Match Preview: Liverpool Ladies v Everton Ladies

 Since Liverpool Ladies last stepped out, Arsenal Ladies have played out two goal-less draws to hand advantage in the title race back to the red half of Merseyside. Liverpool go into the final two games of the season knowing that winning both will see them crowned Women’s Super League Champions and guarantee Champions League football in 2014.

 That said, the opponents the reds are due to take on in those two games are no easy task. First this Thursday our neighbours Everton pay a visit to Halton Stadium, Widnes while on the final day Bristol Academy will arrive for a game that could be a title decider.
 This will be the 3rd derby of the 2013 season, back in March the two teams fought to a 1-1 draw during the first competitive fixture of the campaign. A bitterly cold night in Widnes saw a cagey affair in which Louise Fors opened the scoring from the penalty spot before Nikita Parris grabbed an equaliser, giving Everton a share of the points in the Continental  Cup tie.
 The next time the sides met was back in June shortly before the European Championship induced break. After a scrappy opening Nicole Rolser put the reds ahead but again Everton were able to get a goal back through their captain Jill Scott.
 This time however Liverpool managed to pull themselves back in front, Louise Fors again scoring a derby goal to make it 2-1. Corina Schroder then scored her first – and to date only – Liverpool goal before Natasha Dowie added a fourth minutes from time.
 A shaky start to the second half of the season for Liverpool seen a home defeat in the league to Arsenal Ladies and an exit from the Continental Cup against Lincoln Ladies on penalties. Despite this Liverpool have gone on to win their last 5 matches, two thrilling yet narrow 4-3’s versus Bristol Academy and Chelsea Ladies. A 4-2 victory away at Birmingham City and two games against Doncaster Belles to conclude the 5 with a total of 11 goals scored and 0 conceded.
 In the last 5 games Liverpool have scored 23 goals, conceding 8. While in the last 3 they have scored 11 and conceded just 2. 
 Amongst the goals of course is brilliant striker Natasha Dowie. This week Dowie earned an overdue but well deserved call up to the England squad ahead of the World Cup Qualifiers later this month. Captain Gemma Bonner has also received a call up following her fine form and after winning the league’s August Goal of the Month, alongside Suarez-esqe (according to the WSL highlights commentator!) Lucy Bronze and Fara Williams.
 Liverpool’s two wide players Nicole Rolser and Louise Fors have been fantastic all season and have 20 goals between them. The duo are a constant attacking threat constantly switching wings and running rings around opposition defences.
 Goalkeeper Rachael Laws was dropped after the Cup defeat to Lincoln but after being recalled to the side a couple of games later, Laws put out a great performance last week against Doncaster to keep her second clean sheet in her last 3 starts.
 Everton Ladies have played 6 games this side of the season, winning just the once against Chelsea at home. In their first game back they were narrowly beaten 3-2 at home by  Bristol Academy, the blues were very unlucky not to take at least a point from the games and at times displayed great attacking movement.
 Two heavy defeats followed to Arsenal before the Chelsea win lifted the Blues spirits. Last week they lost 2-1 away to Birmingham and at the weekend were held at Doncaster’s Keepmoat Stadium to a 1-1 draw.
 Despite the poor run Everton have only failed to scored in 2 of the last 6 games and boast the services of England forward Toni Duggan up front.
 Recently they have lost excellent young keeper Lizzie Durack as she has left to go to college in the USA. No. 1 Rachel Brown-Finnis suffered an injury during the pre-match warm up at Birmingham meaning new signing Megan Walsh made her debut between the posts.

 With Everton looking to end their poor run and Liverpool spurred on by the fact winning this game puts them another step closer to the league title, as well as the small matter this is a Merseyside derby, this should be a great game between two sides both capable of winning and scoring goals.

 The game kicks off at 7:30pm at Halton Stadium, Widnes. Anfield ST holders have free entry to this and all Liverpool Ladies home games, alternatively Adult tickets are £5 and Concessions £2.50.

 The game is also live on BT Sport for anyone who can’t make it!

 Thanks for reading, make sure you follow @LFCLadiesFans for updates during the games.

Reds Weekly Round Up! Week 6

 Following a relatively quiet start to the week, on Wednesday came BT Sport’s announcement of which games would be getting screened live on TV and after a couple of days of rumours, Liverpool confirmed the signings of 4 new players.

  • Iceland faced Euro 2013 host nation Sweden in their Quarter Final on Sunday, crashing out of the competition with a 4-0 defeat. Liverpool’s Katrin Omarsdottir missed the game through a re-occurrence of the hamstring injury that kept her out of our derby victory in June.

    Iceland’s Euro exit seen the end of LFC players involvement in the tournament, Germany beat Sweden in an exhilarating semi final on Wednesday evening and Norway squeezed past Denmark last night on penalties. The final will be shown on BBC3, 4PM Sunday.

  • On Tuesday Lincoln Ladies announced they have signed Liverpool forward Lillie Fenlon-Billson. I am disappointed to see Lillie leave, she was a great option to have but found opportunities limited this season – her only goal and start of our campaign coming in the FA Cup against Sunderland.

    This blog has a list of all FAWSL signings so far over the summer break, the Liverpool Ladies they have listed as out are as yet unconfirmed by the club.

  • After a few days of rumour and speculation, following Louise Fors’ blog, on Wednesday Liverpool Ladies announced the signings of 4 new players. Two forwards, New Zealand international Sarah Gregorius who has 17 international goals in 41 caps and represented New Zealand during last summer’s Olympics. Chelsea striker Kate Longhurst has also joined the reds, Kate has worked with manager Matt Beard before whilst both at Chelsea and will offer a different dimension up front. Along with these two signings we have captured the talents of two promising young players, Ellie Stewart from neighbours Everton and Katie Zelem from Manchester United’s Centre of Excellence. The young duo have been called up to the England Euro Under 19 squad which will be taking place in Wales in August. 

    Welcome to our new signings and good luck to those players leaving Liverpool, YNWA. 

  • BT Sport announced on Wednesday that they will be screening 3 Liverpool Ladies games live. Starting with our first game back against Arsenal which has seen the fixture moved forward by a day and will now kick off at 7:30pm  Saturday 3rd August. This happens to be the same day as Steven Gerrard’s testimonial at Anfield and any supporters who have tickets to that match can get into our game at Halton free of charge!

    The other two of our games to be shown on BT Sport is our top of the table clash against Bristol Academy on 10th  August and the home derby on 12th September.

 Thanks for reading this weeks weekly round up! In the next week I will have the Arsenal game preview up online and as there has been rumours of more new signings keep an eye on the Ladies official twitter!

Reds Weekly Round Up! Week 5

 This time last week England were about to play their first Euro 2013 game vs Spain. Even with my reservations about the squad I had high hopes for this tournament and am greatly disappointed to be writing this round up in the wake of England’s elimination last night. Despite this, this week’s weekly round up does contain a couple of positive pieces so do read on!

  •  Starting last Friday and pre-England at the Euros, reds duo Natasha Dowie and Amanda Da Costa put in an appearance at Media City in Manchester at an FA girls football festival ahead of England game against Spain.

     Natasha was back in Manchester again a few days later on Wednesday alongside Arsenal’s Kim Little as part of BBC3’s Match of the Day panel. You can watch this on BBC Iplayer here.

  • Another reds duo representing the club in the past week has been goalkeeper Danielle Gibbons and defender Sam Chappell. They have been part of Team GB at the World University Games in Russia. We last left off as Team GB had their semi final coming up, they beat Brazil 1-0 (highlights can be found here) to set up a final against Mexico. That final was played on Monday evening and GB twice fell behind before drawing level and running riot in the last 10 minutes. Team GB deservedly collecting their goal medals after a 6-2 victory.

    Highlights of the gold medal game are on this link here. Congratulations to the Liverpool Ladies & the rest of Team GB!

  • Fara Williams took part in a Vauxhall twitter Q & A on Sunday. All of Fara’s answers are on the Vauxhall website here: Fara Williams Twitter Takeover
  • Katrin Omarsdottir and Iceland had picked up a point already at the Euros this time last week, following on from this on Sunday they were beaten 3-0 by a German side that had struggled to find the net in their previous game vs Holland. Iceland then faced Holland themselves, beating the dutch 1-0 ensuring their progression to the quarter final despite placing 3rd in their group and dumping Holland out in the meantime. Katrin played the full second half against Germany yet was an unused substitute in the Holland game.

    Read a match report & view photos from the Germany game here, same for the Holland game here.

    Iceland will play Sweden in the quarter finals this Sunday.

  • Last Friday night England went behind twice against a strong Spanish side, twice drawing level before an injury time goal meant Spain took all 3 points. On Tuesday night we went into the Russia game knowing we needed to secure a win, again we fell behind and only after the introduction of Toni Duggan and Kelly Smith did England equalise, this time in injury time ourselves, through a well taken Duggan strike. Duggan’s goal offered England a life line, a win against France would see us through in 3rd place while a draw would quite literally see us or Denmark pulled out of a hat for a place in the quarter finals. 

     Hope Powell made 3 changes to the side that drew with Russia, changing the formation to a 4-4-2, Duggan replaced Jill Scott to partner Ellen White up front, Karen Carney replaced the injured Rachel Yankey while Laura Bassett was dropped for Sophie Bradley. England went behind early in the first half and were lucky to go in at half time just a goal down. After the break England needed inspiration from somewhere, Kelly Smith and Jill Scott were brought on but unable to stop France scoring twice more, while Jess Clarke was brought on at 3-0 down with ten minutes to go. England’s Euro 2013 campaign was over with just a point taken from a possible 9.

     It’s disappointing as a Liverpool supporter to not see either Gemma Bonner or Lucy Bronze given a chance in any of the 3 games. Going into the tournament 3 of England’s preferred back 4 were injured. Bonner and Bronze were both in fantastic form pre-Euro’s and it would have been nice to see them get some minutes on the pitch. Fara Williams was another red in great form yet was played in a position higher than the one she occupies for Liverpool. Another disappointment came post-match in an interview with England captain Casey Stoney who commented that players have ‘got to work harder at clubs’. In response to this I would like to again point out that Natasha Dowie, the leagues leading goalscorer and arguably most in-form attacking player, was left at home despite an incredible work rate and goals to games ratio this season.
 I could also verge slightly off topic and say how disappointing it was not to see Arsenal midfielder Jordan Nobbs at all during the tournament – along with others – but this is a Liverpool Ladies blog so we’ll keep that to ourselves! Best of luck to Katrin & Iceland in their QF on Sunday.

 Thanks for reading this weeks round up, to end on a more upbeat note it is now only a couple of weeks until our reds will be back in FAWSL action, 16 days to be precise – not that I’m counting down or anything!

Reds Weekly Round Up! Week 4

 The last week has been a busy one in the world of Women’s Football, Team GB have played four fixtures in Universiade, Caroline Charlton and ACF Torino played their final league games of the season and we have the latest from Euro 2013.

  • First up then Team GB played their first World University Games match last Friday, easing to a 2-0 victory over Brazil. Next for the girls they fell to a 2-1 defeat against Japan meaning they had to win the final game against Estonia to progress to the Quarter Finals. Liverpool Ladies’ Sam Chappell started the final group game as GB beat the Estonians 5-1 to set up a quarter final tie with Ireland. That game took place yesterday with GB racing 3-0 ahead at half time and the game finishing a resounding 8 – 0. The Semi Final will take place in the next few days.

    For more information on Team GB at the WUG please follow this link.

  • Katie Brusell, on loan at Ottawa Fury, scored in one of two games for the Fury this week. On Sunday afternoon Ottawa Fury welcomed Quebec City Amiral for a league game which aided fundraising for ‘Think Pink’, Katie started this game and despite playing well (read the match report here) the Fury were beaten 1-0. In their second game this week against league leaders Laval Comets the teams went in level at half time with no goals scored, Brusell was brought on after the break and almost straight away put Ottawa up 1-0. They were unable to hold onto the lead with the Comets equalising shortly after and scoring a winner in injury time.
  • ACF Torino, sporting 3 Liverpool girls, had their final two league games this season in the last week. On Sunday Torino were beaten 2-1 by Lancaster Inferno, this meant they missed out on a spot in this years play offs. Torino faced the same opposition again a few days later in their final league game this time (after a break in play because of the weather – see picture below!) the game finished goalless.
  • The latest copy of She Kicks magazine dropped through my letterbox this week and I was pleasantly surprised to see an interview with Liverpool striker Natasha Dowie in there! Natasha talks about making the decision to leave Everton for Liverpool and her disappointment in missing out on a place in the Euros squad. Also within the magazine is an interesting comparison between Dowie and the other league strikers with lots of stats if you like that sort of thing!

    Buy your copy here: She Kicks online shop

  • On Monday evening The Women’s Football Show was back with it’s second offering, previewing the Euros. None of the England sections featured Liverpool players however when previewing Group B, reds midfielder Katrin Omarsdottir popped up with some great footage shot at Anfield and a short interview in which she talks about her qualities (er… everything!) and Iceland’s chances.

    Here is the link to watch the full show on BBC iplayer, if you wish to just watch the Katrin part go to 30:37!

  • Onto the Euros then! After what felt like ages building up to the tournament it finally kicked off in Sweden on Wednesday, the first game was Italy – Finland and ended in a goalless draw. Up to the hosts Sweden then to provide the first entertainment of the Euros so far, their first game against Denmark finished 1 – 1 with the Swedes having 2 penalties saved.

    Katrin and Iceland faced Norway in their Euro 2013 opener last night. Katrin started the game on the bench, coming on after 83 minutes shortly after her introduction Iceland were correctly awarded a penalty and Vidarsdottir coolly slotted home. Iceland finished the game strongly but were unable to find a winner, the final result being Norway 1 – 1 Iceland.

  • England have their first game of the tournament tonight against Spain. The game kicks off at 7:30pm and you can watch it on either BBC3 (UK viewers) or Eurosport. If you are unable to follow the game on TV for any reason, twitter should also be a good source. I’ll be missing the second half so will also be relying on twitter for news!

    A couple of England supporters are currently at/ heading out to Sweden, below are a couple of blogs that will be getting updated from the tournament. If anyone reading this also has a blog they will like me to link to send me a message via twitter!

    It’s Game Day
    Girls on the Ball

    FATV have uploaded a number of videos from the England camp this week, you can find an interview with Liverpool captain Gemma Bonner below as well as a training video from a camera strapped to Fara Williams chest!

  • There have been a number of fixture changes to the second half of the season, most notably the final game vs  Bristol Academy has moved from 15th September to 29th September. Check out the official site for all remaining fixtures.
  • Ahead of the England game tonight Liverpool duo Natasha Dowie and Amanda DaCosta will be at Media City in Manchester. The FA are holding a ‘Girls Football Festival’ starting from 12pm and ending on the final whistle. For more information follow this link.

    Natasha also took part in BBC Five Live’s Euro Preview last night, answering questions on current support for Women’s Football in the UK, the impact of foreign players on the league and why she was left out of the England squad! You have 7 days to listen to the show from this link here. It is well worth a listen.

    “Maybe the other strikers fit into the England team better, when I get my chance hopefully I’ll take it”

  • Whitney Engen’s USA have announced a new friendly vs Mexico on 3rd September. The game will be played at RFK Stadium, Washington DC and is once again in the middle of our domestic dates – we have Birmingham on the 1st and Doncaster on the 4th.

Thanks for reading! @LFCLadiesFans

Reds Weekly Round Up! Week 3

 This week seen my first Monthly Round Up go online for This Is Anfield, you can read that here. I will also be continuing these Weekly Round Up’s on this blog as it gives me the opportunity to go slightly more in depth with news of our on-loan players and those in international action.

  •  First up this week is once again Caroline Charlton and ACF Torino, following a couple of disappointing results Torino bounced back this week with a 2-1 victory over Philadelphia Fever. This result keeps them in contention for a play off spot. Caroline once again started the game along with the two other Liverpool girls over in Maryland Amie Fleming and Sophie Jones. There is a match report here and you can view the video highlights below.

  • Hannah Keryakoplis was back with the Wales Under 19 squad, following her recent involvement with the Senior side. Wales faced Russia’s senior team on Monday, Hannah started the game but was subbed out at half time. The final score was Wales U19 0 – 6 Russia.

  • Following last years Olympics this summer sees the World University Games which are being held in Kazan, Russia. Great Britain has a women’s football team over there which includes two Liverpool players, goalkeeper Danielle Gibbons and defender Sam Chappell. Great Britain’s first game is today (5/7) against Brazil. Two players from the squad are writing blogs whilst there, here are the links to those: Bristol Academy’s Grace McCatty & Naomi Cole of Chelsea.

  • Finally this week, today saw England take on Euro 2013 host nation Sweden in the final game before the tournament begins next week. Fara Williams started and played the full game while disappointingly Gemma Bonner and Lucy Bronze were unused substitutes. England’s defence faced a torrid 90 minutes as Sweden played a high pressure game constantly pressing. Ellen White put England ahead before Sweden scored two goals either side of half time to beat the Lionesses 4-1. The video highlights for this game are not up yet, for now here is a match report from the game.
 That concludes this weeks round up then, next week will of course see Euro 2013 get underway. Katrin Omarsdottir and Iceland play their first fixture against Norway on Thursday while England play Spain a week today. On Monday evening there will be a show on BBC1 previewing the tournament.
 Thanks for reading. @LFCLadiesFans

Reds Weekly Round Up! Week 2

 This past week has once again seen a number of Liverpool Ladies representing their countries and we also have news of our on-loan duo Caroline Charlton and Katie Brussell from across the pond.

  •  Liverpool’s Caroline Charlton is currently on loan in the USA, playing in the Women’s Premier Soccer League for ACF Torino who are based in Maryland. Last Tuesday ACF Torino were held to a 2-2 draw away with Chesapeake Charge and four days later welcomed the same side to their home ground but this time were beaten 1-0. You can watch video highlights of the 2-2 draw below and read a match report from the 1-0 defeat on the clubs website here. Caroline wears shirt number 18 for Torino, who also have another couple of Liverpool girls Amie Fleming and Sophie Jones there this season.

  • Last week the England squad for Euro 2013 was revealed with Liverpool’s Gemma Bonner, Fara Williams and Lucy Bronze amongst those called up. This week it was Iceland’s turn to announce their squad with a place there for Liverpool midfielder Katrin Omarsdottir. Also announced was host nation Sweden’s squad however somehow reds winger Louise Fors has missed out on a spot.
     This means Liverpool will have just the four players at Euro 2013. Katrin and Iceland play their first game against Norway on Thursday 11th June while England will take on Spain in their opener the following day. Germany and Holland make up the rest of Iceland’s tough group and along with England and Spain in Group C are Russia and France.
Katrin Omarsdottir
  •  England Women’s National Team have met up this week at St Georges Park for their pre-Euros training camp. Fara Williams and Lucy Bronze were both interviewed for FATV ahead of Wednesday’s friendly against Japan, you can view both of these interviews below.
Fara Williams (Birmingham’s Karen Carney also in this video)

Lucy Bronze
  •  On Wednesday England played current World Champion’s Japan in Barnet. This match seen Arsenal’s Rachel Yankey become the most capped England player with 126 caps. Fara Williams played the full 90 minutes in a position slightly higher up than where she plays for Liverpool. Lucy Bronze made her England debut in front of the 5000 strong crowd and very nearly capped it with a winning goal in the last few minutes, volleying the ball into the back of the net from a free kick but Jess Clarke had strayed into an offside position and the goal was disallowed. The game finished 1-1 with Liverpool captain Gemma Bonner an unused substitute.
     This was actually England’s second friendly this week, they beat Holland 3-2 on Monday in a behind-closed-doors game. Team news for that match is unavailable.
     Below you can view highlights from England’s 1-1 draw with Japan and to watch a post-match interview with Lucy Bronze please click here.

England 1 – 1 Japan highlights

 That concludes our weekly round up for this week then, thanks for reading! I just wanted to add one more thing, on Sunday evening I posted my mid-season review. Thank you to everyone who read, retweeted and gave me feedback on it, it was all greatly appreciated and it quickly became my most popular blog yet! Player of the Season so far went to Louise Fors after she got the most twitter votes, Goal of the Season so far I did not put to a twitter vote and put my personal favourite Amanda Da Costa’s 1st vs Arsenal. If anyone has a different favourite do let me know!

 I am also happy to say that Liverpool website This Is Anfield have asked me to join their team, providing them with articles from Liverpool Ladies. Their site is well established having been online since 2001 and they have a fair amount of twitter followers! I am very excited to get the opportunity to get the Ladies news out to a much wider audience so keep your eyes peeled for that!

Mid Season Review

 Welcome to LFC Ladies Fans Mid Season Review! Results, analysis, stats and opinions abound.

Liverpool fixtures & results.

17/03/13 (a) Aston Villa     W 5-0     FA Cup     attendance unavailable
23/03/13 (h) Everton     D 1-1     Continental Cup     attendance unavailable
31/03/13 (a) Sunderland     W 2-1     FA Cup     attendance unavailable
14/04/13 (a) Lincoln     W 1-0     FAWSL     attendance 509
26/04/13 (h) Arsenal     L 2-1     FA Cup     attendance 2008
04/05/13 (h) Doncaster     W 1-0     Continental Cup     attendance 471
07/05/13 (a) Arsenal     W 4-0     FAWSL     attendance 2017
12/05/13 (a) Chelsea     L 2-1     FAWSL     attendance 508
19/05/13 (a) Chelsea     W 4-0     Continental Cup     attendance 357
29/05/13 (h) Lincoln     W 3-2     FAWSL     attendance 527
04/05/13 (a) Everton     W 4-1     FAWSL     attendance 1,124
08/06/13 (h) Birmingham City     W 4-1     FAWSL     attendance 436

W 8 / D 1 / L 3

Total attendances: 7957 (of those available)
Average attendance: 663
Average home attendance: 861 (including the game at Anfield, without: 478)

First league game away @Sincil Bank, Lincoln

Liverpool goal scorers.

Natasha Dowie: 10     vs. Aston Villa, Lincoln x 2, Arsenal x 2, Chelsea x 2, Birmingham, Doncaster Belles & Everton
Louise Fors: 5            vs. Aston Villa, Everton x 2, Arsenal & Lincoln
Nicole Rolser: 4          vs. Chelsea, Everton & Birmingham x 2
Fara Williams: 4          vs. Aston Villa x 3, Chelsea
Amanda Da Costa: 2    vs. Arsenal x 2
Katrin Omarsdottir: 1   vs. Sunderland
Lillie Fenlon-Billson: 1  vs. Sunderland
Whitney Engen: 1        vs. Chelsea
Corina Schroder: 1      vs. Everton
Lucy Bronze: 1            vs. Birmingham

Liverpool have scored 31 goals in 12 games this season so far, 17 of those have been in 6 league games and have already surpassed last seasons total of 15 in 16 league games. Of the goals scored 11 have come from strikers, 16 from midfield and 3 from defence with 1 own goal.

Liverpool have kept 5 clean sheets this season, first choice keeper Sarah Quantrill with all 5 of those in the 10 games she has played.

Sarah Quantrill vs. Arsenal @ the Emirates

FA Women’s Super League.

W 5 / D 0 / L 1
 Liverpool have been on fire in the league in the opening 6 fixtures. Losing just the once and winning 5 games, scoring 17 goals and conceding 6. 
 Liverpool began the league season away at Sincil Bank, the home of Lincoln Ladies. In windy conditions Natasha Dowie put Liverpool ahead early on and despite many chances we won the game by just one goal to nil. Next up for Liverpool was a tough encounter away at reigning champions Arsenal, or so you would think. 2 goals either side of half time from Amanda Da Costa and 2 more from Dowie and Louise Fors embarrassed Arsenal at the Emirates in their first league defeat since 2011. Five days later we were back in London again, this time facing Chelsea who like us had strengthened their team over the winter off season. Whitney Engen scored her first Liverpool goal to put us ahead but Chelsea went on to claim victory in controversial circumstances. For their winning goal Engen was clearly fouled in the build up yet this went unnoticed by the referee. After the defeat against Chelsea we hosted Lincoln at Halton Stadium in our first home league game this campaign, goals from Natasha Dowie, Fors and an own goal deflected in from a Fara Williams effort meant the reds raced 3-1 ahead. A brilliant goal from Precious Hamilton pulled a goal back for the Imps however Liverpool hung on to take all 3 points. Liverpool then made the short trip to Marine FC in Crosby for a mid week derby against Everton, despite a nervy start Liverpool began to dominate possession and capitalised on this when Nicole Rolser slotted the ball home. Everton came out fighting in the second half and their skipper Jill Scott equalised just after half time. The blues didn’t stay ahead for long as the reds ran rampant scoring 3 more goals through Fors, Corina Schroder and Dowie. Our final league game before the break was back at Halton Stadium against Birmingham, for the second time in a week we hit 4 goals past a team in blue. Rolser opened the scoring before Birmingham equalised from a corner. Lucy Bronze ensured we went in at half time 2-1 up with a thundering header while who else but Natasha Dowie scored our third goal of the game and Nicole Rolser got our fourth. 
Amanda Da  Costa nets her second goal in the 4-0 victory over Arsenal

FA Cup.

W 2 / D 0 / L 1
 Liverpool began their 2013 FA Cup run away at a muddy Aston Villa, thumping the midlands side 5-0 with a Fara Williams hat trick and goals from Natasha Dowie and Louise Fors. Next up was a tough test against Premier League champions Sunderland, Liverpool went ahead through Lillie Fenlon-Billson but Sunderland pulled a goal back. Minutes from time Icelandic midfielder Katrin Omarsdottir scored the winning goal to set up a semi final tie against Arsenal. The semi final was a memorable occasion for players and supporters alike, playing at Anfield for the first time the ladies put in a great shift and at times outplayed the strong Arsenal side. The gunners opened the scoring through Ellen White before Natasha Dowie scored a great diving header at the Kop end to bring the scores level before half time. Kim Little was Arsenal’s match winner, taking them into the final with a goal from a counter attack on 52 minutes. Arsenal went on to lift the cup at Doncaster’s Keepmoat Stadium a month later.
Lillie Billson opened the scoring in our FA Cup quarter final
Continental Cup.

W 2 / D 1 / L 0

 Liverpool’s Continental Cup run thus far this season has seen 2 wins and a draw. We began our first competitive home game of the season against Everton in a tie that was screened live on ESPN. Despite heavy snowfall the pitch was cleared in time for kick off and Liverpool went ahead through a Louise Fors penalty. Shortly after Everton won a dubious free kick decision which led to Nikita Parris equalising and the game finished in a 1-1 draw. In our next game against Doncaster Belles over a month later we created a lot of chances completely dominating the Belles but somehow managed to score just one goal, Natasha Dowie netting the only goal of the game to take our first 3 points in the competition. For the last group game Liverpool traveled to Chelsea to take on the Londoners for the second time in a week, this game followed our 2-1 defeat to them in the league. Liverpool were in inspired form, with Dowie scoring twice and Nicole Rolser and Fara Williams scoring one apiece. This ensured a 4-0 win and to place Liverpool above our Merseyside rivals Everton to finish top of the group. Finishing top means we will host the semi final against Lincoln Ladies at Halton Stadium on Wednesday 7th August.

Louise Fors & Natasha Dowie celebrating one of four goals vs Chelsea

‘… of the Season so far’ Awards!

 Player of the Season so far

 With so many of our players playing consistently well this decision was not an easy one. Not one of the Liverpool Ladies is having a bad season and you could probably name any of the starting 11 and give a valid argument for that choice. Having said that I threw the question out on twitter and it was mainly a core group of 4-5 players being mentioned.

 Let’s start from defence, an all new back line this season plugged our leaky defence from the last couple of seasons and we have kept 5 clean sheets out of 12 games played. Sarah Quantrill with all 5 in the 10 games she has played. Gemma Bonner and Whitney Engen have formed a formidable partnership in the heart of our defence and on occasion when required to step in Lucy Bronze has also put in a couple of good shifts, most notably her performance against Birmingham in our last game. Club captain Gemma Bonner leads by example from the back and always gives a calm and reassuring performance. Whitney Engen is a great presence at the back, very vocal always interacting with her team mates. It is no surprise Engen seems to have finally cemented a well deserved place in the US Women’s National Team, her performances for us have been fantastic. In particular her display in the 4-1 derby win over Everton when barely 48 hours earlier she had played another full 90 minutes in Canada for the USA.
 Moving onto midfield, a creative hub so far this season and the reason we have managed to control and dominate many of the games played. Two players that stick out are Louise Fors and Nicole Rolser, both classy players on the ball who are entertaining to watch. Between them they have 9 goals as well as creating many chances for the rest of the team. Louise Fors especially is impressive to watch down the left wing, as well as being our penalty taker and free kick specialist. Her best performance in a red shirt so far was against Lincoln at home in the league, where she scored one, hit the bar with a free kick and went close with a long range effort.
 The final player I am going to highlight, and like said previously there could be many more, is our leading goal scorer Natasha Dowie. 10 goals in 12 goals so far this season, a tally which also makes her the leading goal scorer in the league, Dowie’s performance’s in a red shirt have been a revelation. As well as putting the ball into the back of the net Natasha’s all round contribution as a lone striker has been brilliant, she holds the ball up really well in and around the 18 yard box to bring other players into the attack to create chances for others as well as herself. Our attacking front four of Dowie, Rolser, Fors and Amanda Da Costa must put fear in defences all around the league.
 If I could pick a player from each area of the field it would be: Defence – Engen, Midfield – Fors and upfront – Dowie. Overall I’m going to go with Louise Fors, a very classy player who is great to watch and hopefully her brilliant form will continue as we go into the second half of the season in August. 
Louise Fors playing in our 1-0 win over Lincoln Ladies

Performance of the Season so far

 This one for me is going to go to our FA Cup Semi Final at Anfield, the players more than rose to the occasion and did the supporters proud. They put in a great performance matching Arsenal, the reigning league champions and winners of the FA Cup 12 times, right until the end of the 90 minutes. It was probably the first game where you began to see the progress in the side and the fact we followed this game by thumping Arsenal 4-0 away a couple of weeks later showed we learnt from the defeat. 
Natasha Dowie against Arsenal at Anfield

Highlight of the Season so far

 The highlight of the season so far is a personal one, it goes to following the 4-0 win at the Emirates on Twitter with other supporters. Despite not being able to watch the game following it on twitter as we went 1-0 up, 2-0 up, then 3 and 4 was an incredible feeling! The fact it was Arsenal’s first league defeat in almost two years made the victory and achievement of beating them away from home sweeter. I only wish the full 90 minutes were made available for us to watch as it sounds like a fantastic game that the 2 minute highlights doesn’t do justice. A second highlight of the season occurred in this game and it was Whitney Engen’s goal line clearance which is pretty amazing each time you watch it. A close 3rd would be the 4-1 derby win over Everton as a derby win is always a great feeling. 
Arsenal 0 Liverpool 4

Goal of the Season so far

1) Amanda Da Costa 1st vs Arsenal (4-0), Natasha Dowie passed the ball back to the oncoming Da Costa who switched the ball quickly onto her left foot to hit a great strike from outside the 18 yard box past Arsenal’s Emma Byrne.
2) Fara Williams vs Chelsea (4-0), Williams struck the ball well from just outside the 18 yard box, it went straight through the Chelsea wall and in at the near post.
3) Louise Fors vs Everton (4-1), Dowie crossed the ball into the box for Nicole Rolser who spotted Louise Fors at the edge of the box. Rolser passed it back to Fors who fired past Everton’s impressive young keeper Lizzie Durack.
4) Natasha Dowie vs Chelsea (4-0), Da Costa hit a through ball to Dowie who finished well chipping the keeper. 

Picture of the Season so far

Disappointment of the Season so far
 Natasha Dowie being left out of the England squad for the upcoming Euro 2013 tournament was a massive disappointment, Natasha has been one of the most impressive players in the league this season and her record of 10 goals in 12 games makes her the top scorer in the country.
 The second disappointment was the 2-1 defeat at Chelsea. As mentioned above for the 2nd Chelsea goal a foul on Whitney Engen went unnoticed in the build up to their goal, robbing us of at least a point.

Second Half of the Season mini preview.

 It’s a shame that the season had to break when it did, with Liverpool in fine form. We go into the second half of the table topping Bristol by goal difference only. We are still to play Bristol home and away and so these games will be crucial and 6 points from them will be needed. Also still to play we have Arsenal at home in the first game back on 4th August. Arsenal are currently 8 points behind us but with two games in hand, if we can beat them on 4th August it would almost certainly put them out of the title race and give us a great advantage. We also have two home ties to play against Chelsea and Everton and will travel to Birmingham City and Doncaster Belles. Our final day fixture is a home one against Bristol.

 We also have our Continental Cup Semi Final against Lincoln the first week back, that game is at Halton Stadium on 7th August, it would be great to go all the way and possibly win this competition. The other semi final is between Arsenal and Everton and will be played the day after ours.

Thanks for reading this mammoth mid season review I hope it has been interesting! Throughout the summer there will be a weekly reds round up on here every Friday evening bringing you up to date with our players news from international or loan duty. Then when our season starts back in August we will of course be bringing you match reports and updates as well as live tweeting the games we will be at.