceptionally well with Gemma Bonner to consistently elude Nikita Parris‘ chances, the blues number 9 finding herself frustratedly pushed out wide and not managing to wreak as much damage as the 2-0 Everton win here back in April.

 Libby Stout also continued to prove why she is becoming one of the best goalkeepers in the Women’s Super League, commanding her box and comfortably coming out off her line to collect long ball, corners and crosses. 

 At the beginning of the second-half it was Liverpool who showed the most attacking intent, immediately setting off down the right hand side with Amanda DaCosta. Everton defended well to force the Liverpool midfielder to pass back, eventually coming to Schroder who’s cross was blocked.

 From the blocked cross Everton counter-attacked, Schroder getting back and across the face of goal to help out Stout at the back and clear for Liverpool this time to mount the attack.

It was Kate Longhurst who had the greatest chance to double the reds lead, a great cross from Natasha Dowie reaching Longhurst on the 6-yard box but unfortunately she couldn’t connect with it properly and the chance went wide. 

 Gemma Bonner also almost got on the end of a Fara Williams free kick minutes later, the initial free kick sailing over her head but passed back in for the skipper to attempt a scissor kick but again the blues defence was strong and managed to get the ball clear. At the other end Bonner also fantastically shielded the ball across the face of goal, Everton got the ball back in from the clearance but it was easy for Stout to collect. 

 Martha Harris and Katrin Omarsdottir replaced Katie Zelem and Kate Longhurst during the second-half that produced many chances for each team to press forward. 

 The game played out to a hugely important 1-0 victory for Liverpool, despite a glorious late chance for Gemma Davison who almost went one-on-one with the keeper only for Fern Whelan to get back across the face of goal – forcing Davison to turn and shoot, which was saved by Brown.

 POTM: Corina Schroder

 XI: Stout, Bronze, Bonner (C), Frausing, Schroder, Williams, DaCosta, Zelem  (Harris), Davison, Longhurst (Katrin), Dowie

 3 points mean Liverpool move to 3rd in the table, ahead of Manchester City and Notts County’s clash tomorrow evening. Next up for the reds they travel to Bristol Academy on Saturday, last season this was the game that set Liverpool’s title hopes alight with a magnificent strike from Gemma Bonner who netted the winning goal in a 4-3 battle. For the first time (and only) this season there will be no match report on the blog for this game, I am in London for the weekend and unable to make it! Make sure you are following @LFCladies on twitter for match updates while the game is in play.

 In other news this week, on Tuesday England U19s played their opening game of the UEFA Championships in Norway and despite falling to a 2-0 defeat to Sweden it was brilliant to see Claudia Walker captaining and leading the side. Their next game will be on Friday against Republic of Ireland. 

MATCH PREVIEW: Liverpool Ladies v Everton Ladies

 Tomorrow evening Liverpool Ladies will host Everton Ladies in the third derby this season.

 Back in April the two Merseyside clubs came face-to-face in both The FA Cup and the Continental Cup, with Everton knocking the reds out of the former and holding them to a 0-0 draw in the latter.

 Both teams currently occupy the bottom half of the WSL table, Everton holding up the bottom of the league in 8th and Liverpool 4 points ahead in 5th. The two sides have also each scored just 2 goal in 5 league games so far this year, the reds however have scored 10 goals in their last two Continental Cup games – leading goal scorer Natasha Dowie leading the way with 4 goals in her last two, while Amanda DaCosta, Katie Zelem, Gemma Davison and Gemma Bonner have also each contributed.

 Matt Beard has spoken of how he has used the games against Durham and Doncaster to try different systems, Gemma Davison being deployed primarily through the middle of the pitch and creating openings for Natasha Dowie and Kate Longhurst playing just ahead of her. Liverpool second goal on Saturday against Doncaster came after Davison went on one of her many rampaging runs, her shot saved but punched out only as far as Amanda DaCosta who made no mistakes from 6 yards out.

 Liverpool were also boosted by the return of Katrin Omarsdottir, the Icelandic returning from injury at the weekend as a second-half substitute and giving Matt Beard a welcome selection headache with almost a full squad to choose from. Still missing for Liverpool are of course Nicole Rolser and Lucy Staniforth who will miss the entire league campaign, they are also without Claudia Walker who is on international duty.

 Like Liverpool, Everton Ladies have won their last two games in the Continental Cup – scoring 5 and conceding one. The blues will be desperate to lift themselves from the bottom of the league table, defeat here if Arsenal and Manchester City manage to pick up points in their fixtures this week will see a gap begin to open up between them and the rest of the league.

 The blues last outing in the league saw a home defeat to Chelsea Ladies. Everton started the game brightly, utilising the talent and pace of Nikita Parris on the counter attack, but faded over the course of the 90 minutes. Parris has 7 goals in 11 appearances for the toffees this season and will be the player the Liverpool defence need to keep under control.

 Everton will be without Millie Turner who is also away with England U19s.

 The game is at Select Stadium, Widnes and will kick off at 6:30pm. Tickets can be purchased on the gate for £5 adults, £2.50 concessions, Anfield season ticket holders are permitted free entry to all Liverpool Ladies home games.


MATCH REPORT: Liverpool Ladies 3 – 2 Doncaster Belles

 Liverpool Ladies beat Doncaster Belles 3-2 earlier this evening in their final Continental Cup group game. The reds fate in the competition will now be decided by results in other groups over the coming days.

 Matt Beard made just the one change in the starting 11, with Kate Longhurst returning in place of Martha Harris. Katrin Omarsdottir also returned to the Liverpool bench, replacing Claudia Walker who is away on international duty with England U19s.

 6 days ago the reds raced to a 7-0 lead away at Durham before conceding a penalty in the final minutes. During the first-half against Doncaster, they picked up where they left off.

 Gemma Davison was in electric form, playing predominately down the middle and behind the front two of Kate Longhurst and Natasha Dowie. The front three playing brilliantly together, creating chances and making off-the-ball runs. Davison had the first chance of the game, Longhurst laying the ball off perfectly on the edge of the area and the strike only just going over the crossbar.

 Kate Longhurst then seen a couple of chances of her own, first shooting wide following a Dowie through ball and then seeing a shot blocked – heading the ball back down to Dowie who shot wide. The attacking trio were well supported by Fara Williams, Amanda Da Costa and Katie Zelem, with some fantastic passing play during the first 45 minutes.

 Natasha Dowie hit a double against Durham last weekend and struck twice again this evening; Katie Zelem with the assist for the first, continuing her fine start to life in the Liverpool first-team with another solid performance. Dowie‘s second was the third of the game, latching on to a loose ball and making no mistake to finish low past the Doncaster keeper.

  In between the two Dowie goals, Amanda Da Costa scored her first goal of 2014. Davison with the run into the 18-yard box after Corina Schroder set her up, her strike was saved but only as far as Da Costa who was on hand to put the ball into the back of the net.

 Liverpool went in at half-time 3-0 up and cruising, playing some of the best football they’ve displayed in 2014 so far.

 Credit to Doncaster Belles who never gave up and fought their way back into the second-half, rewarding their brilliant travelling support with a couple of goals of their own.

 Gemma Bonner and Nina Frausing are forming a good partnership in the middle of the Liverpool defence, Bonner coming under pressure a couple of times but doing well to get the ball out to Frausing to clear.

 Early in the second-half Liverpool saw a couple of chances to extend their lead go wide, Fara Williams with a great ball to find Kate Longhurst on the edge of the area. Longhurst found Dowie but the return pass went out for a goal kick. Minutes later Williams‘ corner narrowly missed the head of Lucy Bronze.

 Both of Doncaster’s goals came from free kicks, the first being swung in low by Sue Smith around the reds wall to be headed past Libby Stout by Beth England. Jessica Sigsworth added a second for Doncaster to make the final 10 minutes a tense one for the reds as the Belles continued to press for an equaliser

 Hannah Dale and Katrin Omarsdottir replaced Katie Zelem and Gemma Davison midway through the second-half, while Becky Easton came on for Kate Longhurst as Liverpool switched to three at the back – with Lucy Bronze and Corina Schroder playing as wing-backs.

 Liverpool comfortably seen out the victory in the final minutes of the game and will return to league action on Wednesday with an important derby against Everton Ladies – 6:30pm kick off.

 XI: Stout, Bronze, Bonner (C), Frausing, Schroder, Williams, Da Costa, Zelem (Dale), Davison (Katrin), Longhurst (Easton), Dowie

 POTM: Gemma Davison (Natasha Dowie & Katie Zelem both coming a close second)


MATCH PREVIEW: Liverpool Ladies v Doncaster Belles

 This Saturday Liverpool Ladies play their final Continental Cup group game at home against Doncaster Belles. The reds sit second in their group and there is still a chance they can qualify for the semi-finals of the competition as best runner-up from the three groups.

 Last weekend away at Durham WFC, Liverpool at first found it difficult to convert the many chances being created. Leading goal scorer Natasha Dowie ensured the reds went in at half-time in the lead and doubled her tally after the break during a second-half where Liverpool ran riot.

 Ellie Stewart came on for the second-half, a substitution that seemed to allow Lucy Bronze and Corina Schroder to push higher up the pitch to devastating effects. Bronze was lethal during the final 45 minutes, providing a hat-trick of assists as Liverpool put 6 past the Durham defence.

 Katie Zelem was also a stand-out player throughout the 90 minutes, having only made her competitive début for Liverpool 7 days earlier the young midfielder scored twice. The second goal displaying excellent determination as Zelem had three attempts on goal in quick succession, eventually putting the ball in the back of the net.

 Zelem could be the missing link in the Liverpool midfield; over the last couple of matches the reds struggled to find the final ball to Natasha Dowie up front, but with Zelem linking well behind the striker with both Schroder and Gemma Davison plenty of opportunities were created. Dowie‘s second goal coming after a nice passing move between Zelem and Schroder.

 Doncaster Belles return to Widnes on Saturday after also paying Liverpool a visit during pre-season, the match report for Liverpool’s 1-0 that night can be found here. Ellie Stewart with the deciding goal in that game.

 Since then Doncaster have enjoyed a successful start to life in Women’s Super League 2. The Belles currently sit second in the second tier of women’s football after opening their campaign with 5 wins and a draw.

 During those 6 games they have scored 15 league goals, conceding 4. Sue Smith is their overall leading goal scorer on 6 for the season so far, Leandra Little and Jessica Sigsworth just behind her on 5 and 4 respectively.

 One result that stands out from Doncaster’s Continental Cup games so far, is their 2-1 victory over Manchester City. Last season it was controversially announced that Manchester City were to be awarded a place in the top tier of the WSL, while Doncaster Belles would be forced to play for promotion in the league below.

 Doncaster will be missing both Jemma Purfield and Ashleigh Mills for this cup clash, the duo along with Liverpool’s Claudia Walker are with England U19s ahead of their UEFA tournament next week.

 The Belles enjoy fantastic travelling support from their noisy fans and it will be great to welcome them back to Select Stadium on Saturday! That said, their bells coupled with the Liverpool supporters hooters will not make a pleasant noise so here is your 2 day warning to bring cotton wool – I know I will!

 The game kicks off at 6:30pm this Saturday 12th July. Admission on the gate will be £5 adults and £2.50 concessions, if you buy in advance online from here these prices are reduced to £3 adults and £1 concessions while Liverpool supporters in possession of an Anfield season ticket as always are granted free entry to all home games.

 Finally over the next month a number of Liverpool players are due to be involved in international tournaments with England. First up will be Claudia Walker who has been named as part of the England squad for the UEFA Women’s U19 Championships in Norway. Their first game will be on Tuesday 15th July, make sure you’re following on twitter to find all scores and you can also bookmark this blog which will be updated following each game. Walker will be unavailable for Liverpool  for at least the next three games – missing Doncaster Belles, Everton and Bristol Academy away.

 Thanks to Tim Hickman for allowing the use of the photos he took at Durham last Sunday to be used on the blog, for the full set click here.


MATCH REPORT: Durham WFC 1 – 7 Liverpool Ladies

 Liverpool Ladies returned to winning ways this afternoon with a thumping 7-1 win away at Durham WFC in the Continental Cup.

 Libby Stout returned to the starting 11 after missing last week’s defeat to Arsenal, Nina Frausing made her first start for Liverpool in place of the injured Becky Easton and Martha Harris came in for Kate Longhurst.

 Liverpool started quickly out of the blocks in the first-half, holding the majority of the possession with Fara Williams, Katie Zelem and Gemma Davison each pressing forward looking to create opportunities.

 Natasha Dowie looked eager to score and could have had a hat-trick within the opening 10 minutes. Danielle Hill cut out a Davison cross that Liverpool’s leading scorer looked certain to get on the end of and minutes later Hill again thwarted Dowie – saving well from a low drive. The third chance came after Katie Zelem expertly controlled and knocked the ball into the path of the oncoming Dowie but her strike went the wrong side of the post.

 Midway through the first-half Natasha Dowie finally opened the scoring, finishing well after Durham failed to clear.

 Liverpool continued to look hungry for goals however went in at half-time just 1-0 up, despite Dowie hitting the post with a 20-yard strike and sending a penalty just wide.

 Matt Beard made a half-time substitution with Ellie Stewart coming on for Martha Harris. Stewart slotted comfortably into defence alongside Gemma Bonner and Nina Frausing and the change allowed Lucy Bronze and Corina Schroder to play even higher up the pitch.

 The reds, playing in their new yellow away strip, hit a goal rush in the second-half; firing 6 more past the Durham keeper.

 Skipper Gemma Bonner doubled the lead, scrambling the ball home from close range following a corner. The was the Liverpool captain’s first goal this season, after scoring a couple of important goals at the end of the last campaign.

 The third came after Corina Schroder and Katie Zelem combined well to set up Natasha Dowie, who scored her second of the day and 8th overall for the season.

 Katie Zelem made her competitive debut for the reds last weekend an continued her comeback from a broken collarbone with an impressive performance in the centre of midfield. Zelem was behind the majority of the Liverpool chances in the second-half, creating a good partnership with Gemma Davison and continuously linking with Schroder on the wing.

 Zelem scored twice in quick succession, the ever-brilliant Lucy Bronze setting up both of her goals. The first cross powerfully headed into the back of the net and the second headed from the rebound after first hitting the crossbar.

 5-0 up and cruising, Kate Longhurst came on for Natasha Dowie and almost immediately set up a chance for Amanda Da Costa who shot wide. Hannah Dale also came on, replacing Katie Zelem.

 It was finally Gemma Davison‘s turn to strike a double, Davison had been providing opportunities for her team mates throughout the course of the game but eventually got herself on the score sheet. Davison’s first goal coming after the Durham defence failed to clear and her second after yet another Lucy Bronze cross.

 Libby Stout was solid when called upon, coming out to clear her lines and easily collecting corners. Stout however conceded a penalty in the final minutes of the game and despite diving the right way Durham pulled a goal back with Caroline Dixon adding a late consolation goal from the spot.

 POTM: Katie Zelem, with a mention also to Lucy Bronze with a hat-trick of assists!

 XI: Stout, Bronze, Bonner (C), Frausing, Schroder, Harris (Stewart), Williams, Da Costa, Davison, Zelem (Dale), Dowie (Longhurst)

 Unused subs: Gibbons, Walker, Hodson

 An extremely promising second-half performance from Liverpool today, ahead of their final Continental Cup group game at home to Doncaster Belles on Saturday 12th July.

 Although the chances of progressing to the semi-finals of the competition are slim, there is still a chance so it would be great to get a good crowd in to support the players. Liverpool are doing a special offer on ticket prices for the game if bought in advance.

 Thanks for reading!


MATCH PREVIEW: Durham WFC v Liverpool Ladies

 One week on from defeat at home to Arsenal, Liverpool Ladies travel to the North East to take on Durham WFC in the Continental Cup.

 Liverpool’s run in the competition so far has seen a 0-0 derby draw against Everton Ladies, a 6-0 thrashing of Sunderland and a 2-1 loss away from home at Manchester City. With Durham and Doncaster Belles next Saturday being the reds last two group games before the semi-finals they must take maximum points to maintain hope of reaching the semi-finals of this competition for the second year running.

 On Sunday against Arsenal, Liverpool were unlucky in front of goal; both Natasha Dowie and Amanda DaCosta heading wide in the first half. They were even more unlucky to concede the way they did, the ball knocked in the back of the net by Casey Stoney following a tussle in the 6-yard box.

 Katie Zelem made her long-awaited competitive début for Liverpool, the young midfielder missed the first part of the season with a broken collarbone and slotted comfortably into the midfield alongside Fara Williams and Amanda DaCosta.

 While one player returns from injury, another sat the game out – goalkeeper Libby Stout failing a late fitness test. In Stout’s absence Danielle Gibbons once again made the step up to deputise, impressing with a number of saves from Danielle Carter.

 Kate Longhurst and Becky Easton also picked up injuries during the game, while Nina Frausing made her Liverpol début following her summer move. Frausing immediately immersed herself into the game, playing in midfield and creating chances for fellow substitute Claudia Walker and Natasha Dowie.

 Lucy Bronze also created chances throughout the 90 minutes, playing the majority of the game at right-back and pushing forward up the wing. Bronze almost found herself on the score sheet, testing Emma Byrne from 25 yards with a ferocious strike that the Arsenal keeper only just tipped over the crossbar.

 Liverpool’s opposition on Sunday currently sit bottom of the Women’s Super League second division, following a 2-1 defeat at the weekend to Oxford United. On-loan reds left-back Megan Alexander featured for Oxford during the game, helping them to the first win of their campaign.

 Like Liverpool, Durham have seen a couple of players miss games through injury. Louise Fellows made her WSL début on Sunday on her return from injury, while Ellie Christon also made her first appearance in 6 weeks after picking up an injury against Everton in the same competition.

 Durham’s top scorer this season is midfielder Caroline Dixon who has 3 goals in 9 games. New signing Emily Scott from Middlesborough also scored on her début against Oxford.

 When Liverpool’s development squad beat Durham 6-2 in November 2013, 5 of the players who featured during Durham’s 2-1 defeat to Oxford also played – Jessica RoundBeth HeppleVictoria LinsleyJennifer Jennings and Rebecca Hanratty. Supporters of Liverpool Ladies will now also recognise the reds goal scorers that day; Shannon Beckwith opened the scoring and Beth Donoghue doubled Liverpool’s lead before Ellie Stewart impressively added a third with a long-range free-kick.

 3-0 down, Durham pulled a goal back through débutante Stacy Crooks but Claudia Walker re-extended the reds lead just before half-time. The second-half also seen a whole host of chances, mostly created through Megan Alexander who also got herself on the score sheet. Ashley Hodson netted Liverpool’s 6th and Crooks scored her second of the game just before the final whistle. Read the full match report here: Liverpool Ladies dev. squad 6 – 2 Durham WFC.

 The game will not be live on television however you should be able to listen to commentary online. Last week Durham announced via their website that all remaining home games would be broadcast live at

 If you are travelling to support the reds at the game kick off is at 2pm, Sunday 6th July, Durham play all home games at New Ferens Park and you can purchase tickets at the turnstiles for £4 adults – children’s tickets are free.

 In other news this week, on-loan Liverpool midfielder Louise Fors has announced her decision to take a break from football. Fors was sensational for Liverpool last year and a massive part of our league winning campaign. Read the club’s official announcement here and Fors’ interview on her decision here.

 In better news, Liverpool trio Martha Harris, Ellie Stewart and Katie Zelem have each received England call-ups for the upcoming U20 World Cup in Canada. England are in Group C and will face South Korea on 6th August, Mexico on 9th August and Nigera on 13th August.

 Claudia Walker also received an international call-up and will feature for England in the UEFA Women’s U19 Championships in Norway. There England will face Sweden on 15th July, Republic of Ireland on 18th July and Spain on 21st July.