Natasha Dowie stars again as LFC Ladies progress to Cup quarter-finals

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LFC Ladies goal-machine Natasha Dowie helped Matt Beard’s side to progress into Continental Tyres quarter-finals by scoring a goal and assisting with the second one in 2-0 win over Sunderland Ladies at the Select Security Stadium in Widnes on Wednesday night.

The win was the fourth straight victory in the competition after the previous successes over Everton, Doncaster Belles and Durham. It was also a sweet revenge for the previous meeting of the two teams in FA Women’s Super League which ended 2-2.

The game became unlucky for the visitors in the opening two minutes as Gemma Wilson and Victoria Williams collided each other. Williams was forced to come off after seven minutes despite trying to play on.

The Reds started to dominate the early stages of the game and the real chance came on in five minutes from Kate Longhurst, but her header went over the bar after Rosie White corner.

A real opportunity for the Reds came in the 24 minutes as Gemma Bonner produced a fantastic long-range cross into the box for Dowie’s head, but the Ladies’ number 9 headed the ball well wide and was unable to beat Olsen.

It was the 31st minute where LFC Ladies should have been in front. Katie Zelem chased a loose ball and collided with Olsen. White got to the ball but her effort lacked power and was cleared off the Sunderland line.

The Reds continued to dominate on the pitch and created more threat in the attack. Dowie had a golden chance to score before the break, but her effort went way over the bar.

The second half began lively from both sides. Bethany Mead had a golden opportunity to score a goal, but she was well denied with a fantastic block from Becky Easton. On the other side both Dowie and Martha Harris were denied with the fine saves from Gunn Olsen.

But it came into 59 minutes for LFC Ladies to break the deadlock. Rosie White took a corner and the ball found Dowie who had no problems with beating Gunn Olsen with a fine header giving her an eighth goal in last seven games.

On the 77 minutes Sunderland had a chance to level the score, but Libby Stout made a stunning save to deny Mead from scoring.

With a minute remaining on the clock it came to Omarsdottir to double the lead and confirm the quarter-final spot for LFC Ladies. Natasha Dowie placed a fine ball from the right side and the Icelandic international gave Gunn Olsen no chances for a save with a fine volley from the six yards.

Despite securing a place in the quarter-finals, Matt Beard’s side will travel to Manchester to play against City and will try to secure the top spot in group two in Continental Tyres Cup.

Liverpool Ladies: Stout, Harris, Pacheco, Easton, Bonner, Zelem (Smorsgard 64), Longhurst (Murray 74), Omarsdottir, Dowie, White, Hodson (Ryland 88). Subs not used: Darbyshire, Dale.

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