It’s been a frustrating year for Liverpool. Well, longer than a year, but let’s stick with the present. After being relegated from a covid-shortened season on points per game, the Liverpool Women saw several of their established starters voice their displeasure with things behind the scenes. Once the season started, Liverpool started well, but began to drop points late in the fall, and ultimately fell out of the race for promotion just after the winter break.
While the Reds looked to be out of the race, it at least looked like there was a good young core to build around, led by former Academy manager, Vicky Jepson. Then the news dropped in mid-January that Jepson was leaving the team. It is still not clear what the impetus was for the parting, or who’s choice it was, but it was clear yet again that things were not hunky dory behind the scenes.
And now, it has been reported that Liverpool’s most talented player, Rinsola Babajide requested a transfer over the January window. The 22 year old had forced her way into the England senior team set up over the past year, and honestly deserves to be playing at the top level. With Liverpool mired in the second tier, it makes it that much harder for Babajide to stay in the eyes of the national team coaching staff. Liverpool denied her a move this winter, and Babajide sat out of several training sessions in protest.
While Babajide returned to training ahead of the match with Charlton Athletic, she was ultimately left out of Amber Whiteley’s side on a snowy day. Charlton struck first, finding the back of the net in the 18th minute. Missy Bo Kearns crashed a shot off of the crossbar in the 37th minute, but that was as close as Liverpool came to scoring in the first half.
The Reds would make two substitutions in the second half, with both moves paying dividends. New signing Ceri Holland was introduced to start the second half, and was immediately involved in several moves ending with shots on goal, but Liverpool still couldn’t find a way past the keeper. Ashley Hodson was introduced in the 60th minute, and her introduction proved to be the catalyst the Reds needed.
Hodson would set up both of Liverpool’s goals. First she provided a brilliant ball to the back post for Rachel Furness to turn home in the 76th minute to tie the game 1-1. Then, with just two minutes left in regular time, Hodson set up Ceri Holland for her first goal for the Reds.
Liverpool’s joy, and lead, were short lived, unfortunately. With time about to expire, Liverpool conceded a penalty to Charlton Athletic. The resulting spot kick was buried, and the teams ended up sharing the spoils on the day.
Liverpool stay in 4th place in the table, 10 points adrift of Leicester City and Durham at the top of the table. The Reds will be back in action next Sunday against Coventry.