The Liverpool FC Women returned to league play knowing that they had a chance to create more space for themselves at the top of the FA Women’s Championship. The London City Lionesses, who started the weekend in the second spot in the table, lost 2-0 to Durham United.
With Jasmine Matthews sidelined for an extended period, Megan Campbell retained her spot as one of the back three with Leighanne Robe and captain Niamh Fahey. Razza Roberts continued her string of league starts at right wing back, while Taylor Hinds, fresh off of signing a new long term contract, was in her usual left wing back spot. Rachel Furness and Missy Bo Kearns got the nod in midfield as Ceri Holland was left on the bench to be eased back in after returning from covid. Likewise, Melissa Lawley started on the bench after coming back from an injury, with Yana Daniels, Katie Stengel, and Leanne Kiernan up top.
Taylor Hinds was involved on both ends of the pitch early on. She sent in a dangerous cross from the left, but no one was able to get onto the end of the ball. Just a few minutes later, Hinds got back to make a big 1v1 tackle on Mollie Green in the Liverpool box to deny Coventry United a chance to get a shot off.
In the 13th minute, Taylor Hinds opened the scoring for the Reds. She received the ball on the left flank, and then cut inside on her right before unleashing a right-footed shot from 25 yards out that beat keeper Olivia Clark for the opening goal!
Liverpool looked for a second goal, and came close a few minutes later. Rachel Furness and Taylor combined to move the ball to Bo Kearns, but the strike from the Scouser went just over the bar.
Coventry United showed plenty of fight throughout much of the first half, and pushed for an equalizer. Leighanne Robe, fresh off of a hat trick against Lincoln City, showed why Matt Beard depends on her on the defensive end by getting in ahead of an attacker to head clear a threatening cross.
Leanne Kiernan began to find space as the half wore on, and used her speed down the left flank before sending a ball into Bo Kearns in the box. A Coventry United defender was able to get back and get a block in as Kearns took the shot.
Leanne Kiernan popped up with two quick goals at the tail end of the first half to give Liverpool a commanding lead. In the 38th minute, Taylor Hinds sent a pass down the left for Yana Daniels, and the Belgian flicked the ball for Leanne Kiernan to run onto. The Irishwoman left no doubt, slotting the ball past Clark to give Liverpool a 2-0 lead.
Just before the halftime whistle, Kiernan struck again. Yana Daniels was the provider for the second goal as well, this time sending in a cross from the left that Kiernan headed home. That brought Kiernan’s tally to 12 league goals on the season!
Liverpool looked to add to their tally in the second half, but were unable to break through again. Kiernan came close to a hat trick just minutes into the second half, but just missed the ball at the back post off of a cross from Razza Roberts. Katie Stengal also had the ball just evade her foot off of a cross from Taylor Hinds.
There was a moment of worry for the Reds in the 60th minute when goalkeeper Rachael Laws went down after a collision with a Coventry United attacker. Laws was able to continue after getting checked out by the LFC medical staff thankfully.
Ceri Holland and Melissa Lawley were introduced in the 66th minute, coming on for Missy Bo Kearns and Katie Stengel respectively. Lawley was lively as soon as she entered the pitch, and sent Taylor Hinds down the left wing with a nice pass, but Olivia Clark was alert and claimed the resulting cross from Hinds.
Leanne Kiernan again came close to finishing off the hat trick with a diving header, this time from Taylor Hinds cross. Clark made a smart save to deny Kiernan.
Charlotte Wardlaw replaced Leighanne Robe in the 75th minute, and then Miekayla Moore entered the fray for Megan Campell in the 87th minute as the Reds controlled the end stage of the match to collect another three points.
The win saw Liverpool extend their unbeaten streak in the league to 13 games in a row. The Reds now site nine points ahead of Charlton in the second spot with eight games remaining. Liverpool will continue their march towards promotion next Sunday when they host Sunderland.
Check out a post-match interview with Taylor Hinds where she talks about her goal below.