In what’s becoming a bitt of a pattern, while the men were unable to continue their run in the FA Cup, the Liverpool Ladies were wrapping up a nice win against Bristol City on Saturday at the Select Security Stadium. New England women’s coach Phil Neville was even in the stands watching the whole thing unfold.
Bethany England was the clear Woman of the Match for the day, with an easy chance to open up the scoring early on but misjudged the header coming from Jess Clarke’s boots. Jess Clarke herself was an obstacle on the right all night long, but Liverpool ‘keeper Siobhan Chamberlain had to be on her absolute best to keep the Bristol ladies from gaining any traction.
Bristol City captain Millie Turner very nearly put the visitors ahead with a long range effort that was bound for the top corner but Chamberlain leapt from her spot just in time to tip it over the bar and out for a corner.
While the first half ended goalless, and City would take away their defensive performance from those first forty-five, it was the second half where things really got started. The Clarke-England duo had been causing problems for City all evening, and something finally came out of it when England caught a cross from Clarke and sent it past the City ‘keeper Sophie Baggaley at less than a minute into the second half.
Things settled a bit after that, with Liverpool fighting to hold their lead and find the something special to make it official. Around the 65th minute is when that something special happened and England smashed home a shot from the edge of the box, making it 2-0 to the hosts. Despite all their fight, Bristol City were unable to compete and the win ensured Liverpool stay in the third place of the FA WSL table.
Following the match Bethany England spoke highly of the team and their performance, but also gave credit to their competition for the evening, saying: “We got three points, that’s what we needed. We knew Bristol City were going to be a tough team to come out and play against and they showed that in the first half.
”They put on a very strong performance but luckily we got the early goal after the break and I think that allowed us to get on the front foot for the rest of the game, so it’s really a pleasing performance for all the girls.
”First half we had a few chances and didn’t finish them like we should have, at half-time we said we needed to take it up a notch and that’s what we did, we put in that extra pressure and the early goal reflected that.
”It’s the best form I’ve been in for a while. I feel fit and I’m feeling good, it was about time the goals started coming. Obviously, I’m pleased to get on the scoresheet but it’s irrelevant if we don’t get the three points, that’s the main thing and we did that tonight.”
All in all a thoroughly business as usual performance for the Ladies and a job they should be proud of.