It was a big day for the Liverpool FC Women’s team as they visited Durham in a battle for the top spot in the table. Liverpool left little doubt as to who the best team in the division was with a strong 2-0 win to go into the first spot in the FA Women’s Championship. Let’s take a bit of a deeper dive into the performance, shall we?
The Irishwoman was signed this summer to give Liverpool a consistent goal threat. And what a goal threat she has become as the season has gotten into full swing. With her goal today, Kiernan now has six goals in her last four league games. Despite showing impressive speed and work rate, it has been her poachers instinct to get into the box to finish off moves that has been Kiernan’s greatest attribute. That was on full display today, as she cleaned up a spilled ball from close range after a Razza Roberts cross.
Who else but @kiernan_leanne!! @LiverpoolFCW’s ⭐️ player finds the back of the net, following in a @RazzaRoberts cross! #FAWC pic.twitter.com/2yiiFxcpXE— FA Women's Championship (@FAWomensChamp) November 14, 2021
Hinds, in her second season with Liverpool, has been an absolute stalwart since signing from Everton. The left back is sensational defensively, and the switch to the 3-4-3 has seen her shine on the offensive side as well. Against Durham, Hinds showed her penchant for sneaking into the box to get to the far post, heading home a cross from Razza Roberts. Hinds also provided some great deliveries, sending in a delicious free kick that was headed just wide by Yana Daniels.
Quick-fire double! ⚡️@RazzaRoberts with the cross @taylorhinds_ with the finish @LiverpoolFCW #FAWC #WomensFootballWeekend pic.twitter.com/JU0J02g0EH— FA Women's Championship (@FAWomensChamp) November 14, 2021
On the other side of the pitch, Razza Roberts put in a great two way showing herself as young Charlotte Wardlaw is still out with an injury. Roberts had a hand in both goals, sending in deep crosses from the right in quick succession. The first drifted on net, forcing the Durham keeper to attempt to make a play on the ball, which resulted in a fortuitous fumble right to Leanne Kiernan. The second was delivered with pinpoint accuracy to Taylor Hinds at the back post to easily head home. Roberts also put in some great defensive work, making a huge tackle between the two assists as Beth Hepple seemed to have a clear chance on goal.
While Leanne Kiernan can’t stop scoring, Rachael Laws and the defensive cohort are keeping the sheets clean on the other end of the pitch. The match against Durham was the fifth consecutive clean sheet in the league, with the Reds last conceding on September 26 in a 2-1 win over Crystal Palace. In nine matches thus far in the league, Liverpool have only let in four total goals.
Supporting the Squad
It was a big match that deserved a big crowd, and that’s just what it got. There were over 1,100 fans on attendance today at Durham, setting a league record for the club. While plenty of those fans were from the home club, Liverpool and Axa organized a free coach to send fans in support of the Reds. Those supporters were definitely heard on the broadcast, as well as by the players and the coaching staff as well!
Fantastic turnout today thanks to the Reds who travelled to Durham— Liverpool Women Supporters Club (@LFCWSC) November 14, 2021
Huge thank you to @LiverpoolFCW and @AXA for putting on a coach for us #WomensFootballWeekend #UpTheReds #YNWA https://t.co/cuCuSk0Rnx
Look, I know that we should just be happy that the FA deigned to show the match today on the FA Player. In fact, the FA player managed to show 10 matches over the course of the weekend, showing that it absolutely IS possible to do so, they just choose not to most of the weekend. But I digress. The level of professionalism from the broadcaster was dismal at best. He continually called players by the wrong names, including calling Ceri Holland by Taylor Hinds name on numerous occasions (they look nothing alike and don’t play in the same areas). He also went on a several minute diatribe about Durham’s away form before realizing that Durham were the home side, and it was Liverpool with the strong away form. In general, to put it politely, he seemed not to have the greatest grasp on the teams or the tactics, showing yet again how little the FA really seems to care about the product they put out.
I may be reading too much into things, but I felt that Rachel Furness starting in midfield over Bo Kearns ended up being a master stroke with the teams playing on an artificial turf field. While Kearns’ passing range and dribbling can’t be questioned, Rachel Furness somehow seems to win pretty much header despite her short stature. That aerial prowess was needed as the ball was bouncing all over the place on the turf field.
What Happens Next
Liverpool will return home to Prenton Park for a midweek cup match against Blackburn Rovers on Wednesday. The match will be shown on LFCTV. Liverpool are currently second in their group on four points after two draws, with an extra point for each from winning the penalty shootout. Liverpool will then head to Sunderland next Saturday for their next league match.