Tuesday, 29 April 2014
"We go again" has become something of a Liverpool Football Club mantra over the last couple of weeks. This week it most certainly applies to Liverpool Ladies as they prepare to face Everton Ladies on Wednesday night, just days after being knocked out of The FA Cup by their Merseyside rivals.
Despite a spirited second half comeback from Liverpool, who were without 6 first team players through injury, Everton held on for their first derby win in over a year.
In his programme notes before the game, Matt Beard mentioned that the injury Libby Stout picked up at Chelsea will keep her out for a week or two. Kate Longhurst also required a scan following the Chelsea game and it is unclear whether these players alongside Martha Harris will be back for Liverpool's opening Continental Cup group game.
There were a number of positives Liverpool can take from the game, most notably including the performance of several development squad players. Claudia Walker, Megan Alexander and Ellie Stewart all made their first-team débuts coming on at 2-0 down, Stewart joined Lucy Bronze and Gemma Bonner at the back as Liverpool switched to a more attacking formation.
Alexander came on to play on the left, comfortable playing either at left-back or higher up the pitch, while Walker came on and immediately added to the Liverpool attack creating chances for herself and helping back in defence.
Everton's Nikita Parris looked lively throughout the 90 minutes, although as Everton defended their lead in the second half the new Everton number 9 found herself isolated up front and was dealt with effectively by the Liverpool defence.
Everton duo Alex Greenwood and Gabby George also stood out, Greenwood grabbing the second blues goal and George standing strong in defence against the Liverpool assault in the second-half.
Liverpool may now be out of The FA Cup, but they will be even more determined to progress further in the Continental Cup starting on Wednesday evening with Everton and then Saturday night when Sunderland Ladies will come to Widnes.
The derby is on Wednesday 30th April, 6:30pm kick off. Entry to all cup games is free of charge for all Liverpool season ticket holders, otherwise it is just £5 adults and £2.50 concessions on the turnstiles.
A couple of things to finish off, first of all a massive congratulations to Liverpool development squad who beat Aston Villa 3-1 away on Sunday afternoon to progress to the development cup final.
Gemma Jackson, Olivia Wild, Ellie Stewart, Sophia Riccio, Megan Alexander, Mollie Green, Emilie Revitt, Grace Vella, Hannah Dale, Beth Donoghue and Claudia Walker all starred as the team came from behind to win. Becca Hillman and Eve Kennerley were second-half substitutes.
After falling a goal behind Claudia Walker scored the reds equaliser, after playing the night before for the first-team alongside Stewart and Alexander, Beth Donoghue put the reds in front before Hannah Dale completed the scoring from the penalty spot. As soon as details are announced for the final, to be played against Arsenal Ladies, I will put them on twitter and I am hoping to be able to get to the final myself!
Finally the PFA awards took place in London on Sunday night, with Liverpool Ladies dominating the women's awards.
First of all no less than SEVEN current Liverpool stars were named in the PFA WSL Team of the Year, with Lucy Bronze, Gemma Bonner, Martha Harris, Fara Williams, Nicole Rolser, Gemma Davison and Natasha Dowie all in the best of XI.
Next up Martha Harris picked up the inaugural Young Player of the Year award before Lucy Bronze was named PFA Player of the Year. Huge congratulations to all!
Sunday, 27 April 2014
Many had tipped Everton as relegation favourites this season having lost two key players during the transfer window, however they still boast a talented young squad and attacked Liverpool from the starting whistle to immediately put the reds on the back foot.
Liverpool's injury list grows longer by the week; Libby Stout, Martha Harris and Kate Longhurst joining Katie Zelem, Lucy Staniforth and Nicole Rolser on the sidelines, along with Louise Fors out on loan that makes Liverpool 7 first team players down.
Everton took an early lead when Nikita Parris beat Gemma Bonner to race into the 18-yard box, Parris' goal is the first Liverpool have conceded this season so far.
Amanda Da Costa went closest to getting Liverpool an equaliser, Fara Williams with a brilliant low ball but Da Costa's strike went inches wide. Da Costa was involved again moments later, beating a couple of blue shirts on a mazy run into the box before squaring the ball to Gemma Davison who was fouled on the edge of the box.
Fara Williams took the free kick, in almost the exact same position from the one she scored again Chelsea last season. Unfortunately the ball swung in low at the near post and went out for a goal kick.
Nikita Parris was by far Everton's best player on the pitch, a constant menace for Gemma Bonner and Lucy Bronze to deal with.
Everton's lead was doubled when Alex Greenwood headed past Danielle Gibbons, an Everton corner was cleared only to be put straight back into the 6-yard box for the recent England débutante to score.
In the second half Liverpool came out fighting, Gemma Davison in particular a stand out once again in the Liverpool attack. Alex Greenwood standing strong against the Liverpool winger and constantly forcing her out wide.
Claudia Walker made her first-team début replacing development squad strike partner Ashley Hodson. Once on the pitch and despite being thrown in at the deep end Walker did not look out of place, having the confidence to shoot from distance - which blues keeper Rachel Brown did well to keep hold of - and also tracking back to defend and kickstart another Liverpool attack.
The final 10 minutes became frantic as Liverpool searched for an opening, Ellie Stewart and Megan Alexander replaced Becky Easton and Corina Schroder. Stewart joining Bronze and Bonner at the back with Alexander going to left wing to aid the Liverpool attack.
|Claudia Walker impressed on her first team début|
POTM: Gemma Bonner. A captain's performance tonight, driving the team on and pushing high up the pitch during a frantic final 10 minutes.
Liverpool: Gibbons, Easton (Alexander), Bonner (C), Bronze, Schroder (Stewart), Williams, Katrin, Da Costa, Davison, Hodson (Walker), Dowie
Unused subs: Jackson, Dale
It is of course disappointing to be knocked out of The FA Cup and not to reach the semi-finals as we did last year, Liverpool threw everything they had at Everton during the second half and were unlucky not to come away with at least a goal for their efforts.
Credit of course must go to Everton, a brilliant performance from the blues and deservedly into the next round - good luck to them!
Next up for Liverpool it's Everton again, this time in the Continental Cup on Wednesday 30th April. Liverpool will be out looking for revenge in this cup tie which kicks off at 6:30pm.
***Any Liverpool supporters who have already purchased tickets for The FA Cup Final please remember our Under 17s will also play at MK Dons that day, their FA Youth Cup Final will kick off at 1pm. If you're headed down south get into the ground early to support the girls!***
Thanks for reading,
Thursday, 24 April 2014
The first Merseyside derby of the 2014 season sees Liverpool Ladies host Everton Ladies in The FA Cup Quarter-Final. Liverpool reached the semi-finals of last years competition and this year are hoping to progress even further in the cups.
So far this season Liverpool have played 3 competitive matches, winning 2 and drawing 1, scoring 3 and conceding 0. In their opening 3 games last season the reds had conceded twice, Libby Stout appears to be the biggest difference at the back for Liverpool. Stout commands her box well and never shirks away from a challenge - even if it means, as last Sunday, colliding with the attacker.
|Natasha Dowie vs Chelsea|
Last Sunday Liverpool Ladies were away at Chelsea, Libby Stout's aforementioned collision with Yuki Ogimi forcing a substitution in the second half with the more than capable Danielle Gibbons replacing her. Gibbons had been one of the stand-out performers for the development squad over the winter break, alongside Ashley Hodson who also got her chance in the first team against Chelsea - coming on in the first half to replace the injured Kate Longhurst.
Natasha Dowie is once again the reds top scorer, with 2 goals to her name - a tap-in away at Sunderland and a fine finish at home against Manchester City in the league opener. The reds striker also scored 3 in 4 pre-season appearances, giving a strike rate of 5 goals in 7 games in 2014 and picking up exactly where she left off last season.
Gemma Davison is also proving to be an inspired signing for the reds, working well in midfield alongside Amanda DaCosta in creating chances both for herself and for others. Davison hit the post in a dominating opening spell for Liverpool against Chelsea last weekend. Fara Williams and Katrin Omarsdottir also continue to develop their midfield partnership, both sit a little deeper than the attacking front four but being a crucial part to Liverpool's attack.
In defence Lucy Bronze and Gemma Bonner are the preferred centre back pairing, with confident solid displays against both Manchester City and Chelsea. Tough tackling Becky Easton has started 2 games out of 3 at right-back, while attacking left-back Corina Schroder has also picked up where she left off last season pressing high up the pitch.
|Corina Schroder scores vs Everton|
Corina Schroder scored her first and only Liverpool goal in the 4-1 win away at Everton last season, the German defender also played a big role in the return fixture with a perfect cross into the box for Dowie to get on the end of and put the reds in front.
Between the 2012 and 2013 season Everton lost 4 of their best players to the red half of Merseyside, with Natasha Dowie, Fara Williams, Becky Easton and Lucy Bronze all making the switch. Following the end of the 2013 campaign, captain Jill Scott and star striker Toni Duggan also departed for WSL newcomers Manchester City.
That said, Everton are still left with a predominantly young but talented squad. Nikita Parris scored a wonder goal in the derby last September and will likely lead the blues attack on Saturday evening. New captain Michelle Hinnigan grabbed herself a goal in the last round of The FA Cup away at Cardiff, while ex-Liverpool duo Kelly and Vicky Jones also remain at Everton.
|Everton captain Michelle Hinnigan|
The game has been moved to Saturday evening, kicking off at 7pm at the Select Stadium, Widnes.
Entry is priced at £5 adults, £2.50 concessions. If you are a Liverpool Ladies season ticket holder, season tickets also cover entry to all home cup games.
Thanks for reading!
Sunday, 20 April 2014
|Liverpool warming up pre-match|
|Women's Super League table as of 20/04/14|
Friday, 18 April 2014
|Natasha Dowie celebrates her goal with Gemma Davison|
|Liverpool's No. 1 Libby Stout|
|Liverpool Ladies development squad|
Wednesday, 16 April 2014
> Click here to read my Season Preview on This Is Anfield <
|Liverpool celebrate vs Sunderland|
|Fara Williams vs Sunderland|
|former Liverpool midfielder Jess Holbrook|
|Liverpool & Sunderland observe a minutes silence prior to their FA Cup tie|
Sunday, 13 April 2014
Friday, 11 April 2014
|Liverpool Ladies 2014|
|Liverpool's title winning keeper Rachael Laws|
|Ellie Stewart & Katie Zelem|
The LFC Ladies Show will be shown monthly with the next show on Thursday 24th April at 5:15pm, more information can be found here and I will have some key quotes up from the show over the next couple of days! A repeat of the preview show will be shown today (Friday 11th April) at 5:15pm and you can check out a brilliant clip from the programme here: Get ready for the new LFC Ladies 2014 WSL Season.
Also below you can find the full Matt Beard interview from Thursday Night Live.
Matt Beard on Thursday Night Live
As always, thanks for reading! Please check out the first part of my 2014 season preview on the official website here, my match preview for the Sunderland game will be online Friday evening & if there are any supporters travelling to this game please get in touch as there are a number of Liverpool supporters - including myself - heading to the North East for this cup tie!