A goalless draw is typically a boring affair but it was anything but today at the Sir Tom Finney Stadium where Blackburn Rovers goalkeeper Alex Brooks treated those in attendance to a spectacular display between the sticks as she helped her side to a share of the spoils with Liverpool.
The visitors had a wonderful opportunity to go ahead in the opening seconds of the exchange through Amalie Thestrup but Brooks pulled off a magnificent save and laid down a marker for the rest of the game.
“It was a scruffy start to the game but we weathered it and just took each thing as it came” Brooks told FA Women’s Super League Full-Time after the match. “It seems so long ago now. That probably set the tone for the game. It’s not nice, but it is nice at the same time to get involved early in the game for a keeper, you don’t want to be stood around for a long time before you actually come into play.”
Manager Gemma Donnelly wouldn’t have been pleased to see her side opened up so easily early on in the match, however, it didn’t seem to do Brooks any harm. The former Birmingham City stopper produced a flurry of fine saves particularly in one-on-one situations to deny the Liverpool frontline.
It is an old footballing cliché that when you have too much time to think that could be the worst thing for a player, so what does Brooks think about when players like Rinsola Babajide are bearing down on her goal?
The player said “Nothing should go through my mind but a million things do go through. You try and read it and then you think ‘Oh no I just need to stay and be patient’ and it kind of just happens.”
Blackburn Rovers currently sit comfortably in mid-table and if they were to win their game in hand, they would be just one point behind Sheffield United, one of the favourites for promotion. Brooks and her teammates would be forgiven if they start turning their attention to the promotion spot.
Speaking on the prospect of an unlikely promotion push, Brooks said “We just keep taking each game as it comes, that’s all you can do.
“Keep everything simple, look after ourselves really, instead of looking after what other teams are doing. Just focus on us.”
Brooks is back with The Blue and Whites for a second spell so where does today’s performance rank during her time with the club?
“It’s probably one of my best. I can’t remember the ones from last time I was here” she chuckled.
Blackburn Rovers have amassed 10 points in the campaign so far, equal to the amount they collected last season, only now they’ve achieved it in five games fewer. In a league as competitive as the FA Women’s Championship and with a number of sides having gone full-time, a club like Blackburn Rovers could have struggled this season. That hasn’t been the case and Brooks has nothing but kind words for the unit that has been built under Donnelly.
She added “We’ve obviously got new players in. I’m back but still new at the same time.
“The thing that I love about this club is everyone is just on the same page, we all want the same things. We work together and the atmosphere within the team is just second to none.”
The harmony that appears to be in place at Blackburn Rovers is definitely reaping rewards for the Lancashire club and if Brooks continues to put down performances like she did today, they have a tremendous foothold upon which to keep accumulating points.