FOOTBALL - Coventry United Ladies suffer injury-time heartbreak at Blackburn - The Coventry Observer

FOOTBALL - Coventry United Ladies suffer injury-time heartbreak at Blackburn

Coventry Editorial 2nd Nov, 2021   0

LATE goals from Rio Hardy and Katie Wilkinson proved in vein as Coventry United Ladies were beaten 3-2 by Blackburn Rovers after conceding in the fifth-minute of injury-time.


Hardy halved the two-goal deficit on 85 minutes before Wilkinson looked to have completed a miraculous recovery with her 92nd minute equaliser.


However, Ellie Leek’s close range goal in the 95th minute snatched the points for Blackburn who had led for much of the game thanks to Saffron Jordan’s 10th minute penalty and Farah Crompton’s strike on 63 minutes.


The result was a bitter pill to swallow for United manager Jay Bradford as her side remain 11th in the FA Women’s Championship having collected just one point from their seven league matches.


Rovers had the first real opportunity of the game when Annabel Blanchard’s free-kick from around 25-yards out was pushed to safety by United keeper Olivia Clarke.


Blackburn then won a penalty when Megan Hornby was tripped by Grace Riglar in the box with Jordan firing hard and low into the bottom left corner from the resulting spot kick.


Clarke kept Coventry in the contest shortly after when she denied Crompton with her legs after the Blackburn player had burst into the box.


The Red and Greens goalkeeper was called into action again minutes later when she denied Jordan with her feet from 15-yards out before keeping out Blanchard’s free-kick from distance.


Blackburn eventually doubled their lead when Clarke could only push Blanchard’s effort into the path of Crompton who finished well from close range.


Coventry were indebted to Clarke soon after when she made a pair of excellent saves – first denying Blanchard with a fingertip stop before then foiling Jordan from close range.


And that would prove to be the catalyst for a Coventry fightback as Hardy beat two players before seeing her effort from distance well-saved by Rovers keeper Alexandra Brooks.


Hardy would go one better with her next effort when she halved the deficit with five minutes left to play after forcing the ball home from a couple of yards out after Rovers keeper Brooks missed Natalie Johnson’s cross from the left.


United almost drew level when Mollie Green’s corner from the right was met by the head of Riglar and well-saved by Brooks before the ball was scrambled behind to safety.


And Coventry would eventually find their equaliser when Green’s cross from the right was headed home by Wilkinson amidst a crowd of players in the Blackburn box to complete a stunning comeback.


Parity would last all of three minutes however when Blanchard’s cross from left slipped through the gloves of Clarke and into path of Leek who prodded home at back post to steal the points for the hosts and leave United crestfallen.


Coventry return to action against Bristol City on Monday, November 8 with kick-off at 7:45pm at Butts Park Arena.

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