It was a big game at the Horsfall Stadium yesterday as Bradford City Women played host to Liverpool Feds in a game that has ended up leaving the league table looking very interesting as we approach the end of the season. Going into the game City were aiming to get further away from the relegation zone with just 5 points between them and the drop zone whilst at the other end of the table Liverpool Feds were looking to capitalise on their games in hand and close the gap on 1st place Newcastle United. In the end though it was Liverpool Feds who picked up the all important points from the game with a 2-0 victory.
The first half was hit and miss for both teams with some scrappy play at times but then some moments of great momentum. City were lucky though with Liverpool being called offside a lot in the first half, they were going for the ball over the top and if they had stayed on side I think we might have seen a few goals early on however, City stepped up and played the offside trap well denying Liverpool early opportunities. For the first half City were moving the ball around well and got into some good positions but unfortunately the ball through on goal just couldn’t find another City player’s feet and Liverpool were able to clear the danger.
Both teams were putting pressure on each other in the first half but it seemed to be Bradford coming away with the ball more often than not and moving it around the pitch but again they just lacked in that final third and were unable to capitalise on the pressure they had piled on. As I mentioned earlier plays from both teams were scrappy at times but during the first half it seemed to be Liverpool wasting most of the possession with a lot of loose balls into open space for City to collect easily.
There were a few moments towards the end of the first half where Liverpool picked up the pace a little and made some threats on the City goal but two fantastic saves in quick succession and an offside kept the scoreline level at 0-0. The best chance of the half came with the last kick of the half when Liverpool’s Pope took a brilliant free kick which seemingly had everyone beat before rattling off the inside of the post luckily for City though Stuart was there ready to clear the danger taking the game into half time goalless.
The half time team talk for Liverpool definitely seemed to work as they performed much better in the second half but at the same time City also started off the half strong with a great ball through to Hawkins who just couldn’t quite meet the ball to get a shot away. Liverpool definitely started adding the pressure as the half went on and it all paid off in the 54th minute, a great ball to the back post found the head of Kinvig who sent a looping header straight into the back of the net which in City’s favour didn’t look like it could be stopped.
Once the first goal went in the game could have gone two ways for City, they could have put their heads down like they might have done in previous seasons or they could keep on pushing and try get something out of the game, City decided to take the second option and never showed signs of giving up and they almost got an equaliser for their efforts but unfortunately Hawkins shot rattled the post. With neither team looking like letting up the play was definitely back and forth with chances from both sides but neither team could quite find a breakthrough until the 72nd when Liverpool picked up their second of the game, a great bit of build up play helped Donoghue run onto the ball and slot it home into the bottom corner.
Even 2-0 down City didn’t seem to let up and had a few more chances of their own but unfortunately they couldn’t get themselves on the scoreboard and the game ended 2-0 to the visitors.
City definitely did well going into half time at 0-0 keeping Liverpool at bay for 45 minutes and they created some good space for themselves and some good chances however they just couldn’t break down the Liverpool defence or find the target to get on the score sheet.
The amount of early offside calls against Liverpool definitely helps City out in the first half too. They definitely had the right ideas throughout the game but just couldn’t get anything out of it. One of the standout players for Liverpool was definitely number 11 Pope who caused some real problems with some great breaks and plays. Our player of the match though has to go to City’s Hawkins who once again put in a real shift throughout the game and really tried to get the team in some great positions and didn’t look like giving up throughout her time on the pitch.
The 2-0 result for Liverpool now takes them just 1 point behind league leaders Newcastle United with a game in hand on their competition and it keeps City 5 points away from the relegation zone however, they need to start picking up point soon as Barnsley who take up the last relegation spot still have a game in hand on City and with just the handful of games left this season it really vital to pick up every point available to move away from the drop zone.
I think we are in for an interesting end to the season and I think in City’s league it could easily be a very close call at both ends of the table but it is safe to say we are looking forward to seeing how it plays out.