COVENTRY United Ladies were beaten two-nil by Liverpool courtesy of Leanne Kiernan’s second-half brace – having been reduced to 10 players in the opening period.
Kiernan struck twice in the space of four minutes, first heading into the corner and then rounding Coventry keeper Olivia Clark to keep United winless after five league matches.
That came after Grace Riglar was dismissed on 33 minutes for pulling down Kiernan as she broke through on goal.
The result leaves the Red and Greens above only Watford in the Women’s Championship table after suffering a third straight defeat at Butts Park Arena.
Liverpool created the first opening of the game when Missy Bo Kearns’ corner from the right was directed goalwards by Meikayla Moore and well kept out by Coventry keeper Clark.
The visitors then came close to breaking the deadlock when Melissa Lawley’s cross from the left was sent wide of the post by Ceri Holland from 10-yards out.
Coventry’s first real venture forward came through Rio Hardy down the right channel only to see her driven cross into the box well held by Liverpool keeper Rachael Laws.
The home side then tested the Liverpool goal for the first time when Mollie Green’s well-struck effort from distance forced Laws into a save.
However, Coventry were dealt a blow on 33 minutes when Riglar was sent off for pulling back Kiernan when clean through on goal.
From the resulting free-kick, Kearns saw her effort from 25-yards out well-saved by Clark as United defended strongly for the remainder of the half to go in level at the break.
Liverpool picked up where they left off after the interval with Reds captain Jasmine Matthews firing straight at Clark when well-placed to score.
United keeper Clark then did well to smother Kiernan’s effort as she raced through on goal to keep the scores level.
Coventry created their first opening of the half when Olivia Fergusson delivered a dangerous cross from the left that was met by the head of Katie Wilkinson and blocked to safety.
The chances continued to flow Liverpool’s way when Holland collected a loose ball 25-yards from goal and sent a dipping effort narrowly over the bar.
Clark was in inspired form and made another superb stop to keep out Charlotte Wardlaw’s effort, diving acrobatically to her right to push the ball behind.
The pressure eventually told when Liverpool took the lead on 69 minutes when Kiernan headed into the right corner of the goal from substitute Rachel Furness’s cross.
Liverpool’s tails were up after breaking the deadlock and they almost added a second minutes later only for Clark to make another great stop to deny Furness.
The Reds eventually found their second goal on 73 minutes after an excellent pass from Leighanne Robe picked out Kiernan who rounded Clark to finish into an empty net.
The visitors almost found a third goal right at the death with Alanah Mann making a superb block to deflect Lawley’s effort onto the roof of the net.
It proved a tough afternoon for United in windy conditions as they remain searching for their first win of the campaign.
Coventry are back in action at 2pm next Sunday, October 10 when they entertain Crystal Palace at Butts Park Arena.