Liverpool Women suffered their fourth straight WSL defeat on Sunday at the hands of Birmingham City. The visitors secured a comfortable 2-0 win which made for a sour 100th appearance for Laura Coombs.
The Reds have now lost both games at Prenton Park since it was announced as their permanent home. Their loss against Birmingham means they fall to 8th in the table, with the Blues rising to third.
Coombs’ start marks her 100th Women’s Super League appearance in an 11-year career which involves five loan moves and two spells in Los Angeles.
There were no real surprises in the Liverpool line-up, with Anke Preuss retaining her place between the sticks. The arguably more in-form Fran Kitching was subject to the bench for the third game running.
The rising star that is Rinsola Babajide also secured another start and the ever-changing striker choice was Courtney Sweetman-Kirk this time.
Key players Leighanne Robe, Jess Clarke and Jasmine Matthews all returned to the line-up following their respective injuries.
Birmingham opted for their usual outfield ten but featured 18-year-old Hannah Hampton in goal. The Prenton Park fixture was the youngster’s first league appearance.
Liverpool boss Vicky Jepson would’ve expected a better result against Hampton but her debut clean-sheet is a great start to her career.
Birmingham’s dream start turned into a nightmare for Liverpool after Emma Follis put the Blues in front inside three minutes. Preuss had previously parried her first chance but Follis made no mistake upon the second attempt.
The early goal set the dynamic for the rest of the game – Birmingham didn’t look like allowing the Reds any sort of result.
19-year-old Connie Scofield doubled the lead five minutes before half-time as she slotted the ball beyond Preuss. Her calm one-on-one finish marks her first senior goal.
Liverpool were eager to pull a goal back but they lacked any real finesse in their end product. Only two Liverpool chances were registered, both in the second half. Despite this, the bulk of the play belonged to the home team with 54% of possession falling on Red boots.
Rhiannon Roberts, Kirsty Linnett and Yana Danïels were brought on in the second half to attempt to turn the tide. Roberts took a nasty knock shortly after coming on but managed to see out the rest of the 90 despite a swollen eye socket.
Liverpool now sit in 8th, one point behind West Ham but still seven vital points away from the relegation zone. Boosting team morale will be a new challenge for Jepson to face, with the last four games resulting in losses and Coombs’ milestone game ending in defeat.
Birmingham are ten points ahead of the Reds on 19 points. They have overtaken Reading and have notched two consecutive victories.
Liverpool’s next fixture falls away to Everton on Sunday, December 2nd. The Merseyside clash coincides with the men’s Liverpool v Everton derby later on the same day.
Kick-off will be at 12pm with tickets available both online and at the turnstiles on the day. Visit the Everton Ladies website and for ticket information.
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