The clash between the two ends of the table ended 3-0 to Liverpool on Sunday at Prenton Park with goals from none other than Leanne Kiernan and Taylor Hinds. Conditions were tough, but both The Reds and Coventry put the shift in to entertain the fans who braved it.
The weather app saying “47km/hr” wind speeds overshadowed my excitement. I was already nervous as it was my first time photographing a professional league match, let alone it being a women’s match which I personally love more. Travelling to Prenton Park from Liverpool City Center by bus consisted of me trying to walk and see straight with the tears in my eyes from the wind but somehow, I made it to the ground where the steward then said: “That wind’s going to blow in your direction” as he brought me to the Johnny King Stand.
The fans were starting to spill in and the atmosphere was building in The Kop. I’d been to Prenton Park twice before and the voices of these fans are some of the best in the Championship and WSL. I knew it was going to be a good game.
Both teams started the first half strongly. Though the ball was mostly in Coventry’s half, they made sure to take good advantage of their counter attacks. The breakthrough came in the 13th minute for Liverpool through a rocket from Hinds from 25 yards out.
Chances were missed by the home side as attacks by United started to ramp up. Mollie Green delivered a dangerous cross towards Olivia Fergusson by the far post but Leighanne Robe dealt with it.
Kiernan doubled the lead in the 38th minute. It was a well worked team effort by Hinds and Yana Daniels who flicked the ball into the path of the star striker who then calmly slotted it past Liv Clark. She then got her brace as she strongly headed it in just before halftime, making it 3-0.
By the end of the first 45 minutes, my fingers were frozen but I finally had time to reflect. What an honour it was to be able to photograph such high-quality players. Coming from Singapore, where there aren’t as many opportunities and teams (yet), I realised this was a rare chance for me. I looked at some of the pictures I got and saw that some were out of focus and badly composed so those were two things I knew I had to focus on in the second half.
Kiernan was denied her hattrick right at the start of the half as Rhiannon Roberts curled a cross into the box. Elisha N’Dow was a prominent figure in Coventry’s defence as chance after chance for Liverpool was denied. Kiernan had another chance on goal in the 72nd minute but it was saved from point blank range by Clark.
There was concern in the air as Rachel Laws went down after taking a knock and needed treatment. Luckily for Liverpool, she was able to continue.
Despite the scoreline, both teams were still eager to get on the ball but nothing came to fruition as it ended 3-0. The result propels Liverpool to nine points ahead at the top while Coventry are left with their third consecutive league defeat after a tough few months.
Sitting pitch side with a camera and watching the game through the viewfinder was a lot different. With the 70-300 lens, I was able to see with clarity the faces and strength of these players as they battled for the three points. Coventry United might be last after almost ceasing to exist altogether, but the spirit of those players were ever so obvious as I looked through the camera. It was all the same for the Liverpool players, who have transformed into a different team and are now well on their way back to the WSL.
Liverpool: 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.