Liverpool 2-0 Doncaster Rovers Belles
The FA WSL
Wednesday 4 September 2013
Goals from Natasha Dowie and Louise Fors moved Liverpool five points clear at the top of The FA WSL table.
Despite being bottom, Doncaster made it a very difficult 90 minutes for the league leaders with home boss Matt Beard expressing his relief after the final whistle.
He said: “We needed that cushion of the second goal. It was definitely a tough night.
"Whenever you have just a one goal lead you are vulnerable. The most important thing is we saw the game out.”
With the last meeting of the sides resulting in a 9-0 win for the Merseysiders, this clash seemed certain to provide a straightforward Liverpool win. Beard had used his programme notes to warn that would not be the case and was proved correct.
Doncaster have improved since the above mentioned result, as a win over Lincoln and 3-1 defeat by Arsenal suggest. And they certainly provided their hosts with some worrying moments.
That was despite the Reds going in front after eleven minutes. Katrin Omarsdottir headed a Rovers goal kick back in the direction it came from and set winger Nicole Rolser away.
The German drove in to the area and intelligently squared for Dowie, the league’s top scorer, to tap in.
At that early stage it was too easy for the home team. On 24 minutes though they were almost stunned when Leandra Little looked set to level, only to shoot straight at Liverpool ‘keeper Rachael Laws.
There was also the sight of Jess Sigsworth weaving into the home team’s area, a fine Corina Schroder challenge thwarting her. From the resulting corner Rhiannon Roberts saw her volley fly straight at Laws. Such willingness to attack made Donnie’s tag as the division’s lowest scorers hard to explain.
The visitors’ high pressing was proving effective in harassing the hosts and Liverpool badly needed a second goal in order to relax.
The effective Rolser almost provided it after the turnaround when she spun away from her marker and shot just over the bar. Omarsdottir also headed wide after climbing well.
Amanda Da Costa was next to try to provide what would have been a relief-inducing goal for the Reds. Sent through by a fine Rolser pass, the American midfielder’s shot lacked the required power.
It all meant a nervous finale for Liverpool, who were grateful to see Fors follow up a rebound to bundle in the second goal four minutes from time.
Donnie manager John Buckley may have seen his side lose but he was pleased with their efforts.
He said: ”We had chances to equalise before half time. If one of those had gone it the game might have been different.
“Credit to the girls, we had two hidings from Liverpool and Arsenal a few weeks ago but since then our displays have really picked up. Their effort and commitment has been superb.”
Laws, Bronze, Engen, Bonner, Schroder, Williams (Holbrook, 90), Rolser (Gregorius, 90), Omarsdottir, Fors, Da Costa, Dowie (Longhurst, 90).
Substitutes not used: Quantrill, Easton, Stewart, Zelem.
Doncaster Rovers Belles
Davies, Cox, Williams, Roberts, Cunningham, Sigsworth, Mills (Creswell, 65), Lipka, Bright, Little, Smith.
Substitutes not used: Higgins, Chadwick, Melrose, Brusell, Purfield, Johnson.