Liverpool FC Women held in Blackburn stalemate

Match reportLiverpool FC Women held in Blackburn stalemate

Published 7th November 2021

Liverpool FC Women moved within a point of Durham at the top of the FA Women’s Championship on Sunday but had to be content with a 0-0 draw against a well-organised Blackburn Rovers Ladies side.

A tough battle at Prenton Park ended somewhat controversially when a late shot from Reds striker Leanne Kiernan looked to have possibly crossed the line before a defender cleared it away - but the referee declined to award a goal.

The hosts were the dominant team, especially in the second period, but couldn’t find the goal that would have moved them top of the table.

Despite a frustrating afternoon, Matt Beard’s side stretched their unbeaten run to nine games and will travel to Durham next Sunday for a meeting of first-versus-second. 

Chances were very much at a premium in a first 45 minutes where neither team really worked the opposition goalkeeper to any great degree.

Rachael Laws was called into action first when a cross from Hannah Coan turned into a shot due to the wind, but the Reds' goalkeeper turned it away to safety on 10 minutes.

Melissa Lawley offered the first attempt from Liverpool, firing over from the edge of the box, before the in-form Kiernan sent a good effort just wide from 20 yards.

The game was mostly being battled out in midfield but a fine run from Kiernan offered hope of a breakthrough. She beat two players before slightly overhitting a pass that would have put Missy Bo Kearns in on goal. 

The Reds were controlling the game now and 10 minutes from the break a fine volley from Yana Daniels looked goalbound before Coan bravely blocked with her face, Kearns later firing a low shot just wide.

Perhaps the best moment of the half came courtesy of a fine run down the left from Lawley and when she pulled her cross back from the byline, the outstretched leg of Kiernan couldn’t quite get a sufficient touch to beat Alex Brooks in the Rovers goal.

The Reds turned up the pressure at the start of the second half and Brooks needed to be at her best to keep her clean sheet intact.

She was alert to field a Rhiannon Roberts effort at her near post before saving well from Kearns with her feet after a cross from Kiernan had been diverted to the young midfielder at the back post.

Daniels was tumbled in the box by Brooks as she tried to reach a Kiernan cross with 15 minutes left but the referee was unmoved by penalty appeals from the home side.

Jade Bailey and Meikayla Moore arrived from the bench and the latter headed just wide when she met a Taylor Hinds cross shortly after coming on.

The controversy arrived with six minutes left when Kiernan looked to have made LFC Women history by scoring in her fifth successive game. The forward’s shot appeared to have possibly crossed the line before a defender hacked it clear, but the referee didn’t have a clear enough view to award a goal.

Liverpool kept on pushing and Ashley Hodson almost scored with her first touch off the bench, flicking a cross from Moore just wide of the post.

There was to be no more late drama though and both sides left with a point. 

Liverpool FC Women: Laws, Matthews, Roberts (Moore, 78), Fahey, Robe, Hinds, Kearns (Bailey, 70), Holland, Lawley, Daniels, Kiernan (Hodson, 90).

Unused substitutes: Startup, Furness, Humphrey, Walters, Parry, Silcock.

Published 7th November 2021