Liverpool may have landed the signing of the season in Irish striker Leanne Kiernan, with the 22-year-old bringing her tally to 10 goals in 11 games at the weekend.
The Reds have backed new manager Matt Beard with an overhaul of their women’s ranks this season, with 10 players brought in so far including latest signing Katie Stengel.
It has prepared Liverpool for a promotion push, and Sunday saw them extend their lead at the top of the Women’s Championship with a 6-0 thrashing of Blackburn.
Key to that was the performance of Kiernan, who has been on fire since swapping West Ham for Liverpool in June, signing on a free transfer.
Niamh Fahey, the captain at centre-back, opened the weekend’s scoring with a header in the first half, and were it not for the prowess of Blackburn goalkeeper Alexandra Brooks, it would have been more heading into the break.
— FA Women's Championship (@FAWomensChamp) January 9, 2022
The second half saw Kiernan come to life, with the 22-year-old scoring a hat-trick in seven minutes, the first of those goals being a remarkable curled effort from the edge of the box.
After Kiernan sealed her treble with a smooth finish in the 58th minute, midfielder Rachel Furness – so often the inspiration in a difficult season last time out – stepped up for a brace.
Her first came with her first touch off the bench, and a double was clinched in stoppage time, as Liverpool romped to an emphatic victory at Bamber Bridge.
Liverpool have taken 26 points from their first 11 league games, which has pushed them five points ahead of second-placed Durham, though London City could move within four points if they win their game in hand.
Under the management of returning boss Beard, the Reds looked primed for promotion, and the goals of Kiernan have been invaluable so far.
With her hat-trick in Lancashire, the Irishwoman brought her season’s tally to 10 goals in 11 games in the league, and 11 in 12 across all competitions.
For any signing, let alone a free transfer, it is a hugely impressive output – and long may it continue.