The first game of the FA Women’s Super League saw Lincoln Ladies take on Liverpool Ladies at The 12th Imp Sincil Bank Stadium.
To the untrained eye, it may look like an easy win for Liverpool, but in women’s football, Lincoln are one of the key players.
Having finished fifth last season and already in this year’s FA Cup Semi Final, the Lady Imps are a tough match for any team, whereas Liverpool have finished bottom of the two previous WSL, Lincoln should be looking at all three points.
But with a huge amount of investment being ploughed into the Liverpool Ladies team by the men’s team, Liverpool could be real contenders and, with England regular Fara Williams in midfield, it was always going to be a tough task for Lincoln.
And so it proved to be as Liverpool took the lead on five minutes through a header from striker Natasha Dowie. The header left Lincoln’s new stellar goalkeeper and England’s number one Karen Bardsley clutching at thin air as it nestled in the corner of the net.
After that, Lincoln never really looked like equalising. The best chance came from a Lincoln free kick that Jess Clarke was inches away from connecting with to level the game.
Liverpool continued to assert their dominance as they regularly tested Bardsley, with Dowie looking the most likely to score. She hit a scorcher from 25-yards that was well saved and then hit the post from close range later on, with Bardsley beaten.
Liverpool were unable to add to their goal tally in the first half but were well on top and in truth, it could and should have been more than one nil at half time.
In the second half, neither side were able to take the game by the scruff of its neck, with chances coming few and far between.
Dowie continued to look dangerous but failed to test Bardsley, where as Cantrell for Lincoln tested the keeper but with fairly tame shots.
As the second half went on, Lincoln began to peter out and failed to create any clear cut chances, where as Liverpool had several decent opportunities to double their lead, which would have put the game beyond doubt.
Lincoln never really got going and Stoney being half an inch away from making an important touch in the last minute to level the game from a free kick just about summed up a fairly sobering experience for the Lady Imps as they succumbed to that early goal from Dowie.
Lincoln Ladies next game is away at Birmingham on Sunday, April 21st, 2013.
Karen Bardsley – 7
Will be disappointed to have conceded the goal she did but looked very solid and kept Lincoln in the game.
Hayley Bowden – 5
Solid but didn’t trouble Liverpool.
Sophie Bradley – 5
Looked solid at the back but sometimes struggled with Dowie.
Casey Stoney – 5
Similar to Bradley. Looked okay but Dowie had the run of her.
Megan Harris – 5
Precious Hamilton – 5
Also fairly ineffectual.
Carla Cantrell – 6
Played okay up front but never really tested the keeper.
Remi Allen – 5
Jess Clarke – 7
The Linc Sport Women of the Match. Constantly testing the Liverpool defence and looked the only player likely to score.
Bonnie Horwood – 5
Couple of dangerous set pieces but didn’t effect the game.
Martha Harris – 5
Solid but again, didn’t effect the game enough.
Turner – 5
Failed to have any impact.
Robert – 5
Failed to have any impact.