Match reportLFC Women go nine points clear with win over Coventry United
Liverpool FC Women moved nine points clear at the top of the FA Women’s Championship with a dominant 3-0 win over Coventry United at Prenton Park.
Matt Beard’s side made light work of difficult weather conditions as two first-half goals from Leanne Kiernan and a stunning opener from Taylor Hinds saw them take full advantage of London City Lionesses’ home defeat by Durham.
The starting line-up showed seven changes from the Vitality Women’s FA Cup win over Lincoln City but that didn’t stop a quick start, with the game almost secured by half-time.
The first part of the game belonged almost exclusively to Hinds, as the 22-year-old wing-back was involved in play at both ends of the field.
She whipped a dangerous early ball right across the box from the left-hand side on six minutes, but it eluded everyone in the centre amid the blustery conditions.
Just a few minutes later, Hinds – who recently signed a new deal committing her future to the club – showed her defensive qualities with a perfect challenge to deny former Red Mollie Green in the box.
It’s her attacking play that has shone this season, however, and her fourth goal of 2021-22 arrived in spectacular fashion with 13 minutes gone.
Cutting in from the left, Hinds unleashed a superb shot from 25 yards with her right foot and it soared into the net, with goalkeeper Olivia Clark well beaten.
A good team move involving Hinds and Rachel Furness allowed Missy Bo Kearns to seek a second for the Reds a short time later, but the effort was just too high and cleared the bar.
Bottom-side Coventry were carrying an occasional threat, especially from aerial balls, and it needed a fine clearing header from last week’s hat-trick heroine Leighanne Robe to snuff out danger after a good ball in from the right.
The Reds were continuing to dominate the ball, though, and there were further chances for Kearns and a dangerous cross from Yana Daniels, before a second goal arrived in the 38th minute.
Hinds played a ball down the left side to Daniels, whose sublime flick released Kiernan to run in on goal and blast past Clark for her 12th of the season.
The striker didn’t have to wait long for goal No.13 as the Reds ended the half in dominant fashion.
Daniels, who was an increasing influence on the game, played a beautiful cross in from the left and the Irish international rose to plant a firm header past Clark for 3-0.
Even before the half-time whistle, she almost completed a swift hat-trick, just failing to turn home after Rhiannon Roberts’ cross-shot had hit the far post.
The Reds started the second half in similar fashion, a lovely curling cross from Roberts landing right by the back post and Kiernan just denied as she sought her third.
Rachael Laws took a knock but was able to continue, while Melissa Lawley and Ceri Holland arrived from the bench as the game began to drift slightly.
Lawley, back from injury, almost made an instant impact, releasing Hinds down the left, though the resulting deep cross was well claimed by Clark.
With 20 minutes left, Kiernan was denied her treble by a stunning save from Clark, the ’keeper saving at point-blank range as the striker met a perfect Hinds cross with a diving header.
Furness then headed wide from Robe’s delivery and Lawley sent in a couple of dangerous balls from the right, but the Reds could not find a way to extend their advantage.
The hard work had been done, however, as the team took another significant step towards their overall target for the season.
Liverpool FC Women: Laws, Hinds, Roberts, Robe (Wardlaw, 75), Fahey, Campbell (Moore, 87), Kearns (Holland, 66), Furness, Daniels, Kiernan, Stengel (Lawley, 66).
Unused substitutes: Clark, Humphrey, Bailey, Silcock.