Liverpool FC Women 2, Coventry United 0: Leanne Kiernan Brace walks the Reds
Liverpool FC Women traveled to the Midlands to take on Coventry United at Butts Park Arena (seriously) in the FA Women’s Championship. Liverpool started the game in 6th place after beating Crystal Palace the weekend before. Coventry United entered the game without a win this season, sitting in 11th place in the table, but won their first draw against London City in their last game.
Matt Beard named an unchanged team for the game, with the 3-4-3 roster that produced some great offensive play on the wings last weekend. Leighanne Robe, playing in the middle of the three center-backs, won her 50th appearance for the Reds. Rianna Dean was still injured.
Both teams struggled to control the ball early in the game as it bounced off the artificial turf. Melissa Lawley appeared to be placed on the right side of the three forwards this week, with Ashley Hodson on the left. They were traded to start the game last week.
Jasmine Matthews raced forward deep into the Coventry United half and suffered a foul from 25 yards. Taylor Hinds pushed the free kick into the box, but no Liverpool player was able to overcome it. Liverpool kept the ball in the attacking zone but were only able to get the ball out for a goal kick from a center.
Liverpool kept the pressure on, securing a corner kick in the 7th minute. Bo Kearns whipped up the delivery in a very dangerous area, but Coventry United managed to get him out for another corner. Kearns put the ball in a good spot again, but Meikayla Moore’s shot was deflected for another corner. Coventry United managed to clear the third corner to Rachael Laws in the Liverpool net.
Close to Liverpool! The Reds come out from behind, Taylor Hinds knocking Ashley Hodson off the left flank. Hodson cut the ball off, then played it to Ceri Holland’s straddle. International Wesh carried the ball to the left side of the box and sent a stunning low cross to Melissa Lawley, who shot for the first time just outside the near post.
Liverpool came close to scoring again from a corner. Kearns provided a deep delivery from the left side, sending the inspirator to the rear post. Leanne Kiernan rushed to meet the ball, but the angle was too tight and her shot went into the side net.
Liverpool were receiving a lot of joy on the left flank. Melissa Lawley, now stationed on the left side, took a pass from Taylor Hinds and drove the ball to the baseline. His severed back entered the center of the box, but Coventry United managed to pull him away. The hosts then returned the other way and Mollie Green unleashed a long-range shot comfortably held by Rachael Laws.
Liverpool are getting closer again! Meikayla Moore played a sensational diagonal cross to Taylor Hinds on the left flank. Hinds quickly settled the ball and sent a cross to the far post, but a Coventry United defender had just enough of a header on the ball to deflect it from the post.
Moments later, Coventry United was reduced to 10 players. Leanned Kiernan fell on the wrong side of Grace Riglar, who had no choice but to bring her down when she was on target. There was another defender trying to come back, but the referee produced the red card for denying a scoring opportunity, and Liverpool were given a free kick from 25 yards. Bo Kearns managed to get the ball over the wall and back, but the Coventry United keeper did well to come down to save the ball.
Liverpool continued to pressurize with the player’s advantage as the half ended but couldn’t find a way through as Coventry United settled into a defensive shell. Half ended up with both sides the same.
Liverpool made two changes at half-time. Naimh Fahey and Yana Daniels replaced Meikayla Moore and Ashley Hodson respectively. Liverpool started the second half, this time facing a strong wind. The Reds quickly moved the ball to Taylor Hinds in an advanced position on the left wing, but the ball flew just over the baseline before she could cut the ball.
Liverpool have put pressure on Coventry United again. Melissa Lawley won a corner on the right, which Bo Kearns put into the mix. The ball rebounded before Jasmine Matthews hit a low shot that the keeper stopped to save.
Leanne Kiernan used her speed again to cause trouble at Coventry United’s back line. Her touch sent the ball just a hair too long as she charged into the box, and goalkeeper Olivia Clark came out quickly to slip in and choke the ball before the Liverpool forward could shoot.
Coventry United created a chance on the other end as Liverpool failed to clear a ball into the box. The ball bounced with several Coventry United players hidden, but the Reds were ultimately able to clear the ball out of the area.
Liverpool made another sub in the 58th minute. Matt Beard sent Rachel Furness for Ceri Holland to midfield.
Charlotte Wardlaw almost opened her account for Liverpool in the 64th minute. The young right-back found himself on the left side of the pitch to receive a ball from Jasmine Matthews. She turned and hit a hard blow that Olivia Clark parried around the near post for another Liverpool corner. Clark came around the corner again, walking into a crowd of players to claim the ball.
Matt Beard went to his bench again to keep his legs cool in midfield. This time it was Carla Humphrey who replaced Bo Kearns.
Liverpool broke through in the 68th minute thanks to a brilliant diving header from Leanne Kiernan! Rachel Furness recovered the ball from the edge of Coventry United’s box and immediately carried the ball past a defender on the left flank. She sent a cross sunk into the box, which was greeted by Kiernan stooping down. who sent the ball past the helpless goalkeeper! It was Kiernan’s first goal for Liverpool.
Liverpool almost doubled their lead moments later. This time it was Kiernan who supplied Furness. Kiernan held the ball to the left side of the box, then returned the ball to a rushing Furness, whose low, pushing shot was barely saved by Olivia Clark.
Leanne Kiernan scored again for Liverpool in the 73rd minute! Leanne Robe advanced with the ball from defense to midfield and played a single pass to the attacker. Kiernan did a fabulous trick to lose his marker, kept the ball close to carry it past the keeper, then inserted the ball into the empty net!
Leanne Kiernan received a standing ovation from Liverpool fans in attendance as she was substituted in the 78th minute after scoring her brace. Georgia Walters came in his place.
Liverpool continued to push to increase their lead by two goals, but failed to find any clear opportunities. The match ended with Liverpool scoring their second consecutive victory. The Reds moved up to third place in the table, tied with Sheffield United (second) and London City (fourth). Liverpool will face Sheffield United next weekend.