The Gemma Bonner column: Derby joy, Reading test and a star in the making

In her latest column, Liverpool Ladies captain Gemma Bonner discusses the derby win over Everton, the debut of Bethany England and Friday night's home clash with Reading.

We made a great start to our new season and what a special victory it was for us as we beat our Merseyside rivals Everton 2-0. We knew it was going to be a tough game to start the season with it being a derby but we were delighted to come away with the three points, which I think we deserved. It was only our first game and there are definitely areas we can improve on but we can take a lot of confidence from winning a derby. There were a few good performances and it was a positive start. I’ve got to mention our supporters again because they were absolutely brilliant. They supported us in their numbers and gave us great backing.

Natasha Harding scored our opening goal, continuing her goalscoring form from the Spring Series. We had a few good chances before we got the first goal and Natasha was in the right place at the right time to put it away, which helped to settle us in the second half. We were all delighted for Niamh Charles, who came off the bench to score her first goal for us. Niamh showed how good she was during the Spring Series and again we saw the quality and impact she gives the team. She thoroughly deserved her goal and, with it being her first senior goal, you could see just how much it meant not just to her but all of us on the pitch. We were all delighted for her, she’s a great kid and she really deserved it - hopefully it is the first of many! Over the course of the 90 minutes we could have scored a few more, but scoring two goals in the derby and keeping a clean sheet is a positive start and one we can build on.

Bethany England made her debut for us against Everton. Beth is a great addition to our squad, she brings versatility as well because she can play in a few different positions. You saw glimpses of her quality against Everton. She can hold the ball up well and has clever movement as well as an excellent work-rate, so she gives us a lot of options.

Of course, it was a bit different for us against Everton because we both share the Select Security Stadium as our home ground, so we were in the away dressing room. We officially have our first home game of the season on Friday night against Reading and we can’t wait for it. Hopefully we can build on our performance against Everton and we need to pick up as many points as we can at home. Reading had a tough game in their last outing and were unlucky not to take any points against Sunderland. I’m sure they will be looking to put things right against us. We’ve got to be prepared for that and put in another solid performance and send our supporters home happy.

Show your support for Liverpool Ladies against Reading on Friday night. Kick-off is at 7pm BST. Click here to find out more.