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Everton Ladies prove they can compete against WSL Champs

But the game is marred by injury and an intense debate about the quality of the home pitch

Everton v Liverpool - Premier League Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

Everton Ladies fought the good fight against Manchester City Women in a very exciting home game but still lost 2-3.

Striker Claudia Walker put the Toffees up 1-0 in the fifth minute with a brilliant goal from 25 yards.

What ensued was a wild 20 minutes which saw Man City go up 3-1 with goals from Steph Houghton, Nikkita Parris, and Pauline Bremer.

The game was wide open and Everton was able to show real quality on the counter attack.

The match then came to a crashing halt when Everton defender Gabby George made a legal tackle on Pauline Bremer, causing her to go down. She required medical attention before going off on a stretcher, which could mean a season-ending injury.

Word has it, it was a horrific leg break:

There was a lot of debate that the poor quality of the 3G turf pitch at Select Security Stadium was the main cause of the injury.

England international players Lucy Bronze and Claire Rafferty know from personal experience that the pitch is a tough one:

There was 10 minutes of stoppage time added to the game for the injury.

The scorer of the fastest international women’s goal in the world, Simone Magill, scored Everton’s second goal in the 65th minute.

The two Everton goal scorers, Magill and Walker, could be tied for Women of the Match, with plenty of excellent link ups between the two.

There was a noticeably vocal presence from the visiting fans who toughed it out in the rain. The game was also broadcast live on Facebook, which had an upwards of 3,500 viewers.

Courtney Sweetman-Kirk showed an excellent work rate as she chased after difficult balls, but it would be interesting to see her play higher up the pitch at her more natural position.

  • Possession: 61% Man City, 39% Everton
  • Everton had 10 shots (4 on target)
  • Man City had 16 shots (12 on target)

Everton are improving with each game. Scoring two goals against the WSL 2016 Champs is a very big positive for the newly brought up team.

Their next game is October 12th against Doncaster Rovers Belles and the squad will be desperate for their first win.

Everton Ladies (4-2-3-1):Elizabeth Durack; Faye Bryson, Georgie Brougham, Gabrielle George, Danielle Turner; Jodie Brett, Olivia Chance; Claudia Walker, Simone Magill, Chantelle Boye-Hlorkah; Courtney Sweetman-Kirk

Substitutes: Angrahad James for Brett, Siri Worm for Boye-Hlorkhah

Yellow Card: Chance

Manchester City Women (4-1-3-2): Marie Hourihan; Abbie McManus, Steph Houghton, Megan Campbell, Demi Stokes; Kiera Walsh; Claire Emslie, Izzy Christiansen, Nikita Parris; Pauline Bremer, Jane Ross

Substitutes: Georgia Stanway for Bremer, Jennifer Beattie for Campbell, Mel Lawley for Emslie

Update:

Coach Andy Spence responded to criticism about Everton’s pitch on Twitter:

Still, some players reportedly dread playing on that pitch:

Lucy Bronze believes that with the WSL going full-time, the quality of facilities and other resources should increase:

The debate continues!