Liverpool boss Matt Beard in shock after WSL1 title win

Sunday 12 Oct 2014
Liverpool Ladies manager Matt Beard and the WSL trophy

Liverpool boss Matt Beard admits his side performed the unthinkable to defy the odds and snatch the FA Women’s Super League 1 title away from the noses of Chelsea and Birmingham.

Natasha Dowie, Lucy Bronze and Fara Williams all struck in the second half against Bristol Academy as the Reds capitalised on both Chelsea and Birmingham slip-ups to leap from third to first on the final day.

Liverpool 3-0 Bristol Academy

FA Women's Super League 1
Select Security Stadium
Sunday 12 October 2014

It meant that Liverpool retained their FA WSL1 crown and Beard says his team’s staying power throughout the season has reaped the ultimate reward.

“I didn’t expect this, I really didn’t,” said Beard. “I am so proud of the players because we had such a tough game in the week and I think we deserved this title the way things have gone for us.

“I had every faith in the players, we had good chances in the first half, it was just about being composed in front of goal.

“We changed the system at half-time because they changed and we felt we would get more joy going down the sides of them and obviously it worked in the second half.

“We are a good team and deserve a lot of credit, we are unbeaten now since July. This is a great group and I have never ever doubted them.”

Beard’s side started with intent as Katrin Omarsdottir had a header cleared off the line in the second minute.

The influential Williams also came close in the 10th minute when her 20-yard free-kick sailed just over.

Mary Earps then superbly denied Omarsdottir and Gemma Davison from point-blank range as the score somehow remained 0-0 at the break.

But the opener came on 53 minutes when Davison picked out Dowie – the striker calmly slotting home from just inside the box.

The hosts doubled their lead just moments later as Bronze surged down the right wing before unleashing a fierce effort past Earps.

On 69 minutes, Dowie again threatened in the box and was brought down by Jemma Rose. Williams stepped up to calmly dispatch the resulting penalty as Liverpool’s job was done.

Bristol manager Dave Edmondson said: “We weren’t great. Travelling to Dublin midweek didn’t help and it was just a tough game to get the girls up for but credit to Liverpool, they put us under a lot of pressure.

“They are probably the best team we have played all year so they deserve [the title].

“This season has not been the greatest and is not where we wanted to finish, we have been very good at times but have been inconsistent.” 

By FA Staff