Liverpool Ladies: August Round-up – Reds into the Cup quarter-finals

Matt Beard’s Liverpool Ladies enjoyed an upturn in form during the month of August – winning 3 successive games for the first time this season and qualifying for the quarter-finals of the Continental Cup with an impressive win over Sunderland Ladies.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Sunday, August 30, 2015: Liverpool's Gemma Bonner during the FA Women's Super League match at the Manchester City Academy Stadium. (Pic by Paul Currie/Propaganda)

Liverpool have also been drawn against Brescia CF in the UEFA Women’s Champions League Round of 32; the first leg will be at Brescia on 7th/8th October with the return leg in Widnes one week later.

 

The FA Women’s Super League

Sunderland Ladies 2 – 2 Liverpool Ladies

Beaten by Sunderland at home on the opening day of the 2015 league season, Liverpool were unlucky not to take all 3 points on the day here despite falling behind to a Beth Mead penalty.

The Reds took control of the game and equalised with an impressive and opportunistic strike from Natasha Dowie shortly later, the no.9 coming into possession midway through the Sunderland half and lifting the ball over goalkeeper Hilde Gunn Olsen.

In the 2nd half Liverpool have many chances to go ahead before Rosie White converted for her second goal since her summer transfer after latching onto a perfectly weighted pass from Line Smorsgard and finishing well past the keeper.

Unfortunately a late equaliser from Kelly McDougal meant the sides would share the points, an injury-time free kick from Lucy Staniforth crashing back off the post, from what had descended into a fiery encounter.

 

Liverpool Ladies 2 – 0 Bristol Academy

This season Liverpool had found themselves at the wrong end of the WSL table after the back-to-back title successes of 2013 and 2014 and although relegation was never really a question, these 3 points mean that the side can now look to push up the table with the 4 games they have left.

Natasha Dowie netted twice, assisted both times by youth academy graduate Ashley Hodson, with a goal in each half.

Hodson missed the first half of the season after having surgery on her knee after an influential half-season with the development squad – scoring 16 goals in 9 appearances in their title winning 2014/15 season – and has been a key player for this resurgent Liverpool side. Dowie’s first goal came after Hodson’s strike was tipped after by Mary Earps in the Bristol goal, Dowie tapping home the rebound.

The second goal was also a combination of the forward duo, Hodson’s cross met by Dowie inside the 6-yard box to put them 2-0 up and after that Bristol never really looked like pulling a goal back.

 

Continental Cup

Liverpool Ladies 1 – 0 Durham WFC

Having opened their cup campaign with 3-0 and 2-0 victories over Doncaster Belles and Everton Ladies respectively, a hard fought 3 points in this group game put Liverpool in a great position to qualify for the next round.

Durham came to defend with 10 players behind the ball and the home side had to patiently wait for the breakthrough which eventually came in the second-half, Ashley Hodson crossing to Natasha Dowie and Dowie converting for the game’s only goal.

 

Liverpool Ladies 2 – 0 Sunderland Ladies

A win in this game would see Liverpool qualify for the quarters regardless of the score against Manchester City in their final group game.

Both goals came in the second-half, the unstoppable Dowie heading her 9th goal since the break over the line from a Rosie White corner and then providing the assist for the second minutes from time – receiving another corner from White, this time outside of the area, playing a quick one-two with Gemma Bonner before crossing to Katrin Omarsdottir who made no mistake yards out to double the lead and put the Reds into the next round.

 

Manchester City Women 2 – 0 Liverpool Ladies

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Sunday, August 30, 2015: Manchester City's Nikita Parris and Liverpool's Lucy Staniforth during the FA Women's Super League match at the Manchester City Academy Stadium. (Pic by Paul Currie/Propaganda)

With qualification for the quarter-finals already secured, Matt Beard made 5 changes to his starting 11 – giving starts to players who were returning from injury or had not played many minutes.

City took the lead from a Toni Duggan penalty after the referee awarded the spot kick against Satara Murray, Liverpool had chances to equalise with Hannah Dale seeing a shop tipped wide after controlling the ball well in the box and former Red Lucy Bronze providing a great block to denying Natasha Dowie a goal scoring opportunity – injuring herself in the process and being substituted off.

Becky Easton was also injured after a collision with Duggan – the defender tweeting after the game that she had in fact broken her arm, Liverpool are yet to confirm how long she will be out for.

The home side scored their second after Izzy Christianson picked up on a back-pass to hit the ball against Libby Stout and nod the ball over the line from a yard out.

 

Liverpool have been drawn away at Bristol Academy for the quarter-finals, this will take place on the weekend of 12th/13th of September.

The Reds also face both Arsenal Ladies and Chelsea Ladies at home in September, the Gunners will come to Widnes on Saturday 5th for a 5:30pm kick-off with tickets priced £5 adults, £2.50 concessions and free for those with a season ticket at Anfield.

Follow me: @LFCladiesfans

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