There is just no lack of excitement when it comes to the Liverpool Women these days. Thankfully it’s all good excitement this Sunday, as the Reds were able to dispatch West Ham pretty handily in the FA WSL. Courtney Sweetman-Kirk scored the only goal for Liverpool in the first half, similar to what happened with the men’s game the day before, and were left to stick it out through the second but not without their chances.
The Reds were faced with former manager Matt Beard on Sunday when they visited West Ham Women. Beard previously led Liverpool to their back-to-back league titles and left in 2015 to manage the now defunct Boston Breakers. It was nice to see him for a bit but definitely even nicer to beat him while we’re still dealing with the aftermath of his departure.
Jess Clarke continued her amazing form this week by being indispensable down the channels and creating nearly all the chances that kept Liverpool on the front foot. It was her cross that was only half cleared early on that Courtney Sweetman-Kirk picked up and pounced on, sending it into the net with only eight minutes gone.
A second could’ve come soon after when Rhiannon Roberts fired a shot just barely wide of the goal and Clarke herself had an effort hit the side net unfortunately. With the lead in hand, all Liverpool had to do was hold onto it for as long as possible.
West Ham, to their efforts, had plenty of chances and keeper Fran Kitching was kept well busy. Most of their chances came early in the second half, with Kitching making a fingertip save to stop Leanne Kieran from equalizing for the Hammers hardly two minutes after the start of the second half. Kitching was called upon once more in the 78th minute, when Gilly Flaherty got her head on the ball and sent it towards goal, only to be beaten away thankfully.
Rinsola Babajide very nearly made it 2 for the Reds quite a few times after coming off the bench. The first effort came around 81 minutes on, when a last minute tackle by West Ham kept her from finding the net but Kirsty Linnet sent it home - only to have it called offside. Babajide tried once more four minutes later, letting a rock off from 25 yards out only to have it go wide and earn a corner for Liverpool.
Drama came of course when Kirsty Linnet went down just past the 90 minute mark and unable to continue playing, leaving the Reds with ten after all their substitutes had been used up. Even with only 10 on the pitch Liverpool were able to keep tight hold of their lead and take three points back to Merseyside.
A dominant and exciting show today for the Women and a good chance to ride some of that confidence into the next match.
Next week Liverpool face rivals Chelsea in Kingsmeadow on Sunday, October 28th at 12.30PM BST. The match will be available on BBC Red Button so if you’re able to, do make an effort to watch and continue cheering on the Reds!