Liverpool kicked off the game against Coventry United looking for their third consecutive win. Amber Whiteley has gotten her side into a good run of form, switching to a 4-2-3-1 from the 4-3-3 that Vicky Jepson preferred. This has seemed to help highlight the deeper amount of midfield talent available.
Rachel Furness returned to training this week after recovering from a knock, but was only fit for the bench. Melissa Lawley was also coming back from a knock sustained last week, and was on the bench. It came out earlier in the week that Rinsola Babajide had been sent to train with the U21s after not training for several weeks due to a conflict with the club over her future.
Missy Bo Kearns, recently named the Liverpool FC Women’s Player of the Month for February, stepped in to start in the number 10 role. Becky Jane continued her run of playing in an advanced wide midfield area, as Ceri Holland and Jade Bailey sat in a double pivot.
Coventry United opened up the opportunities just a few minutes into the game. After a Liverpool turnover, Amber Hughes took a powerful shot from 30 yards out. The ball skipped dangerously on the wet surface, but skimmed just past the far post.
Liverpool seemed to wake up after conceding the first chance, and began to play the ball through the lines of Coventry. Ceri Holland several times threaded dangerous passes through to Ashley Hodson on the left. Missy Bo Kearns also made herself available for angled through balls several times, taking the space vacated by Kirsty Linnett as the point striker when she dropped deep or wide.
Becky Jane forced a corner after a great hustle play in the 16th minute, flying down the field to win the ball high up the pitch before a defender poked the ball out. Missy Bo Kearns whipped in a dangerous ball that was flicked on, but the ball ran through everyone in the box untouched. Liverpool almost got through on goal just a minute later as Missy Bo Kearns again made an intelligent run through the middle, but the Coventry keeper got to the ball just ahead of the Scouser at the top of the box.
GOAL LIVERPOOL!!!!! Missy Bo Kearns earned a corner after again making an exquisitely-timed run through the middle. She took the resulting corner, which bounced around the 6-yard box before Niamh Fahey slammed the ball home for her second goal in two weeks! 1-0 Liverpool after 23 minutes.
GOAL AGAIN!!!!!! Ceri Holland drove down the left flank with the ball before driving the ball across the box. Becky Jane made a late run to slide the ball home from 5-yards out. 2-0 Liverpool in the 24th minute!
Liverpool continued to pressure Coventry United for the rest of the first half. The Reds generated several more good chances, but couldn’t convert. They did a nice job of varying making driving runs down the wing and whipping the ball low into the box and playing through balls to runners from midfield.
Rachael Laws was called into action in the 37th minute after Meikayla Moore played a loose pass that was picked off by Destiny Toussaint. Left 1v1 in her own box, Laws quickly came out to close down the angle, and was able to get her body in front of the shot to block it. Liverpool were able to see out the rest of the half, going into the break up 2-0.
Liverpool almost started the second half off with a quick goal. Ceri Holland made a brilliant run through the middle, and was sent clean in on goal by a through ball from Missy Bo Kearns. She probably took one touch too many, and get in close to the keeper. Holland tried to nutmeg the keeper for the goal, but the ball came off of the keeper’s heel, bouncing just into the reach of an onrushing defender to hook clear.
Coventry United got a good site on goal as the game opened up. Amber Hughes received a ball at the top of the box with a defender on her back, made a nice turn to take a shot. Thankfully for Liverpool, the shot went straight into the grateful arms of Rachael Laws.
GOAL LIVERPOOL!!!!! Liverpool get the ball into the box with Kirsty Linnett, and the ball was half cleared to Becky Jane. The winger whipped the ball in to Ceri Holland, who finished from close distance! 3-0 to Liverpool.
Ceri Holland was popping up everywhere. She played a brilliant ball through to Ashley Hodson. The ball popped back out to Holland just outside the box, and she hit a rocket that caromed off the crossbar. Just a minute later, she made yet another lung busting run through the middle from deep to receive a slipped through ball from Kirsty Linnett. This time, Holland was not able to put the ball on frame.
Liverpool made a double swap in the 59th minute. Melissa Lawley and Amy Rodgers came in for Ashley Hodson and Jade Bailey. Lawley got involved right away. Running down the left, she cut a ball back to Kirsty Linnett, who’s shot took a deflection that moved it just into the range of the Coventry United keeper, who was able to parry the ball just past the post.
GOAL LIVERPOOL!!!! Liverpool forced another corner that Missy Bo Kearns delivered. The ball popped out to Amy Rodgers, who slide the ball back wide to Kearns. The young Scouser bent a ball into the mix, where it was thumped into the net from the foot of Niamh Fahey. It was the second goal of the game for the captain as she ventured up from her central defense role. 4-0 to Liverpool!
Taylor Hinds come inches from setting up yet another goal. She made a great run down the left side before cutting the ball back across the face of goal. Ceri Holland slide with a defender to get a foot on the ball to try and turn it home, but the ball bounced off both players and away from net.
Rachel Furness and Leighanne Robe came on in the 74th minute. Making way were Kirsty Linnett and Razza Roberts. Both players were fantastic on the day.
Ceri Holland again found herself in front of net for an opportunity. Missy Bo Kears again was the provider, lofting the ball into the middle of the box, but Holland was not able to keep her effort under control, and the shot ballooned over the crossbar.
Liverpool made their final change of the game in the 80th minute as Amalie Thestrup came on for Becky Jane. Rachel Furness seemed to be struggling a little bit after having her heel stepped on, but was well enough to stay in the game.
Thestrup, deployed wide left in the role Becky Jane had played, tried a shot from distance after a fabulous through ball from Missy Bo Kearns. The shot didn’t have much power on it, and was easily controlled by the Coventry United keeper.
GOAL LIVERPOOL!!! Rachel Furness battled for the ball deep in her own half, beating a player on the dribble before playing the ball down the flank to Ceri Holland. The new signing hustled to the end line and fizzed in a low cross that was met by Melissa Lawley, turning it into the net for Liverpool’s 5th goal.
Lawley almost scored again seconds later. This time Thestrup drove the ball in from the right flank, but Lawlay was just and inch from being able to get a toe on the ball to turn it in. A few minutes later, Ceri Holland again made a great run and crossed the ball in to Rachel Furness. The Norther Irishwoman was in on goal, but popped the ball over the keeper and the crossbar.
That proved to be the last chance of the game as Liverpool sauntered their way to their third consecutive win. It was a stellar performance from the team, with Ceri Holland and Missy Bo Kearns both absolutely phenomenal. The Reds don’t play again until March 28, when they will take on Blackburn Rovers.