Match Report: Liverpool Ladies 0 – 0 Doncaster Belles (Development Squad)

 The first Liverpool Ladies home game of 2014 seen the development squad battle Doncaster Belles to the final whistle for a share of the points.

 Three players returned from international duty with England, Olivia Wild, Hannah Dale and Claudia Walker have all been involved in training camps and friendlies this week with the England Under 19s. Olivia Wild also made her return to first team action after injuring her wrist in the last competitive fixture last year.

 Missing from the squad were Ellie Stewart, Katie Zelem and Danielle Gibbons, all three players are now training with the first team who returned from the off-season last week. Replacing keeper Danielle Gibbons was new signing from Blackburn Rovers Gemma Jackson.

 The game started similarly to the last two home games for the development squad, neither side really troubling the others defence and a few strikes from distance outside of the box. The game began to settle around the 15 minute mark, Liverpool beginning a nice passing move which led to Ashley Hodson shooting just wide after being fed through by Bethany Donoghue.

 Throughout the 90 minutes, the game was end-to-end. The Liverpool defence and new centre-back pairing of Sophia Riccio and Shannon Beckwith withstanding the pressure from the Doncaster attacks, Hannah Dale also made a couple of important challenges during the first half. Dale was effective at both ends throughout the match with a couple of long range efforts either side of half-time.

 New signing Gemma Jackson impressed on her debut, Doncaster perhaps had more shots on target than Liverpool but Jackson dealt with each strike well. During the first half a low cross came into the box which the Doncaster striker attempted to tap past the keeper, Jackson stayed on her feet to clear the ball.

 The two full-backs Olivia Wild and Megan Alexander also had impressive games on the flanks, as Natasha Dowie mentioned on LFC TV’s Thursday Night Live the other night Matt Beard has his full-backs playing higher up attacking like wing-backs and this seems to be the case for the development squad also.

 Claudia Walker and Ashley Hodson up front also continued their good form from last year, Walker with a fantastic chance in the first half weaving her way through the midfield before shooting on goal and Hodson with an agonisingly close effort with about ten minutes to go in the second half. Walker squared the ball to Hodson in the 6-yard box but the strike went the wrong side of the post.

 Hannah Dale perhaps had the games greatest chance, pulled down on the edge of the 18-yard box in the first-half, Dale stepped up to take the free kick herself. The ball swung in and dipped but crashed off the underside of the crossbar before being cleared.

 Victoria Rumsey and Emilie Revitt were both second half substitutes, replacing Rebecca Hillman and Megan Alexander. Revitt linking up well with Riccio in the dying minutes to thwart a final Doncaster attack and keep the score level at 0-0.

 POTM: Could have gone to a number of players today, Hannah Dale gets more impressive in the centre of midfield each game, Olivia Wild had a great game at left back against tough opposition, but Player of the Match today goes to Bethany Donoghue who was a constant attacking threat on the right of midfield, putting cross after cross into the box and being very unlucky that none of these were converted past the Belles keeper.

 Team: Jackson, Wild, Beckwith, Riccio, Alexander (Revitt), Dale, Donoghue, Vella, Hillman (Rumsey), Hodson, Walker

 The squad now has a couple of weeks before their next game, away at Duham. The next home game listed here is against Notts County on 30th March.

 For more information on Liverpool’s development squad follow the official @LFCLadies twitter.

 Thanks for reading!


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

 Until the final whistle this game seemed to be going the same way as last weekends victory away at Sunderland, with a last minute winner surely on the way. Unfortunately for Liverpool they did everything but score a second goal.

 Liverpool started the game brightly, both Rebecca Hillman and Claudia Walker spotting early openings in the Birmingham defence and trying their luck from range.

 Ashley Hodson had another fine game up front and was extremely unlucky not to get on the scoresheet, an early run into the box only halted by the oncoming Birmingham keeper.

 Ellie Stewart has also been in great form so far this season, assured at the back when the defence is under pressure and dangerous when attacking the ball at corners – today going close with two headers.

 Both of the games goals came during the first half, Claudia Walker working well just behind Hodson cutting in from both wings and deservedly grabbing her fourth goal of the season.

 Birmingham’s goal was against the run of play, a long range effort caught Danielle Gibbons just off her line to equalise for the blues.

 Shortly before half-time and after nearly putting Liverpool back in the lead following a corner, Olivia Wild picked up a wrist injury that looked to be quite painful and was replaced by Emilie Revitt. Revitt coming on forced a change at the back, going to left-back meaning Sam Chappell moved across to right-back and Sophia Riccio to centre-back.

 With the teams out for the second half it was once again Liverpool controlling the game and dominating the possession, Birmingham set themselves up a bit more defensively attempting to catch us on the counter attack.

 Despite the Birmingham attacks being few and far between, reds keeper Danielle Gibbons produced a number of crucial saves. Doing well on one occasion to get down to her left to stop a goal-bound strike.

 Liverpool had many chances throughout the second half, Bethany Donoghue almost putting Katie Zelem through on goal, Emilie Revitt also with a brilliant cross into the box that only just skimmed the top of Ashley Hodson’s head.

 Holly Yates then came on for Donoghue as the chances kept on coming. Katie Zelem the driving force behind many of the Liverpool attacks, a pass to Hodson who’s cross went just behind Yates and then unlucky not to find Hillman with a low pass on the edge of the box.

 With 5 minutes to play Liverpool continued to press but to no avail, the second goal simply not coming. Zelem this time on the end of a couple of chances, first with a shot intercepted and then heading over.

 In the final minutes it was Hodson who almost claimed the late winner, the ball coming to her just outside the six-yard box just a little too fast giving her no time to control it and the shot over the crossbar.

 Team: Gibbons (C), Chappell, Stewart, Riccio, Wild (Revitt), Dale, Zelem, Donoghue (Yates), Hillman, Walker, Hodson

 POTM: Danielle Gibbons

 Liverpool will be disappointed to not have won all 3 points this afternoon but should not be disheartened by their fighting performance. Today was the final time this year Liverpool will play at home, next Sunday they are back away at Sunderland before breaking over Christmas. The next home fixture will be against Doncaster Belles on 2nd February 2014, for full fixtures and results click here & follow @LFCLadiesFans on Twitter for any news between now and then!

Thanks for following!

Match Report: Liverpool Ladies 6 – 2 Durham WFC (Development Squad)

 Prior to this cup tie, Liverpool Ladies Development Squad had played 3 games – winning 2 and losing 1 away to Notts County in their last outing. Looking to bounce back with a win over Durham and with a strong starting 11, full-back Olivia Wild one of the players not featuring however due to being at St Georges Park.

 This was the 2nd cup game for the reds this season, they beat Manchester City 1-0 away on 13th October and they continued their cup form with a great display which included 6 goals scored by 6 different goalscorers. 
 After getting slightly lost trying to find our way to the stands, a different entrance to watching the first team play, we missed the first few minutes including an early injury to Sophia Riccio. Riccio looked in some pain and was replaced by Shannon Beckwith, hopefully the injury wasn’t as bad as it looked. 
 Liverpool were attacking with intent and looked hungry for goals, so far this season the team had scored 5 goals in 3 games. Katie Zelem took a free kick that hit the wall, hit back into the box the ball went out for a corner kick and the resulting corner was put in by Beckwith who had been on the pitch only a couple of minutes. 
 Following the goal Durham mounted an attack that broke down when Samantha Chappell was fouled in the 18-yard box, goalkeeper Danielle Gibbons took the free kick that led to the attack in which Bethany Donoghue doubled Liverpool’s lead to 2-0.
 Showing no signs of sitting back to defend the lead, Liverpool continued to press forward and quickly extended the lead to 3. Center-back Ellie Stewart took a free kick that thwarted the Durham keeper to end up in the back of the net, despite the fact it wasn’t actually a strike it was a great first Liverpool goal for Stewart. 
 Liverpool’s defence dealt well with the Durham attack, before unfortunately conceding a penalty and Durham débutante Stacy Crooks sent Gibbons the wrong way to pull a goal back. 
 Just before half-time former Claudia Walker scored her 3rd goal in 4 games to re-extend the reds lead to 3 goals.
 Throughout the 2nd half it was mostly Liverpool pressure, slightly more settled than the first-half the reds had shot after shot on the Durham goal blocked or saved by the keeper. There were also some fantastic crosses into the box, Ashley Hodson almost got onto the end of one early in the 2nd half, her shot blocked the ball fell to Walker who shot wide.
 Megan Alexander had an impressive second half on the left, first with a great run which was only halted with a fine sliding tackle. Alexander then came close to scoring twice, through on goal her first strike was punched away by the keeper and her second cleared off the line. 
 Ashley Hodson was another player who was a constant attacking threat, her cross across the 6-yard box to Donoghue was just missed by the former Blackburn Rovers midfielder. Donoghue also saw a low drive from the edge of the box saved. 
 Both players got themselves onto the scoresheet as the Durham defence fell apart, Alexander with the 5th and Hodson the 6th after sliding the ball past the oncoming goalkeeper. 
 Durham had a couple of chances late in the game, Crooks did add a second consolation goal injuring Gibbons in the process and Katie Zelem was unlucky not to get herself a goal. Zelem’s injury time strike over the crossbar.
 A great all-round team performance from the reds, six different goal scorers speaks for itself and many more players could have grabbed themselves goals – especially during the second half. 
 Next Sunday Liverpool travel to Sunderland for their 3rd league game of the season, and 2 weeks today we will be back at Halton for another league game – this time vs Birmingham City and also a 2pm kick off.    
 Gibbons, Riccio, (Beckwith), Stewart, Chappell, Alexander, Dale (Vella), Rumsey, Donoghue, Zelem, Walker (Revitt), Hodson
 POTM: Megan Alexander, a particularly impressive 2nd half performance with a hat-trick of chances capped with a well taken strike.

Match Report: Liverpool Ladies 2 – 0 Doncaster Belles

 Goals either side of half-time gave Liverpool Ladies a well deserved win over the leagues bottom placed side Doncaster Belles. Louise Fors’ second half strike was also a record breaker, being Liverpool’s 39th of the WSL season it meant that we overtook Arsenal for most goals scored by a team in a single season – with two games to go!

 Despite their low league position Doncaster came out fighting, Sue Smith urging her team mates forward. Smith made an early run down the right wing, coming up against Liverpool left-back Corina Schroder who put the ball out for a throw from which Liverpool quickly gained possession.
 Liverpool began passing the ball around and shifted into second gear with a number of attacking plays, first Lucy Bronze’s ball found Natasha Dowie but the attack was cut off by the Doncaster defence. Fara Williams and Louise Fors then combined well but the ball was intercepted before it could reach Bronze who had made a great run. Schroder then hit a cross into the box attempting to find Nicole Rolser which keeper Nicky Davies came out to catch.
 Liverpool’s brilliant German was involved in the first goal minutes later, getting herself into a one-on-one position in the box she unselfishly squared the ball to Natasha Dowie who tapped the ball in from six yards for her 16th goal of the season.
 The reds (playing in white) had a great game defensively, which was great to see as before this game we had kept just 1 clean sheet out of 6. Captain Gemma Bonner in particular shone making a number of interceptions, most notably in the first half when Sue Smith tried to find Leandra Little.
 Goalkeeper Rachael Laws had a storming game between the posts, commanding her box well during set plays and corners and coming out for the ball. At one point after coming out for a corner Laws was challenged in the 6 yard box, requiring treatment while Liverpool prepared for a substitution. No sub was needed however and Laws was fine to continue. 
 It was thanks to Laws that Liverpool went in ahead at half-time, the keeper producing a number of good saves to keep the Belles out.
 Nastasha Dowie was unlucky not to get a second early in the second half, strongly holding off the Doncaster defender she turned and shot at goal but it was well caught by Davies.
 Doncaster began to really push for a goal. Sigworth made a mazy run through our half, Whitney Engen couldn’t catch her but Schroder did and put the ball out for a corner which was punched away by Laws for another corner which she caught. Rachael Laws did well again moments later when Sue Smith hit a free kick into the box, the keeper came well off her line to claim.
 Liverpool then had numerous chances from a hat-trick of corners. Two deliveries from Fors; one skimming the top of Katrin’s head and the other cleared only as far as Bronze, who passed the ball to Rolser but her shot went wide. Then from a Fara Williams corner Gemma Bonner went close.
 Amanda Da Costa showed her incredible work rate during the 90 minutes, at one point in the second half battling well to get the ball into the 18 yard box only to be unluckily dispossessed. Da Costa had a strike on target saved also, the ball came to her in space at the edge of the box but with a looming defender she hit straight at the keeper.
 It looked as though it was going to be another nervy ending at the Halton Stadium, however Lucy Bronze forced her way into the box through the defence to pull the ball back to Louise Fors. Fors’ first strike was parried back to her and she made no mistake with the second chance, scoring Liverpool’s second goal and sealing the 3 points for the reds. 
 During the second half injury time, Matt Beard introduced a three substitions – Kate Longhurst, Sarah Gregorius and Jess Holbrook who replaced Natasha Dowie, Nicole Rolser and Amanda Da Costa. 5 added minutes entailed but passed without incident and Liverpool went 5 points clear at the top of the table, ahead of Arsenal’s game tomorrow night vs Lincoln.
Team: Laws, Schroder, Engen, Bonner (C), Bronze, Omarsdottir, Williams (Holbrook), Rolser (Gregorius), Fors, Da Costa, Dowie (Longhurst)
POTM: Lucy Bronze won the twitter vote and had another fine game on the right. Rachael Laws for me is a very close second.
 Thanks for following the match updates on @LFCLadiesFans
 Next up for Liverpool Ladies, it’s the big one, it’s Derby Day! Next Thursday 12th September @ Halton Stadium, Widnes 7:30pm KO. Also live on BT Sport for those who can’t make it.
In non-match related news, the latest edition of the official LFC magazine is out now. It features midfielder Amanda Da Costa’s diary and this month also features an interview with myself! Having bought this magazine religiously since I was 10 this is very exciting for me and I hope it comes across ok!

Match Report: Birmingham City 2 – 4 Liverpool Ladies

 Liverpool Ladies capped an impressive away record in the FAWSL with a 4-2 victory at Birmingham City, making it 6 wins out of 7 on the road (not including the two FA Cup wins at Aston Villa and Sunderland).

 Birmingham started brightly creating a couple of opportunities for Melissa Lawley, who had played 70 minutes for England Under 19’s yesterday. The blues won an early free kick that was taken by Jo Potter but cleared with ease by Whitney Engen.
 Liverpool’s first attempt on goal came after 5 minutes however Fara Williams’ strike landed in the car park. The build up play before the shot was brilliant, with Gemma Bonner hitting a great ball to Nicole Rolser who pulled the ball back to Williams.
 Natasha Dowie then had a couple of chances, first shooting just wide of the post after being put through by Rolser and then only denied by good goalkeeping.
 Dowie then narrowly missed a Louise Fors cross minutes later, the ball instead reached the in-form Rolser who put Liverpool ahead from close range.
 Following the goal Liverpool really hit their stride, playing some of the most fantastic football which was pass and move at its finest. The fine run of play led to a Liverpool free kick, which super Swede Louise Fors superbly struck to beat the keeper – giving Liverpool a 2 goal cushion.
 Minutes later it was 3, Nicole Rolser again making a run into the 18 yard box. Her shot was deflected in off Birmingham’s Westwood but will go down as Rolser’s as it was going in anyway.
 After half time Liverpool came out playing as before the break, pressing high up the pitch. Nicole Rolser completed her hat trick to round off another super performance from the young German. The 4th goal also meant Liverpool have now scored 4 or more goals in no less than 9 games this season.
 Subsequently Liverpool took their foot off the pedal a little, Birmingham pulled a goal back immediately. Lucy Bronze nearly restored our lead back to 4 after cutting into the box from the right but her shot was saved.
 Birmingham continued to pile on the pressure throughout the second half, at one point forcing Rachel Laws to come way out of her box to clear. Birmingham scored a second goal on the 70th minutes to make it 4-2 to Liverpool.
 Liverpool used all 3 substitutions during the second half, with Jess Holbrook and Kate Longhurst coming on for Amanda Da Costa and Louise Fors. Becky Easton also replaced Corina Schroder and shortly after coming on made an excellent challenge to halt another Birmingham attack.
 The game tailed off towards the end of the 90 minutes, Natasha Dowie had the last chance of the game but her header went just wide.
 POTM: Nicole Rolser
 Liverpool team: Laws, Bronze, Bonner (c), Engen, Schroder (Easton), Omarsdottir, Williams, Fors (Longhurst), Rolser, Da Costa (Holbrook), Dowie
 Thanks for reading and following the match updates this afternoon. I do apologise for the lack of tweets during the second half but the reception at the ground was awful and I kept losing signal!
 Random moment of the day goes to bumping into Chelsea Ladies at an M6 service station. They were making their way home following a defeat to Everton. Had a great chat with Carly Telford swapping news from each game, Carly also thinks Arsenal will drop points during their 4 remaining games so let’s hope she is right!
 Next up for Liverpool Ladies is Doncaster Belles, we will face them on Wednesday 4th September at Halton Stadium, Widnes 7:45pm KO.

Match Report: Liverpool Ladies 4 – 3 Chelsea Ladies

 Before the break Liverpool Ladies seemed to make a habit out of 4-0, 4-1 scorelines. Having watched two narrow 4-3 wins in the last week I have to say I hope we don’t make a habit out of this one – my nerves can’t take it!

 In the match day programme Matt Beard talks about how expectations for this season have shifted from targeting a top 4 finish to a European place, after tonight’s result we are definitely are in with a great chance of placing in the top 2.

 Onto the game then, similar to the one against Arsenal a couple of weeks earlier our London visitors were faster out of the blocks than us. Swedish international Sofia Jakobsson in particular causing a stir on the right wing and capitalising on a defensive mix up to put Chelsea ahead.
 Liverpool had a couple of chances to equalise, Amanda Da Costa’s goal bound shot was saved by blues keeper Telford and Nicole Rolser also seen a strike saved.
 Within 7 minutes of kick off Chelsea had doubled their lead, new signed Ogimi setting up Eni Aluko who scored past Sarah Quantrill.
 The second goal caused Liverpool to regroup and step up their game, Fara Williams in particular pressing up the pitch and driving the team forwards. Williams tried a couple of long range efforts, one just wide of the post and the other narrowly over the crossbar.
 Fara was then fouled and awarded a free kick in a similar position to where she scored against Chelsea in the Continental Cup. The ball swung in low at the near post, narrowly beating Telford to pull a goal back for Liverpool and the reds went in at half time trailing 2-1.
 Matt Beard switched keepers at half time, Rachel Laws replacing Sarah Quantrill in the Liverpool goal.
 Nicole Rolser was brought down in the penalty box, controversially nothing was given despite the German midfielder needing to leave the field for treatment. Shortly after returning to the pitch Rolser equalised. Louise Fors’ corner found Gemma Bonner, who’s headed looked to be clearer off the line but Rolser was there to tap the ball in.
 Gemma Bonner then went down in our box with a back injury, the Liverpool captain did attempt to run it off and returned to the field after receiving treatment. Minutes later Becky Easton replaced her, with Lucy Bronze moving across to centre back and Amanda Da Costa taking the arm band.
 Chelsea’s Ogimi was lively throughout, she went through on goal after Whitney Engen missed her header yet Lucy Bronze did brilliantly to get back and clear.
 Natasha Dowie then had a brilliant chance, also going through on goal but was denied by a great save from Telford.
 Sofia Jakobsson’s cross was then deflected into the back of the net to put Chelsea back in front, Becky Easton got the final touch but the ball was going in anyway.
 3-2 down yet still not giving up the fight, Natasha Dowie equalised for Liverpool with a brilliant header. Dowie has now scored 6 goal in 9 league games.
 Natasha then played a part in the next goal, setting Nicole Rolser up nicely for Liverpool to go in front for the first time during the game. Even Matt Beard and the bench were on the pitch celebrating the goal!
Nerves frayed in the stands and on the pitch, Ogimi feeling that  Easton was taking her time on a throw in and rather amusingly handing her the ball.
 6 minutes of added time due to the injury to Bonner thankfully seen no more goals and the reds secured another important three points.
 POTM Nicole Rolser
 Liverpool team: Quantrill (Laws), Bronze, Bonner (c)(Easton), Engen, Schroder, Omarsdottir, Williams, Rolser, Da Costa, Fors (Longhurst), Dowie

 Next up for Liverpool we are away at Doncaster Belles on Saturday 24th August. There will be a match preview up for this game but no match report, I will be at Villa Park instead. (sorry!)

 Will be covering the final 4 league games however starting with Birmingham away on Sunday 1st September, missing the Man Utd game for that one! Thanks for following @LFCLadiesFans again on twitter tonight and for reading these reports, all comments are really appreciated and I also want to say a massive thank you to everyone who wished me a happy birthday! Especially @Girlsontheball who gave me some pretty cool GOTB merch!

Match Report: Bristol Academy 3 – 4 Liverpool Ladies

 Liverpool fought their way back to the top of the Woman’s Super League with a hard-earned 4-3 victory away at league leaders Bristol Academy.

 Following a 3-0 league defeat against Arsenal last weekend, Liverpool needed to win this game to keep our title hopes alive – lose and Bristol would extend their lead to 6 points. Matt Beard made two changes to the team that lost midweek in the cup to Lincoln, Sarah Quantrill returned to the starting line up in place of Rachel Laws and Sarah Gregorius dropped to the bench in favour of Katrin Omarsdottir.

 Liverpool got off to a good start, Amanda Da Costa with the reds first effort after goalkeeper Siobhan Chamberlain’s clearance only went as far as the American midfielder. Da Costa’s first time strike at the empty Bristol goal however went over the crossbar.

 Lucy Bronze put in another great shift on the right and an early cross nearly found Natasha Dowie, forcing Chamberlain to punch the ball away.

 Nicole Rolser, Liverpool’s tricky German midfielder, once again found herself the main target of opposition fouls and was pushed over by Grace McCatty just outside of the 18 yard box. Fara Williams and Louise Fors stood over it with Fors taking, hitting the wall.
 Natasha Harding picked up a nasty looking eye injury, one that put Liverpool captain Gemma Bonner’s black eye to shame, following a tumble with Sarah Quantrill in the box.
 Bristol were awarded a dubious free kick decision, it was sent towards Heatherson in the 6 yard box who’s first strike was parried away by Quantrill but she followed up the rebound to put Bristol ahead.
 Katrin Omarsdottir almost equalised immediately for Liverpool, a Louise Fors corner was only cleared as far as Da Costa who hit the ball back into the box but Katrin couldn’t control her volley.
 Shortly after Nicole Rolser was again knocked down by Grace McCatty, this time in the penalty area and Liverpool were correctly awarded a penalty. Given our luck with penalties over the last week, Louise Fors stepped up to smash the ball past Chamberlain and grab that all important equaliser to put us back in the game.
 Into added time at the end of the first half, Louise Fors swung her corner kick into the box. The ball bounced through a few players before literally bouncing off the surprised Nicole Rolser into the back of the net. The goal at the stroke of half time sent the Ladies in 2-1 up.
 Back out for the second half and now playing with confidence. Liverpool were awarded another free kick on the edge of the box, this time Icelandic midfielder Katrin Omarsdottir stepped up but again it hit the wall. 
 Omarsdottir was to get a third chance at goal a few minutes later and made no mistakes with this one, scoring a brilliant goal from the edge of the box to give us a 2 goal cushion. The was Katrin’s second Liverpool goal and not her first as the BT Sport commentator informed everybody – she scored the winner against Sunderland in our FA Cup Quarter Final.
 Chasing the game Bristol made two attacking substitutions, sending on Spanish duo Laura Del Rio and Keka. Del Rio made an immediate impact.
 Sarah Quantrill’s goal kick only went as far as Natalia who quickly passed to Del Rio and she slotted the ball past Quantrill to pull a goal back.
 Not even two minutes later Bristol had their equaliser – Natasha Harding’s cross into the box found Natalia who made it 3-3.
 With 10 minutes left for either side to find a winner, both Lucy Bronze and Whitney Engen did well breaking down Bristol attacks.
 Becky Easton came on to replace Corina Schroder for her first appearance this half of the season and Sarah Gregorius came on for penalty scorer Louise Fors.
 Captain Gemma Bonner suddenly found herself in a bit of space in the Bristol half, letting the ball roll a couple of yards in front and glancing towards goal she superbly struck the ball which went flying past Chamberlain. Liverpool were 4-3 up with minutes to go.
 Into injury time – Kate Longhurst replaced Natasha Dowie up front for the reds but it was all Bristol as they desperately searched for another equaliser. They won a corner deep into injury time yet any hope was crushed as Rose headed well over.
 A great shift put in tonight by all Liverpool Ladies, player of the match has to go to Gemma Bonner for a great all-round performance and a crucial match winning goal that could be so important for our season. Nicole Rolser and Lucy Bronze the other stand out players in this great Liverpool side this evening.
 The Ladies now have a week until their next game against Chelsea Ladies. This will be played at Halton Stadium Saturday 17th August, 7:15pm KO. The match preview for this game will be up during the week.
 Thanks for reading and thanks to all those that joined @LFCLadiesFans on twitter tonight during the game! All comments are much appreciated.

Match Report: Everton Ladies 1 – 4 Liverpool Ladies

 Last night Liverpool Ladies claimed their first FA Women’s Super League derby victory over rivals Everton and strengthened their hold at the top of the table in style. In front of a packed Marine ground – 1,124 being the official gate number – the ladies in red ran riot against the Everton defence.

 It was all change for Liverpool, both keepers were out injured meaning emergency loan signing Rachael Laws made her debut. Katrin Omarsdottir returned from international duty having picked up an injury leaving Jess Holbrook to fill her spot in the centre of midfield against her old team. Also back from international duty with the USA Whitney Engen retook her position at centre back with Lucy Bronze moving back across to right back.

 For the first ten minutes the two teams struggled to find their rhythm, both trying to get a hold on the game. Everton had a couple of early chances, first a Toni Duggan strike was blocked by Liverpool captain Gemma Bonner then Laws saved well from Nikita Parris. Once Liverpool settled it was the same as the Lincoln game, Liverpool holding the majority of the possession barely allowing Everton a sniff of the ball. The reds crept closer and closer to the Everton goal, both Nicole Rolser and Amanda Da Costa cutting through the Everton defence but being offside. Bronze then hit a great ball to Da Costa but her cross was sent narrowly wide by Corina Shroder. Liverpool now with all the pressure and growing in confidence, Engen up from a corner won the ball back and put it back into the box but Fara Williams placed her shot the wrong side of the post. Rolser then had a number of chances, her first sailed over the crossbar and in hindsight could have been passed to the waiting Natasha Dowie. Amy Kane blocked Rolser’s second goal bound effort however the Everton defence then failed to deal with the ball in the box and she slotted home her second goal of the season. Dowie and Schroder were working well together on the left, shortly before half time Dowie crossed the ball to the unmarked Da Costa but the ball ran just behind her.  Despite the relentless assault Liverpool somehow went in at half time up by just one goal.

 Everton came out with a renewed fighting spirit in the second half, showing some of the attacking movement they did last week against Doncaster Belles. Bronze and Bonner dealt confidently with the onslaught, Gemma Bonner hit the ball up field to Dowie who went close – the ball going out for a corner. Everton cleared quickly from the corner to hit us on the counter attack, Parris’ shot was saved by Laws but straight into the path of the oncoming Jill Scott who equalised for the blues. Everton’s joy was short lived, Louise Fors continuing her fine form with a goal from just inside the 18 yard box to put us back in front. A Fara Williams free kick then was saved by Lizzie Durack and sent out for another reds corner, this time Whitney Engen taking no chances and staying back to cover the defence. Yet another Fors strike from an almost identical position was punched away by Durack but only as far as Shroder, who had gotten herself into a fantastic position to score her first goal in a red shirt. Comfortably ahead and in control of the game Matt Beard made a double substitution bringing on Becky Easton and Lillie Billson to replace Williams and  Rolser, Bronze moving into midfield. Towards the end of the second half both teams had chances, Natasha Dowie’s chip was saved and up at the other end Laws kept out Everton substitute Simone McGill. With the 90 minutes drawing to a close Dowie put the final nail in the Everton coffin after Billson found her unmarked in the Everton half, she struck the ball past the unfortunate Durack for her 9th goal on the season. 4-1 Liverpool.

 It’s difficult to single out just one player for player of the game, not one of our ladies put in a bad shift. Our starting back four all did well halting the Everton attacks, Bronze made more than one crucial interception, Bonner with numerous clearances which also seemed to find a red shirt every time and Schroder not just for bagging a goal but for being the catalyst for many of Liverpool’s attacks down the left. If it were based purely on the first half then  I would have said Nicole Rolser but taking the full 90 minutes into consideration the POTM for me has to go to Whitney Engen. A rock at the heart of our defence, breaking up many of Everton’s attacks and keeping Toni Duggan quiet all evening limiting the number of chances she could take. This was made all the more impressive when you take into account that barely 48 hours she had put in another player of the match performance for the USWNT against Canada, playing the full 90 minutes in Toronto.

 Birmingham are the next side to face our in form reds. It will be the last game before the season breaks for the European Championships, the game kicks off 7:15pm this Saturday 8th June at Halton Stadium. The match preview for this game will be up on Friday evening. Thanks for reading!

LFC: Laws, Bronze, Engen, Bonner (C), Schroder, Holbrook, Williams (Easton 81), Fors, Rolser (Billson 81), Da Costa, Dowie. Unused subs: Chappell, Keryakoplis, Riccio

EFC: Durack, V.Jones, Greenwood, Johnson, Chaplen, Scott (C), Kane (Whipp 85), Hinnigan (K.Jones 64), Parris, Duggan, Boye-Hlorkah (Magill 78). Unused subs: Brown-Finnis, Nelson, Handley, Williams.

Match Report: Liverpool Ladies 3 – 2 Lincoln Ladies

 Yesterday’s FA Women’s Super League tie seen Lincoln Ladies travel to Liverpool’s Halton Stadium. Both sides were forced to make changes to their back lines, Lincoln’s Casey Stoney out with injured and Whitney Engen away for us on international duty. Lucy Bronze moved into the centre of defence with Becky Easton returning to the starting line up at right back.

 It was a nervy start from the reds which was further impounded when captain Gemma Bonner went down with a head injury and had to leave the pitch for stitches. With Liverpool down to 10 players Lincoln were gifted a chance when Carla Cantrell seized on a back pass to make it 0-1. Once Bonner returned to the field Liverpool grew in confidence, Fara Williams and Katrin controlled the midfield and we really began to dominate possession. Ten minutes after the Lincoln goal Natasha Dowie fired in her 8th goal of the season so far and should have won a penalty towards the end of the first 45. Louise Fors also had another brilliant game down the left and her free kick just before half time ricocheted  off the cross bar.

 Liverpool began the 2nd half the way they finished the first – dominating the possession and our midfield controlling the game. Nicole Rolser attracted a lot of fouls from Lincoln, who were probably frustrated by her skills down the right wing. Liverpool took the lead when a Fara Williams shot/ cross deflected into the goal off the defender and shortly afterwards Louise Fors scored a well deserved goal to give us a 2 goal cushion. Lincoln then pulled a goal back, Squantrill had no chance against Precious Hamilton’s strike from outside the box. Hamilton’s goal gave Lincoln an injection of confidence in the latter stages of the game but Liverpool hung on and substitute Lillie Billson was unlucky not to extend our lead with a great chance. In injury time Lincoln won a corner which even their goalkeeper Karen Bardsley came up for but Liverpool cleared with ease.

 Some points from the game:

  • On the whole our defence coped well without Whitney Engen. After the shaky start they grew into the game and were not at fault for Lincoln’s second.
  • Our midfield is really beginning to boss games. Williams and Katrin controlling with Rolser, Fors and Da Costa providing the flair.
  • Natasha Dowie is in superb form at the moment, netting her 8th goal in 10 games for the reds. An England call up is surely due. 
  • Some of the numbers on the back of the shirts are turning pinker by the weeks!

 POTM: Louise Fors/ Natasha Dowie. Can’t choose between them!

 Liverpool: Quantrill, Easton, Bronze, Bonner (c), Schroder, Williams, Katrin, Rolser, Da Costa (Billson 79), Dowie.  Unused subs: Gibbons, Chappell, Holbrook, Riccio

This result seen us go joint top of the league with Bristol Academy, however they were beaten 3-2 by Arsenal tonight meaning we go top on goal difference! Our next game is on Tuesday 4th  June and it is derby day away at Everton! Everton play their home games at Marine FC’s ground in Crosby. It’s a great little stadium, you can get tickets on the gate Adult £5, Child £2.50 and Adult/ Child ticket £6.

 Should have the Everton match preview up in the next couple of days, thanks for reading.

Liverpool Ladies 1 – 2 Arsenal Ladies, FA Cup Semi Final Match Report

 Liverpool exited the FA Cup this evening with a fighting performance against Arsenal Ladies. There are lots of positives to take from the defeat, the team is really starting to settle as a group and last season who would have thought we would push Arsenal all the way in an FA Cup Semi Final!
 Liverpool bossed the midfield from the off. Katrin and Rolser in particular were impressive, Katrin nearly opened the scoring with her header going slightly wide of the post. Natasha Dowie was also a stand out performer, holding up play brilliantly in and around the 18 yard box. A great header on the stroke of half time from Dowie gave the Ladies a morale boost and it was a shame there wasn’t longer left to play in the first half.
 Liverpool started brightly in the second half and were unlucky to be caught on the break for the second Arsenal goal. Rolser spotted Byrne off her line and tried an audacious chip from 20 yards out that unfortunately sailed over the crossbar. Also unlucky in the second half was Amanda DaCosta – full of energy and seemingly all over the pitch – who went through on goal only to be thwarted by the Arsenal defence. Dowie almost snatched a second equalizer for Liverpool in injury time following a great ball into the box from Whitney Engen however it wasn’t to be.
 There was a 2000 strong crowd on The Kop, bit of a strange crowd – a lot of kids meant Arsenal players were getting booed. Booing opposition players is something I don’t condone at football games, the energy is best spent getting behind your own team! An amusing fight also broke out after someone threw a bottle onto the pitch when Arsenal scored their first goal.
 Other than that it was great to see the ladies play at Anfield in front of a large crowd. Fantastic to see Anfield traditions upheld, George Sephton being the ever-present Voice of Anfield, the playing of You’ll  Never Walk Alone as the teams walked out and a favourite of mine – clapping the opposing keeper as they run towards the Kop goal. Arsenal are a well-oiled machine and I wish them the best of luck in next month’s final.
 Next up for the reds we have Doncaster Belles in the Continental Cup. The game is due to be played Saturday 4th May at Halton Stadium, Widnes and will kick off at 7:15pm. Ticket pricing is the same as this evenings game (£4 adults, £1 under 16’s) and tickets can be purchased on the day at the turnstiles.
 In other news today the FA has announced the 18 teams who will play in the restructured WSL next season. Liverpool have retained their WSL status and will play in the top tier of the competition. The two big changes for current WSL teams, Doncaster Belles will be in the second tier of the league having being replaced by Manchester City Ladies and Lincoln Ladies will be rebranded as Notts County. Highly disappointing for both sets of supporters and for women’s football.
From The FAWSL website;
The following clubs have been selected for FA WSL1:
Arsenal Ladies FC, Birmingham City Ladies FC, Bristol Academy Women’s FC, Chelsea Ladies FC, Everton Ladies FC, Notts County Ladies FC  (formerly known as Lincoln Ladies FC), Liverpool Ladies FC, Manchester City Ladies FC
The following clubs have been selected for FA WSL2:
Aston Villa Ladies FC, Doncaster Rovers Belles Ladies FC, Durham Women’s FC, London Bees Women’s FC (Barnet FC), Millwall Lionesses FC, Oxford United Women’s FC, Reading Women’s FC, Sunderland Women’s FC, Watford Ladies FC, Yeovil Town Ladies FC