Back to winning ways!
On a beautifully sunny and cold afternoon Liverpool Ladies were really motivated to put in a good performance and leave the pitch with a convincing win. The team took to the pitch with two clear targets and the aim of winning the possession straight away. With Jenna in the middle our attackers knew that the ball would be heading in their direction. Hannah sprinted off the line on the whistle and plucked the ball out of the air. It wasn’t long before a few passes later, Jenna had the ball back in her stick and the first goal on the score sheet. Excited to get off to the start we had hoped for, it was important not to get carried away! It was hard though as pretty swiftly Jenna had doubled her tally. We seemed to have turned things around and continued to gain possession from the centre. A few silly shots on goal gave Stockport possession but the defence stood strong and forced the attackers into making passes or taking shots from narrow angles. It was great to have Ally back in defence and others responded well by communicating to each other and sticking to their own player. We remained on the front foot for the rest of the half and the high percentage of possession gave us a number of chances. Lyndsey scored two, Tam scored her trademark goal by rolling the crease and Coral used her pace to cruise past a number of defenders before putting it into the back of the net. But the contributions from the attackers didn’t end there due to the support from players like Linda and Carina who put in an excellent shift in the midfield. It was pleasing to see Jo scoring a goal and Bridget back on the score sheet after injuring her ankle. It wasn’t the only time that Jo made it onto the score sheet. Just before half time she received a yellow card for a lunging check. Not great but pleasing as she was showing the commitment to get back and help support the defenders. Disappointingly when put in this position we failed to use our brains when lining up again and left the defence one down! Good pressure from Kate and Bethan enabled us to turn the ball over. They calmly got it back to me in the goal circle. Hannah was quick off the mark to use the knowledge that Joss had given us on Wednesday and provided me with an easy safety pass. Even though we had some magical moments it wasn’t all about us. Stockport scored three in the first half. Two were amazing goals but one was down to a lapse in concentration on our behalf. Ellie Gosnay fed a beautiful ball from behind and Allie Welsh placed it with ease into the top corner. At half time with the score 8-3, it was easy to be positive as everyone had made a valuable contribution. Two examples are the space that Ashley was creating by working hard off the ball and Helena’s brilliant interception in defence before using her speed to clear it and helping set up a chance at the other end. With the starting line-up back on the pitch we were ready to focus on making a few improvements. The aim was to keep adding well worked goals to the tally whilst remaining tight in defence. Again we got off to a quick start and Bridget made a lovely cut which left us cheering again. It was looking like we would be celebrating like the men’s team. The momentum continued and a quick break from defence enabled Kate to add her name to the score sheet. With the goals continuing to flow we started to get a little bit sloppy and greedy. Lyndsey scored another two but for one I was definitely shouting pass, pass before cheering with everyone else when the ball somehow crept into the net. I really should have more faith in the unorthodox shot! Wasted possession gave Stockport the chance to narrow the gap. Ellie Gosnay used her speed and a number of well-timed dodges to get herself into a great position in front of goal and she doubled her tally. It was time for a timeout. We may have been winning but I wasn’t impressed. It was time to re-cap our aims so we could finish the game off on a positive note. Stockport score one more goal but Linda had the final say by scoring the last goal due to being the first person off the mark to chase down the rebound from a fierce shot by Jenna. The final score was 14-5. It was a pleasing performance by all and it was nice to see everyone smiling. With a tough game next weekend there are a few things to work on whilst carrying the confidence forward. Special mentions go to the following players:
- Alex McCaldon – a great performance in defence and very close to winning the MVP award. Good luck with the Lancashire trails today, we all know that you will do our club proud.
- Lyndsey Sung – top goal scorer with two goals in each half.
- Jenna Boon – scoring a hat-trick and a super performance in the middle.
- Kate Sweeney – organising the defence well and celebrating every goal with me except when she scored one for the defenders and ran off the pitch!
- Anna Balonier – it was a pleasure to play with you in defence. You were calm and didn’t give the opponents an inch. Anna you are a brilliant role model for the attackers in our team. You didn’t moan when I played you out of position and just proved that attackers can be great defenders when they listen!
- Sarah Mir – supporting the team brilliantly with so much encouragement from the side lines. Most importantly for remaining calm when her glasses were broken and I stupidly forgot to ask her to play when we only had 17. Sorry Sarah x
Player of the match was awarded to Carina Eaton for the performance of the season on the wing in defence. She stuck with her opponent and assisted with attacking plays. But most importantly she has her confidence back and is ready to make a difference next week.